Dec 24 , 2019



By Tafi Stober

Show nights at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center bring a unique thrill. Artists discover Van Wert for the first time. Guests walk through the door and marvel at the grand opulence of the lobby. So many beautiful faces, both new and known, share a smile of expectation as the stage is set to unfold. The VWAPAF Team of professionals has worked through the details leading up to show night to ensure the show delivery will go above and beyond the expectation of both the artist and the ticket buyer.

By the time patrons arrive and come in the doors, Hugh Saunier will have expertly coordinated the load in and setting of the stage, beginning some twelve hours earlier. Matt Saunier will have orchestrated an unforgettable lighting experience and assisted with backstage preparations. Mark Hartman will have greeted the Tour Manager, Artist and their crew and will have carefully managed every detail of their day from nutritional needs to the number of hand towels requested backstage. The Box Office will be buzzing with excitement as Jerry Beard and Quincy Thompson print final ticket requests and ensure all Will Call tickets are in order for guest arrival. Kylie Owens will be host in the lobby, greeting patrons and sharing Meet & Greet opportunities with Niswonger Members and Show Sponsors. Our deeply valued Volunteers will have added the sparkle and shine to every step of the process, supporting success one moment of service after another.

And then the moment arrives - and I'm definitely not referring to my curtain talk greeting - it's SHOWTIME! The artistry, glamour, pageantry, showmanship and sheer talent of the performance plays on our every emotion and draws us away from the toils of the day. And then, as all good things do, the show comes to an end. Guests depart. The stage is struck. The lights go down. Mark Hartman locks the door. The house rests.

But there was another such night that commanded fewer guests in a much less opulent setting, primitive yet more powerful than any other event known to man. The preparations for which were set into motion since the dawn of day. The stage was a stable. Mary was not the main character. Her and Joseph played supporting roles as did the animals surrounding the manger. There was music. It was a night of all nights, a night divine.

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,  
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine…

Merry Christmas to one and all from your friends at the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation. May the peace of the season bless you with a joy that surpasses anything you've ever experienced from a stage.

20 - 21 Season Sponsors