World Premiere of BE HERE NOW at Playhouse Feb. 9


Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

New play written by Deborah Zoe Laufer runs Feb. 9-March 11

CINCINNATI—Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park announces the world premiere of BE HERE NOW by Deborah Zoe Laufer, a play commissioned by the Playhouse about two lost souls who come together under unusual circumstances in their search for happiness. BE HERE NOW debuts in the Shelterhouse Theatre on Feb. 9, 2018 and will run until March 11, with support from The Rosenthal Foundation, Season Sponsor of New Work.

Regarding her new production, Laufer says, “In most of my plays, people are searching for something by looking outside of themselves, their families, loved ones and friends. Ultimately, the characters find what they’re looking for in each other and the simple acts of being together… with the people who really matter to them.”

The play centers on woefully underemployed Bari, who is a humorous misanthrope, and brilliant and loveable Mike, who manages his own demons and makes art out of garbage.

Bari lives in a small town and aspires to complete her Ph.D. dissertation on nihilism (the belief that nothing matters). Her cheerful workmates try to perk her up but she rejects their offer. Bari decides to take on a new path when she meets Mike, an unexpected suitor. BE HERE NOW asks what we are willing to do for love and happiness and to create meaning in our lives.

Playhouse artistic director Blake Robinson says of Laufer, “I think Deb has an ear for how people really speak. Hers is a fresh and insightful voice.”

In 2013, the world premiere of Deborah’s play LEVELING UP was produced by the Playhouse. When asked how BE HERE NOW is similar or different to her previous plays, she says, “I think BE HERE NOW is very much my play. Hopefully, it is also funny and sad. Hopefully, it asks more questions than it answers. Hopefully, they will be surprised. Hopefully, they’ll see the world around them just a tiny bit differently. Hopefully, they’ll walk away with something to chew on and maybe argue on the way home. I like it when people argue.”

Fundamentals of Playwriting with Deborah Zoe Laufer
Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m. – noon at the Playhouse
BE HERE NOW playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer introduces the world of writing for the stage. Learn how to build the foundation of a story by creating complex characters, writing memorable dialogue and crafting a compelling plot. Adults and teens ages 16 and up with all skill levels are welcome! Cost is $50 per person, and does not include a ticket to the show.

Prices for BE HERE NOW start at $35 depending on seat selection and performance day and are subject to change. Tickets for teens and students are $30. Student tickets are just $15 on the day of the show. Plus, Sunday is College Night, with tickets to all 7 p.m. performances just $10. In addition to calling the Box Office, tickets can also be purchased by visiting the Playhouse website at

The Playhouse is fully accessible. Large print programs and hearing enhancement receivers are available upon request.

513-421-3888 or 800-582-3208 toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana; or 513-345-2248 – TDD access (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf).

Production Sponsor is the Bartlett & Co. The Shelterhouse Theatre Season is presented by Heidelberg Distributing Company. The Season Sponsor of New Work is The Rosenthal Foundation. Shelterhouse Theatre Season Design Sponsor is the Allan Berliant and Jennie Rosenthal Berliant Family Fund. Additional Support is provided by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. Media sponsor is 91.7 WVXU. BE HERE NOW was commissioned through the Playhouse’s Jerome Fey Endowment.

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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