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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
There are just a few days left for the
2013 Cincinnati Fringe, our annual celebration of weirdness and
creativity, produced by Know Theatre. It’s over on Saturday evening (the
final party is at 10:30 p.m. at the Jackson Street theater’s
Underground Bar), but there’s still time to catch several productions.
The League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT)
presented awards for the 2012-2013 theater season on May 20 at Know
Theatre, too late to report the results in this issue of CityBeat.
So I want to offer some thoughts and my own choices.
“If something is worth doing, it’s worth overdoing,” proclaims one of the spunky gals in the current iteration of The Marvelous Wonderettes
at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati this month. ETC apparently agrees, since
this is the fourth consecutive year it has staged one of Roger Bean’s
retro shows featuring music from the ’50s and ’60s.
New Edgecliff Theatre completes its 15th season with David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Proof
(onstage through Sunday at the Aronoff Center’s Fifth Third Bank
Theater), a production providing ample evidence of NET’s strength...
Last weekend I traveled to Louisville,
Ky., for the 37th annual Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors
Theatre. I’ve attended regularly since 1998 and thoroughly enjoyed
these doses of new, ambitiously conceived and professionally presented
Here are the ingredients: a couple of
Broadway and off-Broadway hits, three world premieres, a lavish Jane
Austen show, a classic musical by Kander and Ebb, an innovative drama
with tap dancing and video, plus holiday festivities...
Playwright Frank Higgins began his
writing career as a poet, so he pays careful attention to the way he
puts words together. After some time working at poetry, he felt that his
best pieces were stories about people.