Newark Offers Arts, Entertainment for the Whole Family

On Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 15:42

Whether it's a showcase of elaborate glassware, an interactive history lesson or a good old-fashioned musical, Newark seems to always have something to do that the whole family can enjoy.

Raise the Curtain

Some of the more popular attractions are the county's two theater companies – Weathervane Playhouse and the Licking County Players. Both offer a variety of musicals, comedies and dramas.

Born in a barn on July 8, 1969, Weathervane Playhouse is Ohio’s longest-running summer stock company. Today it is housed in a 300-seat theater, and recent productions have included South Pacific, The Musical Comedy of Murders of 1940, Ragtime, Songs for a New World and Beauty and the Beast.

Weathervane Playhouse also hosts summer workshops for kids and teenagers.

On Newark's Main Street

The Licking County Players presents an eight-show season of musical and dramatic plays. Opened in 1967, this all-volunteer, award-winning company began as the Welsh Hills Players, performing at the Plymouth United Church of Christ.

Now the company owns its own 100-seat building on Newark's Main Street, which originally housed a funeral home and the Salvation Army. Running year round, the company offers Suitcase Theater, Dinner Theater and children's workshops. Past performances have included The Kitchen Witches, Pack of Lies, Hello Dolly, Jeckyl & Hyde, The Sound of Music and Hansel and Gretel.

The company also has several memorials on the property that honor past and present members. The gold stars in the lobby recognize individuals and companies that have made contributions to the theater over the years.

History and Histrionics

The National Heisey Glass Museum, which features more than 4,500 pieces of glassware produced in Newark by A. H. Heisey & Company from 1896-1957, is another popular attraction. Opening in 1974, the museum is run by the Heisey Collectors of America Inc. and is located downtown in Veterans Park.

The museum showcases hundreds of patterns in all known colors, including pressed glass, brown, etched, cut and colored glass. The museum also consists of the historic Samuel D. King residence, an 1831 Greek Revival-style home that was saved from demolition and moved to Veterans Park in July 1973.

Gimme The Works

The Works: Ohio Center for History‚ Art & Technology gives visitors an interactive way to learn about the history, technology and artistic accomplishments of the surrounding communities. It's known for rotating its exhibits to keep the learning experience fresh throughout the year. The center also features warm-weather concerts in the courtyard, summer art camps for kids and various lecture series.