WELLSBURG - The Brooke County Arts Council will kick off the 40th season of Brooke Hills Playhouse with a Barn Bash featuring three local bands at 5 p.m. May 21.
Arts Council president Julia Barnhart said, "The Barn Bash committee has been working non-stop to put together a program featuring bands representing various age groups and styles of music."
Each band will play a 45-minute set, with 15-minute breaks between acts. Admission is $5. Refreshments will be available.
The entertainment will begin with oldies band "40+," featuring the talents of Rick Taylor, Steve Nixon, David Nixon, Leno Calvarese, John Zumpetta and Terry Stuck.
The next band will be ska-rock/reggae group, Black Action Cop, consisting of Joey West, Andrew Mull, Andy Kinnick, Daniel Auten and Chad Rothermund.
Alternative rock band Sidney Grace, made up of Jerrod Harlan, Drew Kramer, Alex Castille and Kyle Lucci, will be next; followed by the acoustic duo The Ansaris, consisting of Carter Dean and Ryann Bartoletti.
The final group will be pop music band Vanilla Sounded Chocolate, which includes Manon Misto, Ty Carney, Michael DiCarlo, Matt Fitzgerald and Brandon Isaac.
The Barn Bash committee includes Amy Balog, Chelsey and Julia Barnhart, Diana Mendel, Nick Taylor, Paula Welch, Kassidy Wells and Kim and Mike Winters.
On May 22 the Arts Council will hold a picnic at the playhouse for anyone who ever participated in a Brooke Hills production as an actor, director or technician.
"We want to say thank you to everyone who helped make the playhouse what it is today, and to encourage them to join us for our next forty years," Barnhart said.
The Arts Council will provide a chicken entree and soft drinks, and those attending the picnic are asked to bring a covered dish to the free picnic.
For information about the picnic, call (304) 737-3344.
The Playhouse will present six shows for its 40th summer season, beginning June 2-5 and 9-11 at 8 p.m. and June 12 at 2 p.m. with Neil Simon's classic comedy, "The Odd Couple.
It will be followed June 16-19 and 23-25 at 8 p.m. and June 26 at 2 p.m. by the musical comedy, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," and J.M. Barrie's wise and witty ghost story, "Mary Rose" June 30, July 1-3 and 7-9 at 8 p.m., with at matinee at 2 p.m. July 10.
The season continues July 14-17 and 21-23 at 8 p.m. and July 24 at 2 p.m. with Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's fractured fairy tale, "Into the Woods," followed by Charles Morey's comedy "Laughing Stock" to be staged July 28-31 and August 4-6 at 8 p.m. and August 7 at 2 p.m.
The final show of the season will be "bf F?" an original play for young actors by Diana Mendel of Wellsburg, to be presented August 11-14 and 18-20 at 8 p.m. and August 21 at 2 p.m.
The playhouse's 40th season is sponsored by WTOV television station and the Center of Music and Art. Show sponsors include the Wellsburg Kiwanis Club, Koppers, Kwik King and Main Street Bank.
Patrons may purchase advance season discount coupons.
This year season ticket holders can choose among four different plans and will have priority seating and be eligible for discounts on other arts council events.
Details about the discount plans are available at the playhouse's website at www.brookehillsplayhouse.com.
Patrons also may order tickets online.