Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Announces the 2020-2021 Season at The Otto M. Budig Theater

CSC_logoCINCINNATI – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC) announced the titles for the 2020-2021 Season at The Otto M. Budig Theater in an event on March 4.  This season features Shakespeare greats, classic comedies, fresh adaptations, American masters, and regional premieres. All productions will feature Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Resident Company of Actors.

CSC’s 2020-2021 Season is generously sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation and The John Bridgeland, Crilley, Long, and Mason Families Honoring James R. Bridgeland Jr., The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. Foundation, The Robert and Adele Schiff Family Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts with Arts Midwest, Lightborne, The Shubert Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, and ArtsWave.

Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips says “in our 2020-2021 season, I am excited to share with you stories that I hope you will find as compelling as I do and to discuss with you how they touch our modern lives.” The 2020-2021 Season starts with a summer time send up of politics and perceptions in the comedy “Born Yesterday” by Garson Kanin, July 17-August 2, 2020.  This is followed by the regional premiere of the adaptation for the stage of the Academy Award® winning film “Network” playing September 4-26, 2020. This production is fresh from Broadway and London’s National Theatre.  This is followed by a production of “Romeo and Juliet” October 9-31, 2020 that will be staged in a traditional, opulent Elizabethan setting.  CSC is happy to welcome international director Guy Roberts, Artistic Director of the Prague Shakespeare Company.  A regional premiere adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” by Kate Hamill follows for the start of the holiday season November 13- December 5, 2020.  This comes after the recent success of Kate Hamill’s adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.  Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips says “we are very proud to have brought Kate Hamill to Cincinnati and if the raving audiences from her “Pride and Prejudice” are any indication, we know that Cincinnati audiences will love ‘Little Women’.”  For the 15th time this Christmas season, “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!)” by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald, and John K. Alvarez will continue to delight audiences with its brand of irreverent pop culture holiday humor from December 11-27, 2020.

In 2021, the season continues with American master August Wilson and his play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” with a powerhouse music filled production January 22-February 13, 2021.  This production welcomes back 2019’s smash hit “Fences” director Christopher V. Edwards from Boston’s Actor’s Shakespeare Project.  Then from February 26-March 20, 2021, CSC will present the classic literary adaptation of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Dale Wasserman based on the novel by Ken Kesey.  Shakespeare is back on the stage with “The Comedy of Errors” April 2-24, 2021 this time with a Sin City twist, inspired by golden era Las Vegas.  And then the season concludes with a very special production of “King Charles III” by Mike Bartlett.  “This future history, written in the style of Shakespeare, is a perfect match for this theater and our resident ensemble. We are thrilled to be able to present it now as the play feels ripped from today’s headlines,” says Mr. Phillips.

Featured cast was also announced at the event on March 4. For “Born Yesterday”, CSC welcomes back Rachael Elizabeth Perin as Billie Dawn with her debut appearance in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” in 2018.  “Network” features Bruce Cromer as Howard Beale.  Bruce is a long time member of the CSC Resident Ensemble having recently appeared a J. Edgar Hoover in “All the Way” in 2020.  The star-crossed lovers in “Romeo and Juliet” will be Courtney Lucien and Crystian Wiltshire.  Both actors are regulars at CSC with Courtney currently appearing as Jane Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice” and Crystian Wiltshire appearing this season in “The Merry Wives of Windows” and “All the Way”.  In the next Kate Hamill play produced by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, “Little Woman” Caitlin McWethy, currently appearing as Lizzy Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice,” will helm the role of Jo March joined by Ernaisja Curry as Amy, Maliyah Gramata-Jones as Beth, and Maggie Lou Rader as Meg.  In August’s Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” Torie Wiggins will lend her powerful voice in the title role after her work in last season’s August Wilson production of “Fences”.  Long time company member Josh Katawick leads as the rebel rouser Randle P. McMurphy in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” joined by Kelly Mengelkoch as Nurse Ratched.  For “The Comedy of Errors” CSC Resident Ensemble favorites Justin McCombs and Geoffrey Warren Barnes II will appear as Dromio of Syracuse and Antipholus of Ephesus, respectively.  And, closing the season will be long time CSC Resident Ensemble Barry Mulholland in “King Charles III” in the title role having just appeared in “All the Way” and “August: Osage County” at CSC this season.

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 www.cincyshakes.com or box office by calling 513-381-BARD (2273) ext. 1.  Single tickets for all shows will go on sale Wednesday April 1, 2020 but the recommended way to get the best price and first access to seats now is by becoming a subscriber!  Single tickets range from $14-$68.  There are also discounts available for students, seniors, local residents, and community partners as access to all is important to CSC.

The 2020-2021 Season at The Otto M. Budig Theater is as follows:

CSC_Born Yesterday promo

Rachel Elizabeth Perin as Billie Dawn. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

BORN YESTERDAY*
by Garson Kanin
July 17 – August 2, 2020

Just when you think politics has lost its sense of humor, in rides Billie Dawn on a breath of fresh air in this romantic comedy from the Golden Age of Broadway. She’s buried her smarts beneath layers of satin and showgirl sass, but hers is a special kind of clever. So when her powerful, gangster boyfriend sets out to bribe a senator, he decides his girl should be a little more D.C., providing her a tutor and striking the flint that sets her mind, and heart, ablaze. Billie may be the new kid in class, but she’s nobody’s fool. A hilarious and timely send up of politics and perceptions. 

