Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Opens The Otto M. Budig Theater with A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM


Sara Clark as Puck in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

The company announces casting for the new theater’s premiere production.

CINCINNATI, August 9, 2017 – The Otto M. Budig Theater, the new custom-built home of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in Over-the-Rhine, opens on September 8 with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The production runs through September 30 and is directed by Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips. The cast features longtime resident ensemble members Matthew Lewis Johnson as Bottom, Giles Davies as Oberon, Associate Artist Miranda McGee as Titania, and Associate Artistic Director Sara Clark as Puck. The production is sponsored by Bartlett & Co, LLC. The season is funded by ArtsWave and the season sponsors are The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.

Hermia (Courtney Lucien) loves Lysander (Crystian Wiltshire). Lysander (Kyle Brumley) loves Hermia. Demetrius loves Hermia. Helena (Caitlin McWethy) loves Demetrius, and no one loves Helena. When this convoluted love quadrangle flees from prying parental eyes to the forest, they run straight into an ongoing bitter dispute between Oberon (Giles Davies) and Titania (Miranda McGee), the King and the Queen of the Fairies, and magical interference turns all their relationships topsy-turvy. Meanwhile, a troupe of enthusiastic but inept thespians likewise falls into magical mayhem as their leading man, Bottom (Matthew Lewis Johnson), finds himself the butt of a fairy joke when the trickster Puck (Sara Clark) swaps his head for a donkey’s – an alteration that Titania finds a distinct improvement.

Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips offered the following thoughts on why he chose A Midsummer Night’s Dream to be the inaugural production of The Otto M. Budig Theater: “As our company is in the process of transforming from what it was on Race Street to what it will be on Elm Street, I wanted a play that was all about transformation, and the transformative powers of love. The lovers experience transformation as they leave Athens and enter the forest – itself a place of transformation – and even a foolish human can be transformed into a magical half-donkey creature.” Featuring a design that marries theatrical magic with high-tech accents, this production is sure to enchant audience members of all ages, and will be great fun for families.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was selected to receive support from The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest presenting Shakespeare in American Communities. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is one of 40 professional theater companies selected to participate in bringing the finest productions of Shakespeare to middle- and high-school students in communities across the United States. Cincinnati Shakespeare will be welcoming hundreds of students to the new Otto M. Budig Theater throughout the month of September for Educational Matinees of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.  This production is also collaborating with the Cincinnati Museum Center to welcome student groups to see the First Folio on display at Union Terminal before or after they attend a production!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs September 8-30, with performances on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM, as well as Saturdays September 9 and 30 at 2:00 PM.  The performances on the opening weekend Saturday Sep. 9 and Sunday Sep. 10 will have open house events before and after performances for added celebration of the opening! These events are free and open to the public.

The theater is now located at 1195 Elm Street in OTR, adjacent to Washington Park. Single ticket prices range from $27-$52. If available, $14 student rush tickets may be purchased thirty minutes before a show with a valid student ID. This production is a part of this season’s subscription package. Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted. Ticketing fees may apply.  Discounts are available for students, seniors and groups as well as AAA members. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at

Directed by Brian Isaac Phillips**

Scenic Designer                                                         Shannon Moore

Costume Designer                                                     Amanda McGee

Lighting Designer                                                      Justen N. Locke

Sound & Video Designer                                          Douglas J. Borntrager

Fight Choreographer                                                         Gina Cerimele-Mechley

Dance Choreographer                                              Darnell Pierre Benjamin

Music Director                                                           Cary Davenport


  • Peaseblossom: Geoffrey Warren Barnes II*
  • Theseus: Darnell Pierre Benjamin*
  • Demetrius: Kyle Brumley*
  • Snug: Billy Chace*
  • Puck: Sara Clark*
  • Mustardseed: Cary Davenport
  • Oberon: Giles Davies*
  • Francis Flute: Jeremy Dubin*
  • A Fairy: Candice Handy
  • Nick Bottom: Matthew Lewis Johnson*
  • Philostrate, Cobweb: Sylvester Little, Jr*
  • Hermia: Courtney Lucien*
  • Robin Starveling: Justin McCombs*
  • Titania: Miranda McGee*
  • Helena: Caitlin McWethy*
  • Quince: Kelly Mengelkoch*
  • Egeus: Barry Mulholland*
  • Hippolyta: Maggie Lou Rader
  • Tom Snout: Paul Riopelle*
  • Moth: Tess Talbot
  • Lysander: Crystian Wiltshire

Production Staff

  • Properties Lead – Lacey Ballard
  • Stage Management Intern – Kate Bindus
  • Electrician- Colin Cardille
  • General Technician – Gregory Caruolo
  • Resident Stage Manager – Carolyn Fast*
  • Fly Operator – Elliott Hays-Wehle
  • Costume Shop Manager – Abbi Howson
  • Fly Supervisor – Andrew Leone
  • Resident Lighting Designer & Technical Director – Justen N. Locke
  • Resident Costume Designer – Amanda McGee
  • Resident Scenic Designer – Shannon Moore
  • Production Manager- Maddie Regan
  • Fly Operator – Jason Stewart
  • Wardrobe Supervisor – Amanda Winters
  • Master Electrician – Adam Zeek

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
**Member SDC- Stage Directors and Choreographers Society


About Cincinnati Shakespeare Company:
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing Shakespeare and the classics to life for audiences of all ages.  Currently located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, CSC produces a dozen mainstage productions each season. In the summer of 2017, the theater will relocate to the Otto M. Budig Theater, a brand new facility in OTR. CSC’s repertoire is made up of the works of William Shakespeare, literary adaptations, and contemporary classics. CSC performs on a Small Professional Theatre contract with Actors’ Equity Association. Cincinnati Shakespeare is a member of the Theater Communications Group and the Shakespeare Theater Association.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Education and Outreach Programs reached over 50,000 young people and underserved community members each season by taking Shakespeare into schools, parks, community centers and by hosting educational matinees of mainstage productions.  In 2015, CSC was proud to become one of the first five theaters in the United States to “Complete the Canon” by producing all 38 plays by William Shakespeare. CSC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is proud to be Cincinnati’s stage for the classics!

About The 2017-2018 Season:
This season is funded by ArtsWave and is generously sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company receives operating support from The Ohio Arts Council, the Shubert Foundation and is supported, in part, by the generosity of thousands of individuals and businesses that give annually to ArtsWave. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program/organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Production dates and information on the season are available online at

The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest presents Shakespeare in American Communities. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is one of 40 professional theater companies selected to participate in bringing the finest productions of Shakespeare to middle- and high-school students in communities across the United States.


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