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by Rick Pender 11.19.2008
Posted In: Theater at 03:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

New Plays Nearby

Want to get a big dose of new theater? You’ll want to spend some time in Louisville next March and April, when Actors Theatre of Louisville presents its 33rd consecutive Humana Festival of New American Plays. Productions begin on March 1, 2009, and continue through April 11. The 2009 festival will present six full-length plays, a comic anthology showcasing the Actors Theatre Acting Apprentice Company and three 10-minute plays.

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by Rick Pender 03.23.2009
Posted In: Theater, Theater at 10:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Playhouse Announces World Premieres for 2009-10 Season

At the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s announcement event for its 2009-10 season last night, Producing Artistic Director Ed Stern offered some intriguing insights and facts about his upcoming season (see my report on the new season's 11 shows here).

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by Steven Rosen 11.20.2008
Posted In: Visual Art at 11:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Defining Contemporary Art

The term "contemporary art" is supposed to have a specific — if changing — meaning. Originally, I first heard of it as a term for defining the seriously ambitious and new art of the post-World War II era, thus differentiating itself from the modern-art era, with its various movements, that preceded it in the earlier part of the 20th century. And by "new," one meant new in ideas, in material, in aesthetics and subject matter (or lack of). Some 60 years on, contemporary art increasingly means art of more recent times, or of artists alive today, or even art of the 21st century. That's legitimate change — evolution. But meanwhile, like such words as "loft" and "jazz," the term also has been co-opted as a cool-word marketing tool. Too often, people call any recent art "contemporary," as if it refers to the date a piece was created rather than the inspiration behind it.

To try to make sense of this, and to give those interested in art the tools to understand that contemporary art is more than just a commercial catchphrase, the Art Academy of Cincinnati has organized an ongoing series, "Making Sense of Contemporary Art," that is free and open to the public. This Sunday (Nov. 23) at 2 p.m., Matt Morris (an art critic for CityBeat) and Jean Feinberg (a critic and former curator) will be discussing the subject at the Academy, 1212 Jackson St. in Over-the-Rhine. Each will speak for roughly a half hour, with room for Q&A and then a reception.

 
 
by Rick Pender 03.11.2010
Posted In: Theater at 12:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Shakin' It Up at Cincy Shakes: Year 17

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips, says, "Secrets can be good and bad." But there's one less secret today, now that he's announced the company's 17th season, eight productions, kicking off in July.

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by 01.12.2010
Posted In: Arts community, Funding at 05:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 

Arts Study Is Roadmap to Wider Public Support

The Fine Arts Fund has released the results of a year-long study intended to start the process of building more collective responsibility in Greater Cincinnati for the arts. Despite the general public’s longstanding support for arts and culture in their communities, charitable giving to and public funding of the arts struggle to keep up with demand nationally and locally — and this study was undertaken to try to “change the conversation” here about the arts as a shared public good and to motivate Cincinnatians to increase support.

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by Steven Rosen 11.10.2008
Posted In: Opera at 03:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

The Met in a Movie Theater

On Saturday afternoon, I attended my first "Met Opera: Live in HD" transmission at the Regal Cinema in Deerfield Township — John Adams' Doctor Atomic.

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by Rick Pender 11.21.2008
Posted In: Theater at 11:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Stage Door: CCM Takes a Trip Back in Time

If you're looking for a ride in the time machine this weekend, I recommend that you try to score a ticket for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). The 1962 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner satirizes the corporate world of the early 1960s, and there are some echoes that sound pretty funny 56 years later.

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by Rick Pender 11.19.2010
Posted In: Theater at 09:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Stage Door: CCM's Evita

So it's almost Thanksgiving and you need to find some good theater before you can begin working on all the preparations for the big meal later next week. My recommendation — Evita at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Aubrey Berg, who has headed the musical theater training program at the University of Cincinnati for 24 years, directs the show about Eva Duarte Peron's rise to fame and power in Argentina and subsequent fall from grace (she died from cancer at 33).

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by Rick Pender 06.11.2009
Posted In: Theater at 11:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

4 Theater Companies Announce New Seasons

Over the weekend, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati announced its 2009-10 season, and it’s full of works you’ve never heard of but will be glad that D. Lynn Meyers has picked. ETC generally offers premieres of works that have been presented elsewhere, but not locally, and she’s kicking off the season with a powerful piece, Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations (Sept. 2-20).

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by Rick Pender 04.03.2010
Posted In: Theater at 10:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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34th Humana Festival of New American Plays

I recently spent three days in Louisville at the 34th annual Humana Festival of New American Plays. Actors Theatre of Louisville annually assembles a lineup of productions that offers a fascinating cross-section of contemporary American theater.

I found this year’s array to be an especially pleasing collection of works: It included two excellent comedies, a thoughtful drama, two experimental performance pieces from creative ensembles and an inventive piece to showcase interns (and a Louisville hotel/museum showplace). A bill of 10-minute plays was clever and creative, and only a musical play was a disappointment.

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