Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Announces the 25th Anniversary Season at The Otto M. Budig Theater

The nation’s fastest growing Shakespeare company turns 25!

 CINCINNATI (February 21, 2018 @ 8pm) – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC) announced the titles for its 25th Anniversary at The Otto M. Budig Theater in an event on February 21.  CSC’s 2018-2019 Season is generously sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation and all productions will feature Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Resident Company of Actors.

“It is almost hard to believe that it has only been 25 years since Cincinnati Shakespeare Company became Cincinnati’s stage for the classics!  This organization has accomplished so much in a relatively short span of time as it continues to look towards the future. The season ahead is a fantastic example of that!” said Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips who is celebrating his 16th Anniversary as leader of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

“Next season, we are thrilled to offer three powerful plays by our house playwright William Shakespeare, which celebrate the best of the Bard! One of his most beloved comedies (Twelfth Night), his most moving romance (The Winter’s Tale), and his most exciting tragedy (Macbeth) are all sure to delight and move new and long-time lovers of Shakespeare,” says Mr. Phillips.  In addition to these classics of the canon, CSC is also exploring new territory by producing works by artists new to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s stage. For the first time the geniuses of August Wilson (Fences), Stephen Sondheim (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), and Georges Feydeau (A Flea in Her Ear) will be on the stage, as well as George Orwell (1984) in a regional premiere of the recent West End and Broadway hit.

“Presenting the company’s first musical has been a long time dream of mine and has been requested by our patrons for many years” says Mr. Phillips. “Now that we have the new theater and added space we can fully realize this vision.” CSC welcomes Choreographer Vince DeGeorge to the creative team to design the dance elements for “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”. Mr. DeGeorge is Assistant Professor and Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting for the Lyric Stage at University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM) teaching both directing and choreographing.  Since 2013, while at CCM, Vince has directed and choreographed 12 productions to rave reviews and accolades.  CSC also welcomes Music Director Erin McCamley who will direct and lead the live music used in the production.  Ms. McCamley is a Cincinnati native that is now New York based and has music directed for The Carnegie, CCM, Know Theatre Cincinnati, Showbiz Players, and more.  She is also a co-founder of the Queen City Queer Theatre Collective (QCQCTC).  “Besides,” Mr. Phillips adds, “what better way to celebrate our 25th Anniversary than by having a Toga Party?!”

CSC is also thrilled to welcome new and distinguished collaborators to the Director’s Chair next season! New to CSC will be Christopher Luscombe, Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) directing “The Winter’s Tale”.  While at the RSC, Mr. Luscombe directed “Shakespeare Revue”, which transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre in London. Mostly recently at the RSC, Mr. Luscombe directed the hit production of “Twelfth Night” which closed Feb. 24, 2018 and was played live in cinemas in February 2018.  Subsequent productions at Stratford include “Love’s Labour’s Lost” and “Much Ado About Nothing”, both of which transferred to the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in the West End. In addition to the Royal Shakespeare Company and Stratford, he now adds Cincinnati Shakespeare Company to his list of directing credits that also includes such institutions as Shakespeare’s Globe, Menier Chocolate Factory, Lyric Theatre, Apollo Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Oxford Stage Company, and more.

The director of “Twelfth Night” will be Austin Tichenor, co-managing partner of the Reduced Shakespeare Company. “CSC has been a long-time fan and producer of Austin’s works such as ‘The Complete History of America (abridged)’ and ‘The Complete History of America (abridged)’. We connected with him during our work with the Shakespeare Theatre Association and we are thrilled he has decided to join us next season and bring his comedic eye to our holiday time Shakespeare, ‘Twelfth Night’”!  Austin recently performed at Cincinnati Playhouse in “The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)” as a co-writer, co-director, and actor.

CSC also welcomes back Christopher V. Edwards to direct CSC’s first ever August Wilson work, “Fences”.  Christopher directed last season’s powerful hit “A Raisin in the Sun” and is currently directing “Othello” opening March 2, 2018 at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.  Mr. Edwards was recently named the Artistic Director of Actors Shakespeare Project (ASP) in Boston, MA.  Prior to ASP, he was the Artistic Director of Nevada Conservatory Theatre (NCT) in Las Vegas.  In addition to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Mr. Edwards has worked in London’s West End, Off-Broadway, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, Utah Shakespeare Festival, SOHO Rep, and the Guthrie Theatre to name a few.

Directing the other productions in the season will be members of CSC artistic team.  Associate Artistic Director Sara Clark will be directing “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged); Associate Artist Miranda McGee will be directing “Macbeth” in her mainstage debut after directing CSC’S FREE Shakespeare in the Park tour; Director of Creative Education, Jeremy Dubin will be directing “A Flea in Her Ear” and “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!)”; and Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips will open the season by directing “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “1984”.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company continues to offer audiences great value with affordable, flexible subscriptions that include flexible tickets that can be used in any combination for any performance. Adult Subscriptions in packages of 7 tickets are $324, Senior Subscriptions are $290, and Student Subscriptions are $179.  Budget-conscious patrons can also subscribe to the company’s preview series.  A Preview Subscription is just $200 and includes seven tickets that can be used for any preview performance, typically Wednesday and Thursday evenings before Opening Night.  All subscriptions are currently on sale now and may be purchased through the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company website or box office by calling 513-381-BARD (2273) ext. 1.  Single tickets for all shows will go on sale Monday April 2, 2018 but the recommended way to get the best price and first access to seats is by becoming a subscriber!  There are also discounts available for students, seniors, local residents, and community partners.


