Monthly Archives: February 2018

Auditions Announced for Variety Show in Cheviot

MISC_Auditions2March 5 at 7pm

Westside Venue
3721 Harrison Ave #3
Cincinnati, OH 45211

Open auditions for a variety show. It’s a long term paid gig and I’m seeking singers dancers and any other talent to fill 3 shows.

Searching for singers dancers comedians musicians.

For more information call John at 513.413.8270


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Auditions Announced for GENDER BENDER 2018 at Mason Community Players

MCP_logoFresh off the sold out 2017 Gender Bender, comes the sequel! MCP is looking for a diverse group of performers from all over the Greater Cincinnati area. Join us for a rare opportunity to perform pieces like they’ve never been done before. This is your chance to perform a song, dance, or spoken word traditionally performed by another gender.

Where: Theater 42 – 2752 S US Route 42, Lebanon, OH 45036


  • Saturday March 10th 1pm- 3pm
  • Sunday March 11th 7pm- 9pm

Sign up at for an audition time.

We are also accepting video auditions. Please send your video to by Sunday, March 11th if you wish to be considered.

What to prepare:
Come ready to perform your selection. Please bring your accompaniment (tracks preferred). Please also bring a picture and resume. Please also dress for a brief choreography audition.

Bring something not traditionally performed by your gender – dressing in drag is not required but you certainly may. If you are unsure what you would like to perform, please bring a selection that displays your singing and performance abilities and we will work with you to find a good fit.

Performers should expect 1-2 rehearsals per week (except tech week) and the rehearsal schedule will be built as much as possible around each performer’s conflicts between 3/18 – 5/12. Performers will be expected to rehearse at home with their tracks, which will allow for this flexible rehearsal timeline.

One Night Only! May 12th @ 8pm at Theater 42

More details on the performance (and after party!) to come.

Questions: Contact

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2018-2019 Season Announced for Victoria Theatre Association’s Broadway Series and Star Attractions

VTA_logo2018-2019 Broadway Series

OCTOBER 2-7, 2018

JANUARY 15-20, 2019

FEBRUARY 12-17, 2019

MARCH 5-10, 2019

APRIL 2-7, 2019

JUNE 25-30, 2019

2018-2019 BROADWAY SERIES SEASON TICKETS START AT $245 FOR ALL 6 SHOWS! Subscribe online at Ticket Center Stage, at the Box Office, or by phone at 937-228-3630 or 888-228-3630.

2018-2019 Star Attractions

OCTOBER 23-25, 2018

NOVEMBER 16 & 17, 2018

FEBRUARY 1 & 2, 2019

MAY 21-26

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Playhouse in the Park’s New Season is Music to Theatre Lovers’ Eyes and Ears

A version of this article was originally published online Feb. 27, 2018

By Rob Bucher

A Lin-Manuel Miranda musical, a stage adaptation of a Stephen King thriller and an original work exploring Cincinnati’s place in music recording history are just a sampling from Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s 2018-2019 season. For Artistic Director Blake Robison, the season also represents the Playhouse “continuing our commitment to gender equity as we move forward, eighty percent of the works this season are by women and artists of color.”

PIP_In the Heights promo

Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

That commitment also extends to the directing chair. Nationally-renowned director May Adrales makes her Playhouse debut with the Cincinnati premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winner for Best Musical, “In the Heights.” From his Washington Heights bodega, Usnavi follows the nonstop rhythm of this friends and family as they navigate their hopes and dreams, loves and losses, fortunes and fates.  A co-production with Seattle Repertory Theatre and Milwaukee Repertory Theater, performances begin Jan. 19, 2019 in the Marx Theater. Cincinnati audiences have the opportunity to see both of Miranda’s works in the order they were created.

“[In the Heights] is exactly the kind of show only Playhouse can do. Because of its scale, because we have the resources to produce on this level. You have to go to the Playhouse to see something like this. That is a service we provide to all of the theater lovers in Cincinnati area.” The Playhouse is blessed with a very loyal audience and boasts a 12,700 subscription base, the most of any theater in the Midwest, outside of Chicago.

