Monthly Archives: February 2021

Neil Simon’s RUMORS Runs March 5-7

XACT_Rumors logoNeil Simon’s RUMORS
Xenia Area Community Theatre
March 5-7
Sorg Theater [Hamilton]

Directed by Carter Hume

Charlie and Myra’s ten-year anniversary party does not go quite as planned. Chris and Ken Gorman discover Charlie unconscious with a gunshot wound upstairs and Myra is nowhere to be found. In order to avoid a scandal, they attempt to cover up the mysterious incidents from the rest of the guests, but everyone jumps to their own conclusion and it turns into a farcical he said she said where nothing adds up. Don’t miss this thrilling play that will keep you guessing until the very end, live on the Sorg stage!

  • Fri-Sat, March 5-6 at 7:30pm
  • Sun, March 7 at 3pm

Official page | Facebook event |

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Walnut Hills High School Theatre Department Brings Light and Hope Through Music in SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD

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Sunny Dighe & Sophia Cotton-Riker. Photo courtesy of Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Cincinnati, OH – Following up it’s virtual productions of Hamlet and The Virtual Theatre Festival earlier in the fall, The Walnut Hills High School Theatre Department is back on its stage and on your screen with their senior high musical, Songs For a New World.

The show will be livestreamed from the Walnut Hills auditorium March 4-6, @ 7 p.m.

“We had hoped to be welcoming back small live audiences by this point, but unfortunately, that is not reality yet,” says director Mike Sherman.  “Still, we’re giving you as close to a live theatre experience as possible with being able to watch the show in your home live as it happens on stage in real time.”

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Ella Vaughn & Nadyaa Betts. Photos courtesy of Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Songs For a New World, by esteemed Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Bridges of Madison County), is a song cycle of 16 independent stories told entirely through song.  From immigrants sailing to the new world, to a kid growing up in Brooklyn with dreams of becoming a basketball star, to a couple taking a second chance at love, the songs span a diverse cast of characters throughout different periods of space and time. Whether dramatic, tragic, or comedic;  all of the stories and songs in the show are tied together by the common themes of change, love, hope, and resolve.

This production and the entire WHHS Theatre Season is graciously sponsored by the Walnut Hills High School Class of 1964 Performing Arts Fund.

For tickets: https://sites.google.com/view/whhstheatredepartment/tickets

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Diana Hutchinson, Gabe Donnelly, Ella Vaughn, & Olivia Busche, Photo courtesy of Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Featuring cast members Katie Berich, Nadyaa Betts, Maya Busche, Olivia Busche, Lily Canter, Lily Clark, Sophia Cotton-Riker, Sunny Dighe, Gabe Donnelly, Kyra Doty, Avery Frank, Jack Giglia, Chloe Goodman, Clare Graff, Diana Hutchinson, Lily Jones, Adeleigh Karoutchi, Isabella Lachey, Josie Leanza, Lizzy Reber, Ella Vaughn, and Anika Vockell.

  • Directed by Mike Sherman
  • Music Director: Steve Goers
  • Choreographer: Maggie Perrino
  • Student Choreographer: Lily Jones
  • Orchestra Conductor: Rick Canter
  • Technical Director: Helen A. Raymond-Goers
  • Scenic Designer: Ella Knellinger
  • Stage Manager: Sarah Mansfield
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Jamiera Jones and Lucia Johns
  • Costume Designer: Sadie Gray
  • Lighting Designer: JP Oberst
  • Makeup Designer: Laurel Price
  • Props Designer: Keziah Wilkins
  • Sound Designer: John Arora

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OTR Film Fest’s CELEBRATION OF INCLUSION Bringing Star-studded Lineup to Cincinnati Living Rooms

OTRFF_21_march_Newsletter_1920x1080-blk copyCINCINNATI, Ohio (Feb. 23, 2021) – The Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival, organized by LADD and the nation’s only diversity film festival led by the disability community, will host a special evening of connection, community and culture at 6:30 p.m. on March 11.

