(Cincinnati, OH) Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is going back to school with the regional premiere drama, Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau, the acclaimed MacArthu “Genius” Grant playwright. This 2018 Obie Award-winning play powerfully brings an urgent conversation to the forefront, compassionately probing the limits of our education system and a mother’s fight to give her son a future—without turning her back on the community that made him who he is. Directed by Ron OJ Parson. Production Sponsor is The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.
Nya, an inner-city public high school teacher, is committed to her students but desperate to give her only son, Omari, opportunities they’ll never have. But when an explosive incident at his prestigious private school threatens to get him expelled, will all her efforts be lost? Don’t miss this compelling, must-see portrait of parenthood, education, and the experience of young black men in America.
“As audience members or art lovers, if you go to a museum 10 people can look at the same painting and take away 10 different things from it, and I think that’s the same with [Dominique Morisseau’s] plays. Every character in Pipeline is going to be watched by audience members, and they’ll latch onto their stories,” says Director Ron OJ Parson. “Her connection with the characters and the language, to me, is very rich. I liken the depth of character in her works to August Wilson. There are a lot of things you can find inside her plays to grasp.”
About the Cast
Bryant Bentley (Dun) is a native of Dayton, OH, and was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in Detroit ’67. Other theater credits include The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963, Indiana Repertory Theatre; Between Riverside and Crazy, Pittsburgh Public Theatre; Two Trains Running, The Piano Lesson, and Fences, American Players Theater; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, A Soldier’s Play, and many more. Film/TV credits include The Killing of a Sacred Deer, the CBS series One Dollar, All or Nothin’, and The Public, written and directed by Emilio Estevez.
Kenneth Early (Xavier) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre as the Caterpillar/Butterfly in Alice in Wonderland, where his other credits include The Dancing Princesses, Red Velvet, The Whipping Man, Grey Gardens, Snow White, and The Frog Princess. Other regional credits include Once on This Island, Misery, August Wilson’s Jitney, and To Kill a Mockingbird, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Macbeth, Of Mice and Men, and To Kill a Mockingbird, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; On Golden Pond, The Human Race Theatre; Once on This Island, Actor’s Theater of Louisville; Pluto and Harry and the Thief, Know Theater Cincinnati; and Awaited at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.
Sharrell D. Luckett (Nya) is an award-winning artist and scholar. Off-Broadway credits include YoungGiftedandFat. Acting credits include Fences and Holding Up the Sky. Directing credits include Topdog/Underdog, In the Red and Brown Water, and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf. Book credits include Black Acting Methods, YoungGiftedandFat, Transweight, and African American Arts. Originally from Atlanta, Sharrell holds a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Missouri and is a professor of Drama and Performance Studies at the University of Cincinnati. She is also the director of the Helen Weinberger Center for Drama and Playwriting and founding director of the Black Acting Methods Studio.
Connan Morrissey (Laurie) returns to Ensemble Theatre, having last appeared in A Doll’s House, Part 2. Her previous credits include roles in new and classical plays at Arena Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Asolo Theatre Center, Folger Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Round House Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Clarence Brown Theatre, PlayMakers Repertory, Capital Repertory, North Carolina Stage Company, Vermont Stage Company, and Peterborough Players. Other work experiences include performance coaching for executives at Deloitte, PWC, Unilever, and Fifth Third Bank. Connan has an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Angelica Santiago (Jasmine) received her BFA in acting from Montclair State University. Her credits include The Wolves, Actors Theatre of Louisville ; Hype Man, Dracula, The Electric Harvest, A Christmas Carol, and We’ve Come to Believe, 43rd Humana Festival; As You Like It, Henry IV Part I , and King Lear, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.
Jay Wade (Omari) makes his Ensemble Theatre debut with this production and his second professional appearance in the role of Omari. He is from St. Louis, MO, and recently earned his BFA in Acting from Southeast Missouri State University.
Production team: Brian c. Mehring (Resident Scenic and Lighting Designer), Dana Rebecca Woods (Costume Designer), Matt Callahan (Sound Designer), Mike Tutaj (Projection Designer), Shannon Rae Lutz (Properties Master & Design Assistant), Matthew Hollstegge (Production Manager), and Jack Murphy (Technical Director). Production Stage Manager is Brandon T. Holmes. Assistant Stage Manager is Lexi Muller.
Performances Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 pm; Friday & Saturday at 8:00 pm; Saturday & Sunday at 2:00 pm; Sunday at 7:00 pm. Performances vary. A complete calendar of performances is available www.ensemblecincinnati.org.
Tickets 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 only applies to adult 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.
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.