Tag Archives: Falcon Theatre

Falcon Theatre to Produce BEN BUTLER As On-demand Theater For Film Project 

FT_Ben Butler logoBEN BUTLER by Richard Strand, Falcon Theatre’s third theater-for-film project of its 2020-2021 season, is currently in production and will be available for streaming May 14 through 22.

What M*A*S*H was to the Korean War, Ben Butler is to the American Civil War. It’s a story that examines the horrors of war, and in this case, of slavery. But the play uses a strong dose of humor to portray the triumph of the human spirit from the cruelest and most dire of circumstances.

An escaped slave shows up and demands asylum at union-held Fort Monroe, Virginia in the early days of the war. Major General Ben Butler, who has been in the Union army for only a few weeks and has never held a rank lower than brigadier general, is faced with a moral dilemma: To follow the letter of the law, which would almost certainly end in the killing of the slave or to create a novel interpretation of the law that would save the slave’s life but that might end his barely-begun military career.

First-time Falcon director Piper Davis says that she was drawn to the play because of its approach to the story. “It certainly isn’t often you see a funny story about slavery,” Ms. Davis says. “But the humor of the play is found in its portrayal of resilience and hope.” Ms. Davis says that one of the challenges of the production is to make sure that the audience understands that, despite such heavy subject matter, it’s OK to laugh and enjoy the story.

The New York Times describes BEN BUTLER as “part comedy, part historical drama, and part biography, often all at once…just call it splendid.” The Times raves that the story’s dialogue is “by turns sarcastic, droll, and witty…clever without being glib, meaningful without being pretentious. It’s a funny and impressive mixture.”

The production’s cast features Michael Hall, Phineas Clark, Rico Reid, and Terry Gosdin.

Details for streaming the presentation will appear soon on Falcon’s website (www.falcontheater.net) and on Falcon’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

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TO BE BLACK Runs April 9-14

CBTAC_To Be Black promoTO BE BLACK
Cincinnati Black Theatre Artist Collective & Falcon Theatre
April 9-14
[Online]

Featured plays include: UNMASKED and THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY by Curtis D. Shepard; I AM NOT SAFE by Derek J. Snow; MY MOMMA SAID by Arethia Hornsby Rinfrow; THE TWUNNY FO’ by A.J. Baldwin; and SONS OF LIBERTY by Cris Eli Blak

Directed by Piper N. Davis & Candice Handy

Cast: Includes Geoffrey Barnes & Ernaisjia Curry

Featuring scenes and monologues from local Black playwrights.

  • Streaming Friday, April 9-Wed, April 14

Official sites: www.cincyblacktac.com | www.falcontheater.net

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Cincinnati Black Theatre Artist Collective with Falcon Theatre Present TO BE BLACK

CBTAC_To Be Black promoCincinnati, OH/Newport, KY – Cincinnati Black Theatre Artist Collective (Cincy BlackTAC) with Falcon Theatre will present To Be Black, a virtual event featuring scenes and monologues from local Black playwrights that will stream from April 9 to April 14, 2021.

Cincy BlackTAC is excited to expand their work to focus on new voices. In their successful 2020 summer weekly series, Monologues For Us By Us, they featured the work of August Wilson and his contemporaries. In this new collaboration, they will continue to showcase the stories of Black life in the most varied and multi-faceted way; promoting the awareness that the Black experience is not monolithic. Under the direction of Piper N. Davis and Candice Handy, local playwrights will have the opportunity to have their work brought to life by some of Cincinnati’s favorite faces, including Geoffrey Barnes and Ernaisjia Curry. Featured playwrights include Derek J. Snow, Cris Eli Blak, A.J. Baldwin Arethia Hornsby Rinfrow, and Curtis Shepard.

“The audience will get to hear from a variety of Black voices with To Be Black. I hope that viewers will gain some perspective in subject matters like identity, gentrification and trauma that affect Black people every day in a different way than our white peers. I also hope that the audience will have a good time! There are some new, fresh and comedic voices in To Be Black that truly showcase the vibrancy of Black culture and quick-wittedness of Black folks!” says Cincy BlackTAC Artistic Director, Candice Handy.

