Monthly Archives: April 2020

Spring Musical is an Impossible Dream Made Possible at Anderson High School

AHS_MOLM_Emma Moulas (sm)

Freshman Emma Moulas is a member of the Ensemble of MAN OF LA MANCHA the AHS Spring Musical that will premiere on YouTube in May.

AHS Spring Musical is an Impossible Dream Made Possible

The students of Anderson Theatre began rehearsals in February for this year’s 57th Spring Musical, “Man of La Mancha.” The most famous song from this musical is “The Impossible Dream,” and that is what the show seemed to become when schools were shut down in mid March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Theatre Teacher and Director Chad Weddle was in his Studio Theatre class when the announcement was made to the school. At first, like the students around him, he panicked. “Then I sat down, took a breath, looked around the room, and thought, “we can still do this. I don’t know how yet, but with these kids, I know we will find a way.’”

As the school closure extended into May, and then to the end of the school year, High Schools and Theatre companies throughout the Cincinnati area began cancelling their productions. Anderson High School, however, had a resource most other organizations did not: a strong Film Department.

“The Anderson High School Spring Musical has been a cornerstone of our community for decades,” says Mr. Weddle. “I felt a responsibility to the thousands of past FHSD students who had carried on the tradition, as well as to my current students—over 120 of them in cast and crew.

“While so many school events, competitions, the prom, concerts, were being cancelled—we knew that if we could do this safely, then we needed to do it, for the emotional health of the students,” Mr. Weddle explained.

Mr. Weddle’s plan to leverage the skills his students had gained in Film classes evolved over the weeks, adapting to new restrictions and guidelines, always with the safety of the students a high priority. It is now complete, and the 57th Spring Musical will be presented as a YouTube Film Premiere event, likely in the final weeks of May.

Paige Resor, a Senior who was cast as Aldonza, says she is very grateful to Mr. Weddle and all the participating students. “Being a senior is so very hard. And I think it’s really great that we found a way to do this, and that everyone is so supportive. I’ve never been a part of a cast who worked so hard for each other.”

Each actor had to create a mini film studio in their home, using only equipment and materials they already had available. Student crew members gave feedback and advice, helping their friends find and solve problems, but the burden was on the actors to get things right. While not every student involved in the original production felt they could continue, over 100 are still contributing to the performance in some fashion.

“I’m not a technician,” admitted Nick Gundrum, a Sophomore who plays one of the Muleteers. “But it started to be fun, something to do. I made my own tripod, and it was fun. It’s gonna be awesome to have that final product we can all look back on. We’ll be able to watch it in the future with everyone and feel like we were a part of something.”

Caitlin Walsh is a Senior and a Student Director for the show. She is pleased with the hard work done by all the students. “It’s not necessarily the easiest thing we have done; it’s a lot to ask of everyone. But we all need that bit of creative spontaneity…that excitement we get from being in Theatre.”

“I am very excited to do this,” says Tommy Sanders, a Junior playing Dr. Carrasco. “With so many other uncertainties and cancellations, it means a lot. While I may not know about this problem or that problem, and I don’t even know when I’ll get out of my house, I do know I have this. I have this opportunity right here.”

AHS_MOLM_Braden Perry (sm)

Braden Perry is a Junior at AHS and plays Anselmo, a Muleteer, in Anderson Theatre’s production of MAN OF LA MANCHA.

Braden Perry, a Junior playing another Muleteer, knows this will have a positive effect on the community, as well. “We’re talking about a tradition where the entire southwest part of Ohio has is interested in what we are putting on,” he says. “If we can impact one person, I think this whole process is worth it.”

“I appreciate everything Mr. Weddle is doing for us, how he’s sticking with the show,” says Stella Scheidler, who plays the Barber. “Theatre is what’s getting us through this.”

“I believe in these students, every one of them.” says Mr. Weddle. “Theatre is partly about the process. Keeping the show alive is our way to continue to spend time together and support one another.”

Mr. Weddle adds, “It’ll be something the students can talk about in years to come, when someone asks them what they did during the quarantine, what happened. When we look down the road we’ll be able to tell them the story of how we were able to come together and create something remarkable. This is what we do. We create together. That’s what we do.”

