Category Archives: Press Releases

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park Announces Its Plan for the 2021-22 Season

Featuring Three World Premieres, Two Fresh Comedies and the return of the Full Production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park today announced the restart of its mainstage season for October 2021. The 2021-22 season will be comprised of eight shows and features world premieres by Keith Josef Adkins, Deborah Zoe Laufer and KJ Sanchez, who brings a spin-off story from her hit Cincinnati King to the Rosenthal Shelterhouse. The season also features two fresh comedies; a well-known story celebrating female friendships; a one-woman show about Dr. Ruth Westheimer; and the joyous return of the full production of the Playhouse’s annual holiday favorite, A Christmas Carol.

“Our community showed immense generosity and support of the Playhouse throughout the pandemic,” says Artistic Director Blake Robison. “I’m especially proud to restart our mainstage series with two world premieres that tell authentic Cincinnati stories.”

  • A major American playwright and a Cincinnati native, Adkins was commissioned by the Playhouse to write about historical Cincinnati. His play, The West End, is set in 1941 and shines a light on a transformative chapter in local history.
  • Sanchez is a former associate artist for the Playhouse and a nationally known playwright and director. Her play Cincinnati King had its world premiere in the Rosenthal Shelterhouse in 2018. It was the culmination of years of interviews and research about Cincinnati’s historic King Records. Need Your Love expands on the story of Little Willie John and features hits from the King Records music catalog.
  • The third world premiere in the season, Rooted by Laufer, was also commissioned by the Playhouse. In this quirky comedy, a reclusive amateur botanist unwittingly becomes a new-age, YouTube messiah. “Our audiences loved Deb’s last world premiere at the Playhouse, Be Here Now, and Rooted rekindles some of the same characters and themes,” says Robison.
  • A Christmas Carol will return with its cast of nearly 30 actors, elaborate costumes and thrilling special effects. The other four shows planned for the 2021-22 season are:
  • Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a new comedy by Katie Forgette about an Irish-Catholic family in 1973.
  • School Girls: Or, The African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh, a biting comedy about teenage girlhood.
  • Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling, the beloved story celebrating female friendships.
  • Becoming Dr. Ruth by Mark St. Germain, a one-woman show about sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

“The new season showcases the range and diversity of the Playhouse, and we can’t wait to get back to producing a full schedule of live theatre for Cincinnati,” adds Robison.

A full listing of the season with dates, directors, sponsors and descriptions is included below. All the 2021-22 productions, except Need Your Love, were previously announced as part of the cancelled 2020-21 season. The Playhouse usually produces a total of 11 shows per season. The smaller, eight-show lineup is to accommodate a later start for COVID-19 safety and an early end to begin the final phase of construction on the new mainstage theatre complex.

Since COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for the fall are still unknown, subscriptions and tickets to the 2021-22 Playhouse season will go on sale later. Current subscribers will receive renewal statements in the summer. Individual tickets are expected to go on sale later in the summer or in early fall.

For more information, visit or call the Box Office at 513-421-3888 or 800-582-3208 toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Patrons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech disabled dial 711 to connect to the Box Office via Ohio Relay Services. The Playhouse is fully accessible.

Presented by Schueler Group
Season Sponsor of New Work: The Rosenthal Family Foundation
Season Design Sponsor: U.S. Bank


Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

By Keith Josef Adkins
Directed by Playhouse Associate Artist Nicole A. Watson
Oct. 9 – Nov. 7, 2021
It’s 1941 in Cincinnati’s West End, and African Americans migrate from the Deep South to forge new lives. At the same time, German residents face growing hostility on the brink of World War II, and Grace houses people of both backgrounds in her row house. But when a stranger arrives, she must confront her secretive past. This world-premiere drama by Cincinnati native Keith Josef Adkins shines a light on a transformative chapter of our city’s history.
ONE-LINER: Set in 1941 in Cincinnati’s West End, this world premiere drama shines a light on a transformative chapter of local history.


Cast of 2019’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

First Financial Bank presents
By Charles Dickens
Adapted by Howard Dallin
Directed by Michael Evan Haney
Nov. 24 – Dec. 30, 2021
A Christmas Carol is not part of the season subscription, but subscribers get early access and special discounts on tickets.
Faithful storytelling and spellbinding stage magic bring to life Ebenezer Scrooge’s time-traveling journey with the spirits one magical Christmas Eve. The heartwarming message helps to make the show one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions each season.
ONE LINER: This joyous, time-honored production returns with a cast of nearly 30 actors, elaborate costumes and thrilling special effects.


Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

By Katie Forgette
Directed by Blake Robison
Jan. 29 – Feb. 27, 2022
The O’Sheas are just like any other family in their town in 1973: middle-class, Irish, Catholic and determined to avoid public ridicule. With dry yet affectionate humor, 19-year-old Linda O’Shea narrates the most turbulent day of her life when a series of hilarious mishaps jeopardizes the family’s reputation. Whether you’ve grown up Catholic or you simply can relate to the craziness of family, this new comedy will leave you in stitches.
ONE-LINER: It’s 1973, and the Irish-Catholic O’Shea family muddles through a series of hilarious mishaps that jeopardizes their reputation — and their souls.


Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

Leading Ladies presents
By Roger Harling
Directed by Laura Gordon
March 19 – April 17, 2022
A tight-knit group of six Louisiana women gather regularly to bond, dish and offer advice on everything from motherhood and marriage to tragedy and loss. As they find their lives and relationships tested, their bonds with one another only strengthen. Written with heartwarming dialogue and snappy repartee, Steel Magnolias revels in the power and grace of female friendship.
ONE-LINER: With beloved characters, heartwarming dialogue and snappy repartee, Steel Magnolias revels in the power and grace of female friendship.

By Jocelyn Bioh
Directed by Candis C. Jones
April 30 – May 22, 2022
Beauty, ambition and biting comedy combine in this off-Broadway hit! Paulina is the reigning Queen Bee at Ghana’s most exclusive boarding school. She’s got the trendiest clothes and the command of her loyal hive of friends.  When new girl Ericka transfers from America, Paulina’s carefully controlled world is thrown into chaos. Called “ferociously entertaining” by The Hollywood Reporter, School Girls fearlessly explores the universal challenges of teenage girlhood and all the drama that comes with it.
ONE-LINER: This biting comedy explores the universal challenges of teenage girlhood and all the drama that comes with it.

Presented by Heidelberg Distributing Co.
Season Sponsor of New Work: The Rosenthal Family Foundation

PIP_Cincinnati King1

Richard Crandle as Little Willie John in CINCINNATI KING. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Written and Directed by KJ Sanchez
Oct. 30 – Dec. 12, 2021
From the creator of Cincinnati King comes the life and times of King Records star Little Wille John. You love the music, now hear his personal story. This intimate and captivating world premiere features hits from the King Records catalog – including “Fever,” “Shakin’” “My Love Is” and, of course, “Need Your Love So Bad.” An extraordinary portrait of one of the most talented, influential and underrated R&B singers of all time.
ONE-LINER: From the creator of Cincinnati King comes a world premiere musical portrait of King Records star Little Wille John.


Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

By Deborah Zoe Laufer
Directed by Noah Himmelstein
Feb. 12 – March 20, 2022
People can be so weird, which is why Emery Harris has lived alone in a treehouse for over a decade. Her only connection to the outside world is through her YouTube channel where she documents research on plants and has garnered several thousand followers. When strangers begin gathering near her home, she learns she’s been unwittingly elected as her followers’ new-age messiah. This quirky world premiere comedy studies the power of plants and the idiosyncrasies of people.
ONE-LINER: In this quirky world premiere comedy, a reclusive amateur botanist unwittingly becomes a new-age, YouTube messiah.

PIP_Becoming Dr Ruth

Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati presents
By Mark St. Germain
April 9 – May 15, 2022
Many of us know Dr. Ruth Westheimer as America’s favorite sex therapist in the 1980s and ‘90s — but few of us have heard the story of this remarkable woman’s journey. In this heartwarming portrait, she narrates the harrowing and fascinating details of her life. Becoming Dr. Ruth is a humorous, affectionate and illuminating one-woman show that’s full of grit and triumph.
ONE-LINER: This heartwarming portrait is a humorous and illuminating one-woman show about America’s favorite sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

Thank you to our 2021-22 Season Production Sponsors: Clark Schaefer Hackett; Geiler Company; Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation; Johnson Investment Counsel; Roto-Rooter; Moe and Jack Rouse; Digi and Mike Schueler; The Seven Hills Group at Morgan Stanley; Woody and Jennifer Taft; Duck Wadsworth.

