it’s not a trip it’s a journey at Know Theatre

KTC_its not a trip logo“I feel like a journey is just a hard vacation or is that wrong?”

it’s not a trip it’s a journey
by Charly Evon Simpson

September 23 – October 9, 2022

On road trips, friendships, and finding the difference between thriving and surviving. 

You’re invited to join Know Theatre for the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of it’s not a trip it’s a journey, by Charly Evon Simpson.

Get in the car – we’re about to change our lives. Four best friends strike out on a cross-country road trip that tests their friendships and strengthens their bonds as they explore their own ways of being Black, femme, and American. 

Miles of flat highway, a full tank of gas, your favorite playlist, and a bag of snacks: the road-trip vacation is quintessential Americana. It’s a symbol of freedom, of possibilities, and (if we want to get subtextual) the archetypal Hero’s Journey. But who is that road trip for, really? it’s not a trip it’s a journey invites us to tag along with four Black best friends as they pursue their dreams on the open road, and, along the way, ask who “quintessential Americana” is really for, and who’s been left out of the American Dream.

KTC_its not a trip director

Daryl Harris.

For a new show all about travel, America, and the interdependence of our lives, there’s nobody better than local theatre legend Daryl Harris to helm this production. Daryl is a bedrock of the Cincinnati arts scene, as he is a 50-year veteran of traditional, experimental, educational, and applied theatre throughout North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, and a Full Professor at North Kentucky University’s School of The Arts, Theatre and Dance Program.

Daryl has lined up some all-stars to help the cast dive into the rich emotional lives of these characters. Local actor/director/playwright/intimacy professional Torie Wiggins will be the intimacy director of it’s not a trip it’s a journey, while Kim Popa, the co-founder and executive director of Pones, Inc., serves as the production’s choreographer.

it’s not a trip it’s a journey is presented as a Rolling World Premiere, in partnership with the National New Play Network, alongside productions at other theatres across the nation. Rolling World Premieres are NNPN’s flagship program, allowing promising new works to be explored by different creative teams in different communities across America within one unified season.

Sometimes we come across a script that’s just waiting for the perfect opportunity; this is one of them. We’ve been wanting to produce this script since 2018, and as we put together our 25th season, all of the pieces of a Rolling World Premiere fell into place.  This show embodies the theme of our season in a deeply personal way. It explores how we support our friends, our most intimate community, when times are hard, through tragedies big and small, in order to lift each other up and truly live our collective lives to the fullest extent possible.” – Producing Artistic Director Andrew J. Hungerford

Who is this show for?

it’s not a trip it’s a journey is about breaking out of a rut, bursting out of your comfort zone, and living the life you’ve dreamed of. If you’ve ever wanted to grab your car keys and hit the open road – whether you longed to run towards something or away from it – this show is for you. If you’ve ever wrestled with your identity even as you’ve hungered to embrace it, this show is for you. This story is for the seekers, the queer ones, the brokenhearted, the questioners, the fighters. It’s for you.

Let’s hit the road. Here’s who’ll be traveling with:

The Know’s last season ended with our hit workplace comedy The Twunny Fo’, written by and starring rising Cincinnati star A.J. Baldwin. A.J. returns to the MainStage to play Rain, who’s struggling after a bad breakup and hopes this road trip will fast-forward the grieving process.

Returning to the Know MainStage is Jasimine Bouldin, who appeared alongside A.J. in The Twunny Fo’. Jasmine appears as June, who came up with the whole idea of the journey in the first place – and who might need it more than any of the others.

We’re welcoming two new Know faces to this production! Making their MainStage debuts with us are Angelique Archer as Frankie, the one of the friend group who looks like she’s

got her whole life together, even as she privately fears she doesn’t, and Ariel Mary Ann as Willie, who sometimes feels on the outskirts of the group and struggles to express themselves, even to the people who love them the most.

Scenic and lighting designer Andrew J. Hungerford and sound and projections designer Douglas Borntrager are collaborating to remake the Know stage look as wide open and full of possibilities as a road trip, and to really let this show be all about the performers.

Join us for this brand-new cross-country adventure as we get to know our friends – and ourselves – again on the open road, and find the line between thriving and just surviving. it’s not a trip it’s a journey runs September 23 – October 9, live at the Know, and livestreaming on select dates to your home.

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

it’s not a trip it’s a journey is produced at Know Theatre as part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. Other partner theatres are Round House Theatre (Bethesda, MD) and Good Company Theatre (Ogden, UT). For more information, please visit

KTC_its not a trip castCAST

  • Angelique Archer as Frankie
  • A.J. Baldwin as Rain
  • Jasimine Bouldin as June
  • Ariel Mary Ann as Willie 


  • Director: Daryl Harris
  • Choreographer: Kim Popa
  • Lighting & Scenic Designer: Andrew J. Hungerford
  • Costume Designer: Noelle Wedig-Johnston
  • Sound & Projections Designer: Douglas J. Borntrager
  • Props Designer: Danielle Robison
  • Intimacy Director: Torie Wiggins
  • Technical Director: Jim Stark
  • Stage Manager: Grace Wohlschlegel 


Production: it’s not a trip it’s a journey by Charly Evon Simpson 

Dates: September 23 – October 9, 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: road trips – friendships – Black – femme – Americana 

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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