SUNRISE COVEN at the Know

KTC_Sunrise Coven logo“It’s no small thing, when your drug dealer dumps you.
I would think it occasions a self-reflection.”

SUNRISE COVEN
by Brendan Bourque-Sheil
NEW DATES: August 12 – 28, 2022

A new comedy about healers and healing and witchcraft and pharmaceuticals in a tiny town that’s barely hanging on. 

You’re invited to join Know Theatre for our 25th-season opening production, Sunrise Coven, by Brendan Bourque-Sheil.

Imagine you’re a beloved Nurse Practitioner in a tiny Texas town that’s beset by every economic and existential struggle one could think up. Now imagine you turn up in the ER one night after taking enough Oxycontin to kill an elephant. What do you do?

If you’re Hallie Heaton, you just might find yourself forging an alliance between your partner in drug dealing and a practicing witch in a scheme to subvert the medical establishment (and hopefully, save your own skin).

Welcome to Buckstop, Texas. Ask your doctor if Witchcraft is right for you. 

It’s our 25th Anniversary season and the Know is coming out swinging with a sharp-tongued new comedy. Sunrise Coven kicks off a six-show season set to explore “What we owe to each other” from now through May 2023.

Back in 2020, we read playwright Brandon Borque-Shiel’s tight dialogue, vivid characters, and of-the-moment themes and knew right away this was the show for us.

It’s also the right show to bring back one of our favorite collaborators to direct: University of Memphis’s head of Graduate Directing Holly L. Derr. Longtime Know-goers will remember Holly’s work from Harry and the Thief (2014), SuperTrue (2018), and Red Bike (2019). A feminist scholar, innovative theatre-maker, and Texas native, Holly brings the right mix of style and life experience to this project.

When we asked Holly about why she’s excited to take the reins of this production, she said, “I love Sunrise Coven because of the way it deals with really serious issues, like addiction and the ethics of end-of-life care, respectfully but with humor and a touch of absurdity. Through depicting a dedicated community of unique, funny characters in an equally unique small town, the play raises important questions about what we owe each other in an ultimately uplifting way. It also lives with one foot in the spiritual world, and I’m very excited about working with the designers to create these moments of magic.”

Who is this show for?

Sunrise Coven is a sharp and fun adventure that speaks to anyone who’s fought their way back from rock-bottom, who’s longed to subvert exploitative systems, and who believes that compassion and community care have the power to change the world.

As a finalist in Southwest Theatre Company’s “Plays With A Strong Female Lead” competition, Sunrise Coven will also hit a chord with anyone who loves dynamic, flawed, fiercely opinionated female protagonists.

Welcome to Buckstop, Texas. Here’s who you will meet:

We are proud to welcome local actor and CCM professor Denise Dal Vera to her first Know Theatre appearance as Hallie, the former nurse whose passion for healing has landed her a job as the high priestess of Buckstop, Texas’s newest cult. Also making her Know Theatre debut is New York-based Resa Mishina as Annie Gin, MD; a young doctor whose hero-worship of Hallie is shaken when Hallie loses her license to practice.

Returning to the Know MainStage is Julie Locker, who last appeared in 2021’s Glassheart as Aiofe. Julie joins us this time as Winter Moon, the proprietor of the only magic shop in Buckstop. Ryan-Chavez Richmond joins us as Ethan, a Purple Heart vet and former drug dealer who’s striving to align his actions with his principles. Ryan-Chavez previously appeared at the Know in this spring’s production of Harpers Ferry 2019. 

And our friend (and retired CCM professor) Michael Burnham joins as Jax, a former patient of Hallie’s who’ll try anything to soothe his ailing wife’s spirit. Michael’s last appearance with the Know was in 2019’s Always Plenty of Light at the Starlight All-Night Diner; and longtime friends of the company will remember his turns as co-director of 2014’s Moby Dick, director of 2009’s Adding Machine: the Musical, and of course our legendary (and controversial) 2003 production of Corpus Christi.

Update on dates: Sunrise Coven was initially announced to open on August 5; in response to changing circumstances and the needs of our team, we’ve chosen to move opening night back one week to August 12. This decision will allow us to bring you the very best production of a script we just can’t wait for you to see.

Join us for this heartfelt and hard-hitting new comedy about healers, healing, witchcraft, and pharmaceuticals, all in a tiny American town that’s just barely hanging on. Sunrise Coven runs August 12 – 28, 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

  • Denise Dal Vera* as Hallie
  • Julie Locker as Winter Moon
  • Resa Mishina as Annie
  • Ryan-Chavez Richmond as Ethan
  • Michael Burnham as Jax
    *appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association 

PRODUCTION TEAM

  • Director: Holly L. Derr
  • Lighting & Scenic Designer: Andrew J. Hungerford
  • Costume Designer: Noelle Wedig-Johnston
  • Sound & Projections Designer: Douglas J. Borntrager
  • Technical Director: Jim Stark
  • Stage Manager: Grace Wohlschlegel 

AT A GLANCE

Production: Sunrise Coven by Brendan Bourque-Sheil

Dates: August 12 – 28, 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.

Themes: comedy, cults, addiction, community, healing, rural America 

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 $40 Living Wage Ticket.
Low-cost admission available for $15. On Wednesdays, as part of a program we call “The Welcome Experiment,” tickets are $5 in advance, or FREE at the door. 

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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