Falcon Theatre is proud to bring Cincinnati Black Theatre Artist Collective to their space to produce this virtual theatrical event. “Theatre, at its core, is a collaborative process. Part of Falcon Theatre’s mission is to advocate new voices, foster talent and vision and provide a safe, inviting environment for all artists to grow and share their work. Collaborating with Cincy BlackTAC is a fundamental way Falcon can help support the efforts of BIPOC artists so the momentum gained through tragedy is not lost to complacency,” says Artistic Director and founder of Falcon Theatre, Ted Weil. Falcon is committed to the highest level of safety practices for the artists and crew during the filming process for this streamed production.

HOW TO WATCH
To Be Black will be available for streaming April 9-14, 2021, for $15. Tickets will be available for purchase on both the Falcon and Cincinnati Black Theatre Artist Collective’s websites. Ticketholders will be able to view the show for 48 hours after their purchase.

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATIONS
Cincinnati Black Theatre Artist Collective is a new group of artists working to create space for Black stories and artists. They are thrilled to be partnering with Falcon Theatre on this event who have been safely producing virtual theatrical experiences throughout the pandemic. Falcon Theatre is supported by the generosity of the Kentucky Arts Council.

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THE AGITATORS Available March 12-20

FT_The Agitators promo

Elliott Young as Frederick Douglass & Cat Cook as Susan B. Anthony. Photo by Kristy Rucker.

THE AGITATORS
Falcon Theatre
March 12-20
[Online]

Directed by Darnell Pierre Benjamin

Cast: Cat Cook as Susan B. Anthony & Elliott Young as Frederick Douglass

A riveting story about the friendship that persisted through the years between Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass as both fought tirelessly for the rights of others.  The play struggles with the question “Do you believe there can be a country for all?”

  • Available for streaming March 12-20

Official page |

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Falcon Theatre to Produce THE AGITATORS as On-demand Theater/Film Project

FT_The Agitators promo

Elliott Young as Frederick Douglass & Cat Cook as Susan B. Anthony. Photo by Kristy Rucker.

For forty-five years, they agitated the nation and each other. They met in the 1840s as young abolitionists, full of hopes and sharing a common purpose. They became cultural and historical icons. They were Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Their tempestuous decades-long  friendship is the subject of playwright Mat Smart’s THE AGITATORS, currently in production at Falcon Theatre as a special theater-for-film presentation. The production will be available for on-demand streaming from March 12 – 20, 2021.

This project has been more than a year in the making. Originally scheduled as the fourth production of Falcon’s 2019-2020 season, the play was mere days from opening last March when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the theater to shelve the project temporarily. Out of concern for cast, crew, and audience safety, Falcon Artistic Director Ted Weil and production director Darnell Benjamin agreed to push the production to the 2020-2021 season. Weil and Benjamin ultimately opted to produce the play as Falcon’s second theater-for-film project. This past October, the theater filmed a similar venture for Sean Devine’s play Daisy.

Anthony and Douglass found a common cause in the abolition of slavery, though each came at the subject from a different standpoint. She was white, a Quaker. He was black, an escaped slave. Both used their gifts as writers and orators, along with their shared passion for equality to forge an unlikely friendship. Slavery ended after the Civil War, and the two focused on what they hoped would be universal suffrage. Their friendship and alliance became strained with the proposal of the 15th Amendment, which would grant voting rights to black men, but not to women of either race.

Playwright Smart sees the story of the pair as timely for 21st Century America. “The distance between people in this country seems to be growing greater and greater,” Smart says. “And something that is so inspiring to me about Susan and Frederick was their ability to have a healthy, hard dialogue with the people they disagreed with…with the people who hated them. So I hope a lesson we can take from them is how we can better listen to people who believe different things than we believe, and how we may better agitate the people who disagree with us to change their thinking. Or vice versa.”

Details for streaming the presentation will appear soon on Falcon’s website (www.falcontheater.net) and on Falcon’s Facebook and Instagram (@falcontheatrenky) pages.

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