(Cincinnati, OH) Sharpen your pencils! Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati takes lousy language to school with the regional premiere of Sex and Education by Lissa Levin. This limited 2-week event is a spirited (and not-so-family-friendly) comedy about a duel between an overworked educator and an underachieving high school athlete. Playing October 15-27, 2019. Directed by Dan Guntzelman.
Meet Joe Marks, a graduating basketball star whose college scholarship is suddenly in jeopardy when his poorly-written, sexually explicit note to his girlfriend is confiscated during a final exam. Meet Miss Edwards, his jaded public high school English teacher on her last day of teaching. With nothing to lose and resentment from years of disinterested students, she assigns him the task of turning the purloined letter into a polished, persuasive essay. This scintillating romp is a hilarious lesson for all in life, sex, sports, and grammar.
“This play is very much a comedy, but it’s also very much a valentine to teachers and the importance of formal education,” says playwright Lissa Levin. “In a play about an English teacher impressing the value of language skills upon a sports phenom, I wanted to make an arena out of a classroom, and a battle of wills and viewpoints to play out with the drive, pace, intensity, and excitement of an NBA playoff game.” Producing Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers adds, “I think the show is enormously funny and very smart, but I also think it has enormous heart. I’m thrilled with the show, and am very excited to tell this story.”
Ensemble Theatre is thrilled to welcome Dan Guntzelman back to his hometown of Cincinnati, having moved to Los Angeles in 1976 to work in television and film. He is not only the director of this production, but also the husband of the show’s playwright, Lissa Levin, who met Dan while they were working together on the Emmy-nominated hit sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati.
About the Cast
Dale Hodges (Miss Edwards) returns to Ensemble Theatre, where she was last seen in Ripcord, as well as Outside Mullingar, Other Desert Cities, Grey Gardens, and Mrs. Mannerly. Select regional credits include Wit, King Lear, To Kill a Mockingbird, 23 years of A Christmas Carol with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Noises Off with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Ms. Hodges has worked on Broadway in Equus and Benefactors, off-Broadway in Top Girls and A Woman in Mind, and in regional theatres around the country, including 15 summers with Peterborough Players in New Hampshire.
Esther Cunningham (Hannah Winters/Every Cheerleader) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in A Doll’s House, Part 2, Bob: A Life in Five Acts, and as the Mad Hatter understudy for Alice in Wonderland. Off stage she works with the ETC Education Department as a teaching artist for the Hunter Heartbeat Program. She is a graduate of Wheaton College, where some of her credits include Julius Caesar, The Sparrow, and Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
R. Graham Rogers (Joe Marks) makes his Ensemble Theatre debut with this production. He is an actor and playwright who recently earned his BFA in Acting from University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. His recent credits include Sam in The Flick, The Esquire; H2O: A Play About Water, 2018 Edinburgh Fringe; The Government Inspector, Middletown, and the world premiere of The Earth is Flatby Todd Almond, CCM. His original play Black & White was a part of Fringe Development at the 2019 Cincinnati Fringe Festival and his series Happy Hour: The Bar Series was a part of Play(under)ground at Know Theatre of Cincinnati in November 2018.
Production Team: D. Lynn Meyers (Producing Artistic Director), Brian c. Mehring (Set & Lighting Designer), Jack Murphy (Technical Director), Matthew Hollstegge (Production Manager), Shannon Rae Lutz (Properties Master & Design Assistant), Matt Tibbs (Sound Designer), and Stormie Mac (Costume Designer). Production Stage Manager is Brandon T. Holmes. Stage Manager is Lexi Muller.
Performances run Tuesday through Sunday. Evening preview performances are at 7:00; evening performances are Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday, 8:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 2:00 pm; and Sunday, 7:00 pm. A complete calendar of performances is available online at www.ensemblecincinnati.org.
Ticket prices start at $35 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 does not apply to children’s 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.
$40 Sunday Saver: Sunday evening performances at 7:00 pm are always $40 all season long (excludes holiday production).
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 does not apply to children’s 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. Group discounts available for 8+. Complete details available at www.ensemblecincinnati.org.
2019-2020 Season Presenting Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation. Additional support provided PNC.
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.
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.