Literary magazine starts online offshoot

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Night Owl consulting editor and OWU director of creative writing Robert Olmstead. Photo:

The Night Owl is an online-only literary publication started at Ohio Wesleyan and serves as a place “where fellow lovers of reading and writing can converge,” said managing editor Elizabeth Riggio ’14.

The publication is a way to maintain connections with OWU writers after they graduate, said professor of creative writing and Night Owl consulting editor Robert Olmstead.

“Professor Caplan and I have always talked about ways to better keep up with our poets and writers as they move on from OWU,” Olmstead said. “The idea of a very simple online literary journal seemed appropriate, a place for those people to gather.”

He said the Night Owl “quietly debuted” on May 1, 2014, and so far the response has been overwhelming. Submissions to the publication have come from all over the world. Many of the Night Owl’s writers and reviewers are OWU alumni, reaching as far back as ’99, but many are not even academics.

“We have a college administrator from Wisconsin, a baseball umpire from Oregon, a painting contractor from Florida, a medical writer from Idaho, a fitness instructor from Pennsylvania,” Olmstead said.

He said the Night Owl has a strong presence with publishers, receiving literature for review almost every day. These works are fiction, poetry, history, biography and culture.

All the books assigned for review are first read by Olmstead, and then he chooses each book’s reviewer based on who he thinks would most enjoy reading it.

“Over the last ten years, book reviews have really dried up, so we are doing a small part in filling that need,” Olmstead said. “There’s something about getting your hands on a book six months or a year before it is published. Book writers are the first onto the truth, followed by journals, newspapers and television in that order. You’d think it might be the other way around, but it isn’t. The slowest is first.”

Riggio said she became involved with the Night Owl at Olmstead’s request, and as managing editor she reviews and edits submissions, as well as manages the website.

Riggio, who is currently teaching in South Korea, has recently begun an “occasional contribution” called Dispatches.

“These Dispatches are a type of travel writing, similar to a blog, about my experiences and reflections in South Korea,” Riggio said. “We would like for the Dispatches to be a section of the Night Owl in which people can submit from anywhere in the world.”

She said she posts weekly, depending on submissions, and dedicates about five or six hours a week to the publication.

“To me, the spirit of the Night Owl permeates my daily life and so it feels less like a project with set hours and more like a constant process as a writer, thinker, and editor—one that I truly enjoy,” Riggio said.

She said it has been a privilege to learn from the writers who submit to the Night Owl and from Olmstead, a professor and writer she admires and respects.

Senior Marta Del Cid is an IT assistant for Information Services and handles the technical side of the Night Owl website, supporting Riggio and Olmstead with website issues and design layout questions. Riggio said Del Cid has been “extremely instrumental” in the process of setting up the site.

“I would recommend students visit the site,” Del Cid said. “It truly has been a pleasure working alongside Elizabeth (Riggio) and Mr. Olmstead to create a strong website for literary work.”

Newest submissions appear at the top of the website and there are no advertisements, comment sections, or bright colors.

“Night Owl is about focusing on the art of the written word without the unnecessary and distracting bells and whistles,” Riggio said. “You will be hard-pressed to find a publication like this.”

To access the Night Owl, go to

Students march in solidarity at SlutWalk

Junior Kaila Johnson leads the annual SlutWalk march around Williams Drive last Thursday. Photo by Alex Gross
Junior Kaila Johnson leads the annual SlutWalk march around Williams Drive last Thursday. Photo by Alex Gross

Over sixty students chanted and marched around the residential side of campus on Thursday for the annual SlutWalk, hosted by Sisters United.

Junior and Sisters United vice president Kaila Johnson said the SlutWalk originated in Toronto after a police officer said publicly that if women do not want to be raped, they should not dress like “sluts.” SlutWalk has since become an international movement, held in cities all over the globe.

“The purpose of SlutWalk is to march, rally, and protest against rape culture, slut-shaming, and victim-blaming,” Johnson said. “It is a walk of solidarity with those who have survived rape and sexual assault, and a way to show that a woman’s clothing is never an excuse for violence against her.”

She said the event was brought to OWU about five years ago by Nola Johnson, who graduated last year. Due to the provocative title, she had to fight the administration to gain approval for SlutWalk to be held on campus. Since then, the event has been held every year.

