The Update | Artist Unveils New Works; Comedy Troupe Show; Method 8 Film Premiere

NILES, Ohio – Monica Vega is showcasing a new body of her artwork at her Gallery 18 in Eastwood Mall.

Selected 8-inch by 10-inch designs are $15 for the remainder of August. The new designs, in modern pop art style, are portraits that depict

Vega began exhibiting in 2002, and primarily works in acrylics. She utilized a unique amalgamation of aerosol and glaze to heighten the look of art created for this collection.

Gallery 18 is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. To view Vega’s art, go to For purchase inquiries, call 330 623 3923.

Dinner Theatre Rejects in Anniversary Show

YOUNGSTOWN – The Youngstown-based Dinner Theatre Rejects improv and sketch comedy troupe will celebrate its fifth anniversary Aug. 6 with an 8 p.m. show at Cedars West End, 706 Steel St. Admission is $10.

Auditions for ‘Into the Woods’

YOUNGSTOWN – Auditions for Millennial Theatre Company’s production of “Into the Woods” will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 13 and 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Hopewell Theatre, 702 Mahoning Ave.

Rehearsals are projected to begin on Aug. 16 and will take place weekdays from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Hopewell. All performers must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by the first day of rehearsals. Those who have received their two-dose vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) more than six months ago will be required to get a booster shot. Those who have received their one dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson) will be required to receive a second dose. Proof of vaccination will be required before the first rehearsal. 
Performances will be Sept. 30-Oct. 2 and Oct. 7-9 at The Hopewell Theatre.

Auditioners (age 16 and up) should prepare a 30- 60-second cut of a song in the style of the show. An accompanist will be provided. There will also be a cold read from the script. All roles are open. For information, email

Locally Made Film to Premiere

BOARDMAN – The premiere for the new film by Method 8 will take place at 7 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Boardman Holiday Inn.

“Penny and the Willow,” written and directed by Brian K. West, tells the story of a doctor who is eager to treat his mental health patients but finds it difficult with the current medical standards. It draws attention to the challenges of mental treatment.

The cast includes West, LeNae Ferguson, Malivia Blackmon, Solomon Kennedy, Carla D. Gipson, Alex Robinson, KeWon Conner and Joyce Jones.

Tickets are $30 for the event, which includes refreshments, a fashion show and more. The film has a run time of 55 minutes. For information, go to or text 234 855 7540. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

Method 8 has been serving the Mahoning Valley for over 14 years as an independent performing arts outlet. All of productions can be viewed online at its website.

Exhibition of Work by Disabled Artist

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – An exhibition of work by Jesse Wolfgang will begin Aug. 16 at The Confluence, 214 E. Washington St., and run through Sept. 29.

The 35-year-old was left impaired by an act of violence, and unable to complete simple tasks for years. He was told he would not be able to walk again

Wolfgang taught himself to draw portraits and figures by spending thousands of hours studying art books at libraries and his mother’s bookstores.

When the pain medication prescribed for his broken back became an addiction, art became a tool to help him during withdrawal. “It not only brought me sobriety, but became a vehicle for spirituality,” he said. “When it was difficult to communicate, art blessed me with an outlet through which I was able to connect with others. Art saved my life.”

Over time, Wolfgang continued to learn, heal and overcome his physical and mental limitations, including taking art courses at Edinboro University.

“I think it is vital for folks who suffer from closed-head-injuries such as mine to recognize their inner strength and to understand they are still capable of tremendous feats,” he said.  “We are not our injuries or our handicaps.  We are only limited by ourselves.”

A free meet and greet reception will take place Aug. 19 from 5 to 7 p.m. 

Pictured: A piece from artist Monica Vega’s new exhibit at Gallery 18.

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