Cincinnati Playhouse Brings Lavish Romantic Comedy Fit for the Queen to Cincinnati This Fall with SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE


Emily Trask as Viola. Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

Smash hit production based on Oscar-winning film opens Sept. 2

CINCINNATI –The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park presents a celebration of passion and poetry in the Marx Theatre beginning Sept. 2 when SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE takes the stage. The beloved, Oscar-winning film comes to life in an extravagant production that’s both wildly funny and irresistibly romantic. The play runs through Sept. 30 in the Marx Theatre.

Twenty actors, one dog, dozens of beautiful period costumes and a full-scale Elizabethan set tell a magical and entertaining story that will delight Shakespeare aficionados and newcomers alike.

“A big, epic production like SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE is what the Playhouse does best,” explains Blake Robison, artistic director and also director of the play. “Though the stage version sticks closely to the original screenplay, this is a story that belongs on stage.”

The stage production, which was a smash hit at its world premiere in London’s West End, is based on the film that imagines William Shakespeare with writer’s block. He’s on a deadline to write a new play for his creditors when he meets his muse, Viola, who aspires to be an actor at a time when a woman was queen but only men could act. Their forbidden romance inspires Shakespeare to write his classic Romeo and Juliet.

For Shakespeare fans, part of the show’s fun is identifying the script’s many allusions to the playwright’s other classic works and recognizing the historical figures, including Christopher Marlowe, Richard Burbage and Queen Elizabeth I, who make appearances in this speculative story. But Robison says its combination of romance, comedy and adventure also offers a unique invitation to Shakespearean novices.

“This production is great for adults and teens alike,” Robison explains. “It’s a wonderful way to dip your toe into the vast ocean of Shakespeare’s world. There are snippets of Romeo and Juliet played out before you in verse, but most of the action is in everyday language that is accessible and understandable to everyone.”

Prices for SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE start at $35 for preview performances and $40 for regular performances; they vary depending on seat location and performance day and are subject to change. Tickets for teens and students are $30 and $45 depending on seat location. Student tickets are just $15 on the day of the show. Plus, Sunday is College Night, with tickets to all 7:00 p.m. performances just $10. In addition to calling the Box Office, tickets can also be purchased by visiting the Playhouse website at Please note: There are no public evening performances on Sept. 3, Sept. 24 and Sept. 27. There is no public matinee performance on Sept. 2.

Production sponsor is U.S. Bank. Design Sponsor is Barbara and Bill Weyand. Honorary Producer is Leon Meyer. Artist Sponsor/Viola de Lesseps is Jenny and David Powell. Artist Sponsor/Will Shakespeare is Rosemary and Mark Schlachter. Artist Sponsor/Queen Elizabeth I is Bahl & Gaynor Investment Council. The Robert S. Marx Theatre Season is presented by Schueler Group. Season Sponsor of New Work is The Rosenthal Foundation and Marx Theatre Season Design Sponsor is Macy’s.

The Playhouse is supported by the generosity of more than 40,000 contributors to the ArtsWave Community 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.

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Sept. 25, 7 p.m., Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in Over-the-Rhine
Cincinnati is poised to celebrate William Shakespeare in more ways than one, with a season full of opportunities to enjoy the most performed playwright in history. The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is partnering with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company to host a conversation that will highlight leaders from local artistic organizations about interpreting the Bard across varying disciplines. They will discuss the challenges of translating his text through their own artistic lenses.

Featured panelists:

  • Blake Robison, Artistic Director, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Playhouse
  • Brian Isaac Phillips, Producing Artistic Director, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
  • Victoria Morgan, Artistic Director, Cincinnati Ballet
  • D. Lynn Meyers, Producing Artistic Director, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati
  • Whitney Owens, Chief Learning Officer, Cincinnati Museum Center

The event takes place on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s new Otto M. Budig Theater in Over-the-Rhine. It is free and open to the public, but a reservation is required by calling the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888. The Playhouse Perspectives series is supported by a generous grant from Roderick and Barbara Barr.

Offered before each Friday evening performance
Join us before Friday evening performances of SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE for a special wine pairing dinner with wine distributed by Heidelberg Distributing Company. Four-course dinners start at 6 p.m and cost $35 per person. For the menu and to reserve your dinner, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888, or visit


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