Tag Archives: Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Perfect for Halloween, CSC Presents the World Premiere of local Playwright, Isaiah Reaves’ THE LIVING DEAD Oct. 14-29, 2022

CSC_The Living Dead promo2

Darnell Pierre Benjamin

THE LIVING DEAD by Isaiah Reaves is the first play in Company history that was commissioned, developed, and given a world-premiere production entirely at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Cincinnati, Sep. 29, 2022 – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company ventures into “spooky season” with a world premiere of Isaiah Reaves’ THE LIVING DEAD, a new play inspired by the cult horror classic film The Night of the Living Dead by George A. Romero and John A. Russo playing Oct. 14-29, 2022. This production is directed by CSC’s Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips, and features Darnell Pierre Benjamin and a cast of CSC Ensemble favorites. This World Premiere Commission is made possible by The McElroy Family. The production’s design is generously sponsored by President H. James Williams and First Lady Carole Campbell Williams, Mount St. Joseph University, Theatre Arts Department.

When a zombie apocalypse ravages the world, a band of strangers seek refuge in an abandoned house, forcing the group to work together to see the light of day. However, individualism, egos, and power struggles expose the horrifying nature of survival. A new vision of contemporary horror inspired by the cult classic, Isaiah Reaves’ THE LIVING DEAD makes its world premiere in time for the Halloween season.

The world premiere of THE LIVING DEAD by Isaiah Reaves marks the first time Cincinnati Shakespeare Company has commissioned, developed, and produced a play entirely within its walls. The play marks the beginning of CSC’s goal to commission new plays to elevate fresh, diverse new voices and champion the next generation of classics. Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips notes, “this project represents an important landmark for CSC and our strategic goals. THE LIVING DEAD is the first commission in our emerging New Works program to be fully produced in our mainstage season. We commissioned Isaiah to write this piece during the pandemic, have supported its development through virtual workshops, and now we are excited to be producing it on our mainstage.”

The playwright, Isaiah Reaves, is an emerging young playwright whose work explores a spectrum of Black and Queer experiences. A native of Cincinnati, he graduated cum laude from Northern Kentucky University in 2020.  His plays have been commissioned and staged by The Classical Theatre of Harlem at Lincoln Center, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, and many others. He is currently in pursuit of an MFA at the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop.

For further access, audiences will be able to listen to a streamlined 1 hour version that will play on the radio in partnership with WVXU on Halloween night, Oct. 31 at 8-9pm. The Radio Drama Adaptation Sponsor is Cincinnati Modern Realtor David G. Smith, Keller Williams Advisors Realty. This is the next of a growing collection of radio dramas produced by CSC since 2020. Access to all of CSC’s audio plays are available through the listening library on the website online here: cincyshakes.com/WVXU. All of these recordings are free to listen.

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THE LIVING DEAD runs from October 14 – 29, 2022. Performances of THE LIVING DEAD are on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM, with one Sunday matinee at 2:00 PM on October 23 and a Saturday matinee at 2:00 on October 29. CSC offers performances with accessibility resources, including an Audio Described performance on Friday, October 21, at 7:30 PM and a Sign Language Interpreted Performance on Saturday, October 29, at 2:00 PM.

The performance will be approximately 80 minutes with no intermission.

Tickets are on sale now. Preview performances are on Wednesday, October 12, and Thursday, October 13, with tickets at $45. Young Professionals are invited to YP Preview Night on Wednesday, October 12, with discounted tickets at $25, including a free drink and 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 www.cincyshakes.com.

Audience members are no longer required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. The wearing of masks will be encouraged but optional. Please contact the Box Office by email or phone at (513) 381-2273 for assistance.

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  http://www.otrchamber.com/pages/WheretoPark.

CSC also offers Valet Parking for every performance! Make reservations for $25 in advance when purchasing tickets, or visit www.cincyshakes.com/parking. 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.

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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 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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THE LIVING DEAD Runs Oct. 14-29

CSC_The Living Dead promo2

Darnell Pierre Benjamin as Ben.

Performance added, Wed, Oct. 26 at 7:30pm.

