Tag Archives: Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati

ETC Announces Winners of Third Annual PLAY/WRITE: The Jackie Demaline Regional Collegiate Playwriting Competition

ETC_logo(Cincinnati, OH) Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC) is pleased to announce the winners and finalists of the third annual PLAY/write: The Jackie Demaline Regional Collegiate Playwriting Competition. The annual collegiate competition nurtures local aspiring dramatists who are helping to shape the future of American theatre and provides a $2,500 juried cash award to support the early work and career of each winner along with staged professional readings of their scripts. This year marked the most submissions received since the inception of the competition for regional undergraduate and graduate student playwrights. Impressed by the overall strength and breadth of this season’s entries, the panelists have decided to name two winners as well as recognize two finalists.

The winners of this year’s prize are Megan Ledford (Wright State University) for her play Hi! Maintenance. and Skye Robinson Hillis (Ohio University) for her play Bury the Rest; each of their plays will receive a full-length staged professional reading streamed through ETC’s YouTube Channel. This year’s finalists are Christin Cato (Indiana University) for her script Stoop Pigeons and Steven Strafford (Ohio University) for his play Greater Illinois; each will receive a short staged reading excerpt of their play, running approximately 10 minutes, that will also be available to stream online.

Excerpts of the finalists’ pieces will premiere on May 12 (Greater Illinois) and May 19 (Stoop Pigeon) with the winning full-length professional staged readings to premiere on May 26 (Hi! Maintenance.) and June 2 (Bury the Rest).

Additionally, the panelists have selected three other playwrights as honorable mentions: 30 Seconds by Jayne Deely (Indiana University), Goodbye Babylon by Trevor Browning (Northern Kentucky University), and Tell Me About the Other Side by Eleanor Alger (Miami University).

“This year’s competition was very close as many entries were well-constructed and each had a unique voice and point of view,” says Programming and Events Manager Jared D. Doren. “This competition is a testament to the younger, local writing talent that is being cultivated in our schools today. We are excited to share some of these works, some comedic, some serious, but all worthy of recognition.”

About the Competition
The competition commemorates the life and work of writer, critic, and theatre enthusiast, Jackie Demaline. A passionate arts advocate, Ms. Demaline served as an important catalyst for change in the theater community and was an entertainment writer and editor for numerous publications. Her legacy lives on through this competition, providing professional development for emerging writers, amplifying new voices and perspectives, and kick-starting arts careers.

About the Plays

Hi! Maintenance. by Megan Ledford
Andy is very content with her life. She may live in one of the most broken apartments New York has ever seen, but she and her roommate, Harper, get by just fine. However, when their trusted maintenance man breaks a hip and Charlie, his replacement, takes over, Andy is forced to let a new person in her life. As this newcomer offers a fresh perspective on Andy’s seemingly perfect existence and her way of thinking, Harper makes decisions that spell rapid change for their relationship and Andy’s life as a whole. 

Bury the Rest by Skye Robinson Hillis
Following the death of their daughter Lucy in a mass high school shooting, exes Margot and Colin find themselves at a moral impasse that leaves Colin’s new wife, Laura, on the outside and their other daughter, Samantha, to navigate this brave new world on her own. Each member of the family tumbles deeper into a rabbit hole of devastation, loneliness, and anger as Lucy confronts the truths of her short life while facing the reality that is her death. As they navigate their relationships and rebuild themselves as a family, it may, in fact, be Lucy who decides their fate. 

Stoop Pigeons by Christin Cato
Stoop Pigeons takes place in the early 2000s when the Bushwick area of Brooklyn began radically gentrifying, spanning a decade that illuminates the cultural changes of the neighborhood and the people who inhabit it. As the demographic changes and introduces a new clientele, it’s the poor Black and Brown folks who are still severely affected.

Greater Illinois by Steven Strafford
Donielle and her husband are offered money (and ultimately threats) to leave their apartment in the South Side of Chicago to a new government-sponsored suburban community. One year later, Patrick, a gay man who is being moved into the same South Side apartment is suddenly met with obstacles when a mysterious person arrives at his door. Greater Illinois is the story of the decisions we make to fight, flee, or freeze.