A Celebration of Inclusion in Film & Media,” a virtual experience, will feature celebrity appearances, comedy, musical performances, inspirational speakers and VIP packages with chef-curated dinners and custom gift bags.

The lineup of Hollywood stars and changemakers include:

  • Lea DeLaria from “Orange is the New Black”
  • Sammi Haney from “Netflix’s Raising Dion”
  • Ryan Niemiller, comedian and former contestant on “America’s Got Talent”
  • Valarie Kaur, filmmaker, civil rights lawyer and Sikh activist
  • Mat Fraser from “CripTales” and “American Horror Story”
  • Rickey Alexander Wilson from “Best Summer Ever”
  • Deirdre Lovejoy from “Netflix’s Raising Dion” and “The Wire”

Plus, musical performances by:

  • Indigo Girls
  • Sweet Honey in the Rock
  • BETTY

“As we look to heal, rebuild, perhaps return to some level of normalcy or begin anew after this past year, many of us are seeing life through a new lens,” said Molly Lyons, festival director. “That’s what this virtual experience is all about: celebrating our shared humanity and discovering new perspectives.”

We’ve partnered with our friends at EXPO to offer attendees various levels of participation in the evening’s activities, from standard access ($30) to VIP experiential packages. Tickets are available at expotoyou.com/otr-international-film-festival and an access link will be emailed to ticket holders closer to the date.

Each VIP package supports local chefs through Oakley Kitchen Food Hall, as well as artists with disabilities and Happen Inc. Breadwinners who designed art for t-shirts, bags and stickers included in the gift bags.

The event will also reveal the 2021 festival’s theme and announce two new festival awards in collaboration with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the Harriet Beecher Stowe House.

Produced by Kate Siahaan-Rigg – actor, stand-up comic and writer based in New York City – and Alyson Palmer – producer, director, activist, community organizer and singer/songwriter for BETTY – the night is sure to be full of laughter, discovery and celebration. The festival thanks its Leadership Committee, Marketing Committee, LADD’s Board of Directors and sponsors for making this event possible.

About Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival
The Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival, organized by LADD, was founded by the Saul Schottenstein Foundation B and is presented by the Edwards Initiative, formerly Financial Independence Project. The festival, set to return July 8-11, 2021, showcases stories that celebrate the human spirit by providing a platform for audiences to see through another’s eyes. The festival also aims to spotlight the Queen City and its role in reframing how we see disability in the entertainment industry’s ongoing discussion of diversity. Learn more at otrfilmfest.org.

About LADD
Guided by the belief that every person has ability and value, LADD empowers adults with developmental disabilities to live, work, and connect. Founded in 1975, the Cincinnati non-profit now supports more than 600 individuals through housing, employment and meaningful community engagement programs. Learn more at laddinc.org.

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Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati Commissions I SHALL NOT BE MOVED, the Captivating Story of Betty Daniels Rosemond

ETC_logoSTREAMING ON DEMAND April 19-May 2, 2021

(Cincinnati, OH) Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC) is thrilled to announce the commission of I Shall Not Be Moved, the riveting new script-in-development by Cincinnati native and emerging young playwright Isaiah Reaves. This one-woman play thrillingly recounts the story of Reave’s grandmother, nationally recognized Civil Rights pioneer Betty Daniels Rosemond and her beautiful, horrifying, and trailblazing journey through the American South as one of the first Freedom Riders during the 1960s. Audiences far and wide will experience the internal conflicts and joys of a dark-skinned Black woman’s fearless battle for equity and equality by streaming a reading of the show’s first draft, available on demand April 19-May 2, 2021.

As described by Woody Keown, Jr. of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, “Rosemond’s life is one of courage, clarity, and action,” which will inspire cross-generational audiences in our region and beyond. Directed by Torie Wiggins.

