Weathervane Playhouse is Akron's community theater!
Now in its 76th season, Weathervane continues to hold fast to its mission statement: To be a volunteer-based, professionally directed theater that serves the community by engaging, educating, entertaining and enriching the quality of life for Northeast Ohioans.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
Clare Gales has two loves—dance and fitness. The devoted dancer and expert trainer opened Studio 82 in 1986, where she combined her two passions by hosting both fitness and dance classes on the studio's expansive hardwood floors. Today, Clare and her staff of professional dancers and fitness professionals continue to lead students of all ages in more than 100 different classes that range from ballet to cardio kickboxing.
An abundance of internationally renowned dancers and top instructors have passed through the studio's doors over the course of its 26 years, guiding youngsters and adults alike through the footwork and form of styles such as ballet, jazz, and hip-hop. Certified fitness instructors conduct a variety of energetic classes, interspersing a schedule of high-intensity cardio classes with strength-training workouts and rejuvenating yoga and Pilates sessions. The studio's diverse range of classes attracts an equally diverse group of clients that includes aspiring dancers, fitness seekers, and future brides preparing for the wedding dance or bulking up for the ceremonial arm-wrestling match against the groom’s mother.
Robert Cole’s professional ballet career is one of international proportions—he's graced the stage with The National Ballet of Canada and trained with the Joffrey Ballet School, among many others. As The Ballet Academy's director, Robert blends classical training with movement analysis and conditioning while challenging students to contemplate the whys and hows of creative movement. He and his team of professional instructors help adults and children explore their artistic sides in judgment-free dance classes in the styles of tap, jazz, modern, and ballet. The Academy Division grants more serious performers the benefits of a professional training environment as they further master confidence and discipline. For those who merely want to get in shape or hear the sounds of their hearts beating really fast, The Ballet Academy's instructors also lead Zumba and yoga classes.
With more than 60 years of combined rug-cutting experience, La Danse Cleveland's co-owners, Esther Rehm-Cohen and Tim Brown, have helped untold numbers of students twirl, hop, and belly slide across the dance floor. Certified as a ballroom instructor in 1981, Esther has won national awards for her teaching skills and has had the distinct honor of training couples who have gone on to rank in competitions. She garnered the position of head coach of the Case Western Reserve University ballroom team before fate's two-step led her to a partnership with Tim to run La Danse Cleveland's ample 6,000-square-foot studio. Boasting a background that includes competition in professional arenas as well as work as a dancing judge and a choreographer, co-owner Tim delights in crafting group classes and private lessons that excite and challenge students.
Included on the studio's roster of lessons are styles from Viennese waltz to nightclub two-step, along with sessions tailored specifically to children and to adult fitness goals. In classes and dance parties open to the public, students and social dancers alike rendezvous with Esther, Tim, and their impressive stable of instructors, whose resumés include stints with such world-class companies as the Boston Ballet and Gene Kelly's gutter-cleaning company.
For Adam Weslek, partying was the key to getting in shape. During his one-hour Zumba classes, he transforms the same Latin-inspired dance steps that helped him shed 120 pounds into a celebration of music, movement, and friendship. International music from Grammy-winning producers powers each class, helping students melt calories with arm waves, hip swivels, and air-marimba solos.