About the Playwrights

Megan Ledford (Hi! Maintenance.) is a junior pursuing a BA in Acting at Wright State University. With beautiful irony, she is a dyslexic person who loves to read and write. Megan is blessed to have inherited her mother’s inspiring stubbornness, making her determined to participate in this field despite her disability. Megan’s interest in writing began when she joined a sketch comedy group her freshman year at Wright State and has slowly expanded to writing longer form content over the past couple years. 

Skye Robinson Hillis (Bury the Rest) is a playwright, director, and dramaturg based in Chicago. Skye is a two time semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Award, and her work has been seen at the Kennedy Center ACTF, Creede Repertory, The Route 66 Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, A Red Orchid Theatre, Piven Theatre Workshop, Artistic Home, Prologue Theatre Company, Polarity Ensemble Theatre, Ohio University, Columbia College, and the City of Chicago’s In the Works Play Lab at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Her play And Vaster was awarded a residency at the New Works Lab at Stratford in 2015 and was the winner of the 2015 Ashland New Plays Festival 2017 Holland New Voices Award at the Great Plains Theatre Conference. As a director and dramaturg, she has worked for Hartford Stage, Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, A Red Orchid, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Stage Left, and more. Her other plays include Bury the Rest, Escape Velocity, The Ordinariness of Everything Else, The Running Mate, Into Place, and Selfish. Skye is currently pursuing her MFA in Playwriting at Ohio University on a full scholarship.Christin Cato (Stoop Pigeons) is a playwright and performer, currently pursuing an MFA in Playwriting at Indiana University. She is a graduate from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music and Art and received her BA from Fordham University. Christin is an ensemble member of both Pregones/PRTT and INTAR Theatre’s Unit 52. Embracing her Puerto Rican and Jamaican roots, her artistic style is influenced by Caribbean culture and the Afro-Latinx diaspora. Her plays include Sancocho, Milagro Theatre & Borderlands Theater; jelly beans, Indiana University; What’s Up With Marjorie?, Teatro Vivo; From Hunts Point To Whitlock, Pregones & Harlem9; and Genie in a Pumpkin, Cardinal Stage. Christin is a recipient of the 2020 Greater Good Commission and is also an active member of the Latinx Playwright’s Circle. 

Steven Strafford (Greater Illinois) is an actor and playwright who currently resides in Athens, Ohio, where he is pursuing an MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University. He is the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning Methtacular! having performed it across the country at LORT theaters, Steppenwolf Theatre, universities, and LGBTQ spaces. He is also the author of Small Jokes About Monsters which received productions in Houston (nominated for Houston Theatre Award for Outstanding New Play), Sioux City, and Chicago at 16th Street Theater. His play Mona Q: Age 38 received workshops with Route 66 Theatre Company and 16th Street Theater. His short plays Use Your Noodles and The Breakup Play have been produced a few times each. His essay, “College Dreams” was published in the book The Anatomy of Silence.

Performance Information
These virtual readings can be streamed for free through ETC’s YouTube Channel, which can be accessed through the theatre’s main website.

### 

2020-2021 Season Presenting Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is supported, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. We fulfill our mission through our stage productions and educational outreach programs that enlighten, enliven, enrich and inspire our audiences.

Leave a comment

Filed under Press Releases

I SHALL NOT BE MOVED First Draft Reading Available April 19-May 9

ETC_I Shall Not Be Moved logoI SHALL NOT BE MOVED First Draft Reading
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati
Available April 19-May 9
[Online]

This one-woman play by emerging playwright Isaiah Reaves thrillingly recounts the story of his grandmother, a nationally recognized Civil Rights pioneer Betty Daniels Rosemond and her beautiful, horrifying, and trailblazing journey through the American South as one of the first Freedom Riders during the 1960s.

Audiences far and wide will experience the internal conflicts and joys of a dark-skinned Black woman’s fearless battle for equity and equality by streaming a reading of the show’s first draft.