 SlutWalk attendees gathered in front of the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center at 6 p.m. on Thursday for the event. Posters and a sheet of chants were available to anyone who wanted them. Johnson spoke about how the event originated and called for end to victim-blaming and slut-shaming.

Student representatives from the Spectrum Resource Center, Women’s House, Pride and the Women’s Resource Center spoke about what services their organization offers and what they stand for. A staff counselor from counseling services also attended and said she was available to anyone who wanted to talk to her.

Students then walked down the JayWalk, holding up their posters and saying chants like “A little black dress does not mean yes” and “Hey hey ho ho patriarchy has got to go.” The protesters walked down Rowland Avenue, through the circle of fraternities and around House of Black Culture before heading back to Ham-Wil.

 While students were gathering back together, some members of the Board of Trustees passed on their way into Ham-Wil for a dinner reception in the Benes Room.

“I am grateful to Sisters United for their leadership in drawing attention to this important issue and to all on campus who come together to walk in solidarity with victims of rape and sexual assault, and to affirm our collective abhorrence of practices that have the effect of blaming victims,” President Rock Jones said. “Ohio Wesleyan is firmly committed to a culture that is safe for all persons and where people are free to express themselves without the risk of being violated by others. Our Board of Trustees, which is on campus this week, joins me in affirming this fundamental Ohio Wesleyan value.”

Sophomore Teona Council attended the event and said she believes “victim-blaming is one of the worst things a society can do to those who have experienced this tragic event in their life.”

“When I was in high school everyone thought I was a slut,” said junior Abby Hanson. “It was really hurtful. I think being called a slut ever is just not a good thing.”

“This walk doesn’t end now,” Johnson said. “We must continue this in our daily lives.”

‘The Merchant of Venice’ comes to OWU

From left to right: Juniors Luke Steffen and Maeve Nash, sophomore Gabe Caldwell and senior Luke Scaros lead the cast of William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” running Oct. 9 to 13. Photo: OWU Communications




First photo is publicity photo provided by Cole Hatcher and accompanied with this caption:

Ohio Wesleyan University will present ‘The Merchant of Venice’ from Oct. 9-12. The cast features students Luke Steffen (left) as Antonio, Maeve Nash as Portia, Gabe Caldwell as Shylock, and Luke Scaros as Bassanio. (Photo by Chris MacDonald)

Photo on the top right: Director Elane Denny-Todd talks to sophomore Reggie Hemphill.

Photo on the middle left: The empty stage

Photos on the middle middle and middle right: (left to right) Freshman Charlie Lennon, junior Luke Steffen, and junior Christian Sanford rehearse a scene together.

Photos on the bottom left and right: Junior Luke Steffens and senior Luke Scaros rehearse a scene together.

Photo on bottom middle: Senior Luke Scaros rehearses as Bassanio.


Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” is a tale of loyalty, love, greed, and justice, and is being brought to life by OWU’s theatre and dance department Oct. 9-12.

“As the theatre and dance department is a pre-professional department, we try on a regular basis to include Shakespeare in our main season productions,” said director and professor of performance Elane Denny-Todd. “Our students enjoy working with the language and our audiences always enjoy our performances.”

Denny-Todd said “The Merchant of Venice” is one of her favorite Shakespeare plays because of its characters and complexity.

Sophomore Gabe Caldwell is one of the more than fifty students on the production’s cast and crew. He portrays Shylock, a Jewish moneylender in Venice.

“He’s very vengeful, but there’s a human side to him that’s hurt,” Caldwell said.

He said his biggest challenge has been figuring out “what makes Shylock tick” because the dialogue is “static” but how it is delivered must be “fluid.”

“The amount of passion in the dialogue and how complex he is, especially considering his motivations, is exciting,” Caldwell said.

Denny-Todd said from time to time OWU’s productions, including “The Merchant of Venice” must run on an extended weekend instead of two weekends because of calendar issues, like the placement of mid-semester break and Thanksgiving break.

“Our biggest difficulty was that our rehearsal period was so short because of the calendar,” Denny-Todd said. “However, everyone in the cast and crew has worked extremely hard to make this production happen.”

Junior Margot Reed is the production’s stage manager, professor D. Glen Vanderbilt Jr. is creating the set and lighting, and part-time costume shop manager Jacqueline Shelley is making the costumes.

