FRIDA…A SELF PORTRAIT Captures the Iconic Painter’s Stunning Live Story in a One-Woman Show Beginning Oct. 15


Vanessa Severo in the Portland Center Stage 2021 production of FRIDA…A SELF PORTRAIT. Photo by Owen Carey.

COVINGTON, KY (Oct. 13, 2022)—The stunning life story of iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo will illuminate the stage when Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park brings its production FRIDA…A SELF PORTRAIT to The Carnegie in Covington beginning Oct. 15. (Opening night is Oct. 20; the production runs through Nov. 6.)

The intimate, theatrical portrait, written and performed by Vanessa Severo, captures the difficulties and wonders of Kahlo’s life journey through physical hardship, tumultuous romantic relationships and mastering her artistic gifts. With music, movement, raw honesty and moments of deep humor, this one-woman show is as singular as the artist at the center of the play.

“I found this woman that was very ahead of her time — and very tweetable, actually, for today — and kind of the first selfies I would say of the 1930s and ‘40s,” Severo said in an interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting. “But the difference was that in today’s world, we try to put on a patina of ‘everything’s great,’ and here’s this woman who’s painting her pain very clearly and unapologetically, and I thought, I wanted her to be alive and breathing today.”

After years of research and a moving trip to Kahlo’s home at La Caza Azul, Severo brings unparalleled authenticity to the painter’s story. She’s also found uncanny similarities with Kahlo in her own life, allowing her to crack open a powerful portal between them and share inspiring stories of her own.

FRIDA…A SELF PORTRAIT is directed by Playhouse Associate Artistic Director Joanie Schultz, who also directed the world premiere at Kansas City Repertory Theatre and a 2019 production of the play at Portland Center Stage.

“The play is a self-portrait of both the historical figure Frida Kahlo and the performer Vanessa Severo,” said Schultz. “As the piece unfolds, there are moments when the lines become blurred between the actor and the character. What we are left with is pure Frida and pure Vanessa, both searching to be seen and understood.”

Broadway World likened the production to “a series of paintings brought vividly to life,” and Oregon Artswatch wrote, “it broadens the reach of what we all have in common with one another.”

Although Kahlo is the play’s main character, Severo deftly portrays many characters, from Rivera to Frida’s parents and sister. The play is written as an interview with Kahlo (Severo also plays the interviewer) and beautifully incorporates movement, monologue, and Kahlo’s and Severo’s life stories into one cohesive piece.

Due to construction, the Playhouse’s Eden Park facility is temporarily closed. Performances of FRIDA…A SELF PORTRAIT will take place at The Carnegie, 1028 Scott St. Covington, Ky 4101.

Vanessa Severo (Playwright/Frida Kahlo); Joanie Schultz (Director); Jacqueline Penrod(Set Designer); Katherine Davis (Costume Designer); Rachael Cady (Lighting Designer); Thomas Dixon (Sound Designer/Original Compositions); Brooke Redler (Stage Manager

Performances will take place at The Carnegie in Covington Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. (except Nov. 2), Saturdays at 2 p.m.and on Sundays at 3 p.m. (except Oct. 16). There is a 1 p.m. performance on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit Patrons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech disabled: dial 711 to connect to the Box Office via Ohio Relay Services.


A writing and movement workshop inspired by the art of Frida Kahlo with instructor Erin Carr
Sat, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The Carnegie, Eva G. Farris Education Center, 1028 Scott Boulevard, Covington, KY 41011
Cost: $25 per participant

Join us for a playwriting and performance workshop inspired by FRIDA…A SELF PORTRAIT during which you will have the opportunity to write and create your own short solo performance piece inspired by a piece of artwork. The first hour will be writing exercises to create a monologue and in the second hour, you will bring your monologue to life through movement and physical exploration. Participants will use prints of Frida Kahlo’s artwork to inspire the personal piece, but participants are also welcome to provide their own piece of inspirational art to work from, portraits are preferred.

This event is intended to be accessible for adults of all experience levels in movement and writing.

FRIDA…A SELF PORTRAIT is suitable for ages 12 and up. Frida Kahlo boldly captured the details of her life through her art, and so this play includes discussions of adult relationships, illness and other mature themes.

The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Street, Covington, KY, 41011, while construction of the new Moe & Jack’s Place The Rouse Theatre continues. The new mainstage theater will open in Spring 2023.


Production Sponsor is Digi and Mike Schueler. Artist Sponsor is Bartlett Wealth Management. Honorary Producer is Corporex. Season Sponsors are the Vontz Family and the Rosenthal Family Foundation.

The Playhouse is supported by the generosity of almost 40,000 contributors to the ArtsWave Community campaign. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Playhouse with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Playhouse also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation.



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