I SHALL NOT BE MOVED is a play in-development commissioned by Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. Directed by Torie Wiggins.
 
  • Available for streaming Mon, April 19-Sun, May 9

Official page | Facebook event |

Leave a comment

Filed under Online Performance

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati Presents Virtual Dramatic Reading of SIDE MAN, March 22-April 4, 2021

ETC_Side Man logoBy popular demand, our virtual production of the Tony Award-winning play SIDE MAN has an extended run! You can catch this incredible story on ETC On Demand now through April 11.

(Cincinnati, OH) The Tony Award-winning play Side Man, by acclaimed playwright and television producer Warren Leight (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), returns to Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC), this time on the digital stage with a dramatic reading. In 1999, ETC was the first regional theatre to produce Side Man while it was still running to sold-out houses on Broadway. The show, which reunites familiar Cincinnati actors on ETC’s (virtual) stage, will be streaming online through ETC On Demand March 22-April 4, 2021 and is directed by D. Lynn Meyers.

Set from 1953 and traveling to 1985, this 1999 Tony Award for Best Play winner, chronicles the life of trumpet player’s broken family as it navigates the decline of jazz as popular entertainment. Although the musicians are talented players, the nation is changing the channel to rock. “In its depiction of a young man struggling to remain the glue in the troubled marriage of his vacant, trumpet-playing father and unbalanced, alcoholic mother, this lovely play has an abiding power,” says The New York Times.

“Before Side Man became a hit on Broadway, I had fallen in love with the script and knew it was a show that had the potential to bring audiences to ETC,” says Producing Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers. “Including the reigning Tony winner and Pulitzer finalist in that 1999 season undoubtedly was a catalyst for the theatre, drawing new patrons into the area, many of whom then became subscribers. Warren Leight graciously trusted a theatre and a director he didn’t know to do the regional premiere and came to see it opening night. This led to two other premieres of his work, Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine and James and Annie.”

About the Playwright

Warren Leight (Playwright) is an award-winning writer and showrunner who is currently helms Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, now enjoying an historic 22nd season. Previously, he was showrunner and Executive Producer of HBO’s Peabody Award-winning In Treatment, the FX drama Lights Out, and the Edgar-winning Law and Order: Criminal Intent. His play Side Man won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Play and was a 1999 Pulitzer Prize Finalist. His other plays include No Foreigners Beyond This Point (Drama Desk nomination), Home Front, Fame Takes a Holiday, Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine (ATCA nomination), and The Loop. He wrote the book to the musical Mayor (Drama Desk nomination) and co-wrote the book to Leap of Faith (Drama Desk nomination). Two collections of one-acts, Dark, No Sugar and Stray Cats, have been published by DPS. His many articles and humor pieces have appeared in dozens of periodicals including the International Herald Tribune, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, Mademoiselle, National Lampoon, and BOMB Magazine.

About the Cast

Charlie Clark (Gene) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre as Bruce in Fun Home, where his credits include Next to Normal, Violet, Rapture, Blister, Burn, Hands on a Hardbody, Luna Gale, and Next Fall, among others. Some of his other local credits include Church Girls, Take Me Out, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, On Golden Pond, Carousel, Love’s Labour’s Lost, See What I Wanna See, The Full Monty, and Sunday in the Park with George. His Chicago credits include Company, Merrily We Roll Along, Into the Woods, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and Sweeney Todd. His Twin Cities credits include Guys and Dolls and Mary Poppins, and Bridges of Madison County. 

Michael G. Bath (Ziggy) returns to Ensemble Theatre, having last appeared in The Frog Princess, Fly By Night,
The Dancing Princesses, Cinderella: After Ever After, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Hands on a Hardbody, among others. Other regional credits include Superior Donuts with Clifton Players and Angels in America at Know Theatre. Mr. Bath has also performed with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, the Performance Gallery, Showboat Majestic, and Stage First Cincinnati.

