Monthly Archives: April 2019

DRY LAND Coming to Liberty Exhibition Hall April 24-27

CPT_Dry Land logoWhat helps us float isn’t always what we’d expect.

APRIL 19, 2019 —Tristate audiences are invited to this powerful production of Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel. This show is being produced by Maggie Cramer and Katie Mitchell, in partnership with Clifton Performance Theatre. This show runs from April 24th- 27th at Liberty Exhibition Hall.

Two small-town Florida high school girls attempting a locker room abortion while processing the complexities of friendship, their own resiliency and a fear of the future.  

This play is directed by Erin Carr, and cast includes Maggie Cramer, Katie Mitchell, Maya Farhat, Rhys Boatwright and Aaron Whitehead. Production team includes Daniela Nenova as Property Master/Assistant Director, Olivia Lenore as Stage Manager, Piper Johnson as Asst. Stage Manager, Jared Hudson as Lighting Designer and August Dice as Sound Designer.

Performances run April 24th-27th at 8PM. All performances will take place at Liberty Exhibition Hall at 3938 Spring Grove Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45223. Tickets available at:

There will be a short talk-back with a Planned Parenthood representative immediately following every show.

**CONTENT & TRIGGER WARNING. Please note that this production contains graphic images and language. Tags: abortion, medical abortion.**




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Living Small Creates Big Laughs Beginning May 4

PIP_Tiny Houses promo

Promotional photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

World-premiere comedy TINY HOUSES explores what happens when our world begins to shrink

CINCINNATI—Can tiny equal happy? World-premiere comedy TINY HOUSES explores this question beginning May 4 in the Shelterhouse Theatre as four young adults attempt to build a 200-square foot home. With support from The Rosenthal Family Foundation, season sponsor of new work, the play runs through June 2. Opening night is May 9.

Finding meaning through minimalism is easier said than done, as the characters in TINY HOUSES learn through a series of amusingly awkward missteps in their attempt to build a tiny house, which is constructed on stage over the course of the play.

“Whenever possible in the theatre, I like to see actors actually doing a thing instead of making a gesture toward doing the thing,” explains award-winning playwright Chelsea Marcantel. “Live theatre is the one entertainment avenue in which we really have the capacity to still be impressed and awed…to see an unexpected thing happening in real time in the same room we’re in, that’s truly wonderful.”

With witty dialogue, colloquial language and references to digital behaviors and lifestyles, the play centers around Bodhi and Cath, a couple who has recently uprooted their lives, moving from New York to Oregon. They plan to build and move into a tiny house together in the backyard of Bodhi’s friend, Ollie, who makes a living selling haunted dolls on eBay. Bodhi’s childhood sweetheart, Jeyne, a YouTube star, and Jeremiah, a level-headed construction consultant, round out the millennial cast of characters.

“I think there’s a real millennial spirit around what qualifies as work for the characters. They’re all disillusioned with white-collar “real” jobs — sitting in an office 40 hours a week pushing paper and not really making or moving anything that feels tangible,” said Marcantel. “There’s a glorification and yearning for manual labor, for meaningful work, that I think a lot of people of this generation feel. There’s also the constant consultation of and comparison to people on social media and the internet that’s a brand-new twist for millennials.”

In 2018, Marcantel received the M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award from the American Theatre Critics Association for her contemporary comedy, Airness. The award recognizes notable, emerging playwrights, and it is presented at the Humana Festival of New Plays. Marcantel was also recently inducted as a member of the Kilroys, a collective of playwrights, performers, producers and directors who advocate for the voices of female, trans and non-binary playwrights.

TINY HOUSES is a co-production with Cleveland Play House and will be directed by Cleveland Play House’s Artistic Director Laura Kepley, who grew up in Cincinnati.

For more information on TINY HOUSES, click here.



The Production Sponsor is Sue Friedlander. Design Sponsors is Jeb and Nirvani Head. Artist Sponsor is Mossbarger, Deimling and Moler Financial Strategies Group of Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC. The Season Sponsor and Season Design Sponsors are Heidelberg Distributing Company and Allan Berliant and Jennie Rosenthal Berliant Family Fund. The Season Sponsor of New Work is The Rosenthal Family Foundation.

