Monthly Archives: May 2020

Sixteen Children’s Theatres Honor Frontline Workers with National Tribute Song

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is proud to participate

TCTC_So Many Heroes

Friday, May 22, 2020, CINCINNATI:   Amid the global pandemic which has forced the temporary closure of many performing arts venues, 16 youth-serving theatres across the country have come together to share a national tribute, performed by children within each community, to honor frontline workers, including five students from the Greater Cincinnati area representing The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT). These young Cincinnati artists include:

  • Brinley Culver
  • Celia D’Ascenzo
  • Diana Hutchinson
  • Annabelle Price
  • Nyla Thomas
  • Kavan Vadivelu

Bios can be found below.

Led by Seattle Children’s Theatre’s Interim Artistic Director Kathryn Van Meter, the project titled So Many Heroes empowers and amplifies the voices of young people during this time.

“We will be forever changed by our current events, and forever connected and bound together by our shared experience of isolation. As we begin to redefine what it is to share space, there is hope in our future because we are resilient…just like the young people in our communities,” said Van Meter.

Jeff Revels, Artistic Director of Orlando Repertory Theatre and writer for the nationally televised Memorial Day parade, presented the idea knowing that the network of theatres for young audiences could mobilize this tremendous effort. Together, Revels, Van Meter and Rich Gray, songwriter of So Many Heroes, began collaborating on what the national tribute could be.

“We have heard from the doctors and politicians, but not much from the kids of America. Writing musicals for young audiences has taught me how observant kids are. They see everything and absorb it all. They have been processing this like crazy, so, when asked to write this tribute, I knew it had to be in the direct, honest language that kids use,” said Gray, emphasizing the importance of hearing from young people during this time.

The tribute, which will be released today, Friday May 22, can be viewed on the participating theatre’s Facebook pages (including The Children’s Theatre’s page) at 6 a.m. (HST), 9 a.m. (PST), 11 a.m. (CT) or 12 p.m. (EST):

Adventure Theatre MTC (Glen Echo, MD)

Childsplay Theatre (Tempe, AZ)

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)

Dallas Children’s Theater (Dallas, TX)

First Stage (Milwaukee, WI)

Growing Stage (Netcong, NJ),

Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Honolulu, HI)

Imagination Stage (Bethesda, MD),

Lexington Children’s Theatre (Lexington, KY)

Northwest Children’s Theater & School (Portland, OR)

Oregon Children’s Theatre (Portland, OR)

Orlando Repertory Theatre (Orlando, FL

Seattle Children’s Theatre (Seattle, WA).

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)

Trike Theatre (Bentonville, Arkansas)

Wheelock Family Theatre (Boston, MA)

TCT’s Producing Artistic Director, Roderick Justice, said: “On behalf of everyone at TCT, we are forever thankful to the heroes who keeps us safe, happy and healthy in a time where we can’t physically come together to entertain our audiences. Through this collaboration with the Nation’s leading children’s theatres, we deliver a powerful and unified voice of gratitude. These heroes keeping us safe will also keep our mission alive for another 100 years.”

About The Artists:

Brinley Culver
Brinley appeared as Precious in TCT’s October 2019 production of Casper the Friendly Musical. She appeared as Little Girl in TCT’s Cinderella. Some of her favorite shows include: Seussical (JoJo), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Flounder), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Chip), and Disney’s Frozen (Middle Anna). During the last three summers, Brinley has participated in TCT’s STAR Intensive NKU program, and last year in TCT’s STAR ALL STARS. Brinley just completed seventh grade at Liberty Junior School. Off stage, she loves producing her own movies, dancing, and watching Master Chef.

Celia Joy D’Ascenzo
Celia made her TCT MainStage debut earlier this year in Annie JR. as Molly. In addition to being an avid singer, dancer, actress, pianist, and tumbler, Celia is a passionate storyteller. Other credits include: Awaited, Disney’s Cinderella KIDS (Fairy Godmother), Seussical (Young Kangaroo), and Disney’s High School Musical JR. (Cheerleader). Celia loves her homeschool community at HELP and CC and dances at Just Off Broadway. She enjoys spending time with her sisters, creating their own shows.

Diana Hutchinson
Diana was proud to make her theatre debut with The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati in the title role of TCT’s production of Annie JR.. Diana was born and raised in Cincinnati. She is currently heading into her sophomore year at Walnut Hills High School. Diana enjoys dancing, singing, and spending time with her family and friends. She is excited about sharing her love for the arts as she continues her performing career.

