Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati Presents Virtual Dramatic Reading of SIDE MAN, March 22-April 4, 2021

ETC_Side Man logoBy popular demand, our virtual production of the Tony Award-winning play SIDE MAN has an extended run! You can catch this incredible story on ETC On Demand now through April 11.

(Cincinnati, OH) The Tony Award-winning play Side Man, by acclaimed playwright and television producer Warren Leight (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), returns to Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC), this time on the digital stage with a dramatic reading. In 1999, ETC was the first regional theatre to produce Side Man while it was still running to sold-out houses on Broadway. The show, which reunites familiar Cincinnati actors on ETC’s (virtual) stage, will be streaming online through ETC On Demand March 22-April 4, 2021 and is directed by D. Lynn Meyers.

Set from 1953 and traveling to 1985, this 1999 Tony Award for Best Play winner, chronicles the life of trumpet player’s broken family as it navigates the decline of jazz as popular entertainment. Although the musicians are talented players, the nation is changing the channel to rock. “In its depiction of a young man struggling to remain the glue in the troubled marriage of his vacant, trumpet-playing father and unbalanced, alcoholic mother, this lovely play has an abiding power,” says The New York Times.

“Before Side Man became a hit on Broadway, I had fallen in love with the script and knew it was a show that had the potential to bring audiences to ETC,” says Producing Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers. “Including the reigning Tony winner and Pulitzer finalist in that 1999 season undoubtedly was a catalyst for the theatre, drawing new patrons into the area, many of whom then became subscribers. Warren Leight graciously trusted a theatre and a director he didn’t know to do the regional premiere and came to see it opening night. This led to two other premieres of his work, Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine and James and Annie.”

About the Playwright

Warren Leight (Playwright) is an award-winning writer and showrunner who is currently helms Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, now enjoying an historic 22nd season. Previously, he was showrunner and Executive Producer of HBO’s Peabody Award-winning In Treatment, the FX drama Lights Out, and the Edgar-winning Law and Order: Criminal Intent. His play Side Man won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Play and was a 1999 Pulitzer Prize Finalist. His other plays include No Foreigners Beyond This Point (Drama Desk nomination), Home Front, Fame Takes a Holiday, Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine (ATCA nomination), and The Loop. He wrote the book to the musical Mayor (Drama Desk nomination) and co-wrote the book to Leap of Faith (Drama Desk nomination). Two collections of one-acts, Dark, No Sugar and Stray Cats, have been published by DPS. His many articles and humor pieces have appeared in dozens of periodicals including the International Herald Tribune, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, Mademoiselle, National Lampoon, and BOMB Magazine.

About the Cast

Charlie Clark (Gene) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre as Bruce in Fun Home, where his credits include Next to Normal, Violet, Rapture, Blister, Burn, Hands on a Hardbody, Luna Gale, and Next Fall, among others. Some of his other local credits include Church Girls, Take Me Out, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, On Golden Pond, Carousel, Love’s Labour’s Lost, See What I Wanna See, The Full Monty, and Sunday in the Park with George. His Chicago credits include Company, Merrily We Roll Along, Into the Woods, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and Sweeney Todd. His Twin Cities credits include Guys and Dolls and Mary Poppins, and Bridges of Madison County. 

Michael G. Bath (Ziggy) returns to Ensemble Theatre, having last appeared in The Frog Princess, Fly By Night,
The Dancing Princesses, Cinderella: After Ever After, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Hands on a Hardbody, among others. Other regional credits include Superior Donuts with Clifton Players and Angels in America at Know Theatre. Mr. Bath has also performed with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, the Performance Gallery, Showboat Majestic, and Stage First Cincinnati.

Jennifer Joplin (Terry) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in The Humans. She has called Cincinnati home for a decade where some of her favorite credits include Outside MullingarTribes, and Rapture, Blister, Burn, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati; Feast, Girl in the Red Corner, and Man-Beast, Know Theatre of Cincinnati; and the roles of Lady Macbeth and Cleopatra at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Her film credits include Donnybrook and Old Man and the Gun. She is a graduate of Wright State University where she is an adjunct professor.

Brian Isaac Phillips (Al) returns to Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, having appeared in Outside MullingarDead Man’s Cell PhoneThe SeafarerIce Floe, and the Off-Center Series production of God’s Country, as well as directing the 2018 production of Red Velvet. Other recent credits include Collapse at Know Theatre, Porgy & Bess and Carmen at the Cincinnati Opera, as well as Lloyd in Noises Off at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Other favorites include the title roles in HamletMacbeth and Henry VA Streetcar Named DesireThe Weir, all with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, The Goat or Who is Sylvia with New Stage Collective, as well as productions with Playhouse in the Park and The Children’s Theatre. Brian is serving his 18th season as Producing Artistic Director at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

Geoffrey Warren Barnes II (Jonesy) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in Sleeping Beauty (2014) and Hands on a Hardbody. His credits include After Aida (joint project with Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati and Cincinnati Opera); Drunk Santa Xmas Spectacular, All the Way, Fences, Macbeth, and Twelfth Night, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; and Marian: or the true tale of Robin Hood, Know Theatre of Cincinnati. Geoffrey holds a BFA in Musical Theater from Webster University in St. Louis and an MFA in acting from the University of Texas at Austin. He is an alumnus of the Cincinnati School for the Creative and Performing Arts.

Maliyah Gramata-Jones (Patsy) made her Ensemble Theatre debut as #00 in the 2019 production of The Wolves. Offstage, Maliyah is a teaching artist and arts ambassador, having toured Japan, Germany, Poland, Canada, and the US. Her recent credits include Megan Jones in Puffs and A in Red Bike at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, as well as Nurse in Titus Andronicus at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. 

Spencer Lackey (Clifford) makes his Ensemble Theatre debut with this production. He is an Ohio-born actor based in New York and his theatre credits include Barefoot in the Park, Shakespeare in Love!, The Gospel of Fat Kathy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Other Rhine, METH: A Love Story, and Justice. His film/television credits include Dead of Winter, Notzilla, Healing River, A Very Special High School Story, and Paranoia.

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.


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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