Casts Announced for NKU Play Festival

NKU_Yes Festival 19 logoHIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY – Northern Kentucky University’s School of the Arts Theatre and Dance Program has announced the casts for three plays that will receive their world-premiere productions in the 19th Biennial Year-End Series (Y.E.S.) Festival. Performances will take place April 3-14, 2019 at the NKU Fine Arts Center.

New to Hollywood, a naive young actor named Dennis is cast in the new James Dean film, and though he’s at first unimpressed with his idiosyncratic co-star, he’s soon seduced by Dean’s mysterious talent. Dean agrees to mentor Dennis, but as they co-star in two films across the spring and summer of 1955, both find themselves struggling to understand what it means to be a great actor, and a good man, before they lose their chance to be either.


  • James Dean: Landis Helwig
  • Dennis: Charles Adams
  • Natalie: Rachel Kazee
  • Liz / Natalie’s Mother: Sarah Hack
  • Rock / Corey: Austin Adams
  • Nick / Stevens: Alex Slade
  • Mary: Katie Tierney
  • Bobby: Brayden Glass
  • Reporter / Asst. Director: Kylie Flick
  • Figment A: Jerrod Gruber
  • Figment B: Raven Burns-Gibson
  • Figment C: Brooke Hardin
  • Figment D: Tyler Rosenblatt
  • Figment E: Nick Palazzolo

Performances (in Corbett Theatre):

  • Wednesday, April 3, 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 6, 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 7, 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 10, 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, April 12, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 13, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 14, 2 p.m.

INITIATIVE by Jacob York
Dave has a particularly aggressive form of cancer. He looks at his life and all he sees are holes; the moments he won’t be able to have, if this cancer is successful in its malign task. He only sees one way out: Dungeons and Dragons. The only way he’ll experience all the memories he counted on having is through his friends creating them around him at the gaming table. A play about friends and the lengths you’ll go for them, Initiative examines stories and why we tell them. And what unexpected demons can lie within.


  • Dave: Brandon Critchfield
  • Meg: Piper Bates
  • Tyrone: James Dawson
  • Sky: Kali Marsh
  • Benny: Trevor Browning
  • NPC #1: Reagan Ruth
  • NPC #2: Timothy Belton

Performances (in Stauss Theatre):

  • Thursday, April 4, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 6, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 7, 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 11, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 13, 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 14, 5 p.m.

THE BLACK BOY IN PINK by Isaiah Reaves
The year is 1959. Wyatt Frost is a young black man who has been forced to make hard choices to survive. Flickering across his fuzzy RCA Victor television set comes the possibility of a different existence. As his life becomes entangled with the legacy of a picturesque local wealthy family, will Wyatt be able to choose the life he has always wanted? Will he be able to color pink his otherwise black and white existence? The Black Boy in Pink is a bold new work by a young provocative playwright set in his hometown of Cincinnati.


  • Wyatt: Je’Shaun Jackson
  • Rudolph: Thomas Smith
  • Douglas: Nathaniel Clifford
  • Iris: Sally Modzelewski
  • Vincent: Cameron Myers
  • Blair: Haley Gillman
  • Wyatt’s Mother (Off Stage Voice): Gabriela Barbosa Gonzalez

Performances (in The Henry Konstantinow Studio Theatre):

  • Friday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 6, 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 7, 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 10, 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, April 12, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 13, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 14, 2 p.m.

Single tickets are $15 general admission or 2-show package for $25. Student tickets are $10 or 2-show package for $15. The Black Boy in Pink will have free admission, but reservations are required due to limited seating. Please visit the YES Festival website at for more information or call the Box Office at (859) 572-5464.

### NKU ###

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