Big Brother is watching Cincinnati as Cincinnati Shakespeare Company presents the Regional Debut of 1984

CSC_1984 pormo

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

A searing new smash-hit adaptation of Orwell’s classic makes its regional debut with the Founding Creative Directors of Blink and LumenoCity joining the creative team.

Cincinnati, September 18, 2018 – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company continues its 25th Anniversary Season at The Otto M. Budig Theater with “1984”, a new adaptation of George Orwell’s classic novel by Robert Icke and Duncan MacMillan. “1984” runs October 12 – November 3, and is directed by Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips and features Resident Ensemble Members Justin McCombs and Sara Clark. This regional debut production will feature a revolutionary multimedia design by Brave Berlin, the Founding Creative Directors of Blink and LumenoCity, of light and sound that will create an immersive Orwellian theatrical experience!  This production is generously sponsored by The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, JR./U.S. Bank Foundation.

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 (Justin McCombs) falls in love with the lovely but mysterious Julia (Sara Clark), he stumbles upon a secret resistance movement and soon finds himself in crisis, tumbling down a rabbit hole and grappling with everything he thought that he believed.

This production is making its regional debut with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company fresh off a smash run on London’s West End and a special limited engagement on Broadway in 2017, that featured actress Olivia Wilde (House) as Julia.

1984 is interesting because groups of all political persuasions have used it to justify their stances,” says Producing Artistic Director and Director of 1984,Brian Isaac Phillips. “This is an intimate and visceral story that also grapples with broader questions about truth, and what happens when truth is deemed inconvenient or even dangerous.”

“When we programmed 1984 for this season, we knew it was going to be a powerful and relevant experience,” says Mr. Phillips “And since the technology and surveillance aspect is such a huge part of this story and production, we knew we had to reach out to visionaries like Brave Berlin. Their work in Cincinnati on Blink and LumenoCity was the exact type of groundbreaking storytelling we wanted to do with this production.”

“We continue to be in awe of the creative brilliance behind LumenoCity and Blink that Brave Berlin has brought to Cincinnati,” says Executive Director, Jay Woffington. “By presenting 1984 with Brave Berlin’s multimedia collaboration, we are hoping to give Cincinnatians a new opportunity to experience the awe and beauty of lights and sound projections during this off-year of Blink.”

The immersive experience will begin outside of the theater- on the building and in the windows. “It was important to us that anyone in Cincinnati be able to experience some part of this collaboration,” says Mr. Phillips “and so we hope that people walking down the street in OTR or in the park will look up and see a spectacle that challenges their views of surveillance.”

Steve McGowan of Brave Berlin says “We are constantly looking for experimental work that push creative boundaries in the medium of film and live theater. When we abstractly considered all that is happening in the world right now, tech fear, surveillance paranoia, and the reality of a 24 hour news cycle, we were all in!” Dan Reynolds of Brave Berlin says that “this production will challenge our audience in new ways – emotionally and physically. The story is already so relevant and visceral, that when you tell it with an innovative multimedia experience like the one we will be creating- let’s just say I hope folks are ready!”

1984 runs October 12 – November 3 with performances on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM, as well as Saturday November 3 at 2:00 PM.  Preview performances are Wednesday, October 10 and Thursday, October 11 at 7:30 PM.

Single ticket prices range from $14-$54.  Previews on Wednesday, October 10 and Thursday, October 11 are $30.  Advance student tickets are only $28 and day-of Student Rush tickets are $14 and may be purchased thirty minutes before a show with a valid student ID if available. This production is a part of this season’s subscription package. Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted. Ticketing fees may apply.  To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at

On Saturday, October 7, and Sunday, October 8, bring your younger kids (4+) for artist-led childcare DURING the performance! The “Playdate” program is only $15 and free for subscribers. The option to add this program will be available as you are buying tickets for either of these show dates. Activities will range from storytime to theatre games and crafts. Share the great benefits of CSC’s programming with your children: Playdate will style activities to correspond with each production, so even your youngest can join in the discussion on the ride home!

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is located at The Otto M. Budig Theater at 1195 Elm Street in OTR, adjacent to Washington Park.  There are many parking spaces available on the street and in nearby lots and garages- for more information visit

Valet Parking is also offered by CSC for every performance! Make reservations for $15 in advance when purchasing tickets. Purchasing in advance guarantees a spot at the discounted rate of $15 (vs. $20+ at the curb).  Valet is available right at the corner of 12th and Elm Street in front of the theater and begins approx. 1.5 hours before a performance. Cars can be picked up for up to one hour following a performance. (After one hour, you will need to arrange pick up with the valet service directly.) The valet will have your name on the list after you purchase- it’s that easy!


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 Theatre 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 Brave Berlin:
Brave Berlin exists to champion the courageous and to help them bring their big ideas to life. They do this by providing world class creative, design and production services for companies and individuals with a story to tell or an idea to spread. They enable bold thinkers and apply decades of craft and experience to help close the gap between great ideas and great ideas realized.

About The 2018-2019 25th Anniversary Season:
The season is generously sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.  The 25th Anniversary sponsor is the The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, JR./U.S. Bank Foundation.  This season is funded by ArtsWave.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company receives operating support from The Ohio Arts Council, the Shubert Foundation.  The season’s marketing design sponsor is POSSIBLE. 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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