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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Selina Román, Red, 2016, archival pigment print, 24” x 36”

CINCINNATI, OH—On Saturday, May 15, the Cincinnati Arts Association’s Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts will open Material Message: Photographs of Fabric, a group exhibition of photographers curated by Marcella Hackbardt (Mt. Vernon, OH) responding to fabric’s aesthetic, formal, and conceptual potential, exploiting the medium’s malleability to construct messages ranging from notions of the veil to reveries of memory. Participating artists include Patty Carroll (Chicago, IL), Elizabeth M. Claffey (Bloomington, IN), John Mann (Oak Park, IL), Selina Román (Tampa, FL), Jacinda Russell (Indianapolis, IN), Leonard Suryajaya (Chicago, IL), and Morgan Ford Willingham (Emporia, KS).

Curator Marcella Hackbardt provides an overview and the conceptual links between the participating artists in her curatorial statement: “In Material Message these artists use fabric in order to subvert preconceived notions of social roles and the self, as in Patty Carroll’s draped female figures, and Selina Román’s Burqa Project photographs that question power, politics, and the unreturned gaze. John Mann collapses distinctions between the literal and abstraction, and Jacinda Russell complicates performance and documentary presentation with hotel towels. Elizabeth M. Claffey’s glowing, ghost-like apparitions attest to the temporality and longevity of familial devotions. Using the most delicate and barely-there fabric as a substrate for overt programming, Morgan Ford Willingham’s masks whisper destructive desires. Leonard Suryajaya ignites the optical nerves with extravagant patterns, colors, and textile sources, in images of tenderness and a beautifully chaotic ethos.

In addition to the photographic works presented in the Weston’s lower galleries, Leonard Suryajaya will create New Stand, a new installation in the Weston’s atrium space that mimics a newsstand in a deconstructed form. Inspired by the disorienting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this skeletal stage serves as a selfie backdrop for viewers to reflect on their own pandemic experiences and share renewed commitments and positive outcomes through social media posts.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held on Saturday, May 15 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. followed by a Gallery Talk with the curator and participating artists from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.  To maintain social distancing and COVID-19 safety protocols, attendance capacity for the reception and Gallery Talk will be limited. Reservations are required for the reception and Gallery Talk at this e-mail address:

Regular daily visitation during the Gallery’s new hours (Wednesday – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.) will be available throughout the run of the exhibition (May 15 – June 26, 2021). Admission is free and open to the public, and no reservations are required for daily attendance. The health and well-being of the Gallery’s guests, staff, and artists continue to be our number one priority. COVID-19 pandemic Health and Safety Guidelines can be found on our website at    

Material Message is generously sponsored by FotoFocus Cincinnati and Helen and Brian Heekin.

All dates and times are subject to change.

Since 1995, the Weston Art Gallery’s mission has been to present and support the visual arts of the Tri-state region through exhibitions and special programs. Its objectives are to foster an awareness and appreciation of the visual arts among area residents and to support the development of professional and emerging artists of the region. 

Weston Art Gallery 2020-21 Season Sponsor: DEE and TOM STEGMAN

 Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts • 650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202-2517 • 513/977-4165
Wed. – Sat. 11 am – 4:00 pm. • WestonArtGallery@CincinnatiArts.ORG • Admission is free.

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Hit the Lights! Theater Co. Presents HORSETALE at Cincinnati Fringe Festival

CFF21_Hit the Lights logoStreaming online June 4th – June 19th, 2021
For tickets visit

Hit the Lights! Theater Co. (HTL!) is pleased to stream its original shadow musical as part of the 2021 Digital Cincy Fringe Festival. In HORSETALE, two musicians share their story of love and heartbreak through the adventure of a horse and its tail that become separated and in their search for each other, find themselves. HTL! weaves together handmade shadow puppetry, six vintage overhead projectors, original folk/rock music, Looney Tunes homages, and American iconography to tell a story as wild and expansive as the West itself.

HIT THE LIGHTS! THEATER CO. is an award-winning company created out of an artistic agreement to tell simple stories in unconventional ways. Hit the Lights! follows the motto ‘Less Talk, More Rock.’ This motto drives the creative process, culminating in work that is hyper-theatrical in nature: performers multitasking onstage in real time to create the technical, musical, and narrative components of a story simultaneously. Believing that motion, color, sound, and atmosphere are more evocative and experiential than spoken text, a heavy emphasis is placed on dialogue-less, action-oriented storytelling. Consequently, this allows the work to connect with audience members of varying theatrical experience, physical ability, cultural background, and age.

