Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Announces the 2019-2020 Season at The Otto M. Budig Theater, The Season of the Woman

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Women take center stage in Cincinnati Shakespeare’s new season

 CINCINNATI (March 6, 2019)– Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC) announced the titles for its 2019-2020 Season at The Otto M. Budig Theater in an event on March 6.  This season will feature Women, on stage and off, in The Season of the Woman.  CSC’s 2018-2019 Season is generously sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation, The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, and ArtsWave and all productions will feature Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Resident Company of Actors.

From June of 1919 to August of 1920, these United States passed and ratified the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. In commemoration of this centennial, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will shine the spotlight on the Women of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, both onstage and off, as they join organizations across the city to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage with “The Season of the Woman.”

Beginning in July, they will present the Regional Premiere production of Miss Holmes, which adapts the classic mystery series and reimagines the iconic Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as two women solving crimes in Victorian England. They will examine the relationships of women in politics in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, with the title character re-gendered as a woman. Audiences will watch two women win the day over infamous trickster Falstaff through their own uniquely feminine wits and wiles in Shakespeare’s hilarious comedy, The Merry Wives of Windsor set directly in the era of suffrage. And audiences will bear witness to Shakespeare’s searing depiction of both female power and violence against women in his bloodiest tragedy, Titus Andronicus.

Cincinnati Shakespeare is thrilled to welcome female playwrights and female authors to their stage as they present a fresh adaption of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice by Kate Hamill. They will tell the story of a family in turmoil centered on a powerhouse matriarch in the modern classic August: Osage County by Tracy Letts. And they will close the season with the Regional Premiere of the heartwarming story behind the friends who saved William Shakespeare’s plays from disappearance in Book of Will by Lauren Gunderson, the most produced female playwright in America.

CSC will showcase its first commission from a living playwright in over a decade. In 2017, the top two most produced playwrights in America were William Shakespeare and Lauren Gunderson. Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips says, “We can’t ask Will. So we asked Lauren. And she said yes! In 2020, CSC will feature a developmental reading of a brand new play by Lauren Gunderson: a contemporary, female-focused sequel to Shakespeare’s Hamlet.”

And finally during the season, because the passage of the 19th Amendment, while worthy of celebration, did not in fact guarantee voting rights for all, Cincinnati Shakespeare will be presenting All The Way by Robert Schenkkan. Set in the tumultuous 1960s, this modern classic tells story of LBJ’s fight to enact the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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. Subscription packages start at $284.  All subscriptions are currently on sale now and may be purchased through the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company website http://www.cincyshakes.com or box office by calling 513-381-BARD (2273) ext. 1.  Single tickets for all shows will go on sale Monday April 1, 2019 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 2019-2020 “Season of the Woman” at The Otto M. Budig Theater is as follows:

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Kelly Mengelkoch as MISS HOLMES. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Miss Holmes*
By Christopher M. Walsh
Based on characters by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
July 19 – August 4, 2019

When a young newlywed suspects her husband, a high-ranking investigator at Scotland Yard, has murdered his previous two wives, she fears she has nowhere to turn. But the game is afoot when her case is taken by two fiercely intelligent and independent women who refuse to be contained by the conventions of their time: Miss Sherlock Holmes and her stalwart companion Doctor Dorothy Watson. This clever reimagining of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic characters pits its heroes not only against cunning criminal masterminds, but also against the rigid and restrictive rules of Victorian society and the roles in which it is bent on casting them.  

August: Osage County
By Tracy Letts
Pride

This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning family drama centers around Violet, the pill-addicted and scathingly manipulative matriarch of the Westin family. When her husband disappears, the rest of the clan is brought together for an unexpected reunion where old wounds are reopened and buried secrets brought to light. By turns vicious, funny, harrowing, and heartbreaking, August: Osage County is an American classic in the making.  

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Miranda McGee as Tamora & Darnell Pierre Benjamin as Aaron in TITUS ANDRONICUS. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

William Shakespeare’s
Titus Andronicus
October 11 – November 2, 2019

This Halloween season, murder, mayhem, and mutilation abound, as Shakespeare’s bloodiest play descends on the CSC stage. Roman general Titus Andronicus returns victorious from 10 years of war, his archnemesis Tamora Queen of the Goths in tow and in chains. But when Rome’s rash and impetuous new Emperor decides not only to free her, but to marry her and make her his queen, she embarks upon a remorseless course of revenge. As she and Titus engage in an escalating cycle of violence and vengeance, the body count rises and Rome threatens to fall.      

William Shakespeare’s
The Merry Wives of Windsor
November 15 – December 7, 2019

The bawdy, bombastic, and chronically cash-poor Sir John Falstaff has been raising hell in the quiet town of Windsor. When his massive bar tab outstrips his meager means, he needs to raise some cash—and quick. He hatches a plan to seduce two of Windsor’s most wealthily married women, but when they catch wind of his salacious scheme, they turn the tables on their would-be wooer, joining forces to teach him a lesson he won’t soon forget. 

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)*
By Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald, and John K. Alvarez
December 13 – 29, 2019

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. 

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Sylvester Little, Jr. as Martin Luther King Jr. in ALL THE WAY. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

All the Way
By Robert Schenkkan
January 24 – February 15, 2020

1964. In the wake of an assassination that shook a nation to its core, a larger-than-life figure is propelled into the national spotlight. Faced with civil unrest at home and an unpopular war abroad, accidental president Lyndon B. Johnson struggles at the eleventh hour to get the hotly contested Civil Rights Act across the finish line, and to keep an already divided country from tearing itself apart. Don’t miss the professional regional premiere of this epic political thriller. 

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Caitlin McWethy as Elizabeth & Courtney Lucien as Jane in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Pride and Prejudice
By Kate Hamill
adapted from the novel by Jane Austen
February 28 – March 28, 2020

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” One of the single most beloved stories of all time returns to the CSC stage in a fresh new adaptation which critics are calling “delightfully different,” “fizzy and festive,” and “unlike any adaptation of Jane Austen one has seen before.” Sweepingly romantic, with a good dose of the tongue-in-cheek, Pride and Prejudice follows the affaires de cœur of the witty and willful Elizabeth Bennet, as she finds that the path to true love can lead to the most unexpected of places. 

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Sara Clark as HAMLET. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

William Shakespeare’s
Hamlet
April 10 – May 9, 2020

The mysterious death of a king is followed by his brother’s unconventional ascension to the throne. The Queen’s bed casts young Hamlet, usurped heir to the crown, in the role of reluctant avenger. Incest and intrigue, murder and madness, triumph and treachery all combine to paint one of the most complex and compelling portraits in all of English literature. 

The Book of Will
By Lauren Gunderson
May 22 – June 14, 2020

This funny, irreverent, and irresistibly charming tale shows us just how close we came to losing the legacy of the most influential writer in Western civilization. Three years after the death of William Shakespeare, John Heminges and Henry Condell, former colleagues and friends of the Bard, contend with egotistical actors, bootleg knockoffs, and a ticking clock to ensure that the First Folio gets published, and that the works of William Shakespeare don’t end up on the trash heap of history. 

*Season Specials

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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 2019-2020 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 www.cincyshakes.com.

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