Richness and diversity noteworthy in 2018's performing arts offerings

On stages formal and nontraditional, 2018 was full of art that contributed to both culture and community. Here's a cross-section that makes the case.

“Colored Section”
January at the Columbus Performing Arts Center
Gamal Brown's choreopoem fused dance, drama and spoken word into a unified work that addressed racial tension, black disenfranchisement and incidents of violence committed against people of color.

“Two Boys Kissing”
March at the Lincoln Theatre
Sort of a modern oratorio, this work was presented by the combined Columbus Gay Men's Chorus and Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus, based on a Young Adult novel of the same name that discusses coming out and everything after.

“Splendora”
April at Club Diversity
Cyclodrama presented this alternately tender and uproarious tale of a conservative Texas town rocked when it's rumored the new librarian is actually a transwoman who grew up there years ago.

Women Composers
April at Capital University
Women in Music Columbus advocates for local women musicians, and holds these concerts every other year featuring works by female composers from around the world.

#TeamTeague Tribute/Benefit Show
May at Bossy Grrls
Courtney Teague was such an integral part of the comedy and burlesque scenes, even as an audience member, that the community paid her tribute following her death by suicide in a show coordinated by Teague's friend, Bianca Moore.

“Electricity”
May-June at Columbus Performing Arts Center
Evolution Theatre Company produced this Terry Ray play with Terry Ray in the cast. The Columbus native's work imagines 30 years in an intermittent gay relationship.

“Inside the Riot”
June at Fort Hayes Performing Arts Theatre
This multidisciplinary performance piece assembled by Maroon Arts Group was protest in the form of art. “There are no answers, just pressing realities and hard truths,” co-writer Barbara Fant said.

“Suspicious Wizard”
August at Up Front at Shadowbox Live
Local magician/comedian Erik Tait's new show created an audience experience by reminding those gathered that magic involves a certain amount of lying.

“A Map of Myself”
October/November at the Lincoln Theatre/Columbus Museum of Art
Local poet/activist Sara Abou Rashed and “Six Word Memoir” founder Larry Smith collaborated on this one-woman show in which Rashed (a member of Alive's 2018 People to Watch class) plays herself and tells her stories.

“Just F*ing Kill Me Already”
November at Up Front at Shadowbox Live
A leading light on the local comedy scene, Dustin Meadows kept it funny while also getting intensely personal (and playing some music) in this one-man show.