Past highlights include original works DUNGEON (Audience Pick of the Fringe at the Cincinnati Fringe and Editors Pick at the Minnesota Fringe), WHALES (nominated for three New York Innovative Theater Awards including Outstanding Innovative Design, Outstanding Original Music, and Outstanding Premiere Production of a Play, Artist Pick and Venue Award Minnesota Fringe), an original site-specific immersive theater experience in collaboration with the Know Theatre of Cincinnati THE OTHER RHINE, developing original shadow puppets for Vogue Magazine’s March 2021 cover shoot featuring Gigi Hadid, a live cinematic puppet adaptation of Gimlet Media’s hit podcast The Habitat, a collaboration with New York Botanical Garden’s Spooky Pumpkin Nights; a live music video for Grammy Award-nominated Sammy Miller and the Congregation, and being nominated for an Off-Broadway Alliance Award for “Best Family Show” for their theatrical adaptation of the book TASTE THE CLOUDS commissioned by New York City Children’s Theater. HTL!’s Off-Broadway credits include performances at Dixon Place, La MaMa ETC, New Victory Theater Lab Works, The Flea Theater, Franklin Stage Company, and Ars Nova in NYC where they were Company in Residence in 2018 and 2019.

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Get Your Dancing Shoes Ready, The Carnegie Announces Latest Production I GOT RHYTHM

TC_I Got Rhytym logoCOVINGTON, KYThe Carnegie is set to tap – pun intended – into one of the most exuberant forms of dance when its latest production takes the stage.

Some of the greatest songs in American music will provide the soundtrack to I GOT RHYTHM, playing Friday through Sundays between May 21—May 30, 2021 at the new Covington Plaza (144 Madison Ave, Covington KY 41011). Featuring music from the likes of Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin and George Gershwin among others, the high-energy, family-friendly production is appropriate for all ages and lovers of dance alike.

I GOT RHYTHM will transport guests to the golden age of tap. It is the root of many modern styles of dance, which is why it’s legacy deserves celebrating,” said Maggie Perrino, Theater Director for The Carnegie. “Add in songs like Puttin’ on the Ritz, This Joint is Jumpin’, and There’s No Business Like Show Business, plus a cast of dynamite performers, and you’ve got an evening of entertainment sure to tap your troubles away.

There will be 10 performances total- May 21-23, 28-30 with 5 shows each weekend- Friday night at 7pm, Saturday at 2pm and 7pm, Sunday at 2pm, and 7pm. Tickets to I GOT RHYTHM range from $15-$25 per person and can be purchased through The Carnegie Box Office, open Tuesday–Friday noon to 5 p.m., in person or by phone at (859) 957-1940 or online at Run time for the show is 75 minutes with no intermission.


  • Tia Seay
  • Lesley Taylor
  • Sam Johnson
  • Matthew Nassida
  • Allison Evans
  • Renee Stoltzfus
  • Ashley Olivia Morton
  • Kate Stark

Production Team

  • Maggie Perrino, Director/Choreographer
  • Matthew Nassida, Music Director
  • Steven Ducker, Stage Manager
  • Doug Stock, Technical Director

The Carnegie’s 2020-21 Theatre Series is presented by the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation. Support for The Carnegie Creative Disruption Committee programming series is provided by the John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust.


About The Carnegie
The Carnegie is Northern Kentucky’s largest multidisciplinary arts venue providing theatre events, educational programs and art exhibitions to the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati community. The Carnegie facility is home to The Carnegie Galleries, the Otto M. Budig Theatre, and the Eva G. Farris Education Center.  More information about The Carnegie is available at or by calling (859) 491-2030. 

The Carnegie receives ongoing operating support from Cincinnati International Wine Festival, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Kenton County Fiscal Courts, the Kentucky Arts Council and the City of Covington. The Carnegie is also supported by the generosity of more than 40,000 contributors to the ArtsWave Community Campaign. 