THE LIVING DEAD by Isaiah Reaves
Inspired by the film by George A. Romero and John A. Russo
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Oct. 14-29
[Over-the-Rhine]

Directed by Brian Isaac Phillips

Cast: Darnell Pierre Benjamin* as Ben, Burgess Byrd* as Nana/Zombie/Ensemble, Cary Davenport* as Sheriff/ TV Newscaster/Ensemble, Jared Earland as Zombie, Charles Gidney as Tommy, Jim Hopkins* as Harold, Courtney Lucien* as Barbara, Kelly Mengelkoch* as Helen, Brianna Miller as Governor/Zombie/Ensemble, Annabel Phillips as Ava & Adrian Devaughn Summers as Duane/Zombie/Reverend/Ensemble

When a zombie apocalypse ravages the world, a band of strangers seek refuge in an abandoned house, forcing the group to work together to see the light of day. However, individualism, egos, and power struggles expose the horrifying nature of survival. A new vision of contemporary horror inspired by the cult classic, Isaiah Reaves’ The Living Dead makes its world premiere in time for the Halloween season. Production contains adult situations and themes including acts of violence.

  • In preview Wed-Thu, Oct. 12-13 at 7:30pm
  • Fri-Sat, Oct. 14-15 at 7:30pm
  • Thu-Sat, Oct. 20-22* at 7:30pm
  • Sun, Oct. 23 at 2pm
  • Wed-Fri, Oct. 26-28 at 7:30pm
  • Sat, Oct. 29 at 2pm** & 7:30pm
    *Oct. 21 performance is audio described.
    **Oct. 29 2pm performance is Sign language interpreted.

Official page | Facebook event |

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Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Kicks Off its 2022-2023 Season with KING LEAR

CSC_King Lear1Cincinnati, September 8, 2022 – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s 2022-2023 season premieres with Shakespeare’s powerful tragedy King Lear, directed by Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips, who is celebrating his 20th anniversary with the company. King Lear features Jim Hopkins as the titular patriarch who divides his kingdom between three daughters played by Candice Handy, Kelly Mengelkoch, and Miranda McGee. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s 2022-2023 Season is generously presented by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation and Rosemary and Mark Schlachter.

CSC’s production of King Lear boasts a modern twist set in contemporary London. Costumes of sleek, tailored suits and a modern architectural set designed by Rainy Edwards and Justen N. Locke, respectively, not only give a subtle nod to HBO’s hit drama “Succession” but emphasizes the timelessness of this Shakespearean tragedy.

Lear claims “nothing will come of nothing,” but Shakespeare’s tragedy reveals madness will come in the face of chaotic plights. In contemporary Europe, a familial dynasty divides when an aging patriarch splits his estate between two wicked daughters and casts out the third – the only one who truly loves him. As Lear and the status quo devolve into madness, the whole family faces the brutal truth of family dynamics, loyalty, and the existence of justice.

Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips, chose for the 2022-2023 Season to open with this Shakespeare play that has not be seen on the stage at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for almost 15 years! Brian shares, “in Shakespeare’s day when the plague shut down theaters, Shakespeare wrote King Lear. Well, a plague shut down our theater and we are going to come back stronger than ever by staging King Lear!”

CSC_King Lear2The season also marks a special anniversary for CSC as they celebrate Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips in his 20th season of artistic direction, vision, and leadership. Among his many accomplishments as the artistic leader of CSC, Phillips guided the company’s completion of Shakespeare’s 38-play canon, making Cincinnati Shakespeare Company one of the first five theaters to reach this milestone. Former Managing Director Maddie Regan said, “Brian’s commitment to looking at Shakespeare and the Classics in fresh new ways has made CSC a valued part of the lives of thousands of Cincinnatians over the past 20 years. His passion for excellence on the mainstage is only matched by his devotion CSC’s education program. Brian’s largest contribution to the region is adding a gem to the Queen City’s crown through the completion of The Otto M. Budig Theater, a $17MM project in the heart of our City.” Brian’s leadership of CSC has made the company a vibrant addition to the classical corridor of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and the overall cultural fabric of Cincinnati.