“The Merchant of Venice” performances are at 8 p.m. Oct. 9-11 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 12 in the Chappelear Drama Center.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for faculty and staff, and free for OWU students with a valid ID. To reserve tickets, contact the theatre office at 740-368-3855.


Seniors step into the spotlight

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More than fifty people filled the Jemison Auditorium on Sunday to hear Audra Thompson play french horn and Meg Linebaugh sing during their senior recital.

Thompson was the first to perform, and she played three pieces by Dukas, Gliere, and Mozart, respectively.

“The first movement (of the Mozart piece) was my audition piece for Ohio Wesleyan,” Thompson said. “The second movement was my very first solo ever. In 7th grade I went to solo and ensemble with it.”

Thompson has been playing the french horn for ten years. She started when she needed to choose an instrument for band class, and her family owned a 100-year old horn made in Germany that they kept in their basement.

“I was always told ‘Don’t touch that horn. Don’t mess with it,’ so whenever I thought my mom was gone I’d go mess with it.”

To prepare for her senior recital, Thompson rehearsed with the accompanist and took lessons with Kim McCann. Thompson said they guided her and taught her to not just play the notes on the paper, but to learn what the notes were intended for.

Thompson said she liked that the french horn is a less common instrument.

“It’s also an instrument that can be not only represented as the hero but also the villain in music, because of its majestic and human voice-like quality.

Freshman Nicole Rozsa attended the recital for a music appreciation class and said it was “really nice listening to a solo piece.”

Linebaugh, a mezzo-soprano, performed nine songs after the intermission. The first two were in German, followed by two in French, two in Italian and three in English.

Linebaugh said the music was chosen because it was technically challenging and she practiced by studying the translations of her music and “just getting comfortable with the performance aspect of it.”

“I liked the way she showed emotion when she sang and just everything in general,” said sophomore attendee Spencer Harris.

Linebaugh began singing in the second grade. She said she grew up singing show tunes around the house with her mom and watching musicals.

“I always loved when we sang in music class in grade school, then in second grade I sang at a school Christmas party. After that they were like ‘Wow you can sing,’ and it just went from there.”

Linebaugh said she loved to sing because she can take on another character and express herself.

“Music has this special ability to capture emotions and to really touch people in a unique way,” she said.

The Cool Calendar – Sept. 25, 2014

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Cool Calendar (Sept. 25 to Oct. 1)

  1. See You Thursday Improv Show @ Wild Goose Creative – Columbus, OH on Sept. 26 from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  1. Monday Night Live Variety Show @ Wild Goose Creative – Columbus, OH on Sept. 8 from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
  1. Life in Color – UNLEASHED – feat. Borgore and Cash Cash (World’s Largest Paint Party) @ Lifestyle Commons Pavilion – Columbus, OH on Sept. 26 [Doors Open @ 6:00 p.m.]
  1. Theory of a Deadman with Fozzy, 3 Pill Morning @ Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH on Sept. 26 [Doors Open @ 7:30 p.m.]
  1. Jack Hanna’s Fall Fest Presented by Fifth Third Bank @ Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – Columbus, OH on Sept. 27th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  1. Farmer’s Market on Main Street – Delaware, OH on Sept. 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  1. Chalk The Block @ Easton Town Center – Columbus, OH on Sept. 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  1. Karaoke @ Ace of Cups Bar – Columbus, OH on Sept. 28 from at 10:00 p.m.

Local theater hosts new events

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Photos taken from The Strand’s Facebook page

A magic show and a free screening of the season premiere of American Horror Story: Freak Show are just some of the upcoming events at Delaware’s historic theatre, The Strand.

The Strand Theatre, located at 28 E. Winter St., is having its first major fundraiser in the form of a magic show called Shazam! on October 11 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and October 12 at 2 p.m. According to manager Cathy Amato,  the show’s magician is Steve Kline, who has toured all over the country and, according to Amato, has “a fantastic reputation.”

Sophomore Wyatt Hall has been working at The Strand for over a year, and said the theatre had worked with Kline before when he helped set up a previous magic show.

“It (Shazam!) is a family-friendly show, but it will keep interest for people who are older, like college students would probably find it exciting,” Hall said.

Tickets are now on sale for $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. The money raised will go toward updating The Strand.

“The Main Screen is in desperate need of help and this will help us raise money,” Amato said. “We are usually the ones that try to help other groups raise money for their own benefit, but this time around it is to help us. The Strand will be 100 years old in 2016.”

