Romantic comedy explores the role of fate in love and life
CINCINNATI—Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park will present the world premiere of SOONER/LATER in the Shelterhouse Theatre March 24 (Opening Night is March 29). The play will run through April 21 with support from The Rosenthal Family Foundation, Season Sponsor of New Work.
Written by Allyson Currin, SOONER/LATER is a captivating story with a metaphysical twist that navigates the tricky paths of romance, marriage, and parenting, while examining the role of fate in each one.
“While the play has serious themes, humor is my default setting,” Currin explains. “I don’t think I can write anything without packing in laughs. I prefer plays that make me laugh, so that’s what I try to write. I aspire to write plays that speak to the widest range of the human experience, and that includes both humor and pathos. It is my belief that plays that do both are the most universal and the easiest to care about.”
Currin was previously commissioned by the Playhouse to write High School Alien for the Playhouse’s Education and Outreach Series, and it toured to Greater Cincinnati schools and community centers in 2015.
In SOONER/LATER, single mother Nora somewhat reluctantly re-enters the dating scene. From the not-so-sidelines, her teenage daughter Lexie watches with particular — and highly vested interest — the mistakes her mom seems to make over and over again as she searches for the perfect partner. Following a series of inappropriate matches and then a string of prospect no-shows, Nora finds herself on the verge of giving up for good.
That’s when Griff improbably enters the picture — first as an inadvertent witness to Nora’s dating disasters and, ultimately, as a surprising and not-entirely-comfortable new suitor. But when complications inevitably arise, SOONER/LATER’s three characters must navigate fate’s unavoidable turns, exploring what happens when life moves from a world of possibility to one of certainty.
“With the character of Lexie, I gave myself a really special (and artistically luxuriant) opportunity to explore the dichotomies in teenagers, not only in terms of character but in structure as well,” Currin says. “I admire and respect the teen experience, and one of my biggest pet peeves is when older generations dismiss the intensity of that experience. It’s profound and important and formative… and should be treated as such in dramatic literature.”
Playhouse artistic director Blake Robison was immediately excited with the script for SOONER/LATER, which he describes as “smart, funny and heartbreaking, all at the same time.” He chose to make it the second consecutive world premiere production in the Playhouse’s Shelterhouse season this year. The fact that both premieres (the other being Deborah Zoe Laufer’s Be Here Now) are written by up-and-coming female playwrights is not coincidental.
“In recent years, the Playhouse has made a strong commitment to producing new plays by female playwrights, who have been underrepresented historically on our stages,” says Robison. “Ally is a rising star in the theatre world, and I wanted to make sure that Cincinnati audiences get to hear her voice.”
Mary Bacon as Nora, Todd Cerveris as Griff & Olivia Cygan as Lexie.
Lisa Rothe (Director); Narelle Sissons (Set Designer); Theresa Squire (Costume Designer); Barbara Samuels (Lighting Designer); Joe Payne (Sound Design and Composition); Stephanie Klapper (Casting Director); Brooke Redler (Stage Manager).
Playwriting for Young Audiences with Allyson Currin
Saturday, March 31, 10 a.m. at the Playhouse. Cost is $50 per person. Open to adults and teens (16-year-olds and above). Please call the Playhouse Box Office to reserve your spot at 513-421-3888.
Evening performances on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays start at 7:30 p.m;
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. Matinee performance on Saturdays start at 4pm, Sundays at 2 p.m. as well as on Wednesday, March 28 at 1 p.m. Meet the Artists are scheduled after matinee performances on April 1 and 8, as well as after evening performances on April 11 and 19.
Prices for SOONER/LATER 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 www.cincyplay.com.
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).
Atkins & Pearce is the Artist sponsor. The Shelterhouse Theatre Season is presented by Heidelberg Distributing Company. The Season Sponsor of New Work is The Rosenthal Family Foundation. The Shelterhouse Theatre Season Design Sponsor is Allan Berliant and Jennie Rosenthal Berliant Family Fund. The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust provided additional support.
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.