Tag Archives: Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Presents August Wilson’s MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

CSC_Ma Rainey1

Torie Wiggins as Ma Rainey. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

CSC presents August Wilson’s American Classic that celebrates the Blues and Black History

CINCINNATI (January 19, 2022) – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is proud to continue bringing August Wilson’s canon to life with this production of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” A part of Wilson’s American Century Cycle, a series of plays chronicling the Black experience throughout the 20th-century, the play focuses on Blues singer Ma Rainey in Chicago in the roaring twenties. This show’s design is generously sponsored by Judge Mark and Sue Ann Painter.

Candice Handy, CSC’s Director of Education, directs this production, which features a cast of 10 ensemble members. The design team features renowned artists, including scenic designer Tony Hardin, who has worked over 150 theatre and opera productions, and multi-award-winning costume designer Daryl Harris. Yemi Oyediran, a local Blues musician and music producer, serves as the production’s music director and composer.

The “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” cast embodies Wilson’s words, immersing themselves in Chicago during the blistering 1927 summer. The production features Torie Wiggins as the titular Ma Rainey, artfully fictionalizing the real-life Blues singer. Torie was last seen at CSC in “Romeo and Juliet” and in August Wilson’s “Fences” at CSC in 2019. The cast also includes resident ensemble members who frequently appear at CSC with Geoffrey Warren Barnes II, who last appeared in “Every Christmas Story Ever Told” and “Romeo and Juliet” and Crystian Wiltshire, who last appeared in “Romeo and Juliet.” Crystian has also recently joined Cincinnati Shakespeare as its new Associate Artistic Director.  CSC also welcomes back “ranney” who has performed at CSC in the 2020 production of “All the Way” and as the featured actor in August Wilson’s “Fences” at CSC in 2019, alongside several of his “Ma Rainey” cast mates.

In celebration of CSC’s production of August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” CSC welcomes Dr. Sandra G. Shannon, the leading authority on August Wilson, for a lecture on the play and the contextual framework, including the role of Blues women, the history of the Blues, and the cultural impact today. The open-to-the-public event will be held at the Otto M. Budig Theatre Sunday, February 6 at 7 PM with pay-what-you-can pricing.

At this time, all ticketholders must be masked and show proof of a full COVID vaccination status OR provide a negative COVID test to enter The Otto M. Budig Theater. More details on the exact procedure are shared before each performance.  Learn more at CSC’s Health and Safety page at cincyshakes.com/health-and-safety/.

Tickets are on sale now. There are discounts 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.  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.

In the spirit of building community, CSC launches YP Preview Nights, an event that welcomes young professionals to the Wednesday Preview Nights of their mainstage shows and offers the chance for a mid-week break at the theatre with fellow peers. The first YP Preview Night is August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” YP night on January 19. YP Nights are supported by the generosity of the thousands of young professional contributors to the ArtsWave Campaign.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s 2021-2022 Grand Re-Opening Season is generously presented by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation and the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. Foundation; along with our Education Season Sponsor, Debby and Jim Mason Honoring James R. Bridgeland, Jr; and our Operating Support Partners, The Ohio Arts Council, The Robert and Adele Schiff Family Foundation, 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.

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August Wilson’s
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
January 21 – February 12, 2022

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is honored to continue August Wilson’s work to life with “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”. In this American classic, tensions and temperatures rise at a Chicago music studio in 1927 when fiery, fearless blues singer Ma Rainey joins her band for a fraught recording session. She is a Black woman determined to control her art and her life on her own terms. However, as egos and generational ideologies clash, heated conflicts erupt between everyone present that wrestle with the complexities of racism and artistic exploitation in this Tony Award® nominated powerhouse of a play.

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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 OTR. CSC’s repertoire is composed of the works of William Shakespeare, literary adaptations, and contemporary classics.  CSC performs on a Small Professional Theatre contract with the Actors’ Equity Association. Cincinnati Shakespeare is a member of the Theater Communications Group and the Shakespeare Theatre Association.  Each year, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Education and Outreach Programs reach more than 50,000 young people and community members each season by taking Shakespeare into schools, parks, community centers and by 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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MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM Runs Jan. 21-Feb. 12

CSC_Ma Rainey promoMA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival
Jan. 21-Feb. 12
[Over-the-Rhine]

Tensions and temperatures rise at a Chicago music studio in 1927 when fiery, fearless blues singer Ma Rainey joins her band for a fraught recording session. She is a Black woman determined to control her art and her life on her own terms. However, as egos and generational ideologies clash, heated conflicts erupt between everyone present that wrestle with the complexities of racism and artistic exploitation in this Tony Award® nominated powerhouse of a play.

12/22/21 – Health and Safety Policy

  • In preview, Wed-Thu, Jan. 19-20 at 7:30pm
  • Fri-Sat, Jan. 21-22 at 7:30pm
  • Thu-Sat, Jan. 27-29 at 7:30pm
  • Sun, Jan. 30 at 2pm
  • Thu-Sat, Feb. 3-5 at 7:30pm
  • Sun, Feb. 6 at 2pm
  • Thu-Fri, Feb. 10-11 at 7:30pm
  • Sat Feb. 12 at 2pm* & 7:30pm
    *ASL Interpreted.

