Teach. Out Loud. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati Presents Regional Premiere Drama PIPELINE


Jay Wade as Omari, Sharrell D. Luckett as Nya.

September 21 – October 16, 2021

(Cincinnati, OH) Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is going back to school with the regional premiere drama, Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau, the acclaimed MacArthur “Genius” Grant playwright. This 2018 Obie Award-winning play powerfully brings an urgent conversation to the forefront, compassionately probing the limits of our education system and a mother’s fight to give her son a future—without turning her back on the community that made him who he is. Having played only a few performances to rave reviews from audiences and critics alike, the show was abruptly suspended the day after it opened in March of 2020 in response to COVID-19. Directed by Ron OJ Parson. Premiere Sponsors are the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation and The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation.­­

Nya, a public high school teacher, is committed to her students but desperate to give her only son, Omari, opportunities they’ll never have. When an explosive incident at his prestigious private school threatens to get him expelled, will all her efforts be lost? Don’t miss this compelling, must-see portrait of parenthood, education, and the experience of young black men in America.

“There wasn’t a chance we would open the season with anything but Pipeline,” says Producing Artistic Director
D. Lynn Meyers. “There is a crucial need for this show today in our society and it demands to be seen.” Ron OJ Parson, the Director, adds “As audience members or art lovers, if you go to a museum, ten people can look at the same painting and take away ten different things from it, and I think that’s the same with [Dominique Morisseau’s] plays. Every character in Pipeline is going to be watched by audience members, and they’ll latch onto their stories.” 

Mask and Vaccination Requirements
ETC requires all patrons, visitors, and staff to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test certification and to wear face masks at all times while on the premises. For full health and safety policy information, visit our website at www.ensemblecincinnati.org/health-safety. 

About the Cast

Bryant Bentley (Dun) is a native of Dayton, OH, and was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in Detroit ’67. Other theater credits include The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963, Indiana Repertory Theatre; Between Riverside and Crazy, Pittsburgh Public Theatre; Two Trains Running, The Piano Lesson, and Fences, American Players Theater; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, A Soldier’s Play, and many more. Film/TV credits include The Killing of a Sacred Deer, the CBS series One Dollar, All or Nothin’, and The Public, written and directed by Emilio Estevez. 

Kenneth Early (Xavier) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre as the Caterpillar/Butterfly in Alice in Wonderland, where his other credits include The Dancing Princesses, Red Velvet, The Whipping Man, Grey Gardens, Snow White, and The Frog Princess. Other regional credits include Once on This Island, Misery, August Wilson’s Jitney, and To Kill a Mockingbird, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Macbeth, Of Mice and Men, and To Kill a Mockingbird, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; On Golden Pond, The Human Race Theatre; Once on This Island, Actor’s Theater of Louisville; Pluto and Harry and the Thief, Know Theater Cincinnati; and Awaited at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.

Sharrell D. Luckett (Nya) is an award-winning artist and scholar. Off-Broadway credits include YoungGiftedandFat. Acting credits include Fences and Holding Up the Sky. Directing credits include Topdog/Underdog, In the Red and Brown Water, and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf. Book credits include Black Acting MethodsYoungGiftedandFatTransweight, and African American Arts. Originally from Atlanta, Sharrell holds a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Missouri and is a professor of Drama and Performance Studies at the University of Cincinnati. She is also the director of the Helen Weinberger Center for Drama and Playwriting and founding director of the Black Acting Methods Studio. 

Regina Pugh (Laurie) most recently served as the director of A Doll’s House, Part 2 at Ensemble Theatre, where she was seen on stage in Annapurna, The Other Place, Next Fall, My Name is Asher Lev, After the Fall, Buckminster Fuller: In and Out Universe, The Water Engine, and Everything in the Garden and Fragments, both directed by Edward Albee. She appeared at Cincinnati Playhouse in A Christmas Carol (1992-2011) and the world premiere of Invention for Fathers and Sons and has performed locally at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and The Know Theatre of Cincinnati. Regina teaches acting at Xavier University and is a founding member of Performance Gallery, an alternative theatre collective that specializes in original work and has participated yearly in the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. 

Angelica Santiago (Jasmine) received her BFA in acting from Montclair State University. Her credits include
The Wolves, Actors Theatre of Louisville ; Hype ManDraculaThe Electric HarvestA Christmas Carol, and We’ve Come to Believe, 43rd Humana Festival; As You Like ItHenry IV Part I , and King Lear, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. 

Jay Wade (Omari) makes his Ensemble Theatre debut with this production and his second professional appearance in the role of Omari. He is from St. Louis, MO, and recently earned his BFA in Acting from Southeast Missouri State University.

Production team: Brian c. Mehring (Resident Scenic and Lighting Designer), Dana Rebecca Woods (Costume Designer), Matt Callahan (Sound Designer), Mike Tutaj (Projection Designer), Shannon Rae Lutz (Properties Master & Design Assistant), Matthew Hollstegge (Production Manager), and Jack Murphy (Technical Director). Production Stage Manager is Margot Whitney. Assistant Stage Manager is Lexi Muller.

Performance Information
Performances Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 pm; Friday & Saturday at 8:00 pm; Saturday & Sunday at 2:00 pm. Performances vary. A complete calendar of performances is available www.ensemblecincinnati.org.

Ticket Prices
Tickets start at $35 for adults; student tickets are $28; and children are $24. Half-Price Rush Tickets: All remaining tickets for the current day’s performance(s) are available two hours prior to each show time for half-price (discount only applies to adult tickets) when purchasing by phone or in person. $15 Student Rush Tickets: Students may purchase up to two $15 student rush tickets two hours prior to show time with valid student I.D. Available in person only.


2021-2022 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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Press Releases

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.