“Man of La Mancha” will be presented to the public online, free of charge, some time in late May as a YouTube Premiere. For more information, including ways you can donate to the Anderson Theatre department to offset their costs and support future productions, visit www.AndersonTheatre.com. The confirmed date of the Premiere will be posted there and on the Anderson Theatre Facebook page. To view more AHS student film work, including the three short films of their 2020 Film Festival, visit the Anderson Film YouTube Channel.

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2020-2021 Season Announced by Falcon Theatre

FT_logoFalcon Announces 2020-2021 Season

Our doors may be closed, but we at Falcon Theatre have been hard at work, planning for a day in the not-too-distant future when we welcome back our friends and family to the theater. In the interim period, we have produced some online content (with more to follow) for the public’s enjoyment.

As you know, social distancing requirements and other restrictions have been detrimental to the livelihood of many businesses; this is especially true for arts organizations like Falcon that typically rely on audience gatherings for survival.

Many of our patrons have asked how they can help Falcon weather this unanticipated storm. A great way to do just that is to purchase a Falcon Theatre Flex Pass. You’ll provide Falcon with some much-needed income, and you’ll also have your tickets ready for next season when our doors open. Flex Passes purchased now will remain valid for the entire 2020-2021 season.

We at Falcon are proud to announce our slate of plays for the 2020-2021 season. First things first: For all of us who were heartbroken that our productions of The Agitators and Silent Sky didn’t make it onto the Falcon stage, you’ll be happy to know that those two shows were not canceled…merely postponed. These two amazing shows will get their time on the Falcon stage during our 2020-21 season.

THE AGITATORS by Mat Smart
A riveting story about the friendship that persisted through the years between Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass as both fought tirelessly for the rights of others.  The play struggles with the question “Do you believe there can be a country for all?”

August 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 & 29, 2020

DAISY by Sean Devine
Based on true events, Daisy explores the moment in television history that launched the age of negative advertising, and forever changed how we elect our leaders. War was the objective. Peace was the bait. Everyone got duped.

September 25, 26, October 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 & 10, 2020

SILENT SKY by Lauren Gunderson
The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries, when women’s ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications; Henrietta Leavitt and her female peers believe in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and Earth.

November 20, 21, 27, 28, December 3, 4 & 5, 2020

BETRAYAL by Harold Pinter
Moving backward in time, from the end of an affair to its beginning, the play throws into relief the little lies and oblique remarks that, in this time-reverse, reveal more than direct statements, or overt actions, ever could.

January 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, February 4, 5 & 6, 2021

WELL by Lisa Kron
Well is about the mystery of human personalities, told through an hysterical art-performance-gone-wrong, proving that the people you think you know intimately are often the hardest to know at all.

March 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, April 1, 2 & 3, 2021

BEN BUTLER by Richard Strand
When an escaped slave shows up at Fort Monroe demanding sanctuary, General Benjamin Butler is faced with an impossible moral dilemma—follow the letter of the law or make a game-changing move that could alter the course of U.S. history?

May 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 & 22, 2021

We’re so eager to have people back at the theater to share these amazing productions with us. Again, please consider purchasing a Flex Pass (falcontheater.net/tickets-information/flex-passes/ ).  Your support keeps Falcon Theatre strong now and in the future.

Thank you for keeping the arts alive.

Sincerely,

Ted Weil
Producing Artistic Director

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Cincinnati Ballet’s Wardrobe Dept. Trades Tutus for Masks, Making PPEs for Hospitals

CB_MasksCB teams up with Sew Masks 4 Cincy to create masks for frontline workers 

Cincinnati Ballet’s wardrobe department is helping protect our community during the coronavirus pandemic. The Company’s seamstresses have joined other volunteers making thousands of masks for local healthcare workers, first responders, and other frontline workers. Wardrobe Supervisor Noelle Wedig-Johnson says making masks is a labor of love for her and her team. “We are honored to use the ballets sewing talents to help protect the heroes in the medical field and other first responders,” Wedig-Johnson said. “Creating costumes has always given me a sense of purpose. Switching from tutus to mask production during this pandemic has given me hope in this uncertain time.” Cincinnati Ballet saw the critical need for PPE (personal protective equipment) in our community and began making masks with materials already stocked in the costume shop. As most ballet costumes are made of lycra, silk and tulle, Cincinnati Ballet purchased additional 100% cotton fabric suitable for making protective masks. “The Ballet during normal times contributes to the community through art. Making masks is a way we can continue to contribute in these unprecedented times,” Wedig-Johnson added.