Jennifer Joplin (Terry) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in The Humans. She has called Cincinnati home for a decade where some of her favorite credits include Outside MullingarTribes, and Rapture, Blister, Burn, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati; Feast, Girl in the Red Corner, and Man-Beast, Know Theatre of Cincinnati; and the roles of Lady Macbeth and Cleopatra at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Her film credits include Donnybrook and Old Man and the Gun. She is a graduate of Wright State University where she is an adjunct professor.

Brian Isaac Phillips (Al) returns to Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, having appeared in Outside MullingarDead Man’s Cell PhoneThe SeafarerIce Floe, and the Off-Center Series production of God’s Country, as well as directing the 2018 production of Red Velvet. Other recent credits include Collapse at Know Theatre, Porgy & Bess and Carmen at the Cincinnati Opera, as well as Lloyd in Noises Off at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Other favorites include the title roles in HamletMacbeth and Henry VA Streetcar Named DesireThe Weir, all with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, The Goat or Who is Sylvia with New Stage Collective, as well as productions with Playhouse in the Park and The Children’s Theatre. Brian is serving his 18th season as Producing Artistic Director at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

Geoffrey Warren Barnes II (Jonesy) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in Sleeping Beauty (2014) and Hands on a Hardbody. His credits include After Aida (joint project with Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati and Cincinnati Opera); Drunk Santa Xmas Spectacular, All the Way, Fences, Macbeth, and Twelfth Night, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; and Marian: or the true tale of Robin Hood, Know Theatre of Cincinnati. Geoffrey holds a BFA in Musical Theater from Webster University in St. Louis and an MFA in acting from the University of Texas at Austin. He is an alumnus of the Cincinnati School for the Creative and Performing Arts.

Maliyah Gramata-Jones (Patsy) made her Ensemble Theatre debut as #00 in the 2019 production of The Wolves. Offstage, Maliyah is a teaching artist and arts ambassador, having toured Japan, Germany, Poland, Canada, and the US. Her recent credits include Megan Jones in Puffs and A in Red Bike at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, as well as Nurse in Titus Andronicus at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. 

Spencer Lackey (Clifford) makes his Ensemble Theatre debut with this production. He is an Ohio-born actor based in New York and his theatre credits include Barefoot in the Park, Shakespeare in Love!, The Gospel of Fat Kathy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Other Rhine, METH: A Love Story, and Justice. His film/television credits include Dead of Winter, Notzilla, Healing River, A Very Special High School Story, and Paranoia.

Performance Information
This virtual reading can be rented through ETC on Demand, the theatre’s new digital streaming platform. Tickets are $10 for one 48-hour rental or $60 for a subscription to all upcoming virtual content (excluding benefit readings) through June 2021. ETC On Demand will be able to be accessed through the theatre’s main website. Subscribers can contact the box office Monday through Friday, 9:00 am until 5:00 pm for more information.

###

2020-2021 Season Presenting Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is supported, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. We fulfill our mission through our stage productions and educational outreach programs that enlighten, enliven, enrich and inspire our audiences.

Leave a comment

Filed under Online Performance, Press Releases

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati Commissions I SHALL NOT BE MOVED, the Captivating Story of Betty Daniels Rosemond

ETC_logoSTREAMING ON DEMAND April 19-May 2, 2021

(Cincinnati, OH) Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC) is thrilled to announce the commission of I Shall Not Be Moved, the riveting new script-in-development by Cincinnati native and emerging young playwright Isaiah Reaves. This one-woman play thrillingly recounts the story of Reave’s grandmother, nationally recognized Civil Rights pioneer Betty Daniels Rosemond and her beautiful, horrifying, and trailblazing journey through the American South as one of the first Freedom Riders during the 1960s. Audiences far and wide will experience the internal conflicts and joys of a dark-skinned Black woman’s fearless battle for equity and equality by streaming a reading of the show’s first draft, available on demand April 19-May 2, 2021.

As described by Woody Keown, Jr. of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, “Rosemond’s life is one of courage, clarity, and action,” which will inspire cross-generational audiences in our region and beyond. Directed by Torie Wiggins.

ETC will host a live discussion with playwright Isaiah Reaves on February 25, 2021 at 7:00 pm as part of its free livestream series Meet the Artists, and will be available through the theatre’s social media channels and website.

