Founded in 1994, Bart’s Bards has offered wholesome entertainment to St. Bartholomew Church and the community at large. By 1995, the Bards adopted the motto: “To promote Christian fellowship through the performing arts.”
To promote Christian fellowship through the performing arts
They immediately embarked on an ambitious career of shows, expanding to three performances a year:a straight comedy in the Spring, a musical in the Summer, and a spiritual children’s performance in the Fall. On record as early as 2004, the Bards have sustained an Outreach Ministry, a volunteer choir and variety show that brings the performing arts to neighbors living in retirement and assisted living communities.
Demands on the use of the Krumpe Activity Center curtailed the initial rigorous performance schedule. During this time, the Board of Directors added a Production Committee and evolved into the Bart’s Bards Commission. In August of 2009, a reformed Board of Directors took on several new members.
With the assistance of East Side Players, the Bards began to take on more ambitious Broadway productions. These larger presentations required drastically increasing the size and scope of the available stage. After many configurations, the result was the “Ray Sowell Commemorative Stage” that is still used for all Bards’ productions today.
In 2015, a second mission statement—”Love God. Serve others. Share our gifts”—was added to remind us of what is most important to our theatrical family.
Love God. Serve others. Share our gifts.
In 2019, the Bards held the first annual CaBARTret, a one-night-only variety show. Around the same time, an annual collaboration with John Paul II Catholic School began. Since it’s inception, the collaboration has offered students the ability to participate in theatre writing workshops, junior musicals and plays, and multi-week theatre camps, learning from Cincinnati-area theatre amateurs and professionals.
Bart’s Bards by-Laws
In 2022, the Bards adopted these By-Laws to govern the organization. All members are held to these standards.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Bards are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who serve four year renewable terms To serve on the Board, Bards members must be at least 18 years of age, exhibit dedication by a minimum involvement of two years within the last five, demonstrate Christian behavior, and receive a nomination by a current Board member.
Maddy’s time with Bart’s Bards began with the 1999 production of Annie. Today, Maddy is highly involved in community theatre, acting, choreographing, and directing shows across the city. She hopes all who participate in the Bards feel the love and acceptance she feels from the Bards!
Ursula has participated in several Bards productions, starting with Fiddler on the Roof (2017). She often serves as propmaster and has produced several Bards’ shows, in addition to acting on stage.
Barry first helped the Bards behind-the-scenes for The Sound of Music (2005), making his Bards’ stage debut in The Wizard of Oz (2011). He previously served as the Board Vice President. He finds the Bards to be unique, providing high-quality theatrical experience within a strong Catholic Christian community.
Bill has been with the Bards since its inception, joining to allow one of the founding members to take on another Parish project. He’s enjoyed numerous roles while sharing the stage with his three daughters. Bill is constantly amazed at the quality shows by Bart’s Bards but more so by the sense of family created within the group.
Outreach Ministry Coordinator, Webmaster
Danielle first joined the Bards in the orchestra for Joseph…Dreamcoat (2014), making her stage debut the next year. She has since music directed several shows and persuaded her husband to join the Bards! She admires how the Bards consistently maintains a supportive atmosphere while upholding high performance standards.
Carolyn joined the Bards in 2016 for the production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. She has served as producer and manages the organization’s collection of costumes and props. Carolyn loves that the Bards puts the Catholic faith first in all things and allows its members to share the gifts given by God with the community.
Cheryl serves on the Board as a member-at-large. She cherishes the years she participated in the Bards productions with her daughter and three of her grandchildren.
Kayla joined the Bards as Ethel Toffelmier in The Music Man (2022). She is a seasoned performer at community theatres across Cincinnati, lending her dance skills as choreographer for many productions. Kayla is the newest member of the Board.
Joy’s first show with the Bards was Oklahoma! (2009). She has had the privilege to make many close friends, and served as the Board President for a time. She especially connects with the Bards’ vision: “Love God, Serve others, Share our gifts.”
Elle has acted in Bards productions on-and-off for years. She most recently participated in The Sound of Music (2023) and especially enjoys performing with the Bards Outreach Ministry.
Andy began working with the Bards as a stage crew member in Annie (1999). Since, he has acted on stage, produced several shows, and run lighting. Andy met his wife through Bards’ production of Oklahoma! (2009). He feels that the Bards is truly a unique group that always makes you feel welcomed.
Founding members of the organization can claim Emeritus status on the Board. These members are granted full voting power at Board meetings but are not held to the same volunteer requirements or membership dues.
Sandy is a founding member of Bart’s Bards and has been a St. Bartholomew parishioner since 1978. Her children and grandchildren have been active thespians on stage, while she primarily enjoys co-chairing ticket sales and serving on committees.
Margie is a founding member of Bart’s Bards. She has served as President and Treasurer and produced many shows. Her husband, Ray, envisioned the current stage-build process. She is very glad for the opportunity to continue to serve on the Board.