Cincinnati Ballet has also teamed up with Sew Masks 4 Cincy (SM4C), a local, non-profit group that sprung up last month to help organize volunteer sewists across the region, as well as distribute masks to local frontline workers. SM4C is now also providing additional fabric to Cincinnati Ballet’s mask team. To protect volunteers, no masks are mailed, they are picked up by an administrative representative from each frontline facility at a designated SM4C site. For more information on Cincinnati Ballet’s efforts and a guide on how to make your own at-home mask, please visit the CB AT HOME page on our website, https://cballet.org/cb-at-home/. For more information about SM4C, please visit https://sewmasks4cincy.org/.

About Cincinnati Ballet
Since 1963, Cincinnati Ballet has been the cornerstone professional ballet company of the region, presenting a bold and adventurous array of classical, full-length ballets and contemporary works, regularly with live orchestral accompaniment. Under the artistic direction of Victoria Morgan, Cincinnati Ballet has become a creative force within the larger dance community, commissioning world premiere works and exploring unique collaborations with artists as diverse as Grammy winning guitarist Peter Frampton and popular, Ohio-based band Over the Rhine. With a mission to inspire hope and joy in our community and beyond through the power and passion of dance, Cincinnati Ballet reaches beyond the stage in programs that allow every person in the region to be part of the continued evolution of dance. To that end, Cincinnati Ballet presents exhilarating performances, extensive education outreach programs and offers top level professional ballet training at Cincinnati Ballet Otto M. Budig Academy.

CONNECT: READ / WATCH / LISTEN / LEARN / ENJOY at cballet.org

Cincinnati Ballet 2019-2020 Season Sponsors: Rhonda & Larry A. Sheakley, ArtsWave, Mercy Health, Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, Ohio Arts Council, John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust, Frisch’s Big Boy, Knowlton

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The 17th Annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival Comes to Over-the-Rhine and to Your Screen

CFF_Orange logo text onlyPresenting the 2020 Fringe Festival Primary Lineup 

Every June, weirdness descends on Over-the-Rhine as the small-but-dauntless team at Know Theatre manages its yearly labor of love, the Cincinnati Fringe Festival: our region’s largest, longest, most peculiar performing arts festival. This year, as it became inadvisable to bring the usual throngs of artists and audiences to Fringe HQ, we knew we couldn’t let the spirit of Fringe lie dormant for all of 2020.

In the joyful and inventive spirit of Fringe, we are delighted to bring you the details and the lineup for the 17th annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival in its freshly-adapted-for-2020, all-digital version. Fringe may be coming at you through a screen this year, but it remains, as ever, Kinda Weird – Like You.

Cincy Fringe will run, as originally scheduled, from May 29 to June 13, 2020. All content will be streamed online. With the exception of some livestreamed special events, performances will be available to watch on-demand. However, for those who, like us, are craving the Fringe spirit – that warm little community that springs up around the festival every year – we’ll be hosting scheduled group-watch parties for the shows in the lineup to bring that spirit straight into people’s homes.

We’re shaking up the format, but our values remain firmly rooted: as such, we are maintaining our practice of sharing all profits in a 50/50 split with the artists who bring their work to our festival. Tickets for single shows are available beginning at $11; there is also a “Love Your Artists” ticket option for $16, for patrons who have the means and the desire to contribute a little extra to the festival and its artists.

The coveted Fringe All-Access Pass will be available again for 2020; it can be purchased for $200 and provides access to all Fringe programming, including the Primary Lineup performances as well as the Special Events.

Ardent Fringe-hounds may notice that some of the titles in this year’s primary lineup sound a little familiar. This year, amongst the usual crop of brand-new works, we’re offering Fringe Flashbacks, a curated selection of favorite productions from seasons past. Frequent-Fringers can revisit these cherished favorites – or, perhaps, finally catch that one show they regret missing.

