Bright Star Venue Change Opens Window of Opportunity for Otterbein’s New Scenic Designer
Posted Mar 27, 2023
When Isaac Ramsey began planning the perfect set to stage Broadway favorite musical Bright Star as his first show at Otterbein, he was dreaming big. Unfortunately, when water damaged the Cowan Hall stage and the decision was made to move the production to the smaller Campus Center stage and extend the run of the show, he had to scale back. Although new to Otterbein, Ramsey was up to the challenge.
“It was quite literally ‘back to the drawing board’ on this one. The initial designs would not have fit the space. Design is completely based on the make-up of the theatre and, luckily, I have a lot of experience with small theatre spaces,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey, a theatrical artist, painter, and muralist, is the newest addition to the Otterbein Theatre and Dance faculty. A Central Ohio native, he returns as associate professor of scenic design after serving as a tenured faculty member on the faculty at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, GA. His work has been presented across the east coast with companies such as the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Cake Productions (NYC), and Actor’s Express (ATL).
He immediately began collaborating with his new colleagues. “I didn’t worry too much and just suggested that the director and I walk through the theatre and talk it out. We both quickly got excited about the possibilities in a more intimate space. We wanted to keep the same feeling we were creating before but keep the space as open as possible,” Ramsey said.
Inspired by a true story and featuring the Tony-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Broadway’s Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s.
When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past — and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives.
Ramsey thinks audiences will like this fresh approach to the show. “It is rare to get to put performers of the talent level we have here this close to the audience. I think they are really going to enjoy the experience,” he said.
The Department of Theatre and Dance and Department of Music present Bright Star at 7:30 p.m. on March 29 and 30; 8 p.m. on March 31, April 1, and April 12-15; and 2 p.m. on April 2, 15, and 16 in the Campus Center Theatre, 100 W. Home St. Tickets cost $30. Call 614-823-1109 or visit www.otterbein.edu/drama.
The box office is open 12-4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and one hour prior to performances. It is located in Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St. Student Rush discounts are available one hour prior to curtain, pending ticket availability.
Music, Book, and Story by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
March 29-April 2 and April 12-16, 2023
Campus Center Theatre
100 W. Home St., Westerville
Directed by David Hemsley Caldwell
Music Direction by Lori Kay Harvey
Choreography by Emily Glinski
Scenic Design by Isaac Ramsey
Costume Design by Anna Grywalski
Lighting Design by T.J. Gerckens
Sound Design by Kitty Mader
Stage Managed by Alex Munzke
Jimmy Ray Dobbs
Mayor Josiah Dobbs
Emma Rose Johnson
Mayor Josiah Dobbs Nathan Frewen
Tres Allison, Halle Audette, Emma Bailey, Caroline Bowers, Elizabeth Foster, LaBron Foy, Aidan McCracken, Julia Murphy, Jessica Noal, Charlie Scaglione, Keliah Schertz, Roberto Silva-Neto, Kailey Souder
All performances in the Campus Center Theatre, 100 W. Home St., Westerville.
- Wednesday, March 29, 7:30 p.m.
- Thursday, March 30, 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, March 31, 8 p.m.
- Saturday, April 1, 8 p.m.
- Sunday, April 2, 2 p.m.
- Wednesday, April 12, 8 p.m.
- Thursday, April 13, 8 p.m.
- Friday, April 14, 8 p.m.
- Saturday, April 15, 2 p.m.
- Saturday, April 15, 8 p.m.
- Sunday, April 16, 2 p.m.