November 29-December 30, 2018
(Cincinnati, OH) Ain’t no party like a Wonderland tea party! Ignite your sense of adventure by joining the ever-curious Alice and her bubbly friends this holiday season as Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC) presents the return of one of its most popular and cherished family-friendly musicals Alice in Wonderland, playing November 28-December 30, 2018. Based on the adored, imaginative tale by Lewis Carroll, the fantastical classic receives a sassy, contemporary spin by local creative team Joseph McDonough (playwright) and David Kisor (composer and lyricist). Featuring an updated score along with ETC’s hallmark of exuberant, colorful costumes, it is sure to be a sweet holiday treat for the entire family.
This year’s Alice in Wonderland is the fifth time it will have appeared onstage and also marks the 20th anniversary of when ETC first commissioned and produced it in 1998 (subsequently presented in 2003, 2008, and 2012). Directed by D. Lynn Meyers. Production Sponsor is Macy’s. Queen of Hearts Sponsor is Messer.
“Ensemble Theatre commissioned Alice based on the fact that so many people—spanning multiple generations—know and love the story, so we thought it was time to ask why. In creating the show, it is clear that at its heart is an enduring sense of joy and wonder. Our writers David Kisor and Joe McDonough have captured that so beautifully, and as an audience we get to unwrap the fun together.” says Producing Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers.
Additionally, this year marks the 25th anniversary of ETC’s Fairy Godmother Program presented each season in conjunction with the holiday production. Created in tribute of late Cincinnati actress Ginny Hoffman, since 1993 this program has brought more than 1,200 economically disadvantaged children annually to the theatre to be among first audiences to share and experience the fun before the show opens to the public.
About the Cast
Deej Ragusa (Alice) has appeared at Ensemble Theatre in When We Were Young and Unafraid and Violet. Seen in the Off-Broadway U.S. premiere of A Little Princess, Ms. Ragusa also appeared in New York in Lyrics for Life. Her other local credits include A Christmas Carol, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; and Label-Less (directed by Drew and Lea Lachey) and You Can’t Take It With You, SCPA. Her film credits include Red Ink by Seth Friedman and A Christmas Melody directed by Mariah Carey.
Deb G. Girdler (Queen of Hearts) has appeared numerous times on ETC’s stage, often as the villain in the holiday shows. Some of her ETC credits include The Dancing Princesses, Cinderella, Hands on a Hardbody, Around the World in 80 Days, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland (2012), The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and The Frog Princess. Ms. Girdler has appeared at the Olney Theatre as the Fairy Godmother in the now-official version of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella as well as in La Cage Aux Folles at the Gateway Playhouse in New Jersey. She can be seen in the feature films Carol and First Kill. A CCM graduate, she began her career on the Showboat Majestic and has worked off-Broadway, in regional theatre, and in summer stock for over thirty years.
Michael G. Bath (White Rabbit) returns for his 22nd consecutive holiday show with Ensemble Theatre, where he has also appeared in Fly By Night, The Dancing Princesses, Cinderella: After Ever After, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Hands on a Hardbody, among others. Other regional credits include Superior Donuts with Clifton Players and Angels in America at Know Theatre. Mr. Bath has also performed with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, the Performance Gallery, Showboat Majestic, and Stage First Cincinnati.
Sara Mackie (Mad Hatter) is a graduate of the Wright State Acting BFA Program. She has performed with ETC in many productions since 1999 including Hands on a Hardbody, all three Wonderette iterations, Rabbit Hole, and Mauritius, among others. Other credits include An Act of God, Twelfth Night, Family Ties, and the premiere staged readings of 3 new musical works, Human Race Theatre Company; Pump Boys and Dinettes and The Sandman, The Carnegie; and Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, Falcon Theatre. Ms. Mackie also appears briefly in Emilio Estevez’s film The Public.
Kate Wilford (Tweedledee) has appeared in ETC’s productions of Cinderella: After Ever After, Violet, Cinderella, Luna Gale, Becky’s New Car, Good People, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, and many others. She has appeared at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in Romeo And Juliet, The Cherry Orchard, All My Sons, and Bedroom Farce. Regionally, she has also worked at The Lyceum Theatre, Beef N Boards, Westgate Theatre, The Kenley Players, and was a founding member of The Troupe in Cincinnati as well as directed at Xavier University, Thomas More College, and Cincinnati Children’s Theatre.
