Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Presents the World Premiere of THE REWARDS OF BEING FRANK by Alice Scovell

CSC_Rewards of Being Frank

The cast of THE REWARDS OF BEING FRANK by Alice Scovell, directed by Stephen Burdman. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

A sequel to “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde 

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company partners with New York Classical Theatre to premiere this play in Cincinnati before it moves to Off-Broadway in New York City in March!

Cincinnati, January 26, 2023 – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is thrilled to partner with New York Classical Theatre to present “The Rewards of Being Frank,” a world premiere production that revisits the world of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.” The play, written by Alice Scovell, premieres on CSC’s stage from January 27 – February 18, 2023, after which, will move to Off-Broadway in New York City and is directed by New York Classic Theatre’s Founding Artistic Director, Stephen Burdman. Stephen is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. The Design Sponsors for “The Rewards of Being Frank” are Barnes Dennig and Stock Yards Bank and the Tea Sponsors are Rick and Melissa Eder.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips, and New York Classical Theatre’s Founding Artistic Director, Stephen Burdman connected through the Shakespeare Theatre Association, an organization that provides a forum for the artistic, managerial, and educational leadership for theatres primarily involved with the production of the works of William Shakespeare. The partnership allowed for both organizations to share resources and bring this new play to life, first on stage in Cincinnati and then in New York City.  After the production closes at CSC on February 18, the entire set, costumes, cast, and crew will transfer to NYC to present a run Off-Broadway at A.R.T New York Mezzanine Theatre at 502 W. 53rd St, New York, NY 10019 from March 3-26, 2023!

“The Rewards of Being Frank” features the legendary Christine Pedi, known for her roles in Broadway’s “Chicago,” “Talk Radio”, and Off-Broadway’s “Forbidden Broadway.” In addition to Pedi, “The Rewards of Being Frank” features visiting actors from New York Moboluwaji Ademide Akintilo (NY Classical’s “The Importance of Being Earnest (Two Ways)”, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”) as Frank, James Evans (The McKittrick Hotel’s “The Woman in Black”) as Algernon, Tora Nogami Alexander (The Acting Company’s “Twelfth Night”) as Cecily. Beloved CSC veterans Kelly Mengelkoch and Jeremy Dubin take the stage as well, playing Gwendolyn and Ernest, respectively.

Oscar Wilde’s much-loved comic masterpiece “The Importance of Being Earnest” finally receives an uproarious sequel in this world premiere.  Shenanigans ensue when lovebirds Algy and Cecily and Ernest and Gwendolen are revisited 7 years after their nuptials.  As the young couples are on the search for a new schoolmaster to instruct their children, they must avoid the pitfalls of mistaken identity, monetary mischief, and a timeless struggle over cucumber sandwiches.

Scenic design is by Samantha Reno (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company), costume design is by Rainy Edwards (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company), lighting design is by Justen N. Locke (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company), and sound design is by Alex Brock (Great River Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival). Associate Lighting Designer (NY Classical) is Deborah Constantine. Properties Designer is Kara Eble Trusty (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company). Casting Director is Stephanie Klapper. Voice/Speech Coach is Sarah Summerwell. Production Stage Manager is Elizabeth Robinson. Assistant Stage Manager at CSC is Brenna Bishop.

In celebration of “The Rewards of Being Frank” moving to Off-Broadway with NY Classical at A.R.T./New York Mezzanine Theatre, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is thrilled to host an NYC Send Off Night. Join CSC for a special toast before the closing night of the production to wish the cast and creative team “bon voyage” before they head to the big city after the run here in Cincinnati. Pre-Show champagne toast included in tickets to the February 18, 2023, 7:30pm performance.

“The Rewards of Being Frank” runs from January 27-February 18, 2023. Performances of “The Rewards of Being Frank” are on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM, with one Sunday matinee at 2:00 PM on February 5, and two Saturday matinees at 2:00 on February 11 and 18. CSC offers performances with accessibility resources. Live Audio Descriptions are available on Friday, February 3 at 7:30PM and there is a Sign Language Interpreted Performance on Saturday, February 18, at 2:00 PM.

Tickets are on sale now. Preview performances are on Wednesday, January 25, and Thursday, January 26, with tickets at $45. Young Professionals are invited to YP Preview Night on Wednesday, January 25, with discounted tickets at $25, including a free drink and post-show talkback. Discounts are available for students, seniors, local residents, and community partners, as access to all is important to CSC. Each performance night has a limited number of $14 “Access” tickets in the Upper Gallery and Stage Gallery.  These can be purchased in advance by going online or calling the Box Office.  And starting 1 hour before each performance, any unreserved tickets may be available as a discounted Rush Ticket to anyone, not just students. These tickets are only $12 and could be located anywhere in the house, depending on that evening’s availability. These cannot be reserved more than 1 hour before a show and must be purchased in person in the Box Office. Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted. Ticketing fees apply.  To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is located at The Otto M. Budig Theater at 1195 Elm Street in OTR, adjacent to Washington Park.  Many parking spaces are available on the street and in nearby lots and garages- for more information, visit

CSC also offers Valet Parking for every performance! Make reservations for $25 in advance when purchasing tickets, or visit Purchasing in advance guarantees a spot.  Valet is available right at the corner of 12th and Elm Street in front of the theater and begins approx. 1.5 hours before a performance. Cars can be picked up for up to one hour following a performance. (After one hour, you will need to arrange pick up with the valet service directly.) After purchasing, the valet will have your name on the list— it’s that easy!

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s 2022-23 Season is generously presented by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation; along with our Education Season Sponsor, Debby and Jim Mason; and our Operating Support Partners, The Ohio Arts Council, The Robert and Adele Schiff Family Foundation, Rosemary and Mark Schlachter, The National Endowment for the Arts with Arts Midwest, The Shubert Foundation, Lightborne, and the tens of thousands of people who give generously to the ArtsWave Community Campaign.


About New York Classical Theatre:
New York Classical Theatre’s mission is to create and reinvigorate audiences for the theatre by presenting all-free productions of popular classics and forgotten masterpieces in public spaces throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. They are also committed to developing and producing new plays by living playwrights that enrich and expand the understanding of what defines a classic.

NY Classical firmly believes that everyone—regardless of social, economic, or educational background—should have the opportunity to enjoy live professional theatre together as a community. Their free, engaging performances interpreted for approachable spaces inspire experienced theatergoers to reconnect with the classics and build new and future audiences.

About Cincinnati Shakespeare Company:
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing Shakespeare and the classics to life for all.  In the summer of 2017, the theater relocated to the Otto M. Budig Theater, a brand new facility in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. CSC’s repertoire is composed of the works of William Shakespeare, literary adaptations, world premieres, and contemporary classics. CSC performs on a Small Professional Theatre contract with the Actors’ Equity Association. Cincinnati Shakespeare is a member of Theater Communications Group and Shakespeare Theatre Association. Each year, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Education and Outreach Programs reach more than 50,000 young people and community members by meeting audiences where they are. This includes sharing programming in schools, parks, community centers and hosting educational matinees of mainstage productions. In 2015, CSC was proud to become one of the first five theaters in the United States to “Complete the Canon” by producing all 38 plays by William Shakespeare. CSC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is proud to be Cincinnati’s stage for the Classics!


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