About The Carnegie Theatre Series
The Carnegie Theatre Series produces professional, innovative stagings of an eclectic range of theatrical works. Striving to unite the greater Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati theatre community through partnerships and collaborations, the series engages and nurtures both emerging and established talent, including working professionals, committed part-time theatre artists, university performing arts students and younger students. The Carnegie Theatre Series productions bring together these forces to provide quality theatre for Northern Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati area.

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The Drama Workshop Premieres I’M BLOOY RETIRED, Its Final Home View Theatre Piece

TDW_VERTThe Drama Workshop’s Home View Theatre series will close with the release of ‘M BLOOY RETIRED, a comedic crime mystery written by Eric Thomas.

Dennis Murphy, TDW’s Vice President of Productions states that, “’M BLOOY RETIRED is a very fitting choice to bring our successful Home View Theatre series to a close. With this delightful comedy, Home View Theatre has produced 13 short videos over the course of nine months. Not only has Home View Theatre provided funding to support TDW operations during the pandemic, but it has also served as a valuable link between TDW and its subscribers, membership and the broader theatrical community during the many months of isolation. We thank the writers, casts and crews of all of the Home View productions for their time, effort and creativity. They have managed to produce 13 videos safely while working within Covid protocols and restrictions Their courage and dedication to this project is greatly appreciated by TDW and something our audiences would soundly applaud – if they could.”

In ‘M BLOOY RETIRED, retiring Detective Sergeant Royal is given one last assignment – to train rookie Detective Francis – and one last case — to finally bring down his arch-nemesis. Dennis Murphy directed the video and portrays Detective Royal. Detective Francis is played by Nicholas Dunker. Chris Bishop, Stephanie Klein, Lindsey Pullum and Karen Romero round out the stellar cast.  The video was edited by Murphy and Eric Thomas. Cal Lumpkin served as videographer and assistant editor.

Tickets to stream ‘M BLOOY RETIRED or any of the Home View Theatre productions can be purchased at or by calling the box office at (513)598-8303. Single videos are $5 or you can subscribe to the series of six videos for only $25.

The second series of Home View Theatre plays also includes:

The Rules, a comedy by Jessie Faye. As they prepare for a first date, a man and woman reflect on societal pressure, self-doubt, and the complexities of the perfect outfit. TDW is excited to welcome Jeff and Maddy Weinkam to their TDW debut. They played the couple, and Jeff directed the video. The Rules premiered on February 12.

Vir:Us, a collection of monologues written by a group of TDW artists who began a writer’s group during their pandemic downtime. Each monologue, performed by its author, explores how people try to make connections with others during the pandemic. The group of actor/playwrights consist of Chris Bishop, Betsy Bossart, Stephanie Klein, Lindsey Pullum, Fred Tacon and Eric Thomas. Vir:Us premiered on February 26.

Second Story Jobs, a comedy by Fred Tacon that portrays what happens when an extremely overworked tooth fairy visits an adult man. The video is directed by Lynne Aronson and features Michael Sharon and Rusty Lacy. Second Story Jobs premiered on March 12.

Goodwill, a play by Teri Foltz. While clearing out the garage after their mother’s death, a brother and sister learn of a family secret. The cast includes Linda Callahan and Steve Phelan under the direction of Julie Jordan. Goodwill premiered on March 26.

Indian Sign, a drama by Clint Bramkamp in which conflict arises between a man leading a campaign to keep a twenty-eight-foot sign depicting an outdated view of Native Americans in place and a Native American activist who wants to see the sign taken down. Richard Zenk directs the cast which features Jessie Faye and John McInerney. Indian Sign premiered on April 9.

THE DRAMA WORKSHOP was founded in 1954. TDW is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to advancing education and promotion of the theatrical arts. The Drama Workshop is widely recognized as one of greater Cincinnati’s most accomplished community theater organizations, garnering dozens of awards annually from the Association of Community Theatres of Greater Cincinnati. TDW’s 2019 production of “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” was selected to represent the Southwest Ohio region at the Ohio Community Theatre Association annual conference. TDW was also honored to represent the state of Ohio at the 2013 and 2017 American Association of Community Theatre regional conferences. The Drama Workshop has been recognized by the Cincinnati Preservation Association for their efforts to rehabilitate the former Glenmore Bowl into The Glenmore Playhouse. Prospective members, and individuals or businesses interested in becoming involved or in helping advance TDW’s mission are encouraged to contact the group through our website at, or by phone at 513-598-8303.

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