Category Archives: In Other News

The Passing of Gittee Bortz

MISC_Gittee BortzGertrude was born on June 6, 1927 and passed away on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. Gertrude was a resident of Ohio at the time of passing. A private service was held. In lieu of flowers memorial contribution to Stagecrafters Inc. would be appreciated.

Gittee was a dynamic force in Community Theatre in Cincinnati. He absence will be palpable to everyone she friended. Her presence was far reaching, as a founding member of Stagecrafters, and as ACT (Association of Community Theaters) of Greater Cincinnati began in its infancy. We will miss her charm, wit, passion, and singular drive as she guided many to a greater ambition with enthusiasm. A great person has left us. May we all be aware of the blessings she brought to us.

-Michael Morehead



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The Passing of Ed Stern

MISC_Ed SternFrom

Edward was born on June 10, 1946 and passed away on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Edward was a resident of Kentucky at the time of passing. He graduated from the University of Virginia (BA) and Indiana University (MA). Donations in his memory may be made to the Edward J. Stern Endowment for Artistic Excellence at Playhouse in the Park or to the University of Virginia Theatre Department.

Sent to Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park Supporters: 

Dear Playhouse Supporter,

As a member of our Playhouse family, we wanted to share with profound sadness the passing of Ed Stern (1946 – 2019).

Ed served as the Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director for 20 years from 1992 – 2012, fully one-third of the Playhouse’s history. During Ed’s tenure, the Playhouse:

  • Won two Tony Awards
  • Had three of our shows on Broadway and one off-Broadway
  • Had productions on four continents
  • Established a new play commissioning program
  • Greatly expanded our education and outreach programs
  • Completed a major renovation of the Playhouse’s public and production support spaces

Ed directed 40 plays during his 20 years here. A list of his shows can be found below. He set the bar for theatrical artistic excellence within our community. Beyond that, he helped foster the growth of the other professional theatres in town and championed all of the arts. Ed will long be remembered as one of the key leaders the Playhouse has ever had.

He will be deeply missed.

Buzz Ward signature
Buzz Ward
Managing Director

The House of Blue Leaves 
Our Country’s Good 
Scotland Road

Death and the Maiden 
Dancing at Lughnasa 
The Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas

Inspecting Carol 
Hometown Heroes

Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me 
Arms and the Man

Private Lives

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 
Coyote on a Fence 
The Little Foxes

Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde 
Red Corners

Much Ado About Nothing 
A Little Night Music

Inherit the Wind

King Lear 
Men on the Take

Ah, Wilderness 
The Smell of the Kill

Mister Roberts

Twelfth Night 
The Retreat from Moscow

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum 
Stone My Heart

Of Mice and Men 
Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure


Travels of Angelica 
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Victoria Musica 
The Fantasticks

The Piano Teacher

God of Carnage 
As You Like It

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The Passing of Norma Niinemets

MISC_Norma Niinemets

Norma Jene Niinemets June 25, 1938 – March 16, 2019

Niinemets, Norma Jene (nee May), beloved wife of Thomas Niinemets, devoted mother of Betsy (Anthony) Farro, David (Katie Ezell) Niinemets and the late Todd Thompson, dear grandmother of Scott, Laura, Jason and Erica, great-grandmother of Edwin, sister of Lillian Schreiber and the late Katherine Lockwood and Dorothy Kramer. Died March 16, 2019. Age 80 yrs.

Norma was a graduate of Hughes High School and The University of Cincinnati College Conservatory and enjoyed a lifetime in theater, both professionally and as her hobby. After retirement from The Playhouse in the Park she remained highly active in community theater for many years. She was an avid reader and next to her family, enjoyed her traveling more than anything.

In deference to her wishes a private service for the family will be followed by a Celebration of Life to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Hospital or Autism Speaks. T.P. White & Sons Funeral Home serving the family.


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Updated 6:25pm

cold-weather-cancelations1-669x272I will update this page as the evening progresses and information is received.


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The Passing of Scot Woolley

Published in the Kentucky Enquirer on Jan. 30, 2019

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Scot Woolley as Cosme McMoon in SOUVENIR at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (2007). Image by Sandy Underwood.

Cincinnati – Scot Gregory, beloved son of the late Stuart James Jr. and Betty Jane (nee Schwarz) Woolley, loving brother of Stuart G. Woolley (Melinda), Steven G. Woolley (Marcia) and Stacey G. Woolley (Kathryn), loving uncle of Ryan Woolley, Aric Woolley (Katie), Sidney Woolley and Victoria Woolley, grand uncle of AJ Woolley. Passed away suddenly on Saturday January 26, 2019. Age 60 years.

Visitation Saturday February 2nd from 9 to 10 AM at the Norman Chapel, Spring Grove Cemetery, 4521 Spring Grove Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45232 where funeral services will be held Saturday at 10:00 AM. Bolton & Lunsford Funeral Home serving the family.

Condolences can be left online here.

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