My Grandfather, Leonardo Mazzarella, first came to Magnolia, Ohio in 1909. He then moved to Canton, Ohio, and lived in the South East section of the town where many families from Greci settled.
He joined St. Anthony Catholic Church. The members who were from Greci started an Italian Festival which was held around Labor Day and started to put on performances of the Drama of St. Bartolomeo. I only have a very small picture of Grandpa Leonardo dressed as St. Bartolomeo.
I asked my Aunt Vernie about her rememberence of her father and here is want she wrote to me about the Festival and Play.
"Some years when I was growing up, Pop was in plays at St. Anthony's Chruch in Canton, Ohio. Pop would always play St. Bartolomeo at the church Festival at the end of the summer on Labor Day. He would also sometimes play Jesus at Easter. Mom made his long robe like the one Jesus wore, and he had long hair and a beard."
It was scary for a young child. I cried once when I was a little girl, thinking that they were going to kill my dad. Mom had sewed pasta into the robe and when the player thrust the sword into the robe, the pasta fell out. It was a great special effect in a time before television and Star Wars."
Editor's Note: If anyone has additional pictures of the play in Canton, Ohio please send them to me and I will add them to this section.