Know Theatre’s 22nd Season continues with the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of
By Audrey Cefaly
February 28th – March 21th
How do we find the strength to show our scars?
As a part of the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, The Know Theatre presents Audrey Cefaly’s stunningly vulnerable new play ALABASTER this February.
June is an artist, the only survivor of a terrible accident that killed her entire family. She is covered from head to toe … with scars. June has isolated herself, along with her goats Weezy and Bib, on what remains of her family farm. Every day she feeds the goats, weeds the garden, and picks up her paintbrush.
Alice, a world-renowned photographer, has come to take pictures of June for a series on women with scars. But Alice is carrying scars of her own and is desperately trying to outrun her own pain. The tension between them is immediate and ever-present, but what they need from each other transcends the physical.
ALABASTER asks: what does it mean to truly be “seen”? How do we pick up the pieces? How do we move forward? A play about women. About art. About healing.
Featured in the 2019 edition of Best Women’s Monologues, ALABASTER has been moving audiences all across the U.S. As the National New Play Network’s most expansive Rolling World Premiere to date, ALABASTER will be presented at eleven different theatres across the country as part of the 2019-2020 theatrical season.
Narrated by a sarcastic goat, ALABASTER is a one-of-a-kind play: at once a bittersweet comedy that’s filled with surprises and a soul-searchingly honest depiction of the joy and the terror of letting yourself be truly seen.
ALABASTERwill be helmed by Lisa Sanaye Dring, a Los Angeles-based actor and director. She is the Associate Artistic Director of Circle X Theatre Co. and the co-founder of Rogue Artists’ Rogue Lab.
When she was invited to reflect on what she hopes audiences take from Alabaster, Ms. Dring said:
“I’m hoping that people take away the courage to connect, despite how scary and painful that can be. I love this play allows women to be so many things we don’t often let them be in the theatre.
We see a full spectrum of humanity in these characters – they can be loving, and angry, and bitchy, and vulnerable, and sweet, and funny, and so often women are relegated to being one-to-three of those things.
I love that there’s so much humor in the piece – it goes into both sorrow and hilarity with reckless abandon. And it’s a fun goat play!”
The Know is delighted to showcase four local artists in this all-female cast. Local favorite Kelly Mengelkoch appears as “Alice,” the photographer who’s spent her whole life behind the camera but yearns to be seen. Ms. Mengelkoch previously appeared on the Know Mainstage in 2018’s nautical ghost story musical Whisper House. The Know’s Director of Education, Maggie Lou Rader, plays “June,” the orphaned artist who wears her scars like armor against the world. Ms. Rader’s many appearances on the Know’s stage include the title role in Marian: The True Tale of Robin Hood, Neverwhere, Silent Sky, Pulp, and Hearts Like Fists.
Keisha L. Kemper returns to the Know Mainstage after a long hiatus to play “Weezy,” June’s best (and only) friend … who happens to be a goat, but who won’t let that stop her. Ms. Kemper was last seen at the Know as Harriet Tubman in Harry and the Thief. Rounding out the cast is Fringe and Performance Gallery veteran Jodie Beth Linver in her Mainstage debut as “Bib,” Weezy’s ailing mother.
To highlight this story’s message of how art can help us move through trauma into joy, the Know is proud to partner with Jens Rosenkrantz and Pendleton Street Photography for a special gallery exhibition in the Underground throughout the run of Alabaster. This showcase exhibition will feature the photography of Evelyn Sosa Rojas, a Cuban-born artist whose stunning black-and-white images explore the psychology and identities of her friends, lovers, and other women typical of Havana society.
And to bring an extra level of beauty to the design of ALABASTER, Know Theatre is proud to partner with several Art Academy painting students and other independent artists to create a collection of folk-art pieces that are integral to the story as it unfolds. Art Academy students Sydney Greene, Claire Flath, and Anna Paulsen will be joined by local artists Rory Sheridan and Hannah Jones Diaz to bring life to this crucial element of the story.
ALABASTER is a gentle and powerful story about how we heal, a fresh look at how our souls are enriched by the art we create and the art we see, and the tale of an unexpected romance.
If you believe in the world-altering power of second chances, you’ll love Alabaster, running February 28 – March 21 at the Know Theatre.
Cast in Alphabetical Order
- Keisha L. Kemper as Weezy
- Jodie Beth Linver as Bib
- Kelly Mengelkoch* as Alice
- Maggie Lou Rader* as June
*Appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association under a Special Appearance Agreement.
- Director: Lisa Sanaye Dring
- Scenic Designer: Andrew J. Hungerford
- Lighting Designer: Jen Fok
- Costume Designer: Noelle Wedig-Johnston
- Sound Designer: Douglas Borntrager
- Props Designer & Scenic Charge: Kayla Williams
- Stage Manager: Meghan Winter
- Technical Director: Henry Bateman
ALABASTER by Audrey Ceflay
- 8:00 pm Feb 28th, 29th, March 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 11th, 12th,13th, 14th, 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st.
- 3:00 pm March 1st, 8th, and 15th
Know Theatre of Cincinnati. 1120 Jackson Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. In historic Over-the-Rhine.
- $25 regular price tickets
- $35 “Living Wage” tickets, supporting working artists in Cincinnati
- $15 Rush tickets at the door 10 minutes prior to curtain (when available)
- FREE walk-up tickets are available on Wednesdays, as part of Know’s Welcome Experiment.
Advance reservations to Welcome Experiment performances are $10.00.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting knowtheatre.com or calling 513.300.5669
ALABASTER is made possible through the support of Production Sponsors
- Drew Gores & George Warrington
- Dan & Fran Bailey, and
- The Warrington Foundation
Know Theatre is Cincinnati’s Theatrical Playground. The Know showcases unexpected voices, new works, and plays that embrace the inherent theatricality of the live experience. Know Theatre seeks to be a place where artists and audiences feel welcome to take artistic risks, creating work that is cutting edge and accessible.
Know Theatre’s work is made possible, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.
The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Know Theatre with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
Know Theatre is also supported by The Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, helping to change our communities for the better through collaboration and innovation, and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, which provides a simple, powerful, and highly personal approach to giving.
Know Theatre is a member of Theatre Communications Group and an Associate Member of the National New Play Network.