Other beloved fixtures of Cincy Fringe will also continue in digital format! Digital Special Events abound: CUSS with Travis McElroy, a return of Peter Michael Marino’s wildly popular Desperately Seeking the Exit, True Theatre’s 10th Annual True Fringe, and a performance from OTRimprov. Audiences will be able to take in virtual art galleries for Visual Fringe as well as livestreamed Bar Series events, featuring our regular updates from Channel Fringe Hard-Hitting Action News.

For more information on individual shows, or to purchase passes or tickets, visit our website at cincyfringe.com.

The Primary Lineup

The Bassoonist, by Autumn Kaleidoscope out of Cincinnati, Ohio. A Man, A Bassoon, and a Dream.

CFF20_COLONY-IMAGE 3Colony, by PSOPHONIA Dance Company out of Houston, Texas. An exploration of our symbiotic relationship with honeybees. A year in the making, COLONY began with an interest in creating a project that would involve the music of Stacy Garrop, who was to be in residence at the University of Houston in Spring 2019. Stacy’s work Postcards from Wyoming captured Torres’s imagination, conjuring up images of bees actively moving and shifting within a hive. Building on this concept, the ensembles designed this multidisciplinary program that draws audiences into the imperiled world of honeybees. | Press release

CFF20_DreamDream, from The Queer Feminists Next Door out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Queer, quirky, alternate-reality musical journey through social isolation and community. When Iz gets assigned to Emma’s case in the mission to save the multiverse, she takes them on an unforgettable interdimensional journey through wonder, heartache, temptation, and self-discovery. |Facebook event

Dreary, Dearie, from Caitlyn Waltermire out of Lexington, Kentucky. A one-woman show – interrupted.

Forbidden City!, from Martin Dockery out of Brooklyn, New York. A dazzling, alternative comedy/storytelling mash-up. Totally unique.

Hive Mind, from Performance Gallery and Solasta Theatre Lab out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Bees and puppets save the world. As usual. | Facebook event

CFF20_Paul and Erika's House showPaul and Erika’s HOUSE SHOW, by Theatre Immobile out of Cincinnati, Ohio. A house show too fun to stay in one house! A brand new 35-minute virtual house show for adults full of strange stories, original music, digital puppetry and more. A highly entertaining love letter to live audiences everywhere. This entire show was conceived, developed, and produced between April 15th and May 15th, 2020, in Paul and Erika’s Covington, Kentucky, apartment. | Press release | Facebook event |

CFF20_Killjoy OH logoKILLJOY, OH by Queen City Flash out of Cincinnati, Ohio. The new play from Pick of the Fringe winners Queen City Flash. From the creative force behind 2019’s SOLD-OUT show Zoinks! comes a sleek what-dunnit about small towns, Bermuda triangles and the lengths people will go to recover lost things. PICK-OF-THE-FRINGE winners Bridget Leak, Jordan Trovillion and Trey Tatum return with a new story of the bizarre in an entirely new format. | Press Release

Love and Other Lures, from Dr. Dour and Peach out of Cheverly, Maryland. The horror-comedy clown duo sings songs about love and monsters.

CFF20-m-o-u-s-e logom-o-u-s-e, from Ink Blot Inc out of Cincinnati, Ohio. A future archaeologist discovers the autobiography of Walt’s pet mouse. Trapped in a long-abandoned vault, an archaeologist in the distant future uncovers the autobiography of the real-life mouse that inspired culture’s most omnipresent corporate mascot. With life support systems dwindling, the archaeologist is tasked with relaying the mouse’s remarkable ninety-five year life story to his virtual AI assistant. | Facebook event

The Opinions of Men: A Stupid History of the Protestant Reformation, from That Crying Mask and That Laughing Mask Productions out of Cincinnati, Ohio. The 26% true story of revolution in 16th-century Europe.

