Monthly Archives: September 2020

Video Auditions Announced for W-YRD at Virtual Venue Theatricals

VVT_WYRD logoDates & Info

  • Director: Caleb Redslob
  • Music Director: Katelyn Quinn
  • Technical Director: Charity Farrell
  • Stage Manager: Christine Orr

Audition due date: Fri, Oct 23 @ 8pm ET/5pm PT
Invited Callback due date: Fri, Oct 30 @ 8pm ET/5pm PT
1st Rehearsal: Mon, Nov 2
Filming Day: first week of January 2021 (schedule TBD; based on conflicts)

Performance: to stream mid/late January 2021* 
*actors will not need to be available for performance dates

(Production will break for the winter holidays and resume in January)

Production Description 

Virtual Venue Theatricals presents W-YRD, the premiere show in our New Works series. Performers will have the unique opportunity to participate in the workshop to performance experience: providing feedback, fine-tuning characters, and developing a fully-realized collaborative production. Rehearsals to begin in November, break in December for revisions, and resume in January for brush-ups and filming.

Radio station W-YRD is the hub for a list of local songwriters: high-school lovers, overworked mothers, jealous besties, and zealous pastors. In a small town that keeps getting smaller, the radio tower broadcasts their emotions as music while they navigate relationships, regrets, and rediscovery. An original musical by Caleb Redslob. W-YRD is inspired by Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky indie rock station W-NKU.

All roles performed remotely with performances to stream on

How to Audition

32 bar pop/rock song

  • no a capella please

Record video horizontally

  • neutral background

Label clearly

  • full name_song title_role desired
  • full name_resume, full name_headshot

Please confirm your contact info is listed on your resume before submitting.

Due date October 23, 2020 @ 8pm ET/5pm PT

Submit video, headshot, resume & contact information to VVT Dropbox.


Abel Doran (Lead): Female, 18+ WORK FROM HOME
An angsty and sarcastic teenager; looking for her place in the world. Probably but not implicitly queer. Aspiring songwriter.

Ollie Rogers (Lead): Male, 18+ WORK FROM HOME
Likeable high schooler, gold retriever type. Charming and comforting to those he meets. Scatterbrained.

Reagan Rogers (Lead): Female, 35-50 WORK FROM HOME
Ollie’s mother, hardworking. Diligent and determined to provide her son a path to success. Sensible and caring with a smart wit.

Dirk Samson (Supporting): Male, 35-50 WORK FROM HOME
A pastor with a past. Seeks redemption with all the resources his lucrative religion has to offer. Pining for a lost love.

Mackenzie (Supporting): Female, 18+ WORK FROM HOME
High school soccer star who seeks purpose off the playing field.  Friendly and confident, the object of Ollie’s affections.

Artie (Lead): Male, 35+ WORK FROM HOME
The charismatic and off-beat host of W-YRD radio station. Delights in the discovery of hidden gems. Mind like a steel trap.

Ezra (Supporting): Gender Fluid, 20+ WORK FROM HOME
Radio DJ, aspiring solo artist, and self-proclaimed member of the W-YRD royal court. Quirky and expressive. Reads auras.

Andrea Doran (Supporting): Female, 35-50 WORK FROM HOME
Authoritarian; image obsessed. Mother to Abel; out of touch with the emotional needs of her daughter.

Visit for more information or email with any questions


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FANNIE LOU HAMER, SPEAK ON IT! presented by Know Theatre of Cincinnati through Oct. 4. I attended the opening Thursday performance.

KTC_Fannie Lou3

             Nathan Singer as Music Man. Elizabeth Leigh Taylor as Fannie.

At one point in the performance, Fannie makes the observation that she isn’t sure if she has traveled to the future or if we, the audience, have traveled to the past. Just one of many gut punches of truth contained in this excellent 40-ish minute production.

KTC_Fannie Lou2

Elizabeth Leigh Taylor as Fannie.

Elizabeth Leigh Taylor impresses as the titular character. Part call to action and part revival, Taylor is captivating in her performance (and vocals) as the civil rights activist, bringing Hamer’s passion, dignity, hard-earned wisdom, and faith to the forefront. Nathan Singer in the supporting role of Music Man provides the perfect combination of  musical and vocal support.

Adapted by playwright Cheryl L. West from her play, Fannie, the script focuses on the heart-wrenching and dangerous struggles of Black voters to simply register to vote in the South during the Jim Crow era.