Amato and her husband were the previous owners of The Strand, but have since sold the theater to OWU. It is now part of the Cultural Arts Center, but Amato is “back at the wheel” as the Strand’s manager.

The Strand Theatre will also be screening The Walking Dead’s season premiere on October 12 at 9 p.m. and the Columbus Blue Jackets game at Washington Capitals on November 11 at 7 p.m. These events are free of charge.

“We have tons of Blue Jacket fans and we thought it would be good to show them here on nights that fans can’t go in person,” Amato said. “We’ve done this thing a few times with lots of fun.”

The Strand will only be screening upcoming Blue Jackets games that are away and the screenings will always be on a Tuesday.

American Horror Story: Freak Show is the fourth season of the FX show American Horror Story and the premiere episode will be screened on October 8 at 10 p.m.

According to Amato, the idea to screen the show came from an OWU student who graduated last spring and who had worked at The Strand for many years.

“He knew it could be a big hit and I was ready to try it out,” Amato said.

The Strand has been screening television shows for about a year, and Amato said she isn’t sure how it got started.

All the upcoming screenings are required to be free of charge, so The Strand will only be making money off concessions.

Amato said The Strand is having these events because they want to be “a community theater accessible to the community and beyond for additional activities besides movies.”

She said movies do best on weekends and early evenings, so this way The Strand can be more accessible to other possibilities without hurting their movie business.

Hall said his favorite event is the Beer and a Movie nights, which are a collaborative effort between The Strand and Barley Hopsters. The $20 admission covers the cost of three beers and movie.

“It (The Strand) is a place that you don’t find everywhere,” Hall said. “I think it’s got more character than megaplex theaters.”

For more information about their events, you can like The Strand on Facebook.

Student Led Art Movement returns

The new student art organization, SLAM, met for their first official event of the year on Friday, Sept. 5 on the lawn between Thomson and Welch. Photo by Mara Mariotti (submitted)
The new student art organization, SLAM, met for their first official event of the year on Friday, Sept. 5 on the lawn between Thomson and Welch. Photo by Mara Mariotti (submitted)

The Student Led Art Movement (SLAM), back after a hiatus of several years, serves as a place for creative minds to make and appreciate art according to its founder, junior Catie Beach.

The idea to restart the club came when Beach and junior Jordana McCallen, both studio art majors, began talking about potentially reviving the Creative Arts House, a former Small Living Unit, on campus. After finding out about the SLU renovation project, Beach said that idea “went out the window.”

“We have a lot of friends in the SLU community and we found out that none of the SLUs satisfied our needs in the creative department,” Beach said. “We thought that by doing SLAM we could reestablish a good art community at school.”

McCallen said they wanted to integrate art into every student’s college experience.

The club had its first event of the year, Sun Prints and Socializing, on Friday, Sept. 5 on the lawn between Thomson and Welch. Beach wrote on the event’s Facebook page that sun prints are officially known as cyanotype printing and were discovered in 1842 by the scientist John Herschel.

“At the time, it was used primarily to reproduce engineering and architectural drawings,” Beach wrote. “When the botanist Anna Atkins learned of the process, she used it to document plant life from her collection, and is credited with bringing the process to the world of photography.”

“It’s a photo process where you lay down blue cyanotype paper and you press plants on it,” Beach said. “It makes a silhouette of the plant.”

She said everyone who attended the event seemed comfortable and that some people stayed even after the event officially ended.

Beach said SLAM is project-based and does not currently hold weekly meetings.

“We’re trying to meet when it’s relevant for projects,” Beach said. “We want to execute things and do workshops when we meet.”

McCallen said SLAM is collaborating with other clubs and programs, including Amnesty International and the Citizens of the World House, on events related to the visual arts, such as museum trips, workshops and installing art on campus.

Their next project is a trip to Indiana University on Sept. 19 for a “print-making bonanza,” McCallen said.

Group members will meet established print makers, attend their lectures and visit the Indiana University Art Museum.

“It’s an opportunity for us to meet artists who are in grad school,” Beach said. “We are hoping to bring back the print-making we learn there to campus.”

SLAM is currently looking for new members and is not making the group exclusive to art majors. Anyone interested in “creativity, making art, and appreciating art,” is welcome to join, Beach said.

“I think the great thing about SLAM is that art is universal,” McCallen said. “It can bring other clubs together. I think art does that.”