Live Music: Michael Iafrate and Joshua Lee Album Release Party

Join Wheeling indie folk-rock musicians Michael Iafrate and Joshua Lee for a special double-album release party 8pm Saturday, June 10 at Towngate Theatre. M Iafrate & The Priesthood will perform material from their newly-released “Christian Burial,” while Joshua Lee performs singles from his debut EP “Promise Land.” Andrew Iafrate will open, and an after party will take place at the Gallery at Towngate. Beer, wine, soda, water and popcorn will be available to purchase. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online, at the door, or by calling 304-242-7700. More about Michael Iafrate: For over two decades, West Virginia songwriter Michael John Iafrate has performed alongside some of West Virginia’s most creative independent music acts such as The Minus Tide, COBRA and Killed At Camp. Recently, Iafrate has developed his unique voice with his band M Iafrate & The Priesthood. His soft-spoken contemplative song-explorations are often enriched by his training as a theologian—asking more questions than providing answers, co-mingling the worlds of flesh and spirit, and holding received images and traditions up to the light in respect, playfulness, and negation. Whether solo or with his band, each of Iafrate’s records presents an introspective “theo-folk” through thoughtful and dignified arrangements. More about Joshua Lee: After 14 years in Nashville, cutting his teeth on Rock, Pop, Country, and everything in between, Joshua Lee decided to hit reset in West Virginia. He brought along a love for a good hook, and a taste for ambience, noise, and fits of fury. Joshua’s songwriting falls somewhere between brooding melancholy of bands like The National, the no-nonsense song-crafting of Ryan Adams, and a healthy overdose of childhood religion.

Undependent Films presents ” The Five Dollar 15 Minute Film Festival”

Experience the wonder of independent films at Towngate Theatre. Watch 16 short films (15 minutes or less) presented by Undependent Films. The screenings take place from 4-6 p.m. and 7:30-9:30. Dinner break is 6-7:30. Tickets are just $10. Purchase online, by calling 304-242-7700 or at the door (if available). Towngate: A Unique Movie Theater in Wheeling. A church-turned-theater, Towngate is located in Wheeling’s historic Centre Market District. At Towngate, not only can you watch live theater productions, spoken word performances, improv and concerts, you can see movies, too! Towngate is also a single screen cinema. On select weekends throughout the year, we show classic and independent films, thought-provoking documentaries and film shorts by local and regional filmmakers. Our movie selections encourage thought and conversation. Whether you consider yourself a film buff or you only like movies for the popcorn, our films will entertain and inspire. See you at Towngate!

Textural Contemporary Ballet

Professional Ballet in Wheeling! Enjoy a captivating performance by the Pittsburgh-based Texture Ballet Company. You don’t have to drive to the big city for quality, cultural experiences. See professional ballet in Wheeling! Oglebay Institute is proud to host this amazing performance. Texture presents authentic and dynamic movement based in classical ballet. Performances are both unique and inviting. These passionate dancers break through preconceived notions of ballet. Watch their graceful and powerful movements. You’ll admire their gravity-defying leaps and spins, too. As you watch the performance, the music and the stories come to life onstage right before your eyes. Most importantly, the dancers express emotion with their bodies in ways that words cannot. You’ll be amazed. $15 per person. Purchase tickets online or call 304-242-7700. Teaching the Art of Dance… Oglebay Institute recognizes the importance of creative expression through movement and music. Dance, in all forms, has been a vibrant part of Institute’s programming for more than eight decades. Oglebay Institute’s School of Dance not only presents dance as an art form and a means of self-expression but also as social interaction for all ages. From novice dancers to returning professionals, our students immerse themselves in the art of dance at Oglebay Institute.

Slam Poetry with the Prosers at Towngate Theatre

What: Slam Poetry with The Prosers When: 8 p.m. Saturday, April 22, 2017 Cost: $5 Join us for an evening of slam poetry at Towngate Theatre! The Prosers, a group of local spoken-word artists, perform original, intensely emotional works. They share powerful stories of personal struggle and authentic experiences while examining social justice issues. Listen to a broad range of voices and styles. During the performances, singers, songwriters and musicians often join the poets on stage. Most of all, explore the connection between poetry, personal expression and civic engagement. You can discover and develop your own voice, too. An open mic session closes out the evening. Poets, new and experienced, shy and bold, bring their poems and read aloud to the audience. If you have something to say, the microphones and the ears are open at Towngate Theatre. Slam poetry has a special swagger… This isn’t your grandma’s poetry reading. Because the rules are not the same as traditional poetry, slam poetry has a special swagger. It is literary rap, impassioned commentary, uninhibited word art, poetry and improvisation all wrapped up in one package. And, it is written to be performed. Towngate Theatre is more than theater… Towngate’s Second Season enhances Wheeling’s arts landscape with literary programming, spoken word performances, improvisation and more. Programs often feature works by emerging and/or local authors, playwrights and poets.

