Jack Paullus, the lone surviving founding member of the Van Wert Civic Theatre, spoke at Saturday’s 60th Anniversary Gala at the Wassenberg Art Center. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
Jack Paullus, the lone surviving founding member of the Van Wert Civic Theatre, spoke at Saturday’s 60th Anniversary Gala at the Wassenberg Art Center. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
VAN WERT — Van Wert Civic Theatre’s “Thespian Chorus” pulled the crowd in and took a trip through time Saturday evening during the theatre’s 60th Anniversary Gala at the Wassenberg Art Center.

The melodious offering took the more than 70 attendees through 50 years of musicals presented by the theatre since 1970. Many song snippets had the audience clapping and tapping a toe along.

Founding theatre member Jack Paullus was “in the house” and spoke briefly. Paullus regaled the crowd with stories from the beginning days of the theatre. He directed hundreds of shows as well as the Stage Coach Dinner Theater.

The OCTA ( Ohio Community Theatre Association) presented the theatre award in recognition of its 60 years of contributions to the arts in Northwest Ohio. Van Wert has sent an excerpt to the regional OCTA contest every year since its inception and is believed to be the only theatre with that record.

A preview of the 2019-20 musicals was also revealed and includes “Assassins” beginning on Sept. 26; “Making God Laugh” starting on Dec. 5; “Savannah Sipping Society” in January 2020; and “Playing Doctor” and “Mama Mia” round out the season.

Children’s shows include “Frozen 2” and “Little Red Riding Hood: Life in the Hood” and a high school/college offering of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” is planned.