Homegrown Theatre draws on local talent
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Leah Strasser and Tyler Smetts have lived in Cincinnati. In fact, they’re first cousins. She’s an actor; he’s a writer. They’ve been talking about creating a
year-round theater company that draws on homegrown talent, and the 2012
Cincinnati Fringe seemed like the perfect moment to take the next step
by undertaking a production.
Cincinnati Fringe Festival is ready to roll for its ninth year of adventurous theater
1 Comment · Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The four images on the cover of the 2012 Cincinnati Fringe Festival program (included in CityBeat’s
May 16 issue) featured various people smushing their faces against a
window. Cross-eyed, surprised, disgruntled, quizzical, amused — it’s a
diverse set of reactions, all appropriate responses to shows that Know
Theatre will present May 29-June 9.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 08:08 AM | Permalink
Twenty-nine shows in two weeks, commencing May 29
Know Theatre has announced the 2012 Cincinnati Fringe
Festival, kicking off May 29 and continuing through June 9. Festivities begin
with the official CityBeat Fringe Kick-Off Party on May 29 at 6 p.m. (A
suggested donation of $5 gets you in.) During the Festivals’ two-week run, 29
productions will receive multiple performances. Some shows are locally
originated (14) and others are by touring artists (15) who travel to festivals
around the United States. If everything selected actually happens (that’s
seldom the case), there will be 10 plays, nine solo shows, four dance works and
six multimedia/variety pieces.Several award-winning groups popular with past Fringe
audiences are set to return. One of the most popular performers from 2011,
Kevin J. Thornton — his I Love You (We’re Fucked) had a sold-out run and
returned for another stint last October — is back with Strange Dreamz.
Thornton has appeared in the Capital Fringe, Indy Fringe, NYC Frigid Festival,
Tucson Fringe Festival, Phoenix Fringe Festival, Orlando Fringe Festival,
Kansas City Fringe Festival, and the Minnesota Fringe Festival.
Four Humors Theater from the Twin Cities is back for
the fifth consecutive year, this time presenting Bombus and Berrylinne, or the
Bumblebee and the Hummingbird. The group has previously produced Mortem
Capiendum (Producer’s Pick of the Fringe, 2008), April Fools (2009), and Harold
(Critic’s Pick of the Fringe, 2010) and the hilarious James Bond-inspired
puppet show You Only Live Forever Once (2011).
The longevity honors will continue to be held by Cincinnati
Fringe veteran group Performance Gallery, returning for their ninth year with Rodney
Rumple's Random Reality. Past Cincinnati Fringe appearances include Images of a
Beating Heart (2004), The Killer Whispers and Prays (2005), Godsplay (2006), Girlfight
(2007), Fricative (2008), KAZ/m (2009), The Council (2010) and The Body Speaks
(2011). Brad Cupples, the playwright for Performance Gallery’s 2010 entry,
returns with Third Quarter Moon: A Complex Derivative Love Story.
We’ll see shows from established local companies, including Quake:
A Love Story from New Edgecliff Theatre (they presented Darker in 2011) and Don't
Cross The Streams: The Cease and Desist Musical, a stage musical from
Covington’s Carnegie Visual & Performing Arts Center.
Two new local companies will present for the first time.
Homegrown Theatre, led by local actress Leah Strasser will present an absurdist
piece, The Doppelganger Cometh and Overtaketh, while
Essex Theatre Arts Studio, founded by actors Bob Allen and Elizabeth Harris,
will stage Love Knots, a series of shorts plays about love and romance by
local playwright Phil Paradis.
There will be plenty of new acts, including Grim &
Fisher (the award-winning A deathly comedy in full-face mask) from Portland,
Ore., and Rebecca King (Storms Beneath Her Skin), a transgender artist from
Chicago. New York artist Tanya O’Debra’s Radio Star has won awards in San
Francisco, Montreal and New York City.
There will be dance performances by Houston-based dance
company Psophonia (Delicious) and two local groups, MamLuft&Co.’s (Latitude)
and Pones, Inc. (Project Activate). The latter is a collaborative and
participatory performance that asks “How do you
activate Cincinnati?” It’s the product of five local service organizations with
12 professional artists from a variety of disciplines.Each evening after performances, artists, audience members,
staff, and volunteers gather at Know Theatre’s Underground bar for the Fringe
Bar Series featuring the “Channel Fringe Hard Hitting Action News Update.”
Events there include Fringe previews, Fringe Olympics, Fringe-e-Oke, Fringe
Prom, and the 22.5 hour play project.
This year marks the second year of FringeNext, offering
three shows created and performed by high school students. Two are originating
from the School for Creative and Performing Arts; the third is from Lakota West
Individual tickets to shows are still $12. “Full Frontal”
passes are $200, providing access to every event in the festival. “Flexible
Voyeur” six-show passes are on sale for $60, the price equivalent of five tickets.
“One Night Stand” passes are $35; that’s good for one weeknight (as many as
three shows) and a drink at Know Theatre's Bar. Pre-sale single tickets will go
on sale mid-May.
For more information about the performances or to purchase
passes, check out www.cincyfringe.com or call (513) 300-KNOW (5669).
Fringe Fest finishes its most successful year yet
0 Comments · Monday, June 13, 2011
This was perhaps the most satisfying Cincy Fringe Festival yet, offering varied and diverse shows that kept audiences coming back for more. My personal top choices in addition to 'Miss Magnolia' were 'Missing: The Fantastical and True Story of My Father's Disappearance and What I Found When I Looked for Him,' 'Headscarf and the Angry Bitch,' 'Melancholy Play,' 'Peyote Business Lunch,' 'Curriculum Vitae,' 'I Love You (We're Fucked)' and 'You Only Live Once Forever.'
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.
Eighth annual festival promises two great weeks in June
0 Comments · Monday, April 18, 2011
Despite recent chilly weather, I have received a sure sign of intense future warmth. It came in the form of the news release from Know Theatre listing the shows that will make up the eighth annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival, which opens its two-week run on May 31 at 6 p.m. with CityBeat’s official Fringe Kick-off Party. All in all, there will be 35 different productions to see, including three works from a new program, FringeNext, that’s powered by high school students.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 24, 2010
During a week when we count our blessings, I want to mention several things I'm grateful for, starting with Mrs. Mary Price, a high school English teacher who pulled me out of a study hall in 1963 and urged me to audition for a play she was directing. I've been in love with theater ever since. I'm grateful to CityBeat for supporting my support for local theater, and I'm grateful to all the fine theaters in Greater Cincinnati that provide a remarkable variety of choice.