Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati Presents Regional Premiere Comedy GRAND HORIZONS, Jan. 14-Feb. 5

ETC_Grand Horizons logoThe kids are not alright . . . cue the family hijinks and hysteria.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati presents regional premiere Comedy
Grand Horizons, January 14 – February 5, 2023

(Cincinnati, OH) Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC) kicks off the new year with the regional premiere comedy Grand Horizons by award-winning playwright Bess Wohl. It’s out with the old and in with the new (sort of) in this raucous story about a senior couple’s divorce. Bess Wohl’s Tony-nominated comedy is a hilarious, heartbreaking commentary on marriage, family, and the wisdom that comes with age—or not. Playing January 14-February 5, 2023. Directed by Brian Robertson.

Over a quiet dinner for two, Bill and Nancy serenely decide to divorce after fifty years of marriage. While Nancy feels liberated and Bill seems unfazed, their adult sons Brian and Ben don’t exactly take it well. As the “kids” descend on the Grand Horizons senior living community to mediate, everything they thought they knew about their parents comes crashing down. Bursting with all the joy and pathos of everyday life, Grand Horizons is theatre at its most enjoyable and familiar.

“It’s about following your bliss and that it’s never too late to try and become who you want to be,” says Producing Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers. “Grand Horizons is a brutally honest and almost biting story about life’s experiences but seen through a comedic lens. It teaches us to cherish what we have in the moment but to keep looking for what you think will make you happy, whatever or whoever that may be.”

About the Cast

Dale Hodges (Nancy) returns to Ensemble Theatre, where she was last seen in Sex and Education, as well as Ripcord, Outside Mullingar, Other Desert Cities, Grey Gardens, and Mrs. Mannerly, among others. Select regional credits include Murder on the Orient Express, Wit, King Lear, To Kill a Mockingbird, and 23 years of A Christmas Carol with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Long Day’s Journey into Night and Noises Off with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Dale has worked on Broadway in Equus and Benefactors, off-Broadway in Top Girls and A Woman in Mind, and in regional theatres around the country, including 15 summers with Peterborough Players in New Hampshire.

Joneal Joplin (Bill) returns to Ensemble Theatre, having last appeared in Outside Mullingar. Cincinnati theatergoers have also seen him in productions at the Playhouse in the Park and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Roles have included Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, The Fantasticks, Lear in King Lear, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, Matthew Brady in Inherit the Wind, James Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey into Night, Krapp in Krapp’s Last Tape, Ernie Smith in Hughie, and Candy in Of Mice and Men, to name a few. He has appeared in over 300 productions at theatres across the country.

Nick Cearley (Brian) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in Buyer & Cellar, as well as The Great American Trailer Park Musical, 25 The Musical, and Next to Normal. He is the co-creator of the critically acclaimed “Undie-Rock” duo The Skivvies. He appeared in Broadway’s first national tour of All Shook Up and off-Broadway in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pageant: The Musical, Sex Tips for Straight Women From a Gay Man, and Cupid and Psyche. His BroadwayHD credits include First Date, Brooklyn, The Importance of Being Earnest, and It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. Select credits include An Act of God, B Street Theatre; Twelfth Night, Bay Street Theatre; The Rocky Horror Show (directed by Hunter Foster), Bucks County Playhouse; Little Shop of Horrors, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Portland Center Stage, and Saugatuck Center for the Arts; and nine regional premiere productions all across America of the one-person play Buyer & Cellar. Nick also co-conceived and starred in the new revival of the actor-musician You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, which premiered at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

Jared Joplin (Ben) returns to the Ensemble Theatre stage after last appearing in Red Velvet. Some of his favorite roles include Player #2 in Shipwrecked (opposite his father Jonel and sister Jennifer), Insight Theatre Company; Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music (directed by Brian Robertson), The Carnegie; Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; and Mr. Gilmer in To Kill a Mockingbird, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

Shonita Joshi (Jess) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in The Dancing Princesses and Queen. She is a south Asian actor, born and brought up in Pune, India. Prior to moving to the US, she worked for three years in Mumbai in the Indian film industry and two years at Google. Shonita graduated in 2019 from Stella Adler School of Acting in New York. Some of her recent credits include Antony & Cleopatra, Pericles, Much Ado About Nothing, and Twelfth Night with Hip to Hip Theater Company NYC and A Christmas CarolStuart Little, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane with Playhouse in the Park.

Deb G. Girdler (Carla) has appeared numerous times on Ensemble Theatre’s stage, often as the villain in the holiday shows. Some of her ETC credits include The Dancing Princesses, Cinderella, Hands on a Hardbody, Around the World in 80 Days, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and The Frog Princess. Deb has appeared at the Olney Theatre as the Fairy Godmother in Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, as well as in La Cage Aux Folles at the Gateway Playhouse in New Jersey. She can be seen in the feature films Carol and First Kill. A CCM graduate, she began her career on the Showboat Majestic and has worked off-Broadway, in regional theatre, and in summer stock for over 30 years.

Dan Davidson (Tommy) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre as Roscoe (& Others) in Elegies for Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens. Other regional credits include Sir Isaac Newton in Calculus: The Musical, Gaines in Bro’kin River, Tim in Noises Off, Freddy in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and Hanna in La Cage aux Folles, among others. Dan plays Sparkle in StoryTime with Sparkle for TreeHouse Cincinnati, Inc., a combined LGBTQ+ and ally resource office he co-founded.

Production team: Brian c. Mehring (Resident Scenic & Lighting Designer), Niki Hernandez-Adams (Costume Designer), Matt Callahan (Sound Designer), Shannon Rae Lutz (Properties Curator & Design Assistant), and Jack Murphy (Technical Director). Production Stage Manager is Margot Whitney. Assistant Stage Manager is Lexi Muller.

Performance Information

Performances Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 pm; Friday & Saturday at 8:00 pm; Saturday & Sunday at 2:00 pm. Performances vary. A complete calendar of performances is available at www.ensemblecincinnati.org.

Ticket Prices

Tickets start at $35 for adults; student tickets are $28; and children are $24. Half-Price Rush Tickets: All remaining tickets for the current day’s performance(s) are available two hours prior to each show time for half-price (discount only applies to adult tickets) when purchasing by phone or in person. $15 Student Rush Tickets: Students may purchase up to two $15 student rush tickets two hours prior to show time with valid student I.D. Available in person only.


Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is supported, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. We fulfill our mission through our stage productions and educational outreach programs that enlighten, enliven, enrich, and inspire our audiences.


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