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Curtain Call
 

Low Dough Shows

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I keep reading that the tight economy is loosening, but those unemployment figures continue to creep upward and I’m sure there are people out there who would like to attend theater but feel they can’t afford it. So let me spread the word that there are ways to get a theater fix without maxing out your credit card.  

So Many Choices: The CEA Balancing Act

0 Comments · Monday, August 31, 2009
One hundred people and productions were nominated for the 2009 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards in theater, which were bestowed Aug. 30 at Below Zero Lounge before a big, happy, socializing crowd. Let's say that again: 100 nominations. No single company dominated the 13th annual CEAs, as 11 different organizations received awards for work on 15 separate productions. In the big categories voted by critics, the Cincinnati Playhouse's production of the powerful 'Blackbird,' directed by Michael Evan Haney (pictured), was the year's outstanding drama. New Stage Collective's final production, the bittersweet Sondheim musical 'A Little Night Music,' was named outstanding musical.  

Lots of Winners in Local Theater World

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The Cincinnati Entertainment Awards (CEAs) for theater, set to be handed out Aug. 30, led me to wonder if our theater scene compares favorably with other cities. Would this year's 100 CEA nominees compete with performers and productions elsewhere? Those are subjective judgments, to be sure, but simply counting productions of important plays we match up reasonably well.   

CEA-Accredited Shows on Tap

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Voting closed on Aug. 3 for the 13th annual Cincinnati Entertainment Awards (CEAs) recognizing outstanding performances and productions from the 2008-09 theater season. The awards will be presented at Below Zero Lounge in Over-the-Rhine on Aug. 30. The event is open to the public and free, a big party (cash bar) attended by local theater performers, directors, designers and fans celebrating the work of 100 nominees. Here's an early bird alert: Several CEA-nominated actors are returning to local stages this fall.  

Jersey's in the Know

2 Comments · Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Elsewhere on this site, you can read my review of Jersey Productions' 'Oklahoma!', which represents more than the opening of Jersey's fourth season. It's part of an innovative arrangement with Know Theatre. The two companies are moving forward with complimentary programs and strengthening one another at the same time. That's good news for everyone who cares about live theater in Greater Cincinnati.  

CEAs: 100 Reasons to Celebrate Theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Starting this week you can vote for the 2009 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for theater. The CEAs, established by CityBeat in 1996, use public voting for a dozen categories and a poll of critics for the remaining eight, covering productions and technical aspects better judged by people who see a lot of theater. Five nominees are selected for 20 categories by a panel of local critics. (This year's choices were made by seven critics who write for four different media outlets: CityBeat, TalkinBroadway.com, The Hamilton Journal-News and Aeqai, an arts Web site.)  

Power to the People

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 24, 2009
If you're reading this column, I wonder if you've ever been moved to do more than simply enjoy theatrical performances. A good place to give it a try is with a community theater, where volunteers put on shows because they enjoy the art and the camaraderie surrounding their efforts. In Greater Cincinnati, the Association of Community Theatres has been around since 1955. It encompasses 20 groups, a lot for a city our size.  

Building a Community from the Fringe Festival

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The 2009 Cincinnati Fringe Festival wrapped up on June 6 with approximately 200 people jammed into Know Theatre's bar space, the Underground. It was a festive finale to the sixth annual event's successful 12-day run. Two days before the Fringe was over, the festival’s ticket goal was met; final attendance was approximately 6,600, spurred by a 140 percent increase in pass sales over 2008.   

Recruiting, Inspiring, Motivating

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Jay Kalagayan’s departure from Know Theatre, the company he founded in 1997, surprised a lot of people. He evolved from founder to actor, writer, artistic director, executive director and development director. I wondered if perhaps he simply ran out of roles to play. In reality, he’s evolved: He married Jan in 2006 and they now have a daughter. Kalagayan, who came to Cincinnati from Virginia to attend Xavier University, launched what was first called the “Know Theatre Tribe” to create a kind of family locally.  

What I Learned in Sarasota

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Sometimes it's good to go away to get a little perspective. Two weeks ago, I attended the annual conference of the American Theatre Critics Association in Sarasota, Fla., a city that was new to me. I'll go back another time for theater in particular and arts and culture in general. A dark thread ran through this conference, since many ATCA members are victims of a sea change in journalism that's diminishing arts coverage by newspapers.  

Award Winners

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Earlier in April the 2009 Pulitzer Prizes were announced, including recognition "for a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life." This year's winner is Lynn Nottage's 'Ruined' — her 2007 play 'Intimate Apparel' had its local premiere at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati last season.  

New Plays Take Root

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 15, 2009
As the trees begin to put forth their leaves, it feels right that new play scripts are popping up in several locations around the Tristate. Cincinnati might be a mid-sized city, but we definitely have a theater scene that contributes to the future of the art form.   

More Passion Than Profit, but the Fringe Needs a Few Bucks

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Two weeks ago I wrote with enthusiasm about the 2009 Cincinnati Fringe Festival, the sixth consecutive year for this vibrant burst of edgy theater, film and visual art. I called it “creative and distracting … in these troubled times” and asked, “Is it May yet?”  

Fringe ... What We Need in 2009

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Although there’s still a lot of winter chill in the air, my thoughts are already turning to the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, our annual theatrical treat that I think of as the kick-off for summer. It usually happens in late May and early June, just before the solstice, so it’s a reminder of good things to come. The sixth annual Cincinnati Fringe is set to open on May 26; performances will continue through June 6. Organized by Know Theatre of Cincinnati, the Fringe has become a much-anticipated annual component of our performing arts scene.  

The Thrill of the New

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 4, 2009
For some reason, February and March seem to be a time when many theaters go into creativity overdrive and produce new works. I recently attended the fourth annual Colorado New Play Summit, presented by the Denver Center Theatre Company, where I heard readings of four new scripts plus a revised version of Meredith Willson's 1960 musical 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown' that's working its way toward an eventual Broadway production.