The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati and Macy’s Celebrate Partnership on ABIYOYO Production

TCTC_new logoCincinnati – The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT) partnered with Macy’s for last season’s touring production of ABIYOYO. As a result of this partnership, over 100 patrons viewed the production digitally on Broadway on Demand and 1,160 students at eight venues viewed it live on tour.

ABIYOYO was available to stream online via Broadway on Demand from January 21 – June 30, 2022. ABIYOYO is based on a South African folk tale about a giant who eats everything in sight—cows, goats, and even children! This one-man story telling experience encourages participants to face the monsters in their own life with honesty, courage, and strength of spirit. Brought to the West by Pete Seger as a bedtime story for his own children, the original South African folktale takes on the attributes of the storyteller themselves, implying that each storyteller adds something different to the tale. ABIYOYO is brought to life through traditional South African dance, music, and cultural nuances that address fears that speak to us all.

Not only was this production a diversity-focused new work, but it was also brought to life with the help of diverse TCT staff and outside artists:

  • Diverse Playwrights & Composers – TCT’s Resident Playwright & Workshop Artist, Deondra Kamau Means has adapted many new works for both the Touring and MainStage divisions. A staple in the Cincinnati theatre community, Deondra is a Black actor and playwright. ABIYOYO has been one of several diverse works that he has produced over the last several months.
  • Diverse Designers & Artists – Cedric Michael Cox is a Black Cincinnati-based artist who created the scenic design for the production.
  • Diverse Directors & Choreographers – Derek Snow, Director of ABIYOYO, is a Black actor, director, and playwright who was recently one of five recipients of The Breath Project’s New Play Commission Initiative grants.

Macy’s graciously funded ABIYOYO as the digital production sponsor. Funding supported production, filming, and editing expenses related to producing and streaming the production online via Broadway on Demand.

Macy’s support of this production comes to TCT through a gift to The Change Fund, an initiative at TCT aimed at creating an inclusive culture and innovation through the addition of previously excluded voices. Through The Change Fund, TCT and Macy’s demonstrate their commitment to creating a brighter future with bold representation for all.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access are a priority at TCT. Our goal is that the quality and inclusivity of TCT productions will continue to inspire all youth, with increasing numbers from historically marginalized populations, to love theatre and/or pursue careers both on- and off-stage in the theatre, particularly through a practice of diverse representation in all areas of its operation.

To learn more about how you or your organization can support future touring productions, please contact Annie Bloemer, TCT’s Development Manager, Grants & Corporate Partnerships, at annie.bloemer@tctcincinnati.com or call 513-569-8080 x32.

View TCT’s current season of MainStage and TCT on Tour productions here: https://thechildrenstheatre.com/current-season/. 

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