We’re Rebuilding It.
The Know Theatre of Cincinnati is very pleased to announce continuing plans for its 2020-2021 theatrical season. The Know remains committed to its mission as “Cincinnati’s theatrical playground” to present bold and creative new works from unexpected and surprising voices, while maintaining the highest possible level of safety for artists and audiences alike.
The Know Theatre’s twenty-third season, themed as “We Can Rebuild It,” continues with our next Mainstage production, Zack, by Christian St. Croix and directed by Andrew J. Hungerford. Livestreaming from the Know November 20 through December 13, this nostalgically satirical new play tackles the tropes of early 90’s teen sitcoms through the eyes of its tokenized minority characters, and asks the question: whom does the bell save? Starring David Armando and A.J. Baldwin, Zack is as packed full of hilarious and tender moments as the shows by which it’s inspired, while bringing an unflinching honesty all its own.
In February, the Know will present Theatre: A Love Story, by Caridad Svitch. This boldly poetic script, which peels back layers of storytelling convention and artifice to expose the raw beating heart of performance, will receive a collaborative production that blurs the lines between theatre and film and which draws on the strength of Cincinnati’s artistic community with multiple directors, a local cast, and collaboration with the dance company Pones, Inc. Theatre: A Love Story will stream online February 26 through March 27.
The mainstage season will be rounded out by two other shows, opening in January and in April; these titles will be announced later in the season.
Previously, the Know’s mainstage season debuted in August with a digital performance of Feast., by Megan Gogerty and directed by Tamara Winters. Featuring local star Jennifer Joplin, this solo retelling of the story of Grendel’s Mother from the epic poem Beowulf received rave reviews from critics and patrons alike and was viewed by audiences across the country. Ticket-buyers had the option to purchase a special “party favor” that was shipped to them in the mail, which added a bit of live, interactive flavor to the digital performance.
The season continued in September with a two-week run of Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!, adapted by Cheryl L. West from her play Fannie. Created in association with Chicago’s Goodman Theatre to engage and activate voters in anticipation of November’s election, Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It! was a traveling outdoor production, performed by two actors from the back of a pickup truck, that captured the spirit of the civil rights rallies led by the activist Fannie Lou Hamer in the 1960s and 1970s. This show, along with voter registration drives courtesy of the Greater Cincinnati Voter Collaborative, visited fourteen different parking lots across the greater Cincinnati area, from Covington to Hamilton.
When the Know closed its doors back in April, due to the first outbreak of COVID-19, we began production on a series of new radio plays. It was an exciting opportunity to create safely-distanced work for local actors, directors, and playwrights, while providing our patrons and subscribers with new entertainment. The Radio Know library now encompasses seven full-length audio plays, spanning a wide variety of styles and genres, from comedy to family drama to gothic drama even to jazz-infused, with a new play debuting monthly. Next up will be Haunted: The Great Lakes Ghost Project, by Joseph Zettelmaier, just in time for Halloween. Following that will be The Election of Miss Rebecca’s Third-Grade Class, by Brandon Leatherland, in November.
When production was put on an indefinite hiatus in the spring, the Know dove into its vaults to share archived recordings of some recent favorite shows. Currently available for video-on-demand streaming is Darkest Night at the Gnarly Stump, by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin, with music by Paul Strickland. More recordings will be released throughout the coming season.
The Cincinnati Fringe Festival
The 2020 Cincinnati Fringe Festival pivoted to an all-digital production, with the whole Fringe experience, from Primary Lineup to Bar Series, fully online. It’s too early now to say what the 2021 Cincy Fringe will look like, but we know this: it’s happening, and it’ll be Kinda Weird, Like You. Applications are now open on cincyfringe.com.
It’s no secret: 2020 has been hard on all of us, but the Know Theatre didn’t quit when the going got tough. We’re pursuing our mission to be Cincinnati’s theatrical playground, and we’re working hard to reinvent and rebuild our industry and find new ways to delight and inspire our audiences. We’re so proud of what we’ve done so far, and so pleased that audiences have had such a great time along with us. So if you’re missing live events, if you’re curious about the art we’re making, or if you want to support a local Cincinnati business, we’re waiting for you. Come on in. The water’s great.
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.