POETIC, POIGNANT DRAMA MAD RIVER RISING CONTINUES CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE IN THE PARK’S MARX THEATRE SEASON, OCT. 17 – NOV. 14, 2015
(CINCINNATI) – Dana Yeaton’s sweeping, compelling MAD RIVER RISING brings a flood of forces — natural, generational and emotional — to the Cincinnati Playhouse’s Robert S. Marx Theatre Oct. 17 through Nov. 14. Family patriarch and farmer Angus Stewart, the anchor of Yeaton’s captivating drama, escapes from his nursing home determined to save the land he loves from the rising tide of urbanization.
Crusty and droll, Angus is still fiercely loyal to his family’s acreage despite the toll the years have taken on him — along with the devastating impact of the 1937 flood, remembered in flashbacks from when he was a child. In the fluid unfolding of the play, the audience gets to see those costs as Angus envisions them, meandering between past and present in the stream of his mind, all in the setting of the farm’s gnarled old barn.
“I love Angus. He’s cranky and aggravating — yes — but he calls ’em like he sees ’em,” says Playhouse Artistic Director Blake Robison, who is directing MAD RIVER RISING. “I think he is admirable in his tenacity and his desire to instill fundamental values in his sons and grandson.
“Whether you grew up in the country or not, the play will resonate for everyone,” Robison explains. “It’s about family. And we’re all experts on the subject of family. The play deals with some very current thematic issues as well. Baby boomers are getting older, dealing with their aging parents, trying to reconcile their present with their past.” Robison originally commissioned MAD RIVER RISING when he was the artistic director of Vermont Stage Company. The play made its world premiere there and garnered the Moss Hart Award from the New England Theatre Conference. Originally set in Vermont and based on that state’s disastrous Great Flood of 1927, MAD RIVER RISING’s story was transferred to Ohio for its Cincinnati Playhouse run to reflect this region’s record-setting, devastating 1937 flooding.
Yeaton’s other plays include his adaptation of the novel Midwives; the drama Redshirts, which received a Helen Hayes Award nomination for best new play; and Swing State, a two-character musical also set in Ohio. The recipient of the 2002 New Voice in American Theater Award from the William Inge Theatre Festival, Yeaton teaches playwriting and oratory at Vermont’s Middlebury College.
Winding throughout the Playhouse’s production of MAD RIVER RISING will be the haunting folk music of Vermont compatriot and critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell. She has been compared to Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Gillian Welch and Ani DiFranco, and was the opening act for Bon Iver’s 2012 tour.
The cast of MAD RIVER RISING features stage and screen veteran Robert Hogan (Batman, M*A*S*H, original Broadway cast of A Few Good Men) who portrays Angus Stewart. Additional cast members include Billy Finn (Spencer Eddy), Grant Goodman (Charlie Stewart), Ty Joseph Shelton (Young Angus/Nick Stewart), Sheila Tousey (Mae/Marie Cousino Stewart) and Terry Weber (Hopley Stewart).
In addition to Robison and Mitchell, the creative team features Jeff Modereger (set designer), Kathleen Geldard (costume designer), Kenton Yeager (lighting designer) and Matthew M. Nielson (sound designer). Brooke Redler is the stage manager, and Jenifer Morrow is the second stage manager.
MAD RIVER RISING is sponsored by Tony Alper.
Ticket prices for MAD RIVER RISING 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 teenage audiences.
Returning this season is the popular Sunday College Night, with tickets to all 7 p.m. Sunday performances (not including A Christmas Carol) 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 children, teens and students are available in advance for all productions — $30 and $45, depending on seat location. Previews for MAD RIVER RISING are at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20; and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21. The official opening night is Thursday, Oct. 22, 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 MAD RIVER RISING will be held after the following performances: 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8; and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12.
MAD RIVER RISING will be audio described for those with visual impairments at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, and signed for persons with hearing impairments at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8. The Playhouse is fully accessible. Audio enhancement receivers, large print programs and complete wheelchair access are available. Tickets to MAD RIVER RISING 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 Robert S. Marx Theatre season is presented by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation, and Macy’s is the Robert S. Marx Theatre season design sponsor. 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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