Dayton Theatre Guild heads ‘True West’ and other arts news you should know



A sibling rivalry between estranged brothers provides the volatile foundation for Sam Shepard’s 1983 Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama “True West,” which will be presented Jan. 12-28 at the Dayton Theatre Guild.

In this gripping tale, Austin, a screenwriter about to sell his next script, and Lee, a drifter and thief with collaboration on his mind, reunite for the first time in five years at their mother’s California home. The play explores themes of family, division, masculinity and ambition.

“One of the really remarkable things about ‘True West’ is its energy,” explains Jared Mola, who portrays Lee. “It’s relentless. It has a lot to say and really has to push these characters past the brink to say it.”

Seen last season in the Guild’s production of “Hedda Gabler,” Mola says it was important for him to remember the brothers don’t exist in a vacuum.

“As outrageous and absurd as Lee may seem, his attitudes are formed by unrealistic myths of manhood and pictures of success he’s grown to believe.”



Under the direction of Doug Lloyd, the cast also features Ryan Hester as Austin, Libby Holley Scancarello as Mom, and Philip Trickey as Saul Kimmer, a Hollywood producer. Lloyd says the play’s relevancy is compelling.

“While the script is set in the ‘70s, the time seeing could be moved up to 2024 with only a few minor time period reference changes,” he said. “These brothers could very easily be living this story today. Sibling rivalry and conflict are timeless. Lee and Austin are as different as night and day, but as the story progresses, they find each still has the same needs and are much more alike than they thought and can be driven to do things they never expected they could.”

Performances are 8 p.m. Fridays, 5 p.m. Saturdays (with the exception of Jan. 13 at 8 p.m.) and 3 p.m. Sundays at Dayton Theatre Guild, 430 Wayne Ave., Dayton. Tickets are priced at $14-$21. For tickets or more information, call 937-278-5993 or visit


Here’s a look at three additional shows to keep on your radar this weekend:

“9 to 5: The Musical”

Jan. 11-14, Muse Machine

The Muse Machine presents the 2009 Tony-nominated musical adaptation of the iconic 1980 film. Featuring music by Dolly Parton, this lighthearted yet topical and timely tale of women in the workplace features over 100 students from across the Miami Valley. 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton. $29-$69. 937-228-3630 or

Credit: travis fultz

Credit: travis fultz

“Is There Life After High School?”

Jan. 12-28, Dayton Playhouse

Jeffrey Kindley and Craig Carnelia’s 1982 musical uses songs and monologues to spotlight the ups and downs teenagers experience throughout high school. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays at Dayton Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton. $18-$20. 937-424-8477 or

“Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony”

Jan. 12-13, Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

Guest conductor Kensho Watanabe, an emerging presence who has appeared with top ensembles around the world, leads the Dayton Philharmonic in a salute to Rachmaninoff’s Sesquicentennial. The Masterworks program also includes Wagner’s “Lohengrin” and Debussy’s Spanish-influenced “Ibéria.” 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St., Dayton. $12-$82.50. 937-228-3630 or


Dayton Contemporary Dance company (DCDC) is offering an inside look at its upcoming presentation of “In Modern Moves” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20 at its studios located at 840 Germantown St., Dayton.

This free, in-studio event invites the public to engage with the dancers as they discuss and perform routines from “In Modern Moves,” which will be held Feb. 17 and 18 at the Victoria Theatre. The program is slated to feature Paul Taylor’s “Esplanade,” originally produced in 1975 and acclaimed for its “found movements” such as walking, running, jumping, sliding and falling. DCDC will be the first majority African American company to perform Taylor’s work. To register for the inside look, call 937-228-3232 or email

In addition, DCDC’s commemorative stamp campaign honoring its founder Jeraldyne Blunden received 14,339 letters of support. However, the endeavor did not advance as a stamp candidate by the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee.

In an email to supporters, DCDC thanked the community for its valiant effort.

“We sincerely appreciate each one of your signatures, bringing us closer to making Jeraldyne’s legacy known to the world through a commemorate stamp,” the email stated. “However, our determination remains unwavering, and we will continue working tirelessly toward this goal in the future.”

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