CSC_Network promo

Bruce Cromer as Howard Beale. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

NETWORK
adapted for the stage by Lee Hall
based on the film by Paddy Chayefsky
September 4 – 26, 2020

In this new adaptation for the stage of the Academy Award® winning film, anchorman Howard Beale unravels live on-screen. But when the ratings soar, the network seizes on its newfound prophet, and Howard becomes the biggest thing on TV, producing repercussions the network never could have imagined.  After hit runs on Broadway and the West End, where audiences were chanting “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore,” Network receives its regional premiere in Cincinnati.

CSC_Romeo and Juliet promo

Crystian Wiltshire as Romeo & Courtney Lucien as Juliet. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography

William Shakespeare’s
ROMEO AND JULIET
October 9 – 31, 2020

William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of two star-crossed lovers and the feuding families who tear them apart, returns to the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company stage in all of its everlasting grandeur. Revel in lavish masked balls, rousing street brawls, tragic young love, and some of the most exquisite poetry ever penned, all in a traditional, opulent Elizabethan setting. Fall in love again for the first time.

CSC_Little Women promo

Caitlin McWethy as Jo March. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

LITTLE WOMEN
by Kate Hamill
adapted from the novel by Louisa May Alcott
November 13 – December 5, 2020

Louisa May Alcott’s treasured classic, Little Women tells the enduring story of the March family and their four daughters; romantic Meg, shy Beth, willful Amy, and of course, fiery and independent Jo.  Through the intertwining lives of the sisters, we see the familiar hardships and heartbreak, humor and humility of these passionate and unique young women.  Little Women continues to enchant new generations each year and is now on the stage in the regional premiere of this fresh new adaptation.

CSC_Every Christmas Story2021 promo

Miranda McGee as Santa. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography

EVERY CHRISTMAS STORY EVERY TOLD (AND THEN SOME!)*
by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald, and John K. Alvarez
December 11 – 27, 2020

CSC’s holiday smash hit Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) is back again for another season of holiday hilarity! 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 pop culture favorites like It’s a Wonderful Life, Rudolph, Charlie Brown and more! Add in topical references that always keep this annual tradition fresh and fun as we send up everything from Dickens to Dr. Seuss for 90+ minutes of high octane jollity and frivolity.

CSC_Ma Rainey promo

Torie Wiggins as Ma Rainey. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography

August Wilson’s
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
January 22 – February 13, 2021

Ambition and art collide with the business of the blues in this red hot play filled with the live music that made the ’20s roar. An American masterpiece, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is set in 1927 Chicago in a ramshackle recording studio. Ma Rainey, the undisputed queen of the blues, squares off against a battling quartet of musicians and a tight-fisted producer.  As egos and ideologies clash in an increasingly violent way, the band enters a battle of wills in this Tony Award® Winning powerhouse of a play. 

CSC_One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest promo

Josh Katawick as Randle P. McMurphy. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST
by Dale Wasserman
based on the novel by Ken Kesey
February 26 – March 20, 2021

When rambunctious rabble-rouser Randle P. McMurphy manages to get his prison sentence commuted into a stint at an Oregon state mental hospital, he thinks he’s got it made. But he didn’t count on the tyrannical treatment of Nurse Ratched, who rules the ward with an iron fist, keeping patients in line with drugs and shock therapy. Soon McMurphy finds himself in an all-out war of wills with the unbending Ratched, whose increasingly severe punishments incite him and his fellow inmates to increasingly outrageous acts of rebellion. A groundbreaking novel and iconic film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a compelling portrait of the struggle against conformity and the strictures of sanity.

CSC_Comedy of Errors promo

Justin McCombs as Dromio of Syracuse & Geoffrey Warren Barnes II as Antipholus of Ephesus. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

William Shakespeare’s
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS
April 2 – 24, 2021

What do you get when you mix love triangles, a jealous wife, a vindictive mistress, a deranged doctor, and not one, but TWO sets of identical twins separated at birth? Well, it can only be The Comedy of Errors. Shakespeare’s silliest, screwiest, and slapstickiest comedy returns to the CSC stage, this time with a Sin City twist. Inspired by golden era Las Vegas, this music filled production will be packed with cool cats, rat packs, showgirls, wise guys, and more!  So place your bets, roll the dice, and check it out, but remember- what happeneth in the theater, stayeth in the theater.

CSC_King Charles promo

Barry Mulholland as King Charles. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

KING CHARLES III
by Mike Bartlett
May 7 – 23, 2021

Welcome to the future. The Queen has died. Long live the King. After a lifetime of waiting, Prince Charles finally ascends to the throne with Camilla by his side. William, Kate, Harry and the rest of the royal entourage look on as the regime change begins to cause a political upheaval.  This tale of modern royalty explores the people underneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of Britain’s democracy, and the conscience of its most famous family.  Evoking the style and spirit of Shakespeare, this regional premiere blends past and future to ask some very penetrating questions about our present.

*Season Specials

###

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 Theatre 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!

Production dates and information on the season are available online at www.cincyshakes.com.

About The 2020-2021 Season:
CSC’s 2020-2021 Season is generously sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation and The John Bridgeland, Crilley, Long, and Mason Families Honoring James R. Bridgeland Jr., The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. Foundation, The Robert and Adele Schiff Family Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts with Arts Midwest, Lightborne, The Shubert Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, and ArtsWave.

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.

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