Nicholas W. McClellan
Nicholas W. McClellan

“I want us all to have fun!” said Bob Howell on the first day of rehearsal for Van Wert Civic Theatre’s production of Insane with Power by Scott Haan.

On Saturday, June 7, the cast and crew continued that mission statement as they traveled to Oregon, Ohio to compete in the 2014 Northwest Regional Ohio Community Theatre Association Festival.

The Ohio Community Theatre Association was formed in December 1953 with sixteen theatres. For over 57 years, OCTA has provided support to community theatres through workshops, annual regional OCTAFests showcasing community theatre productions, and a three-day annual conference.


Since 1972, Van Wert Civic Theatre has been represented at the regional competition. To compete in the competition, each theatre is asked to perform a 35-minute excerpt from their most recent season.

It’s amazing to watch as each production sets and strikes the stage, preparing it for the following performance (they are given five minutes). Doug Grooms, Bob Howell, Burdette Bollenbaugh, Nick McClellan, Merry Thomas, Chris Thomas, and Amy Boley constructed an amazing traveling set.

Bob Howell and Doug Grooms were awarded merits in set design while the entire cast received merits in costume design for their eclectic superhero costumes, individually designed and produced by each cast member.

While Insane with Power was not asked to continue on to the state competition, they were honored to represent Van Wert Civic Theatre. “Congratulations, gang! I personally feel that you deserved every single prize at the competition. I realize that I didn’t see any of the other shows, and I’m a little biased, but still,” said Scott Haan, the playwright of Insane with Power.

Scott and his family traveled to Van Wert, Ohio to view the show during our original production (May 1 through the 10, 2014). Scott has been a super-supporter of VWCT’s production of Insane with Power, and VWCT would like to thank him and his family for their time and kind words. “It was truly an honor,” said Doug Grooms, assistant director and VWCT board member.

VWCT and the cast and crew of Insane with Power would also like to graciously thank Merry Thomas for taking on the role of Lois Lancaster at the regional competition. She was given just over two weeks to memorize her lines and to develop her character. “Bravo! Merry Thomas on a fine performance.”

“Directing Insane with Power and working with the cast and crew has been a blast. Everyone did a “super” job. Thank you to everyone involved for making my job so easy; you all rock!” said Bob Howell, director of Insane with Power.

VWCT’s performance at the Northwest Regional OCTAFest officially brings the 2013-2014 season to a close. The Board of Directors would like to thank every volunteer who supported VWCT’s tradition of quality, award winning community theatre in Van Wert, Ohio.