Know Theatre of Cincinnati Upends Nostalgia and Parodies the Teen Sitcoms of Yesteryear

KTC_Zack press

David Armando as PJ & AJ Baldwin as Gina.

Know Theatre of Cincinnati upends nostalgia and parodies the teen sitcoms of yesteryear in:

ZACK
by Christian St. Croix
November 20 – December 13, 2020
Whom does the bell save?

When you wake up in the morning, as the alarm gives out a warning, and you know you’ll never make it on time, it’s all right, ‘cause you’re saved by the Know! The Know Theatre is celebrating the holiday season with a heaping dose of pop-culture satire with Zack, by Christian St. Croix. Zack lovingly skewers the popular tropes of the teen sitcom as it introduces us to the lives and loves of Gina and PJ, a Black girl and a Latino boy at an affluent, majority-white Southern California high school, and poses the question: whom does the bell save?

PJ, a lovesick surfer boy, and Gina, a teen fashionista, are overjoyed when they’re invited into the inner circle of Zack, the charismatic but prank-happy new kid at school. When Zack plans a prank that goes too far, PJ and Gina race to stop him before it’s too late – and along the way, learn to see their peers, and themselves, with fresh eyes.

If you loved teen sitcoms like Saved by the Bell, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, or Lizzie McGuire, you’ll love this shake-up of sitcom tropes. If you couldn’t stand those shows, you’ll love seeing those tropes get ruthlessly parodied. Zack is set in 1992, but its heart is entirely issues that are rocking 2020: embracing unconditional self-love, dismantling bigotry and biases, and smashing the systems that oppress us. It’s time to love who we are, heal our hearts, and unite to keep bullies from rising to the top of the class. 

Zack is a fully theatrical experience delivered to you as an entirely online production. The first two weeks of the run will feature livestreamed performances broadcast from the Know Theatre’s Mainstage; the final two weeks will offer video-on-demand access to a recording of our favorite livestreamed performance.

Zack will be directed by the Know’s Producing Artistic Director, Andrew J. Hungerford. We’re delighted to welcome back A.J. Baldwin to our Mainstage as Gina; A.J. previously appeared at the Know in last season’s sci-fi political drama, The Absentee. We also welcome David Armando, fresh out of his internship with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, who is making his Know Theatre debut as PJ.

Following the success of our previous show, Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!, which was performed in public spaces across the city, we’re partnering with a few local organizations to produce drive-in screenings of Zack. We’re almost ready to announce the details on that; stay tuned for more information!

The Know Theatre takes the potential risks of making theatre in a pandemic very seriously, and we are taking all possible steps to ensure the safety of our cast and crew. Precautions include weekly COVID testing for all members of the production team, clearly delineated working spaces to ensure safe distancing, mask-wearing at all times except when actors are performing, and regular disinfecting of the theatre. 

CAST

  • David Armando as PJ
  • AJ Baldwin as Gina

PRODUCTION TEAM

  • Director: Andrew J. Hungerford
  • Scenic and Lighting Designer: Andrew J. Hungerford
  • Costume Designer: Noelle Wedig-Johnston
  • Sound and Projections Designer: Douglas J. Borntrager
  • Props Design & Scenic Art: Kayla Williams
  • Original Music: James Allen
  • Stage Manager: Meghan Winter
  • Technical Director: Henry Bateman

AT A GLANCE

  • Production: Zack by Christian St. Croix
  • Dates: Nov 20 – December 13
  • Where: Online, streamed from the Know Theatre of Cincinnati
  • Tickets: The standard ticket price is $20. Audiences may opt to support the Know’s initiative to pay all artists and employees a living wage by selecting the $30 Living Wage Ticket. Rush tickets, when available, may be purchased for $10 an hour before performance. On Wednesdays, as part of our Welcome Experiment, tickets are $5 in advance or FREE beginning one hour prior to the show. 

This production is brought to you in part by Welcome Sponsor Thompson-Hine and individual Performance Sponsors including Patrick Cusick and Jeff Syroney. If you are interested in sponsoring a performance of Zack, please contact Associate Artistic Director Tamara Winters at twinters@knowtheatre.com. 

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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