When the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park kicks off its 50th anniversary season this fall, Ed Stern will be in his 18th year as producing artistic director. That's a remarkably long tenure as a theater leader, but he has an uncanny knack for offering tried-and-true classics alongside works by rising playwrights.
As the foundation for its laughter, 'The Foreigner' asks audiences to accept a lulu of a gimmick. Many comedies do. The problem with gimmicks is that once they're established the playwright must create characters and situations so funny and so convincing that they transcend the gimmickry.
Sexual contact between an adult and a child is always and automatically abusive. Or is it? Unsettling questions and uncertain answers take the stage at Cincinnati Playhouse in director Michael Evan Haney's flawless production of 'Blackbird,' the 2005 David Harrower script that won an Olivier Award, the English theater's equivalent of a Tony.
A provocative play can take you to places you don't expect, says Michael Evan Haney, assistant artistic director at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park for seven seasons. That's exactly what happened to him and what he expects will grab audiences who come to see David Harrower's 'Blackbird,' opening this week at the Playhouse.
Cincinnati Playwright Joseph McDonough has a new show onstage at the Playhouse, his third in six years, making him that theater's most frequently presented playwright since 2000. And with good reason: His scripts are evocative, lyrical and always engaging.
Local playwright Joe McDonough returns to the Cincinnati Playhouse this week for his third premiere, 'Travels of Angelica,' winner of the 2009 Mickey Kaplan New American Play Prize. "I was at a conference with other playwrights last summer," he says, "and I was explaining that I had this production coming up and this relationship with the Playhouse: three productions in six years. They were stunned."
In my review of the Playhouse's 'A Christmas Carol,' I suggest that Charles Dickens' social conscience, outraged in 1843 by the evils of the Industrial Revolution and greedy business operators, seems quite timely in 2008 amid the evils of unfettered financial mismanagement and greedy business operators. Have we made any progress? Come January there will be a change in our nation's leadership, after all, and that's certainly cause for hope.
Charles Dickens published 'A Christmas Carol' in 1843, and onstage versions of it are today a holiday staple at theaters across the English-speaking world, cash cows that sustain operating budgets for the theater season. The tale resonates not simply because Scrooge's conversion has become a familiar holiday story but because Dickens wrote with passion about the plight of everyday people.
Playwright John Kolvenbach likes simple things. He lives in lower Manhattan and walks across the Brooklyn Bridge to his tiny studio office in an area called “DUMBO” (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) where he works on scripts … and answers the phone for interviews.