Phil Fiorini (Tweedledum) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in Fly By Night, as well as Violet, Sleeping Beauty, and Hands on a Hardbody. He recently performed in Taylor Mac’s Hir at Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City where he then also appeared in La Cage Aux Folles and The Legend of Georgia McBride at Kansas Repertory Theatre. Mr. Fiorini was seen in The Realistic Joneses at Clifton Performance Theatre and spent three years on the Broadway tour of The Lion King as Pumbaa the Warthog.
Darnell Pierre Benjamin (March Hare) has been seen at Ensemble Theatre in The Dancing Princesses, Cinderella: After Ever After, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Cinderella, and Detroit ’67. Regional credits include Titus Andronicus, To Kill a Mockingbird, Angels in America, Othello, Taming of the Shrew, and A Raisin in the Sun.
Mr. Benjamin won Michigan’s 2013 Wilde Award for “Best of the Bard” with his performance as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre.
Jared D. Doren (Mock Turtle) is a local actor, director, and alumnus of the 1995-1996 ETC Professional Acting Intern Program. He was most recently seen in First Date at ETC and Is That All There Is? with the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Local directing credits include Small Engine Repair and All New People, Untethered Theatre; Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune and Bus Stop, New Edgecliff Theatre; Assassins, And Then There Were None, and The Elephant Man, Falcon Theatre; and Pump Boys and Dinettes, Carnegie Arts Center.
Ken Early (Caterpillar/Butterfly) last appeared at ETC in Red Velvet and The Dancing Princesses. His other ETC credits include Around the World in 80 Days, The Whipping Man, Grey Gardens, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and The Frog Princess. Other regional credits include Misery, August Wilson’s Jitney, and To Kill a Mockingbird, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Of Mice and Men, and To Kill a Mockingbird, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; Pluto, Harry and the Thief, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and Adding Machine the Musical, Know Theatre of Cincinnati; and On Golden Pond, Human Race Theatre Company.
Andrew Maloney (Dormouse) is back on the Ensemble Theatre stage where he was last seen in The Dancing Princesses and First Date. His other ETC credits include Violet, Around the World in 80 Days, Alice in Wonderland, and Snow White. Internationally, he appeared in the Ecuadorian premiere of West Side Story at the Teatro Nacional Sucre in Quito, Ecuador. His recent credits include Rent, Assassins, The Little Mermaid, and A Chorus Line.
Brooke Steele (Cheshire Cat) has appeared numerous times at Ensemble Theatre, where some of her favorite credits include Violet, Cinderella, and The Marvelous Wonderettes. Most recently, Ms. Steele was seen in Fly By Night at ETC and Noises Off! at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. When not performing, she teaches with Community Arts Initiatives.
Rounding out the ensemble cast are this season’s Professional Acting Apprentices Zoe Rose Davidson (Card 5), Ben Jacobs (Card 7), and Jake Stibbe (Card 2).
Production team: Brian c. Mehring (Resident Scenic and Lighting Designer), Jack Murphy (Technical Director), Matthew Hollstegge (Production Manager), Shannon Rae Lutz (Properties Master & Design Assistant), Matt Callahan (Sound Designer), Scot Woolley (Musical Director), Dee Anne Bryll (Choreographer), Reba Senske (Costume Designer), and Kelly Yurko (Wig & Makeup Designer). Production Stage Manager is Brandon T. Holmes. Assistant Stage Manager is Lexi Muller.
Tuesday-Saturday at 7:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm; and Sunday at 6:00 pm. A complete calendar of performances is available online at www.ensemblecincinnati.org.
Ticket prices start at $54 for adults; student tickets are $28; and children are $24. Half-Price Rush Tickets: All remaining tickets for the current day’s performance(s) are available two hours prior to each show time for half-price (discount only applies to adult tickets) when purchasing by phone or in person. $15 Student Rush Tickets: Students may purchase up to two $15 student rush tickets two hours prior to show time with valid student I.D. Available in person only.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is supported, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.
The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
2018-2019 Season Presenting Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation. Additional support provided PNC.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. We fulfill our mission through our stage productions and educational outreach programs that enlighten, enliven, enrich and inspire our audiences.