Annabelle Price
Annabelle is a recent eighth grade graduate of Summit View Academy in Northern Kentucky. She is an avid fan of TCT and has participated in their summer camp programs and other special events. Annabelle has performed in numerous school and community theatre projects including the role of Piggie in a pilot production of Elephant and Piggie – We are in a Play.  She is passionate about the arts and hopes to continue in high school and beyond. Other credits include: Disney’s Lion King JR (Zazu), Alice in Wonderland JR (White Rabbit) and Madagascar JR. (Marty). Annabelle studies voice, acting and dance at Moss Performing Arts Academy and looks forward to more TCT opportunities in the future.

Nyla Thomas
Nyla is a recent eighth grade graduate of Crossroads Middle School in Fairfield, where she sings in the choir. She appeared in TCT’s 2020 production of Annie JR. and the 2019 production of Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS (Shanti). Nyla has a background in competitive hip-hop dancing and studies in voice. She was a TCT STAR Program participant from 2017 to 2019 and a TCT STAR All Stars participant in 2018 and 2019. Nyla received the TCT STAR Program “Rising Star” Award in 2018.

Kavan Vadivelu
Kavan is headed into the eighth grade at The Seven Hills School. In addition to theater, Kavan enjoys dancing and playing soccer for his club team. His previous credits include TCT’s 2019 production of Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS (Mowgli), Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Charlie), and Disney’s Aladdin KIDS (Aladdin).

About The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati:
For 100 years, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has provided education and entertainment for children and the young at heart through the art of stage performance. TCT is the oldest children’s theatre in the nation, and the only professional theater in the region that devotes its entire MainStage season to children. TCT directly impacts the lives of nearly 200,000 families and children annually, through Broadway-quality TCT MainStage performances as well as TCT on Tour touring productions and TCT Academy performing arts instruction for children ages 18 months to 18 years.

In March of 2020, in response to COVID-19 and school closures, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati launched TCT EVERYWHERE  — an online resource for parents, teachers and students featuring crafts, acting and vocal exercises and contests from the professional artistic staff of TCT Academy; along with study guides, podcasts, videos of past productions, and more.

For more information about the TCT mission, check out our website or enjoy our programming through TCT EVERYWHERE


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2020 OCTA Events Have Been Cancelled


It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of the 2020 OCTA Regionals, OCTA, Jr. and the OCTA State Conference 2020.

The COVID-19 situation posed new challenges, both in terms of safety and logistics, to our regionals, OCTA, Jr and OCTA State Conference and the decision to cancel was made after great deliberation by the OCTA State Board and Regional Reps. Our ability to guarantee a healthy environment for our participants throughout the experience was of primary importance in this decision. Even though the actual events are months away and the landscape is still very uncertain, the safety issues of rehearsal spaces, live performances, audience social distancing, hotel and buffet meals indicate cancellation as the wisest course for this year.

Participation in any OCTA event is an experience that cannot be replaced, and we are saddened that we cannot provide that opportunity for our participants and member theatres this year. Plans are already being made for the OCTA 2020-2021 Season.

On behalf of the entire OCTA State Board and our Regional Representatives, thank you for your continued interest and support of OCTA and our programs.  We depend on your membership and participation to make OCTA a viable organization for community theatre participants across the state of Ohio to not only have educational opportunities but also to receive recognition for their efforts on and off the stage.

Break-a-leg to all our member theatres as we begin to re-open our theatres and tread the boards once again!

Joe Barton, President

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Paul & Erika’s HOUSE SHOW World Premiere at 2020 Cincinnati Fringe Festival

CFF20_Paul and Erika's House showFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CINCINNATI, OHIO (May 19, 2020) Coming to the Cincinnati Fringe Festival this May and June is Paul & Erika’s House Show, 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.

Erika Kate MacDonald and Paul Strickland, 15-time “Best of Fest” winners at Fringe Festivals here in Cincinnati and across North America, have teamed up to make what they call a “house show too fun to stay in one house.”

Paul keeps telling people “We don’t know how to make a movie!”  Erika finds herself calling this “a… video?”  The only thing they both agree on is, “It is definitely a show!”  When you buy a ticket you’ll be given a link and a password to watch the full show online any time during the Festival dates.

Paul and Erika are local creators who actually moved to Cincinnati because of this city’s amazing creative opportunities – specifically, the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, where they have been creating hit new shows for the last seven years.

Paul and Erika’s Fringe shows have sold out every year that they have performed at the Cincy Fringe. Past shows: 90 Lies An Hour (2019), ExTrashVaganza! (2018), Balls of Yarns (2017), Ice Candle (2016), My Left Teeth (2016), Tales Too Tall for Trailers (2015), Papa Squat (2014), and Ain’t True & Uncle False (2013).

They tour their work professionally across the U.S. and Canada.

