September 17, 2010
WOOSTER, Ohio — Cleveland’s sixth-annual IngenuityFest will have a distinct local flavor thanks to a noteworthy group of students, faculty, and alumni from The College of Wooster. The three-day event, which runs Sept. 24-26, is the brainchild of James Levin, now director of Wooster’s Center for Entrepreneurship, who established the event to showcase the creativity of northeast Ohioans in both the arts and technology.
Much of the buzz about this year’s event centers on the new venue. “We used to block off the Playhouse Square area downtown, but this year will take over the lower level of the Detroit Superior Bridge, a mile-long span over the Flats that serves as one of the main arteries to the Eastside,” says Levin. “Street cars used to run there, but the space has been dormant for more than 50 years.
The narrow structure, which has a surface that consists of asphalt and scattered vestiges of track, will be transformed into an innovator’s wonderland with numerous exhibitions and four stages for musical and theatrical performances featuring up-and-coming artists. One of those performances will be the world premiere of “Sangreal,” a modern opera written by Peter Mowrey, associate
professor of music at The College of Wooster. Mowrey will conduct the first act of the opera on Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (2:15 p.m.) afternoons in the Family Village area, where historic pillars from the structure will become part of the set. Also involved are Shirley Huston-Findley, associate professor of theatre at Wooster, who will direct the production; sopranos Carrie Culver and Susan Wallin of Wooster’s music department faculty, who will perform; and Charlene Gross of the department of theatre, who will provide costumes. In addition, Wooster junior Paul Winchester will coordinate the computer-generated music. “It’s a great collaborative effort,” says Mowrey. “It’s a production that everyone can enjoy. I can’t wait for people to see it.”
Other Wooster participants in the festival are recent graduates Allison Wadleigh and Sarah Manning, and current students Katie McBride and Lindsay Phillips, both seniors. Wadleigh will present “Facebook Me,” a 30-minute Alice-in-Wonderland-like odyssey that examines the lure of social networking as well as its inherent dangers. Phillips will present a dance she choreographed,
which was inspired by the architecture of Cleveland. Manning and McBride will host an interactive gallery they created so that children can experience art through a variety of novel and enchanting hands-on exercises. In addition, senior Patryk Tenorio will deejay on Friday night, and then join fellow senior Nana Boamah and three other Wooster students in the ensemble, “Freddy Cool,” which
will perform on Saturday night.
Behind the scenes, Tenorio and fellow seniors Katie McBride, Sarah Gerlach, and Nana Boamah-Acheampong served as summer interns, assisting in planning, logistics, marketing, and fundraising for the festival.
Levin indicated that he was pleased to have such a significant presence from The College of Wooster at the festival. “I continue to be impressed by the talents of the students, faculty, and alumni,” he says.
The three-day festival, which is free this year, is funded by the Cuyahoga Arts and Cultural Foundation as well as corporate sponsors, individual donors, and vendor fees. An estimated 35,000 people attended the event in 2009, but Levin is hoping for 50,000 this year, in large part because of the venue, which will feature a 60-foot waterfall that will flow from the top of the bridge into the Cuyahoga River below. Hours for the event are 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, noon to 1 a.m. Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Additional information is available online.
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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