The Playhouse is supported by the generosity of almost 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.


Michael Doherty (Ollie); Kate Eastman (Cath); Peter Hargrave (Bodhi); James Holloway (Jeremiah); Nandita Shenoy (Jevne)


Chelsea Marcantel (Playwright); Laura Kepley (Director) Arnulfo Maldonado (Set Designer); Amy Clark (Costume Designer); Elizabeth Mak (Lighting Designer); Daniel Perelstein (Sound Designer); Paul Davis, CSA, Calleri Casting (Casting Director); Jenifer Morrow (Production Stage Manager).Co-produced with Cleveland Play House.


TINY HOUSES is suitable for adults and teenage audiences. The play contains some strong adult language, alcohol use, hipster slang and low-key millennial malaise.

Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, at 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays. An additional matinee takes place at 1 p.m. on May 29. Individual tickets start at just $35. Tickets to all 7 p.m. Sunday performances are priced at just $10 for college students with a valid school ID. Student tickets are $15 on the day of the show for all other performances. Discounted ticket prices for teens are available for all performances and are $30.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Playhouse website at or by calling the Box Office at 513-421-3888 or 800-582-3208 toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. For TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) access, call 513-345-2248. The Playhouse is fully accessible.


May 4, 8 p.m. | May 5, 7 p.m. | May 7, 7:30 p.m. | May 8, 7:30 p.m.
Be among the first to see the show before opening night and save! Preview performance tickets are discounted and begin at just $35.

May 9, 7:30 p.m.
Share the excitement of Thursday opening nights with a lively post-show cast party with complimentary hors d’oeuvres by Vonderhaar’s Catering.

May 12, 2 p.m. | May 19, 2 p.m. | May 22, 7:30 p.m. | May 30, 7:30 p.m.
Stay after select performances for a behind-the-scenes discussion with the cast and crew of TINY HOUSES.

Friday, May 31, 6:30 p.m.
The fifth annual Playhouse Pride event is hosted by program co-chairs Jim Conway and Julia Wesselkemper. This festive evening includes pre- and post-show music, refreshments and a celebration of inclusion. A portion of the proceeds benefits Safe and Supported, a nonprofit that works to prevent and end LGBTQIA youth homelessness in Hamilton County.
The full PRIDE package includes the following:

  • Pre-show cocktail reception with open bar in the Rosenthal Plaza at 6:30 p.m.
  • Performance of Tiny Houses in the Shelterhouse Theatre at 8 p.m. in Center or Side A (seating based on availability)
  • Post-show reception with music and open bar in the Rosenthal Plaza
  • Cost: $90 per person (or $35 upgrade with a subscription ticket)


The Playhouse is fully accessible. Large print programs and hearing enhancement receivers are available upon request.

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Auditions Announced for IS HE DEAD? at Mariemont Players

MPI_logoIS HE DEAD? by Mark Twain/adapted by David Ives
Directed by Michele Mascari

Performance Dates Sept. 13 to 29, 2019
Walton Creek Theater

7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, April 30 and May 2
Green Room/Lobby at the Walton Creek Theater
4101 Walton Creek Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45227

The focuses on a fictional version of the great French painter, Jean-François Millet, as an impoverished artist in Barbizon, France. With the help of his colleagues, he stages his own death in order to increase the value of his paintings and afterwards dresses as a woman to keep his secret safe. Combining elements of burlesquefarce, and social satire, the comedy relies on such devices as cross-dressing, mistaken identities, and romantic deceptions to tell its story, which raises questions about fame, greed, and the value of art.

