The Update | Rebranded Theater Group to Present Shakespeare Play at Wean Park

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Shakespeare Company – formerly the Mahoning Valley Players – will return to action this summer.

The newly rebranded troupe will present “Much Ado About Nothing” at 6 p.m. July 19-20 and 2 p.m. July 21 at Wean Park, downtown. As always, admission is free.

It’s a new location for the troupe, which previously staged Shakespeare dramas and comedies at Morley Pavilion in Mill Creek Park.

The group recently changed its name to the Youngstown Shakespeare Company but will continue its mission of providing classic theater to the community.

Past productions have included “The Tempest,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” and “All’s Well That Ends Well,” among others.

Kim Akins, founding member, will continue to serve as executive director.

“Changing our name to the Youngstown Shakespeare Company reflects our commitment to the city of Youngstown to continue staging our productions within the city limits,” she said. “It’s also our intent to remain true to our mission of producing works by Shakespeare.”

The company is the only local theater entity that focuses on Shakespeare, she pointed out.

Akins is excited about the move to Wean Park.

“It’s a spectacular location for us,” she said. “The outdoor space, ease of parking and collaboration with downtown restaurants and organizations made sense. We want to be a part of downtown’s excitement.”

The performances have been underwritten by Youngstown Councilwoman Anita Davis.

The Mahoning Valley Players was formed in 2011 by Akins, Liz Conrad and Richard Costes.

Contest for Artworks Made from Cans of Food

NILES, Ohio – The Eastwood Mall Complex is looking for imaginative people to create works of art from canned foods that will ultimately be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.

The best design will win the title of Best CAN-struction. Teams from local organizations, businesses, social clubs, schools and other groups who are willing to collect canned goods and then design and build structures inside Eastwood Mall are being sought.

Each CAN-struction must fit within a 10-foot-by-10-foot-by-10-foot space.

To enter, call Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley at 330 792 5522 or email

The deadline for entries is July 15. The CAN-structions will be on display at the mall Aug. 4-Sept. 1.

Little Black Dresses for Literacy Fundraiser

POLAND, Ohio – The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County’s annual Ladies in Little Black Dresses for Literacy fundraiser will take place at 4 p.m. June 6 at The Lake Club.

The event benefits the Martha Muransky Children’s Literacy Fund.  

Attendees can bring a copy of a book by their favorite author to swap with other attendees. They can also donate gently used and brand-new children’s books. Tickets are $65 each and include appetizers, summer fare, dinner and a glass of wine. The event will also include a cash bar and raffles. 

Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased by check or online HERE.

For information, contact Deb Liptak at or call 330 740 6086. 

Smarts Offers Summer Workshops for Students

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Students Motivated by the Arts will offer 22 summer workshops over three weeks this summer. 

The workshops are free and will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Workshops will take place June 10-14, July 8-12 and July 15-19.

Applications and classes are available HERE. Enrollment will open May 22.

The classes are in visual art, music, dance, theater and creative writing. The workshops offer strategically paired classes. For example, From Heel to Toe is a dance class focusing on the style of tap and is paired with Understanding the Power of Movement, which explores the historical and cultural significance of dance for people all over the world.

Classes also include photography and design, mixed media and watercolor, creative writing and digital stories, prop and set design and printmaking.

Jewish Community Center to Open Outdoor Campus

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Jewish Community Center of Youngstown will open its Logan Campus, 3245 Logan Way, for the summer May 25.

The outdoor campus offers a variety of options for JCC members and their guests, including a pool, sand volleyball, tennis, pickleball and basketball courts; a pavilion and a snack shack. New this year is an aquatic climbing wall.

Membership to the JCC includes both the Main Campus, 505 Gypsy Lane, and the Logan Campus. A summer membership special is available for a limited time. Go to or call 330 746 3250, ext.195, for membership information. 

Art Exhibitions Opening at Trumbull Gallery

WARREN, Ohio – Two exhibitions will open Saturday, May 18, at Trumbull Art Gallery, 158 N. Park Ave.

A reception for both shows will take place that day from 6 to 8 p.m.

“Making Things Stick” is an exploration of stitching, painting and assemblage by Savannah Schroll Guz, Adrien Lucas and Jennifer Hill. The show is curated by Robyn Maas.

The second exhibition is “Untold Stories,” photographs by the late Dr. W. Gordon.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.