New Edgecliff Celebrates 20 Years of Creating Powerful Artistic Experiences with Plays About Theatre

NETNew Edgecliff Theatre is proud to announce the lineup for their 20th Anniversary Season: Life in the Theatre.  The season will be not only a celebration of NET but of Theatre itself.  The plays explore some of the dramatic moments in the life of any performer: lessons learned, getting the role and the inevitable passing of the torch.

  • MASTER CLASS by Terrence McNally October 5-21, 2017
  • Sweet Suspense: THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES October 22, 2017
  • VENUS IN FUR by David Ives February 15 – March 3, 2018
  • A LIFE IN THE THEATRE by David Mamet April 12 – 28, 2018

New Edgecliff Theatre returns to Northside to perform at The Hoffner Lodge, 4120 Hamilton Avenue.  Set in the heart of one of Cincinnati’s coolest and most vibrant neighborhoods, NET produces in the Hoffner’s spacious second-floor hall with stage. The first floor store-fronts on Hamilton Avenue now houses The Listing Loon  — a new craft beer and wine store– Spun Bicycles  a new full service bike shop, and Hoffner Gallery.  The Hoffner Lodge is just minutes away from some of Northside’s best dining and nightlife venues including Tillie’s Lounge, Django, Ruth’s Parkside Café, the Northside Tavern and Tickle Pickle.  Free parking is conveniently located across the street at the Northside Bank and Trust.

Established in 1998, New Edgecliff Theatre built on the concept of locally-produced professional educational theater that founder Michael Shooner first experienced at Edgecliff College in the 1970s.  Since then they have been dedicated to creating powerful artistic experiences utilizing local professionals and stressing the fundamental communion between actor and audience.

About the plays:

MASTER CLASS by Terrence McNally looks at the lessons performers learn, both from masters of the craft and as said masters.  Maria Callas is teaching a master class in front of an audience (us). She’s glamorous, commanding, larger than life—and drop-dead funny. An accompanist sits at the piano. Callas’ first “victim” is Sophie, a ridiculous, overly-perky soprano, dressed all in pink. Sophie chooses to sing one of the most difficult arias, the sleepwalking scene from La Sonnambula—an aria that Callas made famous. Before the girl sings a note, Callas stops her—she clearly can’t stand hearing music massacred. And now what has started out as a class has become a platform for Callas. She glories in her own career, dabbles in opera dish and flat-out seduces the audience. Callas gets on her knees and acts the entire aria in dumb show, eventually reducing the poor singer to tears. But with that there are plenty of laughs going on, especially between Callas and the audience. Callas pulls back and gives Sophie a chance to use what she’s learned. As soon as Sophie starts singing, though, Callas mentally leaves the room and goes into a sprawling interior monologue about her own performance of that aria and the thunderous applause she received at La Scala. Callas wakes up and sends Sophie off with a pat. The next two sessions repeat the same dynamic, only the middle session is with a tenor who moves Callas to tears. She again enters her memories, and we learn about Callas’ affair with Aristotle Onassis; an abortion she was forced to have; her first elderly husband whom she left; her early days as an ugly duckling; the fierce hatred of her rivals; and the unforgiving press that savaged her at first. Finally, we meet Sharon, another soprano, who arrives in a full ball gown. With Sharon singing, Callas is genuinely moved, for the young singer has talent, but Callas tells her to stick to flimsy roles. Sharon is devastated and spits back every nasty thing you’ve ever heard about Callas: She’s old, washed up; she ruined her voice too early in her career; she only wants people to worship her, etc. Sharon rushes out of the hall, and Callas brings the class to a close with a beautiful speech about the sacrifices we must make in the name of art.

David Ives’ VENUS IN FUR brings a whole new meaning to “getting” the role.  Thomas, a beleaguered playwright/director, is desperate to find an actress to play Vanda, the female lead in his adaptation of the classic sadomasochistic tale Venus in Fur. Into his empty audition room walks a vulgar and equally desperate actress—oddly enough, named Vanda. Though utterly wrong for the sophisticated part, Vanda exhibits a strange command of the material, piquing Thomas’ interest with her seductive talents and secretive manner. As the two work through the script, they blur the line between play and reality, entering into an increasingly serious game of submission and domination that only one of them can win. A mysterious, funny, erotic drama that represents yet another departure for the multifaceted David Ives.

IN A LIFE IN A THEATRE, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed-The-Plow David Mamet, takes us into the lives of two actors: John, young and rising into the first flush of his success; the other Robert, older, anxious, and beginning to wane. In a series of short, spare, and increasingly raw exchanges, we see the estrangement of youth from age and the wider, inevitable and endless cycle of life, in and out of the theatre.

In addition to the regular season NET will once again present its annual radio drama fundraiser, Sweet Suspense on Sunday October 22.  Celebrate Halloween with New Edgecliff Theatre as they present Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes classic THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES.  Sir Henry is heir to the vast Baskerville fortune, a legacy that comes with a family curse – death at the fangs of a horror that prowls the moor. Only Holmes can stop the beast. As mysterious lights signal Baskerville Hall and the hound terrifies the countryside, the sleuthing begins. Who wrote the letter that summoned the hound? Is the supernatural at work?  Sit on the edge of your seat as our actors present another tale of suspense from the Golden Age of Radio. Then join us for an extended intermission featuring a dessert buffet with tasty treats from some of Cincinnati’s finest restaurants, bakeries and caterers.

About the Directors:

Farley Norman (Master Class) is the Artistic Director for Brilliantly Different Productions, LLC. Current projects include developing new works in the Cincinnati area, working as a lighting designer in multiple regions, and directing productions throughout the year.

Former NET Artistic Director Proccacino (Venus in Fur) returns to direct once again, having last directed the successful productions of Other People’s Money, Proof and [title of show]. During his four years as Artistic Director, he also directed such shows as Fool for Love, Fat Pig and Cyrano [Rehearsed]. Greg currently chairs the Theatre Department at Thomas More College.

Elizabeth A. Harris (A Life in the Theatre) is also a former New Edegecliff Theatre Artistic Director, and is thrilled to be working with NET once again.  Past NET directing credits include The Night of the Iguana, American  Buffalo, Lives of the Saints, Power Failure, The Blue Room and 3 X the Tail.  She most recently directed The Shape of Things.  Currently Elizabeth serves as co-artistic director for Cincinnati LAB Theatre and runs the theatre program at St. Xavier High School. She also teaches acting for NKU and is the Director of Theatre Arts for the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department.



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