CAST OF CHARACTERS (7 men, 4 women)

  • Jean-François Millet/Widow Daisy Tillou – Male, 30ish (strong, good, creative)
  • Bastien Andre, art dealer and moneylender – Male, 30-40 (greedy)
  • Marie Leroux, Millet’s girlfriend – Female 25-30 (sweet, innocent, in love)
  • Papa Louis Leroux, Marie’s father – Male, mid 60s (protective, not well)
  • Cecile Leroux, Marie’s sister – Female, 25-30 (savvy young woman)
  • Hans von Bismarck (“Dutchy”), Millet’s friend – Male, 30ish (German)
  • Phelim O’Shaughnessy, Millet’s friend – Male, 30ish (Irish)
  • Agamemnon Buckner (“Chicago”), Millet’s friend – Male, 40s (American) These three characters are Jean-Francois’s best friends and cohorts in life and helpers in making sales.
  • Madame Caron, Millet’s landlady – Female (plays elderly, but not decrepit)
  • Madame Bathilde, Millet’s landlady – Female (plays elderly, but not decrepit) These two ladies are dearest friends and companions. They are lovely in demeanor and personalities.
  • Unnamed male in several small comic roles – Male, 20s to 40s (scene-stealer)


  • No monologue required
  • Provide your theater resume/headshot
  • Personal introduction to audition panel – tell us a bit about yourself
  • Tell a joke (no knock-knock jokes please)
  • Cold readings from the script; will include reading opposite other auditionees
  • No dialect necessary except for those auditioning for Dutchy, who should try a German accent, and those auditioning for Phelim, who should attempt an Irish dialect.
  • Be prepared for group improvisations.


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BIC_Book of Mormon logoTHE BOOK OF MORMON
Victoria Theatre Association
May 21-26
Schuster Center [Dayton]

The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century.” The Washington Post says, “It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals.” And Entertainment Weekly says, “Grade A: the funniest musical of all time.” Jimmy Fallon of “The Tonight Show” calls it “Genius. Brilliant. Phenomenal.” It’s THE BOOK OF MORMON, the nine-time Tony Award-winning Best Musical.  This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. Now with standing room only productions in London, on Broadway, and across North America, THE BOOK OF MORMON has truly become an international sensation. Contains explicit language.

  • Tue-Fri, May 21-24 at 8pm
  • Sat, May 25 at 2pm & 8pm
  • Sun, May 26 at 2pm & 7:30pm

Official page |


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Cincinnati Arts Association Announces DANCING FOR THE STARS 2019 Winners

CAA_Dancing for the Stars

Halle Quinn and Dance Pro Alyenendrov Tsorokean
Crowned New Dancing for the Stars Champs

Michael Betz honored as Fundraising Champion

CINCINNATI, OH – Halle Quinn (Community Volunteer) and her dance pro Alyenendrov Tsorokean (Phoenix Rising Ballroom) received a perfect score of 40, taking first place at the Cincinnati Arts Association’s thirteenth-annual Dancing for the Stars on Saturday, April 13 at the Music Hall Ballroom. Michael Betz (Senior Brand Manager, Strategic Brand Marketing, Gannett, Cincinnati Enquirer) took home the Fundraising Champion Award, as the celebrity who raised the most money for the event through ticket sales and donations.

Rhonda Whitaker (Vice President, Community Relations, Ohio & Kentucky, Duke Energy) and Josh Tilford (Independent Dance Instructor) took second place, and Jeff Thomas (Owner/President, Jeff Thomas Catering) and Bonita Brockert (Independent Dance Instructor) placed third.

The sold-out event welcomed 600 guests. As CAA’s largest annual fundraiser, it raised more than $105,000 in support of the organization’s acclaimed arts education programs, including the Overture Awards – the nation’s largest locally-run high school arts scholarship competition. 

Dancing for the Stars’ silent auction went online one week prior to the event to allow fans and supporters to participate whether or not they were able to attend the fundraiser. The auction raised more than $20,000.  

The remaining three dance pairs included:

  • Michael Betz (Senior Brand Manager, Strategic Brand Marketing,  Gannett, Cincinnati Enquirer) and Doreen Beatrice (Independent Dance Instructor)
  • Heidi DeJonckheere (Dental  Hygienist, Eastgate Dental Excellence) and Brandon Etheridge (Independent Dance Instructor)
  • Phil Gill (General Sales Manager, Tom Gill Chevrolet) and Desiree Mainous (Arthur Murray Dance Studio – Cincinnati)
  • Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney (President & CEO, Sesh Communications) and Jozsef Parragh (Independent Dance Instructor)

Inspired by the hit ABC-TV show Dancing with the StarsDancing for the Stars 2019 featured seven Cincinnati celebrities paired with some of the area’s finest professional dancers in a competition program, at which the audience vote and judges scores propelled the winners to victory. The competitive dance for the evening was the Cha Cha, and each dance pair had 90 seconds to woo the crowd and the judges.

