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Playing Favorites

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Two weeks ago, I spoke to a group of high school kids about being a theater critic. One asked, “What’s your all-time favorite show?” I was stumped.   

Shakespeare and Stoppard: The Absurdity of Existence

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Whether or not you’re a Shakespeare aficionado, you’ve certainly heard of Hamlet, generally considered one of his greatest plays, if not one of the greatest works ever written for the stage.  

Attention, Holiday (Theater) Shoppers!

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Just a few more shopping days before Christmas. Theater is a great idea for last-minute gifts. Start a tradition that’s easy to repeat year after year. A trip to see a show is a wonderful gift, especially for kids. My earliest memory of theatergoing is my grandfather taking me to see the musical Brigadoon. I still remember it.
  

Thankful for 'Twelfth Night'

1 Comment · Tuesday, November 26, 2013
So it’s Thanksgiving week and I’m wandering down memory lane to offer an insight into why I’m thankful to be a theater critic. I grew up in a small town near Cleveland, acted (poorly) in some high school productions and was infected with an abiding love for theater. As a teenager I sought out productions at places like the Cleveland Playhouse and summer seasons at Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival.
  

Cock-and-Bull Stories

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Know Theatre is typically the last of our local professional theaters out of the gate in the fall. It takes the small company a while to recuperate from the Fringe Festival, from being a venue for the MidPoint Music Festival and from the numerous other activities they host at their Jackson Street venue in Over-the-Rhine. But they’re finally in the midst of the run of their first regular production for fall 2013, Mike Bartlett’s Bull.  

Plays for Young Audiences Take Root "Off the Hill"

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 30, 2013
When I mention the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, you likely think of the theater that sits on the hilltop above Mount Adams...But the folks who run the Playhouse know that new audiences must be continuously cultivated, and for that reason, they deliver performances through a program they call “Off the Hill,” which tours shows for young audiences to community arts centers across the Tristate.  

Learning Experiences: Cincy Shakes and Xavier Theater Collaborate

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is partnering with the theater program at Xavier University to stage Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. (Oct. 25- Nov. 3; tickets are $15-$30; 513-745-3939.) This came about because Stephen Skiles, who heads XU’s theater program, is friends with Brian Isaac Phillips, CSC’s artistic director. Skiles was an acting intern at the Cincinnati Playhouse 16 years ago when Phillips was recruited to fill out a cast.  

Passing of Knowledge

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 2, 2013
A change in leadership is under way at Over-the-Rhine’s Know Theatre. Eric Vosmeier, producing artistic director for the past half-dozen years, is gradually handing over the reins to resident scenic and lighting designer Andrew Hungerford. Know, an adventurous and occasionally chaotic organization that began in 1997, is handling this evolution in a surprisingly orderly fashion.  

Haunting Tales, Flying High

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Occasionally I like to discuss where plays and musicals come from. We have two interesting examples locally this month: a touring production of Ghost the Musical at the Aronoff and the Cincinnati Playhouse’s regional premiere of Fly, a historical drama presented with imaginative staging.  

Behave Yourself

1 Comment · Wednesday, September 4, 2013
As the season kicks off, it’s the perfect moment for a few reminders about theater behavior. Attending a play does not require dressing up or even being concerned about when to applaud (that’s more complicated for symphony-goers). But it’s not the same thing as watching TV at home. After all, you’re out in public, in close proximity to other people who have paid to see live performers.  

Things Known and Unknown — Upcoming Shows at Know Theatre

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 21, 2013
A year ago, Know Theatre announced a strategic plan to shift away from being a traditional company offering annual seasons. Instead, Know announces programming on a rolling basis. That led to a lighter-than-expected stretch in 2012 and 2013, which nonetheless featured several excellent productions.  

The Drama Workshop Is Rolling Strikes at the Glenmore

1 Comment · Wednesday, July 31, 2013
There’s no place like home. That mantra has put several Cincinnati area community theaters in a good place: Owning a facility means scheduling flexibility, room to rehearse and the opportunity to grow.  

Finding a Niche in Local Theater — and Seeking More

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 17, 2013
In recent columns I surveyed Cincinnati theater companies that came and went during the past 20 years. Some stumbled because their founders had more passion than management expertise; others simply lacked the focus to keep audiences coming back. The truth is it’s hard to identify a niche and settle into it  

Another Round of Cincinnati Theaters — Come and Gone

1 Comment · Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Drawing on my efforts to cover theater in Cincinnati for a quarter-century (including writing for CityBeat since 1994), two weeks ago I wrote about theaters that came and went during the 1990s. This week, I’m looking at companies that started during the 2000s.
  

Cincinnati Theaters — Come and Gone

1 Comment · Wednesday, June 19, 2013
I’ve written about theater in Cincinnati for more than 25 years — including reviews and features for CityBeat since it began in 1994. I recently dug through my files on theaters that came and went during the 1990s. In this column (and one on July 3), I’ll provide an overview of that era and offer some thoughts about what’s missing in 2013.