KTC_Fannie Lou1

Nathan Singer as Music Man. Elizabeth Leigh Taylor as Fannie.

Director Derek Snow does an excellent job of creating the atmosphere of the work. Even though the performance is “confined” to the bed of a pickup truck, the blocking feels completely natural. 

Congratulations to the entire technical team for their hard work in making this show the traveling success that it is.

Pay-what-you-can performances continue through Sunday evening. The Saturday evening performance will be live-streamed. You can even register to vote at the performances. 

My rating: 5 out of 5.

Click here for more information on the production.

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Kincaid Regional Theatre
Oct. 9-17
Stonewood Gardens [Falmouth, Ky.]

It begins when Ichabod Crane, a lightly goofy schoolmaster, comes to the farming community of Sleepy Hollow with all his worldly possessions. He’s looking for a good life and a wealthy wife who will supply it. Once he sets eyes on the local beauty, Katrina Van Tassel, he’s sure his dream will come true. Unhappily for Ichabod, Katrina has a boyfriend who’s extremely jealous… the boisterous Brom Bones. To complicate matters the graveyard is haunted by a small army of restless spirits, including the most famous phantom of all, the Headless Horseman. At a party, Ichabod proposes marriage to Katrina, but is booted out by Brom and forced to make his way home through a terrible storm. In the dark, there’s something shadowy and towering intent on taking Ichabod’s life — the Headless Horseman! Poor Ichabod has to outrun the galloping phantom! Does he? No one knows for sure because the schoolmaster is never seen again.  An outdoor, socially-distanced production.

  • Fri-Sat, Oct. 9-10 at 7pm
  • Sat, Oct. 17 at 7pm

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Casts Announced for Resilience Staged Reading Series at Memorial Hall

CINCINNATI, OH – Casting has been announced for the first two productions of Memorial Hall’s Resilience Staged Reading Series.

THE STORY OF KING LEARRegional Premiere Adaptation
Adapted from Shakespeare by Daniel Elihu Kramer
Directed by Gabriella DiVincenzo
A ruler abdicates power, yet demands honor and privilege.
October 10, 17, 20, 23 & 31, 2020; all performances at 8:00pm


  • Lear, Glouster – Michael Burnham
  • Edmund, Edgar – Duncan Weinland
  • Goneril, Regan – Keisha Kemper
  • Cordelia, The Fool – Julianna Weis-Palacios

MEMO_Michael Burnham

      Michael Burnham

Cincinnati theatre legend Michael Burnham takes a rare acting turn as the eponymous King Lear. A Cincinnati Entertainment Award Hall of Famer and retired CCM instructor, Burnham headlines a cast with strong CCM ties, including local favorite and CCM drama graduate Keisha Kemper, and notable current CCM Acting students Julianna Weis-Palacois and Duncan Weiland.

CRY IT OUTRegional Premiere Dramedy
By Molly Smith Metzler
Directed by Leslie Goddard
First-time mothers reckon with boundaries of class, economy, and the impossibility of “having it all.”
October 15, 22, 24, 29 & 30, 2020; all performances at 8:00pm


  • Jessie – Brianna Bernard
  • Lina – Sarah Zaffiro
  • Mitchell – Aaron Whitehead
  • Adrienne – Miranda McGee

MEMO_Miranda McGee

           Miranda McGee.

Cincinnati theatre star Miranda McGee takes on the role of ambitious and caustic Adrienne, whose high-powered professional life seems incompatible with her role as a mother. A resident actor at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, McGee has trod the boards of nearly all of Cincinnati’s professional theatre companies, along with engagements across the country. Gifted rising professional Brianna Bernard carries much of the play’s weight in the role of Jessie, joining active young actor Sarah Zaffiro (Lina) and veteran local thespian and director Aaron Whitehead (Mitchell), who makes his Memorial Hall debut.

Actor and Director Biographies

BRIANNA BERNARD (Jessie, CRY IT OUT) is endlessly thankful to join the cast of CRY IT OUT in her Memorial Hall debut. Recent Cincinnati credits: PUFFS (Know Theatre of Cincinnati), MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (Cincinnati Landmark Productions), TOO MUCH LIGHT MAKES THE BABY GO BLIND (Cincinnati Artists’ Theatre), and THE OPINIONS OF MEN (Cincinnati Fringe Festival 2020). “Black Lives Matter. Wear a mask. Thankful for everything I’ve learned from mothers, especially mine.”