Event emcees were Chris O’Brien and Janeen Coyle (“Married with Microphones,” 103.5 WGRR-FM). The four competition judges were Douglas Beal (Independent Dance Instructor), Barbara Hauser (2015 Dancing for the Stars Alum; Manager, Ohio Government & Community Relations, Procter & Gamble), Pam Kravetz (2018 Dancing for the Stars Third-Place Winner; Nationally-Recognized Artist, Arts Educator, and Project Manager for ArtWorks), Steve Valerius (2018 Dancing for the Stars Alum; President Individual Division, Ameritas Life Insurance).

Currently in its thirteenth year, Dancing for the Stars has become one of the most-anticipated (and imitated) fundraising events of the season.  Since the event’s debut in 2007, nearly 100 local notables have ‘danced for a cause’. The impressive list of past champions includes:  2007 – Dr. O’dell Owens (former president, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College; former Hamilton County coroner); 2008 – Jenell Walton (former WLWT-TV5 reporter; former reporter, The List; former WCPO-TV9 anchor and reporter); 2009 – Phil Schworer (attorney, Frost Brown Todd; former president, Cincinnati Bar Association); 2010 – Donna Speigel (owner, The Snooty Fox); 2011 – Dr. Tracey Skale, M.D. (chief medical officer, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral  Health Services), 2012 –  Regina Russo (former chief of communications, Contemporary Arts Center; former director of marketing and communications, Cincinnati Art Museum; former anchor/reporter, WXIX-TV19), 2013 – Chris Seelbach (Cincinnati City Councilman), 2014 – Neal Schulte (founder & president, Schulte Financial Group, LLC), 2015 – Johnny Chu (owner, KungFood Chu’s AmerAsia restaurant),  2016 – Jay Lame (financial analyst, Lenox Wealth Management), 2017 – Rohan Hemani (Procter & Gamble Fabric Care intrapenuer), and 2018 – Dr. Marcia Bowling (Gynecologic Oncology, The Christ Hospital Network).

In addition, Dancing for the Stars 2019 featured:

  • Dinner-by-the-bite provided by A Catered Affair, Alfio’s buon cibo, CMX CineBistro, Eddie Merlot, First Watch, Garnish Catering, Jeff Thomas Catering, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Oriental Wok, Prime Cincinnati, Skyline Chili, Street City Pub, Vonderhaar’s Catering, Whole Foods Market
  • Popular DJ and 103.5 WGRR personality Rockin’ Ron Schumacher
  • Pre-event wine tasting compliments of Biltmore Estate Winery and meet-and-greet with the stars
  • Open dancing before and after the competition

Event highlights included:

