Ed Stern “retired” three years ago after
two decades of artistic leadership at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the
Park. I put quotation marks around that word because he’s still busy as
can be, much to the surprise of everyone — himself included.
Walk into the Marx Theatre at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park for Mad River Rising and
you’ll be in a different world: the hayloft of an ancient Ohio barn.
(It’s an engaging design by Jeff Modereger.)
Trey Tatum and Paul Strickland grew up
just 45 miles apart — Tatum in southern Alabama and Strickland in
Florida’s Panhandle. But they didn’t meet until their paths crossed in
Cincinnati during the Fringe Festival in June 2014.