An Enchanting Mystery is Afoot! ETC Presents World Premiere Musical THE DANCING PRINCESSES, Nov. 29-Dec. 30

ETC_The Dancing Princesses logo(Cincinnati, OH) The tango, the cha cha, and the waltz, oh my! It’s time to break out those dancing shoes for Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s world premiere, family-friendly musical THE DANCING PRINCESSES, by local playwright Joseph McDonough with music and lyrics by David Kisor. This whimsical production brings to life a royal mystery as five diverse sisters dance their way through the new incarnation of the classic, enchanting story. With hot chocolate, dance numbers, and shenanigans aplenty, The Dancing Princesses is holiday fun for the entire family! Playing November 29-December 30, 2017. Directed by D. Lynn Meyers. Premiere Sponsor is Macy’s.

Wanting the best for his daughters, an overprotective king locks the castle doors each night. Yet, each morning, the princesses’ shoes have been curiously worn to tatters. Keen to cobble together the mystery of the frayed footwear, the King resorts to drastic measures of royal proportions. This is the heartfelt, humorous story of five unique sisters who embark upon a journey of the imagination that explores the universal quest for understanding, acceptance, and love.

Each season, ETC produces a magical fairy tale musical written with families in mind. As a theatre that also seeks to nurture new audiences, ETC takes classic fairy tales and gives them a fresh, modern spin with contemporary cultural references to make the shows’ message accessible for the next generation of arts patrons. Following the success of recent holiday musicals, ETC’s performance schedule has more than 30 chances to see this exciting production with many family-friendly show times including 2:00 pm weekend matinees, early 6:00 pm Sunday evening shows, and 7:00 pm evening shows throughout the holiday season.

“I think it’s no mistake that in the original fairytale the princesses escape their strict kingdom to a world of dance,” says ETC’s Producing Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers. “Even from earliest version of this story, dance was always used as the universal symbol of freedom, release, and expression. The ETC adaptation of The Dancing Princesses will help audiences examine who they are in their lives, where they want to go, and why they want to go there. ” 

About the Cast

Michael G. Bath (Joziam) has appeared in ETC’s productions of Cinderella: After Ever After, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Hands on a Hardbody. Other regional credits include Superior Donuts with The Clifton Players and Angels in America at Know Theatre. Mr. Bath has also performed with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, the Performance Gallery, Showboat Majestic, and Stage First Cincinnati.

Darnell Pierre Benjamin (Jack) has been seen at Ensemble Theatre in Cinderella: After Ever After, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Cinderella, and Detroit ’67. Some of his favorite regional credits include Titus Andronicus, To Kill a Mockingbird, Angels in America, Othello, Taming of the Shrew, and A Raisin in the Sun. Mr. Benjamin won Michigan’s 2013 Wilde Award for “Best of the Bard” with his performance as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre.

Michael Gerard Carr (Pharron) returns to Ensemble Theatre where his past shows include First Date, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Hands on a Hardbody, Good People, and Snow White. A proud graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Acting Program and a past ETC apprentice, he is also an adjunct instructor at the University of Cincinnati’s Musical Theater Department.

Ken Early (Aldrin) returns to the Ensemble stage where he was last seen in Around the World in 80 Days. His other ETC credits include The Whipping Man, Grey Gardens, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and The Frog Princess. His other regional credits include Jitney, On Golden Pond, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, Pluto, Harry and the Thief, Oklahoma, Dreamgirls, and Big River. Mr. Early would like to thank family, friends, and his CECF family for their love and support.

Deb G. Girdler (Zilda) has appeared numerous times on ETC’s stage, often as the villain in the holiday shows. Some of her ETC credits include Cinderella: After Ever After, Cinderella, Hands on a Hardbody, Around the World in 80 Days, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and The Frog Princess.
Ms. Girdler has appeared at the Olney Theatre as the Fairy Godmother in the now-official version of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella as well as in La Cage Aux Folles at the Gateway Playhouse in New Jersey. She can be seen in the feature films Carol and First Kill. A CCM graduate, she began her career on the Showboat Majestic and has worked off-Broadway, in regional theatre, and in summer stock for over thirty years.

Sara Mackie (Woman) is an AEA member and graduate of the Wright State Acting BFA Program. She has been a part of the ETC family since 1999 in such productions as Violet, Hands on a Hardbody, all three “Wonderette” iterations, Rabbit Hole, and Mauritius, among others. Some other favorite credits include Pump Boys and Dinettes, The Carnegie; Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, Falcon Theatre; and Twelfth Night and Family Ties, Human Race Theatre Company. She was in 2015 Hallmark Movie The Christmas Spirit and will soon appear in Emilio Estevez’s flick The Public.

Andrew Maloney (Mack) is back on the ETC stage where he was recently seen in First Date. His other ETC credits include Violet, Around the World in 80 Days, Alice in Wonderland, and Snow White. Internationally, he appeared in the Ecuadorian premiere of West Side Story at the Teatro Nacional Sucre in Quito, Ecuador. His recent credits include Rent, Assassins, The Little Mermaid, and A Chorus Line.

Brooke Steele (Tiva) has previously been seen at ETC in shows such as The Marvelous Wonderettes, Cinderella, Cinderella: After Ever After, and Violet. Ms. Steele studied theatre at Northern Kentucky University and teaches afterschool classes for Cincinnati Arts Initiatives.

Rounding out the ensemble cast are last season’s Acting Apprentices Maya Farhat (Tusu) and Samantha Russell (Gidela), as well as this season’s Acting Apprentices Maggie Cramer (Natayla), Reginald Hemphill (Dream Prince), Rebecca Wei Hsieh (Maiko), and Aaron Krick (Dream Prince).

Production team includes Brian c. Mehring (Resident Scenic & Lighting Designer), Jack Murphy (Technical Director), Matthew Hollstegge (Production Manager & Master Electrician), Shannon Rae Lutz (Properties Master & Design Assistant), Matt Callahan (Sound Designer), Scot Woolley (Musical Director), Dee Anne Bryll (Choreographer), Patti James (Choreographer), Victoria Morgan (Choreographer), and Reba Senske (Costume Designer). Production Stage Manager is Brandon T. Holmes. Assistant Stage Manager is Elizabeth Freyman. 

Performance Information
Runs November 29-December 30, 2017. 7:00 p.m. performances Fri.; 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. performances Sat. and select weeknights; 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Sundays. No performances on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. A complete calendar of performances is available online at 

Ticket Prices
Ticket prices start at $52 for adults; $28 for students (ages 13 and up); and children (ages 12 and under) are $24. For the 2017-2018 Season, ETC continues its popular $15 student and half-price rush tickets for all performances, which are available two hours prior to show time and may be purchased by phone or in person at the box office.


Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is supported, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

2017-2018 Season Presenting Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation. Additional support provided PNC. 

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. We fulfill our mission through our stage productions and educational outreach programs that enlighten, enliven, enrich and inspire our audiences.


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