Cincinnati stages were pretty quiet over
the Independence Day weekend, but this week they start waking up and
getting ready for more. Tonight at 8 p.m. is the second installment of Serials!
at Know Theatre. You can see six fresh, 10-minute episodes of brand-new
plays by local playwrights — Trey Tatum, Chris Wesselman, Jon Kovach,
Ben Dudley, Michael Hall and the team of Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth
Martin — and featuring lots of Cincinnati-area actors. New artistic
director Andrew Hungerford calls it a "theater party" offering cold
beer, air-conditioning and world-premiere stories in Know's Underground
bar (1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine). Even if you missed the "pilots"
on June 23, you'll get caught up with a recap before each episode. I had
a blast watching these tantalizing tidbits two weeks ago, and I suspect
tickets will become harder to get as the summer progresses. (Subsequent
performances on July 21, Aug. 11 and 25 and Sept. 8.) Tickets ($15): 513-300-5669.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is assembling a cast for its season opener, Hands on a Hardbody (Sept. 3-21),
a recent Tony-nominated musical about 10 people vying to win a truck by
outlasting their competitors and keeping their hands touching the
vehicle — which will be onstage at the Over-the-Rhine theater (1127 Vine
ETC is seeking actors, singers and dancers for the show with an
open audition on Wednesday this week (July 9, 5-8 p.m.). All are welcome, but an appointment is required. (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org) Ensemble Theatre is an AEA Theatre. Union and non-union actors are encouraged to apply. Rehearsals begin August 11. ETC is seeking a diverse cast, and all ethnicities are encouraged to apply, especially African-American men and Hispanic males and females.
ETC had a big hit on its hands three years ago with the Tony Award-winning musical next to normal
about a woman with bipolar disorder. In fact it was such a draw that
they revived it in the summer of 2012. Although the Rock musical is a
challenging work, this week features not one but two productions by
Cincinnati-area community theaters: Sunset Players on the West Side and
Paradise Players on the East Side. Both productions open Friday
evening. The venerable Sunset Players, which presents shows at the
Dunham Arts Center (in the Dunham Recreation Complex, 4320 Guerley Rd.,
Price Hill), has performances through July 26, mostly at 8 p.m. (July 20 is a 2 p.m. matinee.) Tickets ($14-$16): 513-588-4988.
Meanwhile, Paradise Players, a newish group offering summer productions
at McNicholas High School's Jeanne Spurlock Theatre (6536 Beechmont
Ave.), will offer the show just this week, July 10-11 (7:30 p.m.) and July 12 (2:30 and 7:30 p.m.). Tickets: $15 (http://mcnhs.seatyourself.biz)
high schoolers now have Commonwealth Artists Summer Theatre (C.A.S.T.)
as a summer outlet for theatrical opportunities at Highlands High School
(2400 Memorial Pkwy., Fort Thomas). Starting Friday is a two-week run (July 11-20) of The Addams Family,
a Broadway musical based on the bizarre and beloved family of
characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams. C.A.S.T., headed by
Fort Thomas Independent Schools' theater instructor Jason Burgess,
enables kids from the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to
develop their skills in performance and production beyond their school
year and beyond their school population. Tickets: $10 (http://www.showtix4u.com) or at the door.