Theatre Mobile makes theatre. That moves around. Founded by Paul Strickland and Erika Kate MacDonald, Theatre Mobile aspires to scratch that itch for alternative, bare-bones, creativity-forward theatre in Cincinnati.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the Know Theatre Box Office at (513) 300-5669.

Venue: Online, however you may get there.

Show dates and times (35 minutes): Your single ticket or all-access pass will allow you to watch this show any time from May 29th through June 13th.

Live Q & A with the Artists: Thursday, June 4th, 8pm

Tickets: $10 plus $1 ticketing fee | Multi-show pass available

Rating: Parental Guidance (13+)

Direct Ticket Link:

Festival dates May 29 – June 13, 2020.  For info about Cincy Fringe visit


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NKU School of the Arts Offering Online Art Summer Workshops for Adults

NKU_SOTA logoNorthern Kentucky University’s School of the Arts will be offering two online art studio workshops for adults age 18+ this summer. Each workshop is taught by Randel Plowman and will offer an optional 10-hour Professional Development certificate for teachers. Tuition for each workshop is $70.

‘Zine Workshop (June 13-19)
You will create a ‘zine edition of your own! This can include text and pictures, pictures only, text only. Both printing and binding techniques will be taught. If you are an artist, writer, teacher or anyone with a story to tell, a point to make, or like to draw and make things, this workshop is for you! No previous experience necessary.

‘Zines (pronounced “zeens,” short for magazines) are self-published mini-books or original content about anything the author/illustrator chooses. Examples of topics range from comics, fanfiction, politics, art, and personal stories. Generally, they are reproduced on a photocopier in small print runs for sale or trade. Zines have been produced since the 1700s and were created by politically involved artists in the Dada and Surrealist movements in the early 20th century and the 1970s Punk subculture.

Collage Workshop (June 27-July 3)
Collage is the art of recycling. It takes the old and makes it new again through fragmenting, recontextualizing and combining imagery in new and exciting ways. This seven-day online workshop explores the many possibilities that collage can offer. This workshop is open to both beginner and advanced artists.

Several techniques will be explored in this hands-on workshop, including; creating visually compelling imagery through the use of layering, using color effectively, how to create a strong composition and more.

About Randel Plowman
Randel Plowman received his M.F.A. in printmaking from University of Wisconsin-Madison and his B.F.A. from Northern Kentucky University. He has exhibited in solo and juried exhibitions throughout the United States; in addition, his work appears in many public and private collections in North America and abroad, his work has been cited in numerous publications, including The New York Times and USA Today; been featured in The Paris Review, How Design Magazine, Artist Magazine and Somerset Studio. He is the author of two books, Masters: Collage, and The Collage Workbook: How To Get Started And Stay Inspired; voted Best Art Instruction Book of 2012 by Library Journal. Plowman currently teaches printmaking at Northern Kentucky University.

For more information and to register, please visit

### NKU ###

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The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s Virtual Summer Camps

TCTC_new logoAct, Sing, Dance, and Create with us this summer from the comfort and safety of your own home!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020, CINCINNATI:   Due to COVID-19 and in the interest of social-distancing and keeping the health and safety of all local families in mind, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has moved all One-Week Summer Camps to an online platform for June & July 2020.

TCT is now offering week-long Musical Theatre Intensive Virtual Camps for three different age groups:

  • 6 to 7 years old: Featuring Disney’s 101 Dalmatians
  • 8 to 10 years old: Featuring: Disney’s Descendants
  • 11 to 14 years old: Featuring The Addams Family

The deadline to register for June Camps is THIS FRIDAY, May 22 at 12 noon. (No exceptions due to TCT prep time required.)

TCT’s Virtual Camps are designed to be fun!  Here’s what Campers can expect:

  • 3 hours of activities daily Monday-Friday
  • A balance of on-screen instruction and off-screen projects
  • Small class sizes
  • A bag full of supplies and activities to keep at home
  • Live theatre arts training from TCT Professionals
  • Pre-recorded tutorials
  • Fun & memorable experiences 

Tuition is just $100 for the week. with a choice of a morning half-day camp, or an afternoon half-day camp. Each half-day session will be three hours long, Monday-Friday. 

Only a limited number of spots are available. Sign up today for these exclusive online camps and add a little structure to your child’s summer at home.

Visit for more information or to register.

For 100 years, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has provided education and entertainment for children and the young at heart through the art of stage performance. TCT is the oldest children’s theatre in the nation, and the only professional theater in the region that devotes its entire MainStage season to children. TCT directly impacts the lives of nearly 200,000 families and children annually, through Broadway-quality TCT MainStage performances as well as TCT on Tour touring productions and TCT Academy performing arts instruction for children ages 18 months to 18 years.

For more information about the TCT mission, check out our website or enjoy our programming through TCT EVERYWHERE


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