King Lear runs September 9 – October 1, 2022. Performances of King Lear are on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM, Sundays at 2:00 PM, and Saturday, October 1 at 2:00 PM (Also ASL Interpreted on Saturday, October 1 at 2:00 PM). Tickets are on sale now. Preview performances are on Wednesday, September 7, and Thursday, September 8, with tickets at $45 or $25 for YPs. 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 www.cincyshakes.com.

Audience members are no longer required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. The wearing of masks will be encouraged but optional. Please contact the Box Office by email or phone at (513) 381-2273 for assistance.

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 http://www.otrchamber.com/pages/WheretoPark.

CSC also offers Valet Parking for every performance! Make reservations for $25 in advance when purchasing tickets, or visit www.cincyshakes.com/parking. 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!

###

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!

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s 2022-23 Season is generously presented by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation and Rosemary and Mark Schlachter; 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, 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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KING LEAR Runs Sept. 9-Oct. 1

CSC_King Lear promoKING LEAR
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Sept. 9-Oct. 1
[Over-the-Rhine]

Cast: Jim Hopkins* as King Lear, Candice Handy* as Cordelia, Miranda McGee* as Regan, Kelly Mengelkoch* as Goneril, Matthew Davies as Kent, Jeremy Dubin* as Fool, Charles Gidney as King of France/Oswald, Dathan Hooper* as Gloucester, Warren Jackson* as Edmund, Justin McCombs* as Duke of Cornwall, Demetria Thomas* as Duke of Burgundy/Old Man/Ensemble, Adam Tran* as Duke of Albany & Brent Vimtrup as Edgar

Lear claims “nothing will come of nothing,” but Shakespeare’s tragedy reveals madness will come in the face of chaotic plights. In contemporary Europe, a familial dynasty divides when an aging patriarch splits his estate between two wicked daughters and casts out the third – the only one who truly loves him. As Lear and the status quo devolve into madness, the whole family faces the brutal truth of family dynamics, loyalty, and the existence of justice.

  • In preview Wed-Thu, Sept. 7-8 at 7:30pm
  • Fri-Sat, Sept. 9-10 at 7:30pm
  • Thu-Sat, Sept. 15-17 at 7:30pm
  • Sun, Sept. 18 at 2pm
  • Thu-Sat, Sept. 22-24 at 7:30pm
  • Sun, Sept. 25 at 2pm
  • Thu-Fri, Sept. 29-30 at 7:30pm
  • Sat, Oct. 1 at 2pm & 7:30pm

Official page |

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Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s FREE Shakespeare in the Park Returns with TWELFTH NIGHT Night, an All-New Park Production

CSC_Twelfth Night logoThe tour of nearly 40 parks in the tri-state area starts in mid-July and runs all summer long!
View the complete schedule here

Cincinnati, May 17,  2022 – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s FREE Shakespeare in the Park tour returns this summer, running from July 15 through September 4 with over 40 performances of FREE Shakespeare in parks across the tri-state area, including Cincinnati, Fairfield, Glendale, Lebanon, Madeira, Mason, Oxford, Portsmouth, Springfield, and West Chester in Ohio; Covington and Erlanger in Kentucky; and Lawrenceburg and Richmond in Indiana – and more!

This year will be mark the start of CSC selecting a brand new Shakespeare title and production each summer with even more production value behind it!  This summer the show will be Shakespeare’s beloved comedy “Twelfth Night”.  Audiences can expect an announcement each spring about the new title and production and look forward to seeing more of Shakespeare’s canon over the years in Cincinnati.

Shipwrecks, love triangles, and mistaken identities abound in this lively rom-com on an island where everyone is in love with someone – and the wrong person loves them back.  Bursting with vitality and romance, “Twelfth Night” features one of Shakespeare’s most dynamic heroines, Viola, matching wits with a host of captivating characters. As Shakespeare comedies go, “Twelfth Night” is one of the greats; a fun and funny celebration that embraces the silliness of love and is perfect for the whole family!