MICHAEL BURNHAM (Lear, Goucester; LEAR) is a decidedly local director, dramaturg, writer, storyteller, and now and again an actor. For more than forty years, he’s lived sorta happily ever after with the decidedly local documentarist Barbara Wolf. Three or four years ago an insurance lawyer forced them to get married. Luckily, their relationship seems to be surviving. Michael taught at CCM for almost thirty years; has created works for small arts organizations all over town – from Pones to concert:nova to Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati to Know Theatre to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; is in the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards Hall of Fame for Sustained Achievement; and once won a major award at Ithaca’s Fringe for a solo piece previously rejected by Cincy Fringe Festival. “Hey,” he says, “sometimes ya’ gotta get away to be heard, y’know?” Now, while busily editing what might become a musical about the Fisk Jubilee Singers, he gets to read a little Lear with friends. As the I Ching says, “In the afternoon light, unless you drum on a jug and sing, there will be the lament of old age, which is unfortunate.”

GABRIELLA DIVINCENZO (Director, LEAR) is a Boston native who earned a BFA in Acting from the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music (CCM). Gabriella has been working consistently as a director and producer in Cincinnati since moving to the Queen City in 2015. She is a Co-Founder, Resident Director and the Project Coordinator/Director of Artist Relations at the Cincinnati Artists’ Theatre (CAT). The Liberty Exhibition Hall is home to C.A.T. and where Gabriella has directed a number of her productions including TOO MUCH LIGHT MAKES THE BABY GO BLIND, MEN ON BOATS, LUNGS, and LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS. She has also worked at the Know Theatre as a director in the One Minute Play Festival, and Assistant Director to Brant Russell on the world premiere production of DARKEST NIGHT AT THE GNARLY STUMP. Gabriella has also directed THE FLICK by Annie Baker which was voted a 2020 Staff Pick in CityBeat at The Esquire Theatre.

LESLIE GODDARD (Director, CRY IT OUT) has been performing, directing, and choreographing for over 25 years. She was last seen on stage in SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM at The Lex and as Bridgit in LIZZIE at The Human Race Theatre Company. Other credits include Brenda/ Penny u/s in HAIRSPRAY on Broadway, Francine in JERSEY BOYS (Las Vegas), and roles on many local stages including Gerogie Bukatinsky in
THE FULL MONTY at HRTC, Missy in THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES: CAPS AND GOWNS at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Gemini in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Roxie in CHICAGO at The Carnegie, and Deb in ORDINARY DAYS at Short North Stage. Among the numerous shows she has choreographed, Leslie had the great pleasure of staging and choreographing THE WHO’S TOMMY and RING OF FIRE at the newly renovated Memorial Hall in Cincinnati. Her most notable accomplishments to date are her two daughters, Jocelyn and Mika.

KEISHA KEMPER (Goneril, Regan; LEAR) is a native of Cincinnati. She graduated from CCM with a BFA in Dramatic Performance. Around town, she has performed as Weezy in ALABASTER and Harry in HARRY AND THE THIEF at the Know Theatre of Cincinnati, with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra during a performance of Prokofiev’s Suite from Romeo and Juliet as the Chorus/Nurse, with concert:nova in THE BRADBURY TATTOOS: AN EXPERIMENTAL ROCK OPERA as (Story)Teller, as Amanda Wingfield in New Edgecliff Theatre’s production of THE GLASS MENAGERIE, and in original works at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. She is excited grateful to be performing during these unsettling times.

MIRANDA MCGEE (Adrienne, CRY IT OUT) is thrilled to be a part of the Resilience Staged Reading Series (assuming she can remember how to act, after a few months in quarantine!). Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Miranda has been a proud Cincinnati resident for over a decade. An AEA member and resident actor at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for twelve seasons, she has also worked locally with The Carnegie, Know Theatre, Clifton Performance Theatre, the Covedale and Madcap Puppets, and regionally with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Howmet Playhouse and Essential Theatre. When not onstage, Miranda can be seen as a tour guide with American Legacy Tours, leading people through underground brewery tunnels and talking about the fascinating history of Over-The-Rhine. “Did you know Memorial Hall is haunted?” Special thanks to Josh and the amazing crew of people who made this possible, and the continued resilience, strength and fortitude of not only the theatre community, but the beautiful city of Cincinnati. “We’re all in this together!”