  • Entertaining and amazing exhibition dances by Dancing for the Stars talented pros.
  • An athletic, awe-inspiring cabaret-style dance filled with impressive lifts and spins, performed by champion dance-pro Alyenendrov Tsorokean and his fiancé Maria Wheeler. The exhibition dance received a standing ovation from the cheering crowd.
  • An inspiring video about the Overture Awards featuring interviews with the six student winners of this year’s Overture Awards finals competition.
  • Two big screens that featured live video of the competition and engaging video introductions of the stars and pros (interviews and rehearsal footage) before their dances.
  • Humorous, astute, and supportive comments from the Dancing for the Stars panel of judges.
  • Exceptionally responsive, raucous, and energetic audience reactions, which included large cheering sections holding signs with various messages in support of their favorite Stars.
  • The evening’s champs – former figure skater Halle Quinn and her muscular dance pro Alyenendrov Tsorokean – earned the night’s only perfect score of 40 with a routine that included breathtaking lifts and spins, danced to the song “Bla Bla Bla Bla Cha Cha Cha.”
  • Wearing one of the most stunning sequined dresses of the evening, second-place finisher Rhonda Whitaker brought a fun contemporary approach to the Cha Cha with her pro Josh Tilford, danced to the popular and upbeat song “Uptown Funk.”
  • Third-place finisher Jeff Thomas played a lifeguard in a red t-shirt with an eye for the girl in the polka-dot swimsuit in a charming dance to the classic song “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.”
  • Fundraising Champ Michael Betz showed off his best Freddy Mercury moves with pro Doreen Beatrice to a rousing medley of the rock group Queen’s greatest hits.
  • Phil Gill parodied his local Tom Gill Chevrolet TV commercials with this Dad Tom, who was on stage giving his son advice on how to meet a girl (his perky pro Desiree Mainous– by dancing her into his big (toy) car!  Phil and Desiree performed to, of course, the song “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car.”
  • A second “Uptown Funk” Cha-Cha featured Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, who channeled her inner Tina Turner in a bright-red fringe dress and an ear-to-ear smile during her dance with pro Jozsef Parragh, sporting bright red shoes to match Jan’s dress.
  • Heidi DeJonckheere did the Queen City proud with a fun and energized Cha-Cha with dance pro Brandon Etheridge to a mash up of Cincinnatian Rosemary Clooney’s hit “Sway” and the electronic dance mix “(Mucho Mambo) Sway.”

Presenting Sponsor: TriHealth 

Silent Auction Sponsors: Graphic Village, Lenox Wealth Management, Paolo A Modern Jeweler, WOW Windowboxes 

Event Sponsors: Arthur Murray – Cincinnati, Doreen Beatrice, Bonita Brockert, Brandon Etheridge, Graphic Village, Jozsef Parragh, Pebble Creek Group, Phoenix Rising Ballroom, Josh Tilford

Libations Sponsors:  Biltmore Estate Wines, Heidelberg Distributing, Pepsi 

Event Committee:  Amal Daoud, Terry Foster, Sue Gilkey, Jim Howland, Ginger Loftin, Rosemary Schlachter, Phil Schworer, Tracey Skale

Cincinnati Arts Association’s Education & Community Engagement programs promote life-long participation in the arts, while contributing to individual, organizational, and community success. With a mission to educate, inspire, and engage the Tri-state region, these accessible arts programs ignite the imagination of students of all ages.

The Overture Awards is one of several programs ‒ which also include Artists on Tour, SchoolTime, Emerging Arts Leaders, and more ‒ that have served more than 1.6 million children and adults since the inception of CAA’s Education & Community Engagement programs two decades ago. CAA is proud of its newest initiative, Arts in Healing, which promotes wellness through the arts.

The Overture Awards – the largest locally-run, high school arts scholarship competition in the country – recognizes, encourages, and rewards excellence in the arts among Tri-state students in grades 9-12. It also provides students an opportunity to share their talents and interests among their peers in a supportive environment outside of their individual schools. Each year, more than 450 students are nominated by their schools to compete, and this year’s competition awarded $42,000 in scholarships for excellence in Creative Writing, Dance, Instrumental Music, Theater, Visual Art, and Vocal Music. To date, the Overture Awards has awarded $750,000 to support artistically-talented students in pursuit of their dreams. Now in its 22nd year, the Overture Awards was launched in 1996 by the Cinergy Foundation and Leadership Cincinnati (a Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber program).

As part of the Overture Awards, the Arts Educator Award for Excellence in Arts Instruction promotes and rewards excellence in arts instruction throughout the Tri-state region – just one more way to encourage quality arts in Cincinnati USA!

For more information about CAA’s Education & Community Engagement programs, visit

Founded in 1992, the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) is a not-for-profit organization that oversees the programming and management of the Tri-state’s finest performing arts venues – the Aronoff Center for the Arts and Music Hall – and is dedicated to supporting performing and visual arts. Each year, CAA presents a diverse schedule of events; serves upwards of 700,000 people in its venues; features the work of talented local, regional, and national artists in the Weston Art Gallery (located in the Aronoff Center); and supports the work of more than one dozen resident companies.

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