New Edgecliff Theatre Announces 15th Season: NEXT

In 1998, building on a concept of locally-produced professional theater that he first experienced at Edgecliff College in the 1970’s, Executive Director Michael Shooner established New Edgecliff Theatre. “I wanted to create a theatre company where the connection between actor and audience was the essential element,” says Shooner. Now entering its 15th season, NET continues to present works featuring local talent that focuses on the actor’s craft. Over the years, Cincinnati audiences have enjoyed such shows as “I Stand Before You Naked”, “Master Harold and the Boys”, “American Buffalo”, “Equus” and “Title of Show” and has collaborated with such organizations as The Carnegie Center for Visual and Performing Arts, Xavier University and The Freedom Center.

“As we approach our fifteenth season, I’ve been thinking about what’s next for our audiences,” says Artistic Director Jim Stump. “Audiences have come to know us as a theatre where the audience is drawn into the story by quality actors performing excellent scripts, and they frequently ask, “What’s next?” This sense of anticipation inspired the theme for our fifteenth anniversary season: “Next”. Whether it’s the excitement of plans for the future, the monotony of endless days of routine or the uncertainty of the unknown – there is always the exquisite sense of discovery as a story unfolds.”

“We’re also making changes to our performance schedule,” adds Managing Director Devon Campailla. “Each of our main stage shows will run four weeks, opening with a Saturday performance. The second weekend will have performances on Friday and Saturday and the subsequent weekends will run Thursday through Saturday. This will give audiences a wider selection of weekends to choose from to attend our shows.”

Tickets and NET/FLEX Subscriptions go on sale in June and will be available through their website: New Edgecliff’s popular NET/FLEX Subscriptions allow patrons to purchase 4 tickets for the price of 3 or 8 for the price of 6 and can be used in any combination.

Season Schedule

September 22nd-October 13th, 2012 – “Talk Radio” by Eric Bogosian

Directed by Buz Davis, “Talk Radio” opens our 15th anniversary season, commemorating NET’s inaugural, CEA-nominated production of Bogosian’s “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll” in 1998.

Rush Limbaugh doesn’t hold a candle to Cleveland’s WTLK radio host, Barry Champlain. On the eve that Barry’s show is to go national, he shows no loss for words with his callers, who range from a desperate, soon-to-be-teen-mom, a man knowledgeable in nuclear power and those who just want to hear their voice on the radio. Fueled by coffee, Jack Daniels, cocaine and the voice on the other end of the phone line, he puts on his finest performance yet. Immersed once again in the pool of boring, emotionless, uneducated voices that feed his career, he is left to question his ability to maintain his role. With every passing minute of airtime, not even Barry knows if it’s a performance for the new syndicate or perhaps a final show for just himself.

“The most lacerating portrait of a human meltdown this side of a Francis Bacon painting…”—Ben Brantley, The New York Times

October 20th, 2012 – “The Canterville Ghost” by Oscar Wilde, adapted for the stage by Catie O’Keefe

NET’s annual Sweet Suspense Radio Drama returns with a family friendly radio style adaptation of the Oscar Wilde classic. This one night only event includes a recreation of an early radio studio complete with live sound effects by Mike Martini. Intermission will feature an assortment of desserts and sweets from some of Cincinnati’s finest bakeries, restaurants and caterers.

Where others have run screaming in terror, the Otis family seems quite comfortable in their new haunted house. After moving to England and into Canterville Chase, this family of Americans finds nothing frightening about the famous Canterville ghost. In fact, his attempt to replenish an old blood stain is nothing but annoying and his efforts to scare the family members usually end in the ghost hiding in fear. It’s not until the young daughter, Virginia, takes an interest in helping the murderous spirit, that the family and the ghost find peace and quiet. The production will once again be under the direction of Bob Allen.

December 1st-22nd, 2012 – “The Santaland Diaries” by David Sedaris (adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello) and “The 12 Dates of Christmas” by Ginna Hoben

Everyone’s favorite elf Crumpet, the elf fixated on spastic children, obnoxious parents, nutty co-workers and, oh yeah … “One Life to Live,” is back in this alter native holiday favorite.

Then, in “12 Dates of Christmas”…what happens when Mary sees her fiancé making out with his co-worker on national TV at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? She dumps him and then spends the next year being set up, hooked up, strung up, and fed up as she navigates her life “alone” as a New York actor in her thirties.

“Hoben has created a woman’s show to join the annual, male-dominated Christmas lineup, but like “The Santaland Diaries”, it is a tale of real life and holiday hope touching us all.” — Eric Minton,

February 9th-March 2nd, 2013 – An original play by Resident Playwright Catie O’Keefe

We bring resident playwright Catie O’Keefe and director Ed Cohen together for our winter show with the world premiere of a new full-length play. NET produced “Darker” in the Fringe Festival last year to rave reviews and she has adapted the last two Radio Dramas. We are making final decisions between two of her plays and will announce our choice in our season brochure this summer.

April 13th-May 4th, 2013 – “Miss Witherspoon” by Christopher Durang

In the wonderfully delightful and strange world of Christopher Durang, Veronica finds herself flung between different lives as she is reincarnated again and again. She emerges as a new baby and even as a dog – reliving different lives to clear her aura. Miss Witherspoon is the name given Veronica by her spiritual guide Maryamma, and it seems to follow her through every life she enters into. But there is more than just a name that connects Veronica to her many reincarnations. Her life, her experiences and those around her all seem to be connected. As she ventures from one life to another looking, she searches for many of the same things that all people search for… answers to life’s biggest questions…like, “What come next?” NET brings back Mark Seamon who directed their recent production of Neil LaBute’s “reasons to be pretty.”

“This is Durang at the top of his metaphysical, apocalyptic, high-and-pop cultural game…thoroughly lovable. And funny.” —NY Newsday.

“A delightful eighty-minute crazy-quilt fantasy.” — Associated Press.

Artistic Director’s Notes:

As New Edgecliff Theatre approaches our fifteenth anniversary season, I’ve been thinking about what’s next for our audiences. We’ve come to be known as a theatre where the audience is drawn into the story by quality actors performing excellent scripts, and they frequently ask, “What’s next?” This sense of anticipation inspired the theme for our fifteenth season, “Next”. Whether it’s the excitement of plans for the future, the monotony of endless days of routine, or the uncertainty of the unknown – there is always the exquisite sense of discovery as a story unfolds.

We start off with Eric Bogosian’s “Talk Radio”, which features one of contemporary theatre’s most selfconfident, if not most egotistical, characters. Poised on the brink of stardom, radio talk show host Barry Champlain is on the air with his last broadcast before going national. It’s all go until one caller disrupts Barry’s show and could destroy everything Barry’s worked for.

Catie O’Keefe’s new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost” is a story about the power of hope…illustrating how, in the face of utter futility, it can change everything.

When I read “The 12 Dates of Christmas” it seemed like a great pairing for “The Santaland Diaries”. Both characters are thrown a curveball which makes them approach the holidays differently. It was great fun discovering what was next for each of them.

Catie O’Keefe’s work with us has been fantastic. Her ability to keep the audience guessing has been truly wonderful. I felt the next logical step for us was to mount a production of one of her full length plays.

I enjoy Christopher Durang’s sense of humor and it really comes through in the Pulitzer Prize-nominated comedy “Miss Witherspoon”. I love the irony of a woman trying to avoid what’s next by ending her life, only to find the last thing she expected: reincarnation – over and over – until she learns the importance of engaging in life instead of avoiding it.

– Jim Stump, Artistic Director, New Edgecliff Theatre

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