Official page |

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Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Classic Comedy, EVERY CHRISTMAS STORY EVER TOLD (AND THEN SOME!), is Back for the Holidays!

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Justin McCombs, Candice Handy, & Geoffrey Warren Barnes II. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

After a thrilling first production back from the prolonged intermission, Cincinnati Shakespeare continues the Grand Re-Opening Season with the beloved Christmas comedy, EVERY CHRISTMAS STORY EVER TOLD (AND THEN SOME!) 

CINCINNATI (November 11, 2021) – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company has opened its doors in time for the holidays with EVERY CHRISTMAS STORY EVER TOLD (AND THEN SOME! as the second play in the 2021-2022 Grand Re-Opening Season. In celebration of the last Christmas missed and the comeback, the holiday hit is bigger than ever, playing a longer run from November 19- December 26, 2021.

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Miranda McGee. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

In its 15th Season, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is thrilled to spread holiday cheer in just over 90 minutes with “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)” by Michael Carleton, James Fitzgerald, and John K. Alvarez. In the play, three actors (with the help of drunk Santa) start with A Christmas Carol which soon devolves into a slightly irreverent take on everyone’s favorite “Beloved Holiday Classics,” including It’s a Wonderful Life, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph, Charlie Brown, and others!

Jeremy Dubin continues his directorial lead for the most praised and popular production in Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s history, a play that consistently breaks attendance and sales records every year.  “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!)” is a show best enjoyed by adults and older teens; it is not recommended for any theatergoers young enough to believe in Santa Claus. Perfect for date nights, families with older children and teens, and outings with friends, attending the show becomes an experience. Theatergoers are encouraged to arrive with Christmas sweaters and Santa Hats, while Drunk Santa herself makes COVID safe connections with the audience.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company also offers the opportunity to think outside the gift box and give experiences as presents. Gift Certificates for your selected amount can be redeemed on tickets, subscriptions, classes, summer camp, and more, becoming the perfect present for everyone from students to adult theatergoers. Available for purchase online and same-day pick up in the lobby at CSC.  Learn more about holiday gifting at www.cincyshakes.com/gift.

At this time, all ticketholders must wear masks in addition to showing proof of a full COVID vaccination status OR provide a negative COVID test to enter The Otto M. Budig Theater. More details on the exact procedure are provided before each performance. Learn more at CSC’s Health and Safety page at www.cincyshakes.com/health-and-safety/.

Tickets are on sale now for purchase online or by calling the Box Office. CSC values accessibility for all theatergoers and offers a variety of affordable options, including discounts available for students, seniors, local residents, and community partners, or $14 “Access” tickets in the Upper Gallery. Rush Tickets at $12 for any unreserved seats may be available one hour before each performance, not just for students.

This annual Christmas spectacular is performed at the Otto M. Budig Theater in OTR, adjacent to Washington Park, at 1195 Elm St. Tickets range from $12-$60.  To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273), or visit us online at www.cincyshakes.com.

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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 OTR. CSC’s repertoire is made up of the works of William Shakespeare, literary adaptations, and contemporary classics.  CSC performs on a Small Professional Theatre contract with Actors’ Equity Association. Cincinnati Shakespeare is a member of the Theater Communications Group and the Shakespeare Theatre Association.  Each year, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Education and Outreach Programs reach more than 50,000 young people and community members each season by taking Shakespeare into schools, parks, community centers and by 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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FRANKENSTEIN Radio Drama Available Halloween Night from Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and WVXU

CSC_WVXU Frankenstein logoTune into 91.7 WVXU this Halloween, October 31st at 7pm for the world premiere of a new audio drama adaptation of FRANKENSTEIN.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Candice Handy and Brian Isaac Phillips have put a modern and updated spin on Mary Shelley’s sci-fi thriller that you won’t want to miss.

This is the second year in a row that CSC will be world premiering a brand new audio drama on WVXU for Halloween. Listen to last year’s War of the Worlds now to get in the spooky spirit, cincyshakes.com/event/war-of-the-worlds/.

How to listen to FRANKENSTEIN on Halloween this Sunday at 7pm:

  • Radio 91.7 FM
  • WVXU App
  • WVXU.org/listen
  • Tell your smart speaker to “Play WVXU”

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The Show Must Go On! ROMEO AND JULIET: Now Streaming

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Courtney Lucien as Juliet and Crystian Wiltshire as Romeo. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

Easy to access and affordable, you can now stream a recorded version of ROMEO AND JULIET for a limited time.

Savor the Stage from Home

Upon purchase, you’ll receive immediate access to enjoy the play digitally through November 13th. Tickets are Pay What You Can starting at $10 and up depending on the amount you can give to support this production for yourself and others.

Don’t miss this rare chance to watch a recorded Cincinnati Shakespeare Company production from home!

Don’t Miss the Show

ROMEO AND JULIET has swept the city with the League of Cincinnati Theatres raving, “…a fresh and engaging take on the play” and CityBeat dubbing the show “…a doomed, tender, lusty romance.” See Romeo and Juliet and join the buzz.

BONUS: All in-person ticket purchases now include digital insurance, meaning if you change your mind and decide you don’t want to see Romeo and Juliet in person, you won’t miss it and can exchange your in-person ticket for streaming!

Click here to Stream Now. Available until production closing on Nov. 13.

 

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