The 2018-2019 25th Anniversary Season at The Otto M. Budig Theater is as follows:

September 7- 29, 2018
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Originally Produced on Broadway by Harold S. Prince

CSC_Forum 4_preview
Matthew Lewis Johnson as Pseudolus. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

It’s Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s 25th anniversary season! How are going to celebrate? Two words: Toga Party. Come see the CSC ensemble as you’ve never seen them before- in their first full blown MUSICAL! Shenanigans, hijinks and tomfoolery abound as a lowly slave by the name of Pseudolus endeavors to scheme his way to freedom in Stephen Sondheim’s antic romp through Ancient Rome.

October 12- November 3, 2018
1984 by George Orwell
a new play by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan

CSC_1984 pormo
Sara Clark as Julia in 1984. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

In a dystopian future where persecution masquerades as patriotism and surveillance as security, the shadowy government entity known only as Big Brother watches your every move. When Winston Smith stumbles upon a secret resistance movement, he soon finds himself in dire straits, tumbling down a rabbit hole and grappling with everything he thought that he believed. Fresh off a smash run on London’s West End and a special limited engagement on Broadway, the regional premiere of this taut political and psychological thriller is not to be missed.

November 16- December 8, 2018
William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

CSC_Twelfth Night 4_preview
Caitlin McWethy as Viola. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

What do you get when you combine a shipwreck, a cross-dressed Lady, a lovelorn Lord, a fickle Countess, a drunken uncle, a flamboyant fop, an uptight servant, a mischievous clown, a protective pirate and an identical twin? You get the kind of delightfully and deliciously twisted knot that only Shakespeare can untie. CSC invites you to celebrate the holiday season with one of the Bard’s most lively, lovely and lyrical comedies Twelfth Night.

 January 25- February 16, 2019
August Wilson’s Fences

Set against the backdrop of 1950’s Pittsburgh, August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning drama tells the story of Troy Maxson, a one-time star of the Negro baseball leagues who now works as a garbage man, holding court and expounding on life from the chair in his backyard. Due to his race, Troy was denied his shot at the big league, so when his son Cory wants his own chance to play ball, Troy’s bitterness and resentment threaten to tear their relationship apart.

March 1- 17, 2019
William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale

An irrational and unfounded jealousy has consumed Leontes, the king of Sicilia. Convinced his wife Hermione has been carrying on an affair, he unleashes his rage upon her and their newborn child, whom he banishes to the wilderness. The consequences of his actions unfold over many years, in ways no one, most of all Leontes could have anticipated. Shakespeare’s magical tale of wrath and redemption, of loves lost and then found is a sure way to warm the heart on a cold winter’s night.

April 5- May 4, 2019
William Shakespeare’s Macbeth

CSC_Macbeth 1_preview
Kelly Mengelkoch as Lady Macbeth. All photos by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

When the noble Scottish Lord Macbeth sees a path to power open up before him, he is determined to trod that path to its bloody end, consequences (and maybe himself) be damned. With his ruthless wife at his side, the two plot a Machiavellian course to put and to keep Macbeth on the Scottish throne. Shakespeare’s heart-pounding thrill ride of a play is a harrowing exploration of ambition, morality, tyranny and corruption.

May 17- June 3, 2019
A Flea in Her Ear
A new version of Georges Feydeau’s farce by David Ives

CSC_Flea 1_preview
Sara Clark as Lucienne and Kelly Mengelkoch as Raymonde.

Come spend a hilarious evening in Paris’s most notorious hotel, The Frisky Puss, where the bourgeoist of the bourgeoisie let their peccadilloes out to play. Propriety takes a vacation, and ribaldry rules the roost, as a colorful cast of characters runs amok through the corridors, leaving chaos and occasionally clothing in their wake. David Ives fresh translation of Georges Feydeau’s classic turn-of-the-century French sex farce will have you rolling in the aisles, so make yourself a reservation and allons-y!

Special Events*

July 20- August 11, 2018
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)
by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, & Jess Winfield

What better way to celebrate the start of the 25th Anniversary Season than by doing all of Shakespeare’s canon – in one evening! The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) features three actors on a mission: to bring the entirety of Shakespeare’s works to life on the stage in one fell swoop. Gallop along with us as we careen wildly through all the comedies, histories and tragedies using a trunkful of props, wigs, and outrageous costumes – it’s a joyous Shakespeare jambalaya you definitely don’t want to miss.

December 14-30, 2018
Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)*
by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez

CSC’s holiday smash hit Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) is back! What begins as another annual production of A Christmas Carol, soon devolves into a slightly irreverent look at all of our favorite “Beloved Holiday Classics” including It’s a Wonderful Life, Frosty, Rudolph, Charlie Brown and more! Three actors (with the help of Santa) send up everything from Dickens to Dr. Seuss in 90 minutes of high octane jollity and frivolity.
*Not part of the subscription package


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.  In the summer of 2017, the theater relocated 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.  Each year, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Education and Outreach Programs reach 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 2018-2019 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.  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


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