OUR HISTORY


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.

Ba​rt’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 Weinkam

President


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 Biron

Vice President


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 Reynolds

Treasurer


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 Fessler

Secretary


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.





Danielle Meineke

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 Tonnis

Inventory Manager


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 Coleman

Member-at-Large


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 Haas

Member-at-Large


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 Niehaus

Member-at-Large


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 Rothan

Member-at-Large


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 Schwartz

Member-at-Large


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.

emeritus status


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 Reed

Emeritus Member


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.


Margery Sowell

Emeritus Member


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.

9375 Winton Rd.

Cincinnati, OH 45231

BartsBards@gmail.com

513-401-5737

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