DUNCAN WEINLAND (Edmund, Edgar; LEAR) is a Senior in the CCM Acting program. Born and raised in Seattle Washington and a Roosevelt High School graduate, he has worked with Seattle Public Theater and Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Wooden-O. Duncan was most recently seen in Cincinnati as Karl Lindner in CLYBOURNE PARK at the University of Cincinnati. Previous UC credits include Wisehammer IN OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD and Orpheus in EURYDICE. Previous Cincinnati credits include Oliver in LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS produced at Liberty Exhibition Hall.

JULIANNA WEIS-PALACOIS (Cordelia, The Fool; LEAR) is an acting student at CCM. Her past credits include Besty in CLYBOURNE PARK, Kristine in A CHORUS LINE, Graffiti Pete in IN THE HEIGHTS and many other musicals. She is beyond grateful for this experience; it truly has been a gift and reminder in these confusing and somewhat hopeless times. She wants to thank Gabriella DiVincenzo for believing in her and for everything she has generously taught her. She would also like to thank her mom for being everything she could ever need.

AARON WHITEHEAD (Mitchell, CRY IT OUT) is happy to be making his first appearance at Memorial Hall. Working by day at a Cincinnati non-profit, Aaron spends his evenings involved with as much theatre as possible. Some of Aaron’s recent local appearances include THE ELEPHANT MAN (Merrick) with Center Stage Players, THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS (Melvin) at Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, and DRY LAND (Janitor) at Clifton Performance Theatre. Aaron was rehearsing the role of Anthony in THE END OF THE RAINBOW at the Carnegie when COVID-19 hit, cancelling the show. Aaron was also scheduled to
direct THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO at Mariemont Players, but this was rescheduled for autumn 2021. Aaron is glad to have the opportunity to be involved with theatre that has such strong social relevance as a means of speaking out for marginalized voices in these difficult times.

SARAH ZAFFIRO (Lina, CRY IT OUT) is an actress and singer currently based in Cincinnati, OH. She is represented by PCG Talent Agency. Her favorite roles to date include Eponine in LES MISERABLES, Elizabeth in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, Maureen in RENT, and Wendla in SPRING AWAKENING. When she’s not performing, Sarah teaches private acting lessons and enjoys reading classic novels, watching historical dramas on Netflix, and snuggling with her cats.

Box Office
The series takes place in Memorial Hall’s opulent Green Ballroom, which offers a safe setting for up to 24 guests at socially distant tables. Seating is available for socializing groups of two or four; single tickets are not available. Patrons may reserve tables by making a pay-what-you-can donation; the recommended donation is $20.00 per patron. All net proceeds of the intimate productions will directly benefit the theater artists on stage and behind the scenes.

Seats may be reserved online at, or by calling the Memorial Hall Box Office at 513.977.8838 (Tu – Fr, 12pm – 4pm).
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MEMO_King Lear logoThe Resilience Staged Reading Series:
Memorial Hall
Oct. 10-31

Directed by Gabriella DiVincenzo

Cast: Michael Burnham as Lear/Glouster, Duncan Weinland as Edmund/Edgar, Keisha Kemper as Goneril/Regan & Julianna Weis-Palacios as Cordelia/The Fool

A ruler abdicates power, yet demands honor and privilege.

CCM Drama and Cincinnati Artists’ Theatre co-founder Gabriella DiVincenzo explores the nature of power and authority in THE STORY OF KING LEAR, an adaptation of the Shakespearean drama featuring contemporary language and a small cast playing multiple roles.

Cincinnati theatre legend Michael Burnham takes a rare acting turn as the eponymous King Lear. A Cincinnati Entertainment Award Hall of Famer and retired CCM instructor, Burnham headlines a cast with strong CCM ties, including local favorite and CCM drama graduate Keisha Kemper, and notable current CCM Acting students Julianna Weis-Palacois and Duncan Weiland.

  • Sat, Oct. 10 at 8pm
  • Sat, Oct. 17 at 8pm
  • Tue, Oct. 20 at 8pm
  • Fri, Oct. 23 at 8pm
  • Sat. Oct. 31 at 8pm

Official page | Facebook event |

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