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Ed Stern’s Roller-Coaster Ride

0 Comments · Tuesday, October 11, 2011
“I love theater,” says Ed Stern, producing artistic director at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park for 20 seasons. He’s been responsible for more than 200 productions during his tenure, remarkably long for an arts leader. When he came to town in 1992, things were in disarray.   

In the Know

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Eric Vosmeier, artistic director at Know Theatre, the purveyor of Cincinnati’s annual Fringe Festival, keeps building on a concept of a community of artists as he maps the edgy theater’s future. Know began in 1997 as an itinerant company that moved from place to place; it parked for a while at Gabriel’s Corner, a church basement at Sycamore and Liberty, before moving to OTR’s Jackson Street location in 2006, recently brightened by a sprightly marquee garnished with neon.   

And the Award Goes to …

2 Comments · Wednesday, August 31, 2011
In my Sept. 1, 2010, column I recalled a plea I had made earlier in the year to create “a stronger, singular program,” and I described how this combined effort would lead to “a program with a promising future while combining the best features of each program under the Acclaim banner.” Well, as they say, not so fast.  

Read My Scripts

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 17, 2011
While you might think of a play or a musical as entertainment — which it is — there’s another dimension worth considering. They are also works of literature, words written on a page meant to be spoken or perhaps sung. The success or failure of a performed work often hinges on the quality of the words in a play’s script or a musical’s book.  

Park It Here

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Thanks to our own Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, productions of Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be coming to area parks during August and September. The latter play is a particular favorite since its setting is in a magical forest around Athens where lots of tomfoolery and mischief occurs, so it feels quite natural to watch it surrounded by trees and wildlife.  

Let’s Put on a Show

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 19, 2011
My teenaged and college summers were dominated by swimming pools (I was a lifeguard) and theater. I grew up in northeast Ohio where summer theater was easy to find. I’m put in mind of this every summer when I hear that Cincinnati Young People’s Theatre (CYPT) is mounting another production. With this summer’s Crazy for You (lots of tunes by George Gershwin from July 29 to August 7), CYPT marks its 30th year of involving area teens in theater.  

Remedying the Sound of One Hand Clapping

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 6, 2011
The Acclaim Awards merged both the Cincinnati Enquirer's program of the same name and CityBeat's Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. The merger has had a rough life and after some turmoil changes are in the works.  

Who Needs Broadway?

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The Tonys recognize only shows from Broadway. That’s just 40 theaters (many tied up with long, open-ended production runs), so there might be 30 or so new musicals or plays annually — not an extensive sampling of American theater and increasingly dictated by popular appeal (hence, “jukebox” shows using tunes we all know) or star vehicles (TV or movie actors whose names sell tickets).  

Fringe: Antidote to Uptight

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 8, 2011
You’ve been reading a lot about the current Cincinnati Fringe Festival in CityBeat for several weeks. Now’s my chance to sum up what I like about this crazy annual event, and why it’s more than just fun. It’s actually good for our city. It’s a creative shot in the arm. The artists who perform — about half from Cincinnati and half from elsewhere — get to exercise their creativity with few limitations.  

Theater’s Power to Unite and Heal

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I have a dramatic story for you, dramatic in every sense of the word — impressive and theatrical. It’s about a collaborative project involving drama students and a professor from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and others in Dadaab, Kenya, the site of the world’s largest refugee camp.  

The Envelope, Please?

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Several times over the past year I’ve written in Curtain Call about awards recognizing theater performers and productions in Cincinnati. A year ago I wrote a column questioning whether we needed two competing programs — the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for theater (originated by CityBeat in 1997) and The Acclaims, supported by The Cincinnati Enquirer since their creation in 2006. Last August I reported that an understanding had been reached to fold the theater CEAs into the Acclaims. (CityBeat readers know that CEAs for music continue to be handed out every November.)  

Ensemble Theatre’s Big 2-5

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Turning 25 might not seem like a big accomplishment — unless you’re doing theater in Over-the-Rhine. Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati (ETC) is drawing its first quarter-century to a close with 25 The Musical (May 4-22), a medley of tunes representing the company’s musical offerings since 1986.  

An Eye for Individuality

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 13, 2011
As Carson Kreitzer put the finishing touches on her new play, Behind the Eye, we talked by phone from her home in Minneapolis. We first met when The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer premiered at the Cincinnati Playhouse in 2003. Now’s she’s back for a third Cincinnati world premiere, Behind the Eye, a work commissioned by the Playhouse and based on the life of fashion model and photographer Lee Miller (1907-1977).  

Ed Stern Lays Out Season No. 20

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Not many theaters have been led by an artistic director for more than a decade. The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has had Ed Stern as its producing artistic director for nearly two. He’ll end his run in June 2012, completing his 20th season. Stern recently announced the shows for his final season at the Tony Award-winning regional theater.  

Signs of Theater to Come

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Announcements for the 2011-12 theater season are beginning. Assembling a smart season is essential to theaters. That effort enables them to sell subscriptions (that is, tickets for multiple productions). Subscription dollars help theaters budget predictably and manage the expenses for sets and costumes. Even with these distraction, Cincinnati theaters have some great line-ups.