THE TWUNNY FO’ at Know Theatre of Cincinnati

KTC_The Twunny Fo cast“Whose bricks? My bricks!”

THE TWUNNY FO’ by A.J. Baldwin
April 15 – May 8, 2022

A world-premiere comedy about work and the work. 

To close out our 24th season of new works, the Know is delighted to present a brand-new workplace comedy, set in the third shift of a 24-hour convenience store and written by Cincinnati playwright and performer A.J. Baldwin.

As rents go up and people move away, Tyra works to finish her M.B.A. so she can move out of the neighborhood for once and all. By night, she works at her local corner store, which has just been bought out by “family owned” chain The 24, open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. When a life-changing event rocks the store, Tyra and the rest of the third shift push back to reclaim the block for the future of their neighbors. 

The Twunny Fo’ comes to you from the mind of A.J. Baldwin, an Over-the-Rhine based actor and playwright familiar to audiences at both the Know and at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s touring and MainStage productions. And bringing A.J.’s vision to life is director Candice Handy, Cincinnati Shakespeare’s Education Director, who makes her Know directorial debut after having previously appeared on our MainStage in Marian: or, The True Tale of Robin Hood (2017).

A sharp-tongued comedy with plenty of edge, The Twunny Fo’ is a story of community and solidarity, set against the grind of a corporatized retail job in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Fast, funny, and full of characters pulled straight from life, The Twunny Fo’ asks tough questions, like “What does it mean to get ahead?” and “Who does it mean you’ll leave behind? 

Know Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Andrew Hungerford immediately knew there was something both timeless and immediate about this world premiere.

Says Hungerford, “The Twunny Fo’ exists at the crossroads of theatrical traditions like the workplace comedy and the purgatory play. But more than that, it’s an opportunity to spend a couple hours with compelling characters, great actors, and a story that feels tailor-made for not only our neighborhood, but all the neighborhoods like ours across the country. What a fantastic way to cap off our 24th season!”

The Twunny Fo’ began its life as a pitch for a Cincinnati Fringe Festival show, but it was clear to us that it had potential beyond a two-week Fringe run. Following developmental readings with both the Know and the Cincinnati Black Theatre Artists Collective (co-founded by director Candice Handy), a selection from the play was featured in To Be Black, a collaboration between the CBTAC and Falcon Theatre in April 2021.

This story speaks to our own history here on Jackson Street, as well – where we’ve watched the kind of rapid change that The Twunny Fo’ explores, as well as the toll it takes on the people who aren’t included in the “redevelopment” plans.

Who is this show for? The Twunny Fo’ will speak to anyone who’s found a community at a grinding job, anyone who has had to hold a friend’s hand even as they’re barely holding it together themselves, and anyone who has had to face the choice to either walk away or stay and fight.

Playwright A.J. Baldwin appears as Tyra, whose ambition stretches beyond the convenience store where she works the night shift. Her previous Know credits include the Beacon in The Absentee (2019), Gina in Zack (2020), and in Theatre: A Love Story (2021). 

Fan-favorite James Creque returns to the Know to play Kingsley, the store’s pre-buyout owner who has been reduced to just a regular customer in the business he built. Know audiences will remember James from Hearts Like Fists (2015), The Fisherman’s Wife (2016), Mercury (2019), and All’s Faire (2021). 

Jasimine Bouldin (previously seen at the Know in Serials!, OTRimprov shows, and Cincy Fringe) makes her MainStage debut as Rissa, the new girl whose flippant exterior hides a wise and generous heart. Also making his Know Theatre debut is CCM student Eli Lucas. Lucas plays Shaw, whose divided loyalties threaten his place in the workplace hierarchy (and whose interest in Tyra is more than just collegial).

Join us for this edgy new comedy that asks “Whose bricks are these?” and highlights the human cost of “improving” a neighborhood without considering the people who already live there. The Twunny Fo’ runs April 15 – May 8, live at the Know, and livestreaming on select dates to your home.

Tickets are available on our website, knowtheatre.com, or by calling our box office at 513-300-5669.

CAST

  • A.J. Baldwin as Tyra
  • Jasimine Bouldin as Rissa
  • James Creque as Kingsley
  • Eli Lucas as Shaw

PRODUCTION TEAM

  • Director: Candice Handy
  • Lighting & Scenic Designer: Andrew J. Hungerford
  • Costume Designer: Noelle Wedig-Johnston
  • Sound Designer: Douglas J. Borntrager
  • Props Designer: Kayla Williams
  • Technical Director: Jim Stark
  • Stage Manager: Char Williams 

AT A GLANCE

Production: The Twunny Fo’ by A.J. Baldwin

Dates: April 15 – May 8, 2022; Wednesday – Saturday shows are at 8 PM; Sunday matinees are at 3 PM.

Where: Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson Street in Over-the-Rhine.
Livestreaming on select dates TBA.

Tickets: The standard ticket price is $25. Audiences may opt to support the Know’s initiative to pay all artists and employees a living wage by selecting the $35 Living Wage Ticket. Low-cost

admission available for $15. On Wednesdays, as part of our Welcome Experiment, tickets are $5 in advance, or FREE at the door.

The Welcome Experiment is bright to you this season by Judge Mark P. Painter (Ret). 

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. 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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