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by Rick Pender 06.09.2013
Posted In: Theater at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Ensemble Theatre Announces Remainder of Season

Cincy Playhouse veterans Ed Stern and Michael Evan Haney to stage shows

If you enjoyed "great theater in a great theater" at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park during past seasons, you'll be pleased to learn that Ed Stern, former producing artistic director, and Michael Evan Haney, whose tenure as associate artistic director ends on June 30, have both been engaged to stage shows at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC) for its 2013-2014 season. Haney will stage Nina Raine's Tribes (Jan. 29-Feb. 16, 2014) and Stern will co-direct the world premiere of Raymond McAnally's Size Matters (May 7-25, 2014); the playwright is also an actor (he co-starred in ETC's production of Mrs. Mannerly last fall) and he will be the solo performer of the one-man show.Tribes is about Billy, the deaf son of an outspoken family obsessed with self-expression. He  has adapted to his family but not vice versa. Then he begins to connect with the deaf community, and his family resents his new "tribe." The show uses spoken and sign language as well as surtitles so  audiences can fully follow the action. The show has been a hit in New York (where it won the 2012 Drama Desk Award for outstanding play) and London, where it debuted in 2010 at the Royal Court Theatre. It's only been seen at a few theaters in the U.S. including the La Jolla Playhouse and the Guthrie in Minneapolis. As usual, ETC's Lynn Meyers is ahead of the curve in picking up great new works, and it's a good bet that Haney will make this a fine production. (Haney remains connected with the Playhouse as one of three artistic associates; he will direct A Christmas Carol as well as the world premiere of Anna Ziegler's A Delicate Ship during the Playhouse's 2013-2014 season.)McAnally's comedy, Size Matters is even newer, of course, as a world premiere. It's about a "big guy," living in a crowded city and getting work based on his weight. McAnally, an actor who's weighed more than 280 pounds since he was 18, explores the impact his weight has had on who he is: It's apparent to him that "size matters" much of the time, but not always. The show about body issues and self-confidence is based on true events. Stern will co-direct with ETC's Meyers.The balance of ETC's season was announced earlier: It opens on Sept. 4 with Jon Robin Baitz's Other Desert Cities, andincludes Gina Gionfriddo's Rapture, Blister, Burn, the holiday musical Around the World in 80 Days and Katori Hall's The Mountaintop about Martin Luther King Jr. Find more details here. 
 
 

The Understudy (Review)

Comedy about theater world packs the Shelterhouse with love and hate

0 Comments · Monday, September 27, 2010
Somewhere in playwright Theresa Rebeck's past there must have been a 420-too-friendly techie who smoked up the booth, a big-name hack who got the plum job and a lover who walked out without a word. Or maybe these professional disasters and personal heartbreaks, captured so hilariously and affectingly in the Cincinnati native's 'The Understudy,' are simply the products of Rebeck's rich imagination. Either way, the comedy has a ring of authenticity that anyone who's ever acted (onstage or in life) should appreciate.  

Sleuth (Review)

Playhouse opens 50th season with thriller full of surprises and intricate trickery

0 Comments · Friday, September 11, 2009
With a zippy production of Anthony Shaffer's 1970 thriller 'Sleuth,' Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has launched a year-long 50th anniversary celebration. Almost 40 years after its 1,200-performance Broadway run, 'Sleuth' survives and thrives under Michael Evan Haney's crafty direction — surprises and intricate trickery intact. Further, while keeping the thrills chilling, Haney instilled some nicely leavening humor.  

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