CSC’s Associate Artistic Director and mainstage fan favorite, Crystian Wiltshire, returns to a directorial role, describing the show as a play about self-discovery. “So many characters are fighting to overcome their obstacles through impersonations, hijinks, and ultimately, not being who they are,” Wiltshire describes. “It’s not until the end of this wild roller coaster ride of a play that everyone consents to be who they want to be and we can sing ourselves home.” Passionate about the evolution of this beloved CSC educational program, Wiltshire says that this new production re-imagines the FREE Shakespeare in the Park experience. “It’s fun, funny, and full of love and laughs. The costumes will feel fresh with a modern nautical look, perfect for a summer time romance on the coast of Illyria.”

What is FREE Shakespeare in the Park?

Launched in 2007, CSC’s FREE Shakespeare in the Park tour is one of the nation’s largest summer Shakespeare offerings, both in geographic area covered and audience members served. As the only professional outdoor theatre opportunity in the Cincinnati region each summer, CSC’s free Shakespeare in the Park tour attracts more than 10,000 patrons to 50 area parks anywhere within a two-hour radius of Cincinnati. CSC’s FREE Shakespeare in the Park Tour enhances the vibrancy of neighborhoods throughout the region by creating traveling arts programs that increase the affordability, availability, and accessibility of the arts outside the downtown core. The park tour is an annual tradition—the closest audiences can get to what it might have been like to watch Shakespeare’s plays as they were first performed at the open-air theaters in Southhampton—and the heart of CSC’s mission to bring Shakespeare to life FOR ALL.

Over the past two summers, the goal FREE Shakespeare in the Park was to restart live theater in a safe way, taking all necessary COVID precautions, in order to fill a deep social need in our community – the need to feel connected to art and each other. CSC used the pandemic as a catalyst to creatively adapt its FREE Shakespeare in the Park Tour, presenting Cincinnati’s only live theatre in the city in 2020 and 2021, visiting over 50 parks and neighborhoods across the tri-state. From public parks to parking lots, backyards to breweries, CSC’s FREE Shakespeare in the Park was a beacon of hope and possibility in a challenging time.  CSC is thrilled to continue the FREE Shakespeare in the Park tour in 2022 with a production that is bigger and better than ever!

How can I support FREE Shakespeare in the Park?

FREE Shakespeare in the Park is made possible through the generous support of companies, foundations, and donors throughout the tri-state and beyond. If you would like to make a gift in support of the program, please visit cincyshakes.com/event/park-fund/ or call 513.381.2273 x 3208.

All donors to our Shakespeare in the Park Fund between May 1 and August 31 will be entered in a drawing to win two free subscriptions to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s 2022-2023 Mainstage Season. We also have a variety of fun Shakespeare in the Park themed thank you gifts in exchange for your donations!

  • A Gift of $12 (in honor of “Twelfth Night”) – Vinyl Sticker
  • A Gift of $38 (in honor of Shakespeare’s 38 play canon) – Bumper Magnet
  • A Gift of $100 – Water Bottle

Donors who join our Monthly Giving Circle between May 1 and August 31 and will be entered in a drawing to win an exclusive Behind the Scenes Package for a mainstage show of your choice during the 2022-2023 Season.

  • Monthly Gift of $10 or One-Time Gift of $120 – Insulated Tote Bag
  • Monthly Gift of $25 or One-Time Gift of $300 – Personal Portable Fan
  • Monthly Gift of $100 or One-Time Gift of $1,200 – Roll-up Picnic Blanket

Thank you gifts will be fulfilled beginning July 15, 2022.

The 2022 FREE Shakespeare in the Park Tour is generously sponsored by Western & Southern Financial Group and was financially assisted by the Ohio Valley Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Agent.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company also sends special thanks to our Operating and Season Support Partners: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation; The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. Foundation; Debby and Jim Mason; The Ohio Arts Council, The Robert and Adele Schiff Family Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; Lightborne, and the tens of thousands of people who give generously to the ArtsWave Community Campaign.

Admission to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare in the Park Tour is free and there is no ticket or RSVP required.  All performances are open to all and are general admission, open seating.  Arriving early is typically recommended for best seating and lawn chairs and blankets are recommended.  For questions regarding inclement weather or for details and rules regarding outside food and drink (including or excluding alcohol), please contact the individual parks and venues.

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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!

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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