(CINCINNATI) – The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park unleashes girl-powered comedy with THE REVOLUTIONISTS, Lauren Gunderson’s irreverent world premiere about four badass femmes of the French Revolution. THE REVOLUTIONISTS debuts in the Playhouse’s Thompson Shelterhouse Theatre Feb. 5 through March 6.
At the height of the Reign of Terror, playwright Olympe De Gouges, assassin Charlotte Corday, activist Marianne Angelle and former queen Marie Antoinette hang out, plot murder and try to beat back extremist insanity in Paris. This world premiere fantasia by one of the country’s most exciting young playwrights considers how we actually go about changing the world.
Marie Antoinette, whose legacy has most decidedly not been positive, seems an unlikely heroine. That, precisely, is one of Gunderson’s motivations for writing about “hidden history”: to shine a light on the mythology versus the humanity of each of her characters and to lend voices to obscure but significant and historic heroines de Gouges and Corday as well as Angelle, who is an amalgam of nameless women of color who rebelled, fought and died for the cause of freedom.
“Lauren Gunderson is one of the hottest playwrights in America right now,” explains Playhouse Artistic Director Blake Robison about his decision to produce the world premiere of THE REVOLUTIONISTS in the Shelterhouse. “Theatres across the country are discovering her unique voice, her sense of style and comedy. Producing the premiere of her newest play is an ideal way to introduce a significant up-and-coming artist to our community.”
Gunderson’s play I and You was awarded the prestigious 2014 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and was also a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. It debuts off-Broadway this month at 59E59 Theaters. Her additional plays include Silent Sky, Bauer, By and By, Toil and Trouble and Exit, Pursued by a Bear.
Eleanor Holdridge is directing THE REVOLUTIONISTS and has been involved with the project since its early stages. “I love that Lauren’s language is both super-contemporary and heightened at the same time, filled with humor, beauty and wit,” says Holdridge. “She channels a sense of history while writing for the present. In I and You, she interwove the words of Walt Whitman; in THE REVOLUTIONISTS, she takes the fervent dreams of four dynamic historical women and creates a stunning voice for them.”
Robison worked with Holdridge when he was producing artistic director of Round House Theatre in Washington, D.C. “She is a fixture in the theatre community there,” he says. “Her work is always daring and thoughtful. Last year, I invited her to submit some ideas for the season, and she sent me an early draft of THE REVOLUTIONISTS, which she’s been developing with the playwright. Her relationship with Lauren and her history with the script will bring our premiere to life in an exciting way.”
THE REVOLUTIONISTS’ cast includes Lise Bruneau as Olympe de Gouges, Jessica Lynn Carroll as Marie Antoinette/Fraternité, Keira Keeley as Charlotte Corday/Fraternité and Kenita R. Miller as Marianne Angelle.
The creative team for THE REVOLUTIONISTS, in addition to Holdridge, includes set and costume designer Marion Williams, lighting designer Mark Barton and sound designer Scott Killian. Andrea L. Shell is the stage manager.
THE REVOLUTIONISTS is sponsored by Sallie and Randolph Wadsworth. The design sponsor is Stable Two Financial. Additional support is provided by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. THE REVOLUTIONISTS is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.
Ticket prices for THE REVOLUTIONISTS start at $35. Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices. The show is appropriate for adult and older teenage audiences.
Continuing this season is the popular Sunday College Night, with tickets to all 7 p.m. Sunday performances priced at just $10 with a valid student ID. Student tickets are just $15 on the day of the show for all other performances.
Discounted ticket prices for teens and students are available in advance for all productions for $30 and $45, depending on seat location.
Previews for THE REVOLUTIONISTS are at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5; 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6; 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9; and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10. The official opening night is Thursday, Feb. 11, at 7:30 p.m.
Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays.
Free Meet the Artists programs that allow audiences to interact with the cast and others associated with the production will be held after the following performances: 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24; and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3.
The Playhouse is fully accessible. Audio enhancement receivers, large print programs and complete wheelchair access are available.
Tickets to THE REVOLUTIONISTS are on sale now. For more information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. Call 513-345-2248 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf accessibility.
The 2015-16 Thompson Shelterhouse Theatre Series is presented by Heidelberg Distributing Company, and the Thompson Shelterhouse season design sponsor is the Allan Berliant and Jennie Rosenthal Berliant Family Fund. The season sponsor of new work is The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Foundation.
The Playhouse is supported by the generosity of the community contributors to the ArtsWave campaign.
The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Playhouse with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
The Playhouse also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation.
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