“It is an honor to bring I Shall Not Be Moved to life and what an extraordinary joy to have two generations together crafting this remarkable story,” says Producing Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers. “This honest, direct story demands to be told and we are thrilled make that possible. We look forward to presenting its world premiere on our stage when it’s complete and when we are once again able to welcome audiences in person. We anticipate collaborations with community partners as well as extensive, accompanying educational programs that will further bring this vital story to life.” 

About the Playwright
Isaiah Reaves (Playwright) 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 staged and read by The Classical Theatre of Harlem at Lincoln Center, Vintage Soul Productions of Connecticut, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, and many others. Isaiah is a semi-finalist for the Ucross and The Blank Theatre Future of Playwriting Prize, a 2020 finalist of the Jackie Demaline Regional Collegiate Playwriting Competition, an Iowa Arts Fellow, and a recipient of Cincinnati CityBeat Critic’s Pick. He is currently in pursuit of an MFA at the historic University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop.

Performance Information
This virtual reading can be rented through ETC on Demand, the theatre’s new digital streaming platform. Tickets are $10 for one 48-hour rental or $60 for a subscription to all upcoming virtual content (excluding benefit readings) through June 2021. ETC On Demand will be able to be accessed through the theatre’s main website. Subscribers can contact the box office Monday through Friday, 9:00 am until 5:00 pm for more information.

### 

2020-2021 Season Presenting Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is supported, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. We fulfill our mission through our stage productions and educational outreach programs that enlighten, enliven, enrich and inspire our audiences.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Press Releases

Registration Open for Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s Virtual Summer CAMPS

ETC_logo(Cincinnati, OH) Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC) presents a summer of fun, active camps, which feature a variety of fun opportunities for kids and teens to connect with and learn from world-class theater professionals. In response to the ongoing pandemic and building upon last year’s successful and creative socially-distanced format, all 2021 summer camps are currently scheduled to be held virtually. The camp day is structured to ensure participants are active and moving while still following instruction through a screen.

In addition to performance-focused camps and classes, ETC’s popular, one-of-a-kind Technical Theatre Intensive is a unique chance for aspiring artists who are eager to participate in theatre but who may prefer working behind-the-scenes. Featuring workshops taught by the same incredible talent that grace the ETC stage, participants will learn from the very best. No audition is necessary, however, space is limited.

Although the learning platform has shifted, the goals are still the same, with students leaving instruction equipped with a strong foundation of acting and production skills along with a practical portfolio, which may include a voiceover reel, on-camera acting experience, and set design. 

Junior Summer Camp
Ages 7–15
July 12–24, 2021 (Mon-Fri only); Performances on July 23 & 24
Tuition: $675

This fun two-week camp focuses on acting fundamentals and promotes self-confidence, communication, and teamwork. Camp culminates in a production of the virtual play The Super Non-Heroes, by Taryn Temple, shared with family and friends. Workshops and topics include performance techniques, improv and acting, movement and stage combat, audition skills, and more! 

High School Summer Intensive
Ages 13-18
July 26-30, 2021
Tuition: $295

This one-week intensive includes five exciting, fun-packed days aimed at refining young artists’ acting skills and is appropriate for actors working to take their craft to the next level. Participants dive into more advanced performance topics including improv, acting, audition technique, character development, script analysis, and more. This summer camp culminates in a showcase performance for family and friends on the final day.

Technical Theatre Summer Intensive
Ages 13-18
July 12-16, 2021
Tuition: $295

This one-week intensive explores costumes, props, lighting, sound, set design, and stage management while fostering the skills necessary for technical theatre including ingenuity, resourcefulness, teamwork, and creative problem-solving. 

Registration
For more information or to register online, visit www.ensemblecincinnati.org/camps-classes or call (513) 421-3555.

###

2020-2021 Season Presenting Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is supported, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. We fulfill our mission through our stage productions and educational outreach programs that enlighten, enliven, enrich and inspire our audiences.

Leave a comment

Filed under Family-Friendly, Press Releases, Summer Programs for Youth