ETC will host a live discussion with playwright Isaiah Reaves on February 25, 2021 at 7:00 pm as part of its free livestream series Meet the Artists, and will be available through the theatre’s social media channels and website.

“It is an honor to bring I Shall Not Be Moved to life and what an extraordinary joy to have two generations together crafting this remarkable story,” says Producing Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers. “This honest, direct story demands to be told and we are thrilled make that possible. We look forward to presenting its world premiere on our stage when it’s complete and when we are once again able to welcome audiences in person. We anticipate collaborations with community partners as well as extensive, accompanying educational programs that will further bring this vital story to life.” 

About the Playwright
Isaiah Reaves (Playwright) is an emerging young playwright whose work explores a spectrum of Black and Queer experiences. A native of Cincinnati, he graduated cum laude from Northern Kentucky University in 2020. His plays have been staged and read by The Classical Theatre of Harlem at Lincoln Center, Vintage Soul Productions of Connecticut, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, and many others. Isaiah is a semi-finalist for the Ucross and The Blank Theatre Future of Playwriting Prize, a 2020 finalist of the Jackie Demaline Regional Collegiate Playwriting Competition, an Iowa Arts Fellow, and a recipient of Cincinnati CityBeat Critic’s Pick. He is currently in pursuit of an MFA at the historic University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop.

Performance Information
This virtual reading can be rented through ETC on Demand, the theatre’s new digital streaming platform. Tickets are $10 for one 48-hour rental or $60 for a subscription to all upcoming virtual content (excluding benefit readings) through June 2021. ETC On Demand will be able to be accessed through the theatre’s main website. Subscribers can contact the box office Monday through Friday, 9:00 am until 5:00 pm for more information.

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2020-2021 Season Presenting Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is supported, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. We fulfill our mission through our stage productions and educational outreach programs that enlighten, enliven, enrich and inspire our audiences.

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Cast Announced for CHILDREN OF EDEN at INNOVAtheatre

INNOV_logoINNOVAtheatre is pleased to announce the cast for our upcoming July production of CHILDREN OF EDEN.

Performances will take place July 9-18 at the historic Sorg Opera House in Middletown, Ohio. More information to follow.

The cast includes:

  • Abel/Japheth – Tanner Brown
  • Adam & Storyteller – Sam Downs
  • Cain/Ham – Nicholas Brown
  • Eve & Storyteller – Jillian Mitchell
  • Father – Jason Lakes
  • Noah – Jeff Weinkam
  • Mama Noah & Storyteller – Anna Rae Brown
  • Yonah – Maddy Weinkam
  • Young Abel & Storyteller – Ben Brown
  • Young Cain & Storyteller – Maria Greely
  • Snake & Storyteller – Michael Plaugher
  • Snake Soloist, Storyteller & Shem – Brady Oder
  • Snake Soloist, Storyteller & Seth – Bradley Scearce
  • Snake Soloist, Storyteller & Aphra – Alisha McFarlane
  • Snake Soloist, Storyteller & Aysha – Tamar Fishbein
  • Snake Soloist & Storyteller- Bethany Scearce
  • Snake Soloist & Storyteller – Patrick Greco
  • Snake Soloist & Storyteller – Melanie Brown
  • Storyteller – Lily Brackney Brown
  • Storyteller – Dani Jones
  • Storyteller – Ilana Milberg
  • Storyteller – Terry Neack
  • Storyteller – Michaela Back
  • Storyteller – Allison Koerner
  • Storyteller – Rey Howe
  • Storyteller – Nora Scarbro
  • Storyteller – Erin Speno
  • Storyteller – Dan Schindler
  • Storyteller – John Dorney
  • Storyteller – Bruno Greco
  • Storyteller – Sasha Greco
  • Storyteller – Shawn Furl

Directed by Richard Lee Waldeck
Musical Direction by Sarah Plaugher
Choreography by.Maddy Weinkam
Production Stage Manager – Josh Gibson
Costumed by Poleena Greely

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