CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE IN THE PARK’S 2014-15 OFF THE HILL SEASON
CONCLUDES WITH BIRD BRAIN BY VERN THIESSEN
(CINCINNATI) – The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s popular Off the Hill series for families wraps up its 2014-15 season with Vern Thiessen’s BIRD BRAIN, a charming and funny fable full of laughs and the lesson that strange behavior isn’t always foolish. Recommended for ages 5 and up,BIRD BRAIN will tour to community venues throughout the Tristate from April 10 through May 23.
Based on the story Vogelkopp by Albert Wendt, BIRD BRAIN tells the tale of a kindhearted woodcutter who finds a nest of freezing baby birds and decides to give them a warm home under his hat. The problem is that he lives in a world where tipping your hat to others is not only a courtesy, but also the law, with severe punishments for disobeying. The woodcutter finds himself torn between doing what he feels is right and following the social norms.
“I am so looking forward to this delightful play for this most delightful of audiences,” says Playhouse Education Director Mark Lutwak, who will direct the production and serve as the sound designer.
“BIRD BRAIN begins in a forest and returns there a couple of times, so I wanted an environment that set the mood for this cold, wooded land,” says set designer Christopher Boone. “I realized we didn’t need any graphics to tell this story, just panels of fabric, a couple of hat stands to hold hats and costume pieces, and a lot of imagination, which is perfect for younger elementary students.” Both the set and costumes feature simple bits of fabric that get folded, twisted and used in multiple ways. The music and sound effects will be created vocally by the actors.
“It’s very simple, but beautiful and fantastical,” adds Lutwak. “As with a lot of theatre for this age group, we celebrate the imagination of the story by engaging the imagination of the viewers.”
The BIRD BRAIN cast includes Alex Purcell, Claire Simba, Kelsey Torstveit and D’Amante M. Wilson, all members of the Playhouse’s 2014-15 Bruce E. Coyle Acting Intern Company. In addition to Lutwak and Boone, production team members include costume designer Melanie Mortimore and stage manager Tracy Hoida.
BIRD BRAIN will tour to nearly 20 community venues (see schedule below). Admission is free or inexpensive and is available at the door. Contact the center near you for ticket information.
For more information about the Playhouse’s education and outreach programs, contact the Education Department at 513-345-2242 or visit www.cincyplay.com.
Off the Hill is supported by the Robert and Adele Schiff Family Foundation, ArtsWave and the Ohio Arts Council.
The Cincinnati Playhouse season is presented by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation and Heidelberg Distributing Company. 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 and the National Endowment for the Arts.
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE (as of March 23, 2015)
- Friday, April 10, 7 p.m., Springfield Township’s Grove Banquet Hall and Event Center
- Saturday, April 11, 2 p.m., The Drama Workshop at Glenmore Playhouse (Cheviot)
- Saturday, April 11, 7 p.m., Blue Ash Recreation Center
- Sunday, April 12, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., The Lebanon Theatre Company, Inc.
- Saturday, April 18, 10:30 a.m., Woman’s Art Club Cultural Center (Mariemont)
- Saturday, April 18, 7 p.m., Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center (Covington, Kentucky)
- Sunday, April 19, 3 p.m., Evendale Cultural Arts Center
- Saturday, April 25, 2 p.m., Fort Wright Civic Club
- Saturday, April 25, 7 p.m., District A, The Character Building (former Shroder School, Kennedy Heights)
- Sunday, April 26, 2:30 p.m., Kenton County Library – Covington Branch (Covington, Kentucky)
- Saturday, May 9, 11 a.m., Covedale Center for the Performing Arts
- Sunday, May 10, 2 p.m., Clifton Cultural Arts Center
- Friday, May 15, 7 p.m., Boone County Library – Scheben Branch (Union, Kentucky)
- Saturday, May 16, 2 p.m., Hyde Park Health Center
- Saturday, May 16, 7 p.m., Bi-Okoto Cultural Institute (Pleasant Ridge)
- Sunday, May 17, 2:30 p.m., Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum
- Friday, May 22, 7 p.m., Oxford Community Arts Center
- Saturday, May 23, 7 p.m., Circus Mojo (Ludlow, Kentucky) – Pre-show begins at 6:30 p.m.
Note: Details vary by location. Contact the individual sites for tickets and prices. Contact information is available on the Playhouse website at www.cincyplay.com (click on the SCHEDULE tab).