Tag Archives: Know Theatre of Cincinnati

FANNIE LOU HAMER, SPEAK ON IT! Runs Sept. 23-Oct. 4

KTC_Fannie Lou Hamer logoFANNIE LOU HAMER, SPEAK ON IT!
Know Theatre of Cincinnati
Sept. 23-Oct. 4
[Various]

Directed by Derek Snow

Cast: Elizabeth Leigh Taylor as Fannie & Nathan Singer as Music Man

This is a pay-what-you-can production. Advance tickets are available for various donation levels at knowtheatre.com; they also accept donations in person for walk-up tickets.

Fannie Lou Hamer, the midcentury activist for voting, civil, and women’s rights, comes to life in Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!, a traveling production that recreates Fannie’s famous civil-rights rallies. Fannie is bringing her pickup truck and her Music Man to a parking lot near you to share her journey from sharecropper to activist, sing her favorite old-school spirituals with you, and empower you to be the fearless firebrand she knows you can be.

Click here to see the most up-to-date list of locations with addresses.

  • Wed, Sept. 23 at 6:30pm – E Walnut Hills Madison Lot | FB event
  • Thu, Sept. 24 at 6:30pm – The Carnegie [Covington] | FB event
  • Fri, Sept. 25 at 6:30pm – The Fitton Center [Hamilton] | FB event
  • Sat, Sept. 26 at 3:30pm – Wyoming Fine Arts Center | FB event
  • Sat, Sept. 26 at 6:30pm – Price Hill Will | FB event
  • Sun, Sept. 27 at 3:30pm – TBA
  • Sun, Sept. 27 at 6:30pm – TBA
  • Wed, Sept. 30 at 6:30pm – TBA
  • Thu, Oct. 1 at 6:30pm – Findlay Market Beer Garden [West End] FB event
  • Fri, Oct. 2 at 6:30pm – Fountain Square [Downtown]
  • Sat, Oct. 3 at 3:30pm – Artsville [Madisonville]
  • Sat, Oct. 3 at 6:30pm – TBA
  • Sun, Oct. 4 at 3:30pm – TBA
  • Sun, Oct. 4 at 6:30pm – TBA

Official page

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Know Theatre of Cincinnati Continues Our Season With FANNIE LOU HAMER, SPEAK ON IT!

KTC_Fannie Lou Hamer logoBy Cheryl L. West

September 23 – October 4, 2020

“When I liberate myself, I liberate you!”

After opening our season digitally with the critically-acclaimed solo show Feast. (streaming now through September 20), the Know presents Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!, a brand-new, live, and in-person outdoor theatrical experience. 

After a lifetime of agitating for civil rights on the highest platforms in our land, the incredible Fannie Lou Hamer is coming to a neighborhood near you to share her passion for justice – and maybe pass on a spark of her flame. 

To vote is to hope.

Fannie Lou Hamer, the midcentury activist for voting, civil, and women’s rights, comes to life in Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!, a traveling production that recreates Fannie’s famous civil-rights rallies. Fannie is bringing her pickup truck and her Music Man to a parking lot near you to share her journey from sharecropper to activist, sing her favorite old-school spirituals with you, and empower you to be the fearless firebrand she knows you can be.

This production is directed by Derek Snow, who has appeared regularly on the Know’s stage since 2007’s The Pillowman. Derek says, “Fannie Lou has always been one of my personal sheroes, and I enjoy the fact that not too many people are instantly familiar with her name and what she accomplished. Now is the perfect time to ‘edu-tain’ people about her life and the lives of so many who shed blood to insure my right to vote. This piece speaks to the need for vigilance as it relates to voting rights, and manages to also be a beautiful play about determination and never  being too old to reinvent yourself.” The Know also welcomes Elizabeth Leigh Taylor as Fannie and Nathan Singer, of the local band the Whiskey Shambles, as the Music Man, both in their Know Theatre debuts. 

The performance will happen entirely outdoors, with Fannie holding her rally from the bed of her pickup truck. She’ll be visiting parking lots in Over-the-Rhine, Downtown, Price Hill, Covington, and more around the greater Cincinnati area; for a full schedule and to find a performance near your neighborhood, visit our website