Comedy in Wheeling: Improv with the Crazy 8s

Comedy in Wheeling: Improv with the Crazy 8s Time and date: 8 p.m. Saturday, May 6, 2017 Cost: $5 Purchase tickets online, at the door or by calling 304-242-7700. Treat yourself to a night of comedy in Wheeling. Join the Crazy 8s for a night of improvisational comedy in Wheeling. These brave performers hit the Towngate Theatre stage without a script, props or a safety net. Armed only with adrenaline and their imaginations, they make-up stories on the spot that entertain and amuse. Audience members offer suggestions for scenes, conflicts, characters and theatrical styles and contribute directly to the action on stage. Made up of high school and college students, the Crazy 8s are brave, talented and oh, so funny! Each performance is filled with creative comedy and laughs galore. Support these young performers! In addition to a full season of community theater and children’s theater, Towngate hosts a variety of performing arts programs. Two very talented improvisation groups call Towngate Theatre home. The Left of Centre Players, an adult improv troupe, and the Crazy 8s, which comprises high school and college-aged thespians, perform throughout the year. Towngate also presents spoken word performances, live music, poetry readings, independent films and more.

Wheeling Film Society presents “The Graduate” at Towngate Theatre

Wheeling Film Society presents The Graduate: Free Screening at 7 p.m. Friday, April 7, 2017. (Conversation about the film takes place at noon April 11 at the Ohio County Public Library.) When Mike Nichols agreed to direct The Graduate, he thought, “That’s me.” When Dustin Hoffman first read the script, he felt the same way. Millions of others agreed. Title character Benjamin and his girlfriend Elaine Robinson became representatives of a generation of people discontented by materialist values and empty relationships. We can discuss this film from so many angles! Anne Bancroft is the intimidating Mrs. Robinson. There’s the life-advice Benjamin receives, too. Let’s not forget the revolutionary use of Simon and Garfunkel’s folk-rock anthems on the soundtrack. And, in Hollywood blockbuster history, few endings are more ambiguous and thought provoking than this one. Come experience “The Sounds of Silence.” Then, we’ll talk.

Wheeling Film Society presents “Bonnie and Clyde” at Towngate Theatre

Wheeling Film Society presents Bonnie and Clyde Free Screening at 7 p.m. Friday, March 10, 2017. (Conversation about the film takes place at noon March 14 at the Ohio County Public Library.) Bonnie and Clyde is Arthur Penn’s masterpiece about Depression-era criminals who became folk heroes. They were Robin Hoods to the impoverished multitudes of the 1930's and revolutionaries to the politicized students of the 1960's. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway are unforgettable as the leaders of a misfit gang of bank robbers. Does Bonnie and Clyde romanticize its anti-heroes, or do they get what they deserve? You decide.

Acoustic Soft Rock Band “Bridges” at Towngate

Live Music in Wheeling: Bridges at Towngate Theatre 8 p.m. Friday, May 26, 2017 $10/$8.50 OI members Purchase tickets online or call 304-242-7700. Longtime local favorites Kim Butler, Doug Pettit and Dave Pettit, along with a host of musical guests, entertain audiences with classic rock sounds from artists such as the Beatles, the Eagles, Van Morrison, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, the Zac Brown Band and more. Music fans from throughout the Upper Ohio Valley look forward to this annual performance. Towngate proudly supports live music in Wheeling. Some of the region’s most versatile and entertaining musicians perform on the Towngate stage on select weekends throughout the year.

First Friday Reception and Short Films at Towngate

First Friday Reception at Towngate Theatre March 3 Add Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre to your list of First Friday stops in Wheeling! View the latest exhibit at “The Gallery at Towngate” featuring the work of railroad photographer and author Fredrick J. Ripley. His work provides dynamic insight and history on the workings of the American railroad industry both past and present. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Have a drink on us. Wine and craft beer will be available. Enjoy some light foods, too. After that, you can go upstairs and watch some independent film shorts on the Towngate Cinema big screen. Meet our staff and explore our theater. Learn more about the many arts and entertainment events that take place year-round at Towngate. All events are free and open to the public. Towngate Theatre is well known in Wheeling and its surrounding communities for community theater productions, children’s theater, concerts, ballet, film screenings, spoken word and other performing arts events. But did you know that Towngate is also an art gallery? The theater lobby is now home to changing art exhibits. “The Gallery at Towngate” is an extension of the exhibit season hosted by Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Art Center. This second gallery space provides opportunities for artists to do solo exhibitions without having to fill a space as large as the Stifel Fine Arts Center. The gallery space also enhances the visitor experience for those attending performing arts events at Towngate.