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Philip Paul, legendary King Records session drummer. Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

A highlight of the Shelterhouse season is “Cincinnati King,” a world premiere musical about Cincinnati’s King Records, written and directed by Associate Artist, KJ Sanchez. Based on hundreds of interviews with people connected to the historic record label, the show features King Records’ hits including “The Twist,” “Blues Stay Away From Me,” “Fever,” and “Need Your Love So Bad.”

Originally planned as a documentary play, a staged concert reading in Washington Park in the summer of 2015 led the playwright to incorporate the songs more strongly in the script, creating a jukebox/documentary hybrid. “A juke-umentary,” Sanchez jokes. Also important to the playwright was the need to “hang on to the quality of the music, to capture that sound of the music; how it was played and recorded at the time.”

The two-time Tony Award-winning Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park announced in February 2017 that it would remain in Eden Park and move forward with a major capital campaign to replace the Playhouse’s current fifty-year-old mainstage theater with a new state-of-the-art facility commensurate with the Playhouse’s artistry and national reputation. In August, the selection of BHDP Architecture was approved by the PIP Board of Trustees. As plans are finalized, an exact fundraising goal along with designs for the future space is expected to be announced in the fall.

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Barbara Chisholm as Annie Wilkes. Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

The Marx Theatre season kicks off in September with a stage adaptation of the Stephen King classic, “Misery.” Romance novelist Paul Sheldon wakes from a winter car accident to find himself incapacitated and under the seemingly tender mercies of his “Number One Fan” Annie Wilkes (Barbara Chisholm, “Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End” 2017). Discovering he is more prisoner than patient, can Sheldon outwit his captor?

PIP_Miss Bennet promo

Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

The romantic comedy “Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley” continues the story begun in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Taking place two years later, the story shifts focus to middle sister Mary. An unexpected encounter at a holiday gathering offers the dutiful daughter a chance at love. Co-writer Lauren’s Gunderson’s play The Revolutionists was presented by the Playhouse in 2016.

The Cincinnati tradition that is Playhouse’s “A Christmas Carol” is back for the holidays. Bruce Cromer returns as Scrooge for his 14th year under the direction of Michael Evan Haney. This production is a season extra.

PIP_Two Trains Running promo

Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

In March, the Playhouse returns to the works of August Wilson with “Two Trains Running.” Set in 1960s Pittsburgh, long-time regulars gather at the local diner against the backdrop of the civil rights movement. Associate Artist Timothy Douglas (Wilson’s “Jitney” 2016), whom Robison describes as “one of the nation’s top interpreters of August Wilson’s work,” returns to direct this co-production with Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Cincinnati audiences can also see Wilson’s “Fences” in January.

PIP_Charlie Brown promo

Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

The Marx Season concludes with the third musical of the season, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts characters come to life on stage in a show that appeals across generations. New musical arrangements of the original 1967 production has the cast playing their own accompaniment. The production reunites the “Little Shop of Horrors” (2017) director Bill Fennelly with his male lead, Fairfield native Nick Cearley in the role of Linus.

PIP_The Roommate promo

Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

The Shelterhouse Theater season opens with Jen Silverman’s wickedly funny comedy “The Roommate.” Her play “All the Roads Home” received its world premiere at the Playhouse in early 2017. The life of recently divorced, 50-something Sharon goes off the rails when she opens her home to Robyn, a woman who needs a place to hide and a chance to start over.

The Second City, Chicago’s world famous improvisational theater troupe, makes their third appearance at Playhouse in the Park with the season extra, “It’s Not You, It’s Me.” This limited run of their latest show, one of the first performances outside of Chicago, examines modern dating and the age-old phenomenon of falling in love.

PIP_The Last Wide Open promo

Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

Robison takes the directorial reigns with the romantic world premiere of “The Last Wide Open” in February. A late-night thunderstorm traps young waitress Lina and co-worker Roberto, an Italian immigrant, alone in the restaurant at closing time. After years of little interaction, the two find their lives intersecting in surprising and mystical ways.

PIP_Thanksgiving Play promo

Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

In March, plans to create a culturally sensitive holiday program for elementary schools goes hilariously astray in Larissa FastHorse’s “The Thanksgiving Play,” Playhouse’s first production by a Native American playwright. Watch as the well-meaning plans of a group of liberal artists dissolve into a satirical send-up of “PC” behavior.

