Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
The inaugural season of “Gift Wrapped Museum” begins Friday, Dec. 21, at the Southern Ohio Museum on Gallia Street in Portsmouth with eclectic musical performances and last minute gift ideas.
“We are really excited to be able to give back to our community,” Museum Director Pegi Wilkes said. “We hope everyone can come out, for at least part of the day, and share the museum with friends and family. The festivities were selected with all age groups in mind.”
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for Roger Jerome presenting a one-person show based on the works of Charles Dickens. The show begins at 6:30 p.m., and patrons are invited to stroll through the galleries and mingle with fellow lovers of art.
A member of both British and American Actors’ Equity Associations, Jerome graduated from the University of Birmingham in England (B.A.), the University of Sussex (M.A.) and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London (Honors Diploma). He was an elementary teacher, an actor and a college lecturer in the UK, until he came to the USA in 1988. Since then, he has taught at several colleges throughout America, acted professionally and devised a number of successful solo shows.
Roger has also directed a number of college and community theatre productions. His acting is strong in characterization and impact, and his educational work is founded in a commitment to creativity and a respect for the creative process. Since 1996, he has developed his acting work, both in professional companies and with his one-person shows.
The John Simon Band, featuring the talents of John Simon, Tommi Stanley, and Aaron Wolfe, will also perform during the day. The band is best known for its commitment to preserving the area’s heritage.
Known for his annual Sorghum Festival, Simon has been an avid musician for most of his life. His “Appalachian with dignity” approach to music carries through into his everyday life. Simon has also taught countless students, from children to university students, and authored several books focused on aspects of Appalachian culture.
Stanley comes from a long family heritage of traditional Appalachian music. Following in her mother’s footsteps, she is a singer, songwriter, and fluent performer of many traditional instruments. Besides being a well-rounded musician, Stanley is also a country dance/square dance caller.
Also performing at the museum is Portsmouth musician Steve Free — a nationally and internationally recognized recording artist whose style of music has labeled him the “Appalachian Jimmy Buffet.” He has won eight ASCAP Awards, received a Platinum Award, and Charted 14 songs on The National and International Charts, including his “number one” song “Just a Baby Boy”, which is becoming a worldwide Christmas song. In 2008, he was awarded The State of Ohio’s Governor’s Award as “Individual Artist.”
Dr. Stanley Workman will also be a the museum on Dec. 21, leading Christmas carolers. Workman is the co-founder and artistic director of the Southern Ohio Light Opera, the Director of Music/Organist-Choirmaster at the 2nd Presbyterian Church, and currently serves as instructor of voice and Director of choral activities at Shawnee State University, all in Portsmouth, Ohio.
For more information and performance times, contact the museum at 740-354-5629 or visit them online at somacc.com.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org.