CFF20_ProximityProximity, from Pones out of Cincinnati, Ohio. How do we negotiate the space that exists between us? How do we negotiate the space that exists between us? A first-person experience of what is lost and what can be found in our city. Based upon crowd-sourced suggestions, Pones will create a dance video that utilizes site-specificity to uncover the duet of beauty and grief we are collectively experiencing. | Facebook event 

Quit While You’re Ahead, by A to Z Productions out of Cincinnati, Ohio. I have a chart for that …

Rewind-a-Buddy, by Paper Soul out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Buddy wants to be YOUR FRIEND, on home video!

FRINGE FLASHBACKS

Butcher Holler Here We Come by Ad Hoc Economy out of Brooklyn, NY. 1973, West Virginia. Following a cave collapse, 5 coal miners struggle to survive the dwindling supply of oxygen, the lack of food and water, the unravelling sense of passing time, and, even more threatening, their own competing natures. Brutally weaving through family histories, complicated friendships, crooked politics, childhood visions, audacious hopes, eerie dreams, criminal addictions, and fervent spirituality in this run-ofthe-mill Appalachian community, 

Knifeslingin’, by Paper Soul out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Critter returns in a recording of last year’s Fringe favorite!

Lady Macbeth and Her Pal, Megan, by Heliotrope out of Iowa City, Iowa. Cornfed comedian is no Lady Macbeth. Or is she?

OCCUPY This! Tales of an Accidental Activist, by Tommy “Rev. Nuge” Nugent out of Detroit, Michigan. A funny thing happened on the way to the Revolution.

Petunia and Chicken, by Animal Engine out of New York, New York. Award-winning prairie love story, now with live folk music.

Stow Your Baggage*, by A to Z Productions out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Put your seatbacks in the all-right-let’s-talk position!

CFF20_The Unrepentant NecrophileThe Unrepentant Necrophile, by the Coldharts out of Brooklyn, New York. A punk musical about a mortician and her body. A mortician falls in love with a man as she prepares his corpse for burial. She has three days until the funeral… but three days just isn’t enough. | Facebook event

* Denotes Fringe Flashback programming

DIGITAL SPECIAL EVENTS

CFF20_Desperately Seeking the Exit logo

Desperately Seeking the Exit by Peter Michael Marino out of New York, New York. In 2007, American actor/writer Peter Michael Marino wrote a musical based on the Madonna film “Desperately Seeking Susan,” featuring the hit songs of Blondie. It opened on London’s West End…and closed a month later. Whoops! This high-octane, comical solo train ride fills in the blanks of how the $6 million musical was made and unmade. May 31 at 7pm, June 4 at 9pm, June 8 at 7pm | Press release

trueFRINGE 2020 by trueTHEATRE out of Cincinnati, Ohio. June 11 at 7pm | Facebook event

Virtual Fringe CUSS by Travis McElroy and the Cincinnati Underground Secret Society out of Cincinnati, Ohio. June 5 at ??pm

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.

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Cast Announced for CHARLOTTE’S WEB the Musical at Beechmont Players

BPI_logoBeechmont Players, Inc is excited to announce the cast of their summer production, CHARLOTTE’S WEB the Musical.

Cast:

  • Ann-Marie Lusk as Fern Arable
  • Steve Phelan as John Arable
  • Jennifer Moore as Martha Arable
  • Mia Zink as Avery Arable
  • Karl Bollinger as Homer Zuckerman
  • Tonya Oslack as Edith Zuckerman
  • Emma Holtz as Lurvy
  • Nicole Stocks as Wilbur
  • Rebecca Wiesman as Charlotte
  • Matt Lovell as Templeton
  • Hunter Bruening as Gander
  • Faye Hardek as Goose
  • Katherine Anderson as Sheep
  • Claire Hardek as Lamb
  • Ensemble:
  • Hunter Bruening
  • Faye Hardek
  • Katherine Anderson
  • Claire Hardek
  • BethAnn Bruening
  • Richelle Rose

CHARLOTTE’S WEB the Musical runs July 31- August 2 & August 8-9, 2020 with all performances at the Anderson Center Theatre on Five Mile Rd.

CHARLOTTE’S WEB the Musical is directed by Karen Wiebe, produced by Cathy Roesner, and choreographed by Amy Waldfogle.

Tickets are available online at www.beechmontplayers.org or by calling 513-233-2468

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