If you need further evidence that Cincinnati is on the leading edge of the theatrical curve, look no further than a recent recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, playwright SARAH RUHL. The 32-year-old writer was recently named a recipient of one of the so-called "genius grants" ($100,000 a year for five years). I imagine that kind of support will allow her to write more plays like her unusual fantasy/comedy/ drama THE CLEAN HOUSE, staged at the Cincinnati Playhouse early in 2006. Producing Artistic Director Ed Stern selected the script for last season before it was named a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in drama. The production, directed by Michael Evan Haney, was named as the outstanding local premiere of the 2005-06 season in the recent Cincinnati Entertainment Awards.
Look for more theater on Over-the-Rhine's Main Street as a new partnership between the LEAGUE OF CINCINNATI THEATRES (LCT) and the OVER-THE-RHINE FOUNDATION takes shape. The foundation will share its office and meeting space at 1317 Main St. with LCT, with the notion that various storefronts could become venues for theater productions (a phenomenon that's commonplace in other cities and which was tested with good results during the 2006 Fringe Festival in June). According to the foundation's director, MARGE HAMMELRATH, who worked out the agreement with LCT President JIM STUMP, "Theater here in storefronts we hope will drive other development." She hopes things will be so lively on Main that activity could spread to Vine or "wherever to find more storefronts." LCT also plans to be involved in monthly events, including Final Friday and Second Sundays on Main, starting with an open house Friday evening, 6-10 p.m., to celebrate their new home. ...
On Monday, LCT has another event that sounds like fun: the MIDWEST'S LARGEST CAST PARTY, starting at 6 p.m. at Universal Grille (909 Vine St., Downtown). It's a chance to hang out with actors, directors and techies from all of our area's many theaters -- more than two-dozen companies are members of LCT. Info: www.leagueofcincytheatres.com
contact rick Pender: rpender(at)citybeat.com