The final play title in the Shelterhouse Theatre season will be announced at a later date.

2018-2019 Marx Theatre Season

  • “Misery,” Sept. 1-29
  • “Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley,” Oct. 13-Nov. 10
  • “A Christmas Carol,” Nov. 21-Dec. 29*
  • “In The Heights,” Jan. 19-Feb. 17
  • “Two Trains Running,” March 2-30
  • “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” April 20-May 18

2018-2019 Shelterhouse Season

  • “The Roommate,” Sept. 22-Oct. 21
  • “Cincinnati King,” Nov. 3-Dec. 23
  • “It’s Not Me, It’s You,” Jan. 10-17*
  • “The Last Wide Open,” Feb. 9-March 10
  • “The Thanksgiving Play,” March 23-April 21
  • TBA, May 4-June 9

*Season Extras

For more information visit


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CBC Preview: OTHELLO and RED VELVET, a Pairing Three Years in the Making

A version of this article was originally published online Feb. 27, 2018

By Rob Bucher

During the month of March, Cincinnati audiences will be offered the unique opportunity to see both William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Othello” set in modern times and the contemporary script of “Red Velvet” set in 1800s London. Performances will take place blocks apart at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, respectively.

Shares ETC Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers: “I wanted to do Red Velvet for the last couple years. When the Shakespeare Company talked about doing Othello, I waited so that we could present it in the same year that they moved to our neighborhood.”

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Nicholas Rose as Iago & William Oliver Watkins as Othello. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

In “Othello,” the titular character, played by guest artist William Oliver Watkins, is a Moorish General of the Venetian army who elopes with Desdemona (Courtney Lucien), the daughter of a wealthy senator. His unfaithful ensign Iago (Nicholas Rose), bitterly jealous of his superior’s success, sets out to ruin Desdemona’s reputation and drive Othello to wild fits of jealousy.

Returning guest director Christopher V. Edwards (“A Raisin in the Sun” 2017) describes the setting of this production as “A Venice that is technologically and digitally capable, where war is the norm and not the exception. It is a nation with the responsibility of a superpower, where political and economic interests often outweigh ethical or moral concerns.”

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William Oliver Watkins as Othello & Courtney Lucien as Desdemona. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

The race of the title role is often seen as Shakespeare’s way of isolating the character, culturally as well as visually. During the 19th century, the role was frequently performed as an Arab Moor. Othello was first played by an African American actor in 1833 – and it is his story that is explored in “Red Velvet.”

Actor Ira Aldridge has enjoyed great success in the capitals of Europe. When Edmund Kean, regarded as the greatest actor of his generation, collapses while playing Othello, it is Aldridge who steps into the role and into the history books of the English stage. As the public riots in the streets over the abolition of slavery, how will audiences react to the revolution taking place in the theatre?

D. Lynn Meyers adds, “It’s a bold thing for a theater dedicated to new works to be presenting something that goes back 100 years, but we can’t move forward if we don’t confront our past.”

“Red Velvet” is directed by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips. In a way, Phillips’ return to ETC is a bit of a homecoming. It was a director internship with the company that originally brought Phillips to Cincinnati for 1998-99 season.

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Ken Early as Ira Aldridge. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

The cast is comprised of faces familiar to both Cincy Shakes and Ensemble audiences, with CSC Resident Ensemble Member Jeremy Dubin making his ETC debut. Leading the ensemble is Ken Early in the role of Ira Aldridge.

Adds Meyers: “Ken got his Equity card because of Ensemble. When I look at this [local] cast for Red Velvet and I look at the fact that [our last production] The Humans just broke all box office records and all but one actor was a local [performer]; this is a great thing…to celebrate the talent that is here and to have the opportunity on these stages for people to stay and work here.”

It is easy to argue that the true winners of this collaboration are the theater audiences.

“Othello” presented by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company runs March 2-24 with performances on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., as well as Saturday March 24 at 2 p.m.. Preview performances are February 28 and March 1 at 7:30 p.m. More information is available at

“Red Velvet” presented by Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. Performances run March 6-31. Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.; and Sunday at 7 p.m. More information is available online at

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