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What makes Players Guild’s “A Christmas Carol” so special

By Maranda Saling

Running through December 20th, A Christmas Carol is synonymous with the holiday season across the country. I went straight to The Players Guild Theatre Executive Director, Joshua Erichsen about what makes our A Christmas Carol: the new musical so special that families have been coming for over three decades!

Josh said, “A Christmas Carol at the Players Guild has become a holiday tradition for many families. Now in its 33rd year, multiple generations have experienced the magic of this story. Returning audience members who were kids when they were first introduced to it, are now grown adults and are introducing their children to it. Dickens’ ghost story of Christmas is timeless, and we like to be reminded that we have the power to change lives for the better, just as Ebenezer Scrooge did.”

In case you have a bit of a Scrooge in your family or friend group who isn’t interested in seeing A Christmas Carol for the 15th time, here are some behind the scenes information specific to OUR performance that adds depth to the performance; making each time you see it a unique experience:
– In order to make Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past fly, it takes 6 backstage crew members who are specially trained. PG hires ZFX to provide the flying effects; they are responsible for the flying effects in multiple Broadway shows such as Wicked.
– The current set for A Christmas Carol is made to break down an fit into two semi-trailers
– The current cast is made up of 36 individuals, all of whom volunteer their time. They rehearse 5 days a week for 6 weeks and perform 6 days a week for 3 weeks
– The original musical production was composed by our resident Music Director, Steve Parsons with book and lyrics by John Popa, a native of North Canton. The production premiered at the Guild in 1997, and has since been produced at theaters in Canada and Viet Nam.

For more information and to purchase tickets please visit:

Maranda Saling 144w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />
Maranda Saling is the owner of Bellflower Communications and a blogger for ArtsinStark.

Canton Arts District: The best place in the world to buy a gift

By Maranda Saling

Looking for the perfect gift? Look no further than the Canton Arts District or damn near close to it- Seriously! Recently Just Imagine, with goods from the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities art program, and Colette’s Vintage Clothing Store and Fashion Design Studio opened new store fronts in the 200 block of 6th St NW! We’re also thrilled to welcome Print & Press featuring LetterPress Jess and Little Chicago Clothing Company located at 429 4th St NW officially in May 2016, but at all First Fridays until then! Love the unique items that only museum gift shops offer? Check out the gift shops at Canton Classic Car Museum, National First Ladies Library and Museum and Canton Museum of Art. Did you draw the caffeine junkie of the group in the gift exchange this year? Coffee goodies can be found at Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, Cultured Coffee Company and Muggswigz. Looking to add some bling to your significant other’s jewelry box? Look no further than our own Gasser Jewelers, Julz by Alan Rodriguez or Capestrain Jewelers for that perfect, “No you didn’t!!” gift. Want to thank your co-worker for hosting the Holiday Party? Stop by Canton Flowers and have a beautiful bouquet send their way!

Now we’ve gotten to many peoples favorite item: Clothes! Where does one buy clothes downtown you might ask: Afore mentioned Colette’s Vintage Clothing and Dress No Evil of course! For the active person in your life, stop by Collective Skate/Art/Snow or Downtown Yoga for boards, yoga pants and accessories for varies sports. Per usual, the local talent at the following galleries is overflowing and such a treasured gift for anyone: Journey Art Gallery, Lynda Tuttle’s Art Center, Bliss, Second April Galerie and Studios, The Hub Art Factory and Studios and The Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography. We all have that person who has everything…. But I guarantee they don’t have everything in Arrowhead Vintage and Handmade Goods or Stoffer’s Market! You can even get furniture here people- Elemental Arts is the perfect stop for quality made, beautiful pieces that are not only functional, but also a topic of conversation! How about treating someone on your list to a Canton Food Tour?

As if you needed another reason to avoid Belden Village. Shop Local in the Canton Arts District this year!

Maranda Saling 144w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />Maranda Saling is the owner of Bellflower Communications and a blogger for ArtsinStark

Studio Arts and Glass Open House through November 25th

by Maranda Saling

Many of us may be guilty of driving by Studio Arts and Glass as we travel North on Route 77 heading to Akron or Cleveland and think “Hmm, I’ve heard such great things about that place! I have to get over there!” But life is hectic. Tommy has swimming, Grandma has card club and you forgot. Listen, we all make mistakes and we forgive you  But now is your chance!

Studio Arts & Glass will be hosting their Annual Holiday Open House November 6-25th; and with a 20% off savings on all gifts, jewelry and Christmas purchases you have no excuse. Just read what Studio Arts & Glass customer Lisa Ferret had to say about her experience shopping and taking a class with them:

“I have had a lot of fun learning to make different stained glass projects. Staff is wonderful! Love being greeted by the dogs! They are beautiful! Thanks for all the fun!”
Visit or call 330-494-9779 for more information

Now go call your favorite shopping buddy, artsy friend or neighbor who just loves spending time with you and make Studio Arts & Glass a part of your Holiday tradition!

Christkindl Markt opens Friday at the Cultural Center for the Arts

by Maranda Saling

I know what you’re thinking…. Another craft show? Thanks, but no thanks. But hear me out! This is not your average craft show! Featuring artisans from across the United States, this show brings to our downtown, the highest quality creations in glass, painting, ceramics, photography, jewelry, textiles, floral arrangements, woodworks, holiday items and more. What could be better than getting the perfect gift from an artist passionate about what they do? How about the fact that all proceeds from Christkindl Markt benefit exhibition and education programming of the Canton Museum of Art! Such a deserving organization! There have been many exciting changes, exhibits and hiring at the museum that these funds will only continue to support. According to the Canton Museum of Art website:

“Christkindl Markt, a cherished Canton holiday tradition, celebrates its 44th year, November 13, 14 and 15. Presented by Canton Fine Arts Associates, an affiliate group of the Canton Museum of Art, Christkindl Markt is Northeast Ohio’s premier juried, holiday-inspired fine arts and fine crafts show which attracts visitors from across the state.”

Chriskindl 1 144w, 178w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />Worried about shopping till you drop and needed to refuel? The Canton Fine Arts Associates have thought of everything! Christkindl Markt includes the Christkindl Café and Markt Bistro, offering delicious snacks, lunch and dinner fare on-site. Visitors will also find an array of homemade candies in the Sweet Shoppe, (including Buckeyes, fudge, bark, holiday cookies and more). A used book sale, a shopping spree raffle and silent auction are also popular Markt attractions. Something that excites me and my toes… no strollers! This is a once a year event is THIS weekend, be sure to check below for details and visit for all the information.

Cultural Center for the Arts / Canton Museum of Art 1001 Market Avenue North, Canton, Ohio, 44702Chriskindl 2 144w, 178w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />

November 13: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
November 14: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
November 15: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

$6 – Pre-Sale Tickets … Order Now & Save!
CLICK HERE: to order online or Call 330.453.7666 and Pick Up Your Tickets at the Door

$7 – General Admission at the Door • Children 12 and Younger – Free! (Note: Strollers Not Permitted.)
Free Parking • Security-Patrolled Parking Deck & Surrounding Lots

Free at the Z!- ConverZations

by Maranda Saling

Whether you’re one of the Stark County residents who has yet to experience the talent and grandeur of the Canton Symphony Orchestra (CSO) or a lifelong supporter, Free at the Z!- ConverZations is the perfect event for you! A free… yes FREE way to sprinkle a little culture and dialogue into your Monday- it’s easy! Support your favorite, local restaurant or pack your lunch and join the discussion on various topics related to the world of music! This series of free discussions is held the second Monday* of each month, September – April. The CSO provides coffee, tea and light desserts. Connect with other CSO enthusiasts at the Zimmermann Symphony Center Foundation Hall located at 2331 17th St NW, Canton 44708. November’s ConverZation with Andrew Shahriari to be held on November 9th at 12pm and will be on Autism and the Arts. Examine how the arts, specifically music, can benefit those affected by autism.

Be sure to mark your calendars for December 14- Holidays Through the Ages with Chris Kenney, January 11, 2016- Music and Film with Dr. Daniel Goldmark, February 8- Classics and Premieres with a CSO Musician, March 14- Guitars and Classical Music with George Dean and Jim Marron and finally April 11- Contemporary Choral Music with David Kienzle. Visit for full descriptions of each ConverZation and more information on the CSO.

*All programs subject to change without notice*

Sponsored by: T. K. and Faye A. Heston

Maranda Saling 144w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" />

Maranda Saling is the owner of Bellflower Communications and a blogger for ArtsinStark

Dancing with Canton’s Stars Returns to the Palace Nov 14

This year the Canton Palace Theatre celebrates a milestone in its largest annual fundraiser. This is the 5th year the stars of Canton will be competing in a special one night event, Dancing with Canton’s Stars 5! Modeled after the popular TV show, local stars are paired with professional dancers from the area and compete to win the mirrorball trophy.  The winner is determined by your votes! So be sure to vote for your favorite star, now through the end of the show on Saturday, November 14th. This year’s stars include Ben Biery, Toni Ann Cotopolis, Alex Fisher, Jeremy Guenther, John Ianigro, Mark Prestier, Maranda Saling, Jennifer Spring, Vicky Sterling, and Tammy Stutzman. Head over to: to cast your vote for the next winner of Dancing with the Canton Stars, and reserve your tickets for the show and VIP reception on November 14th!

Voting is $10 per vote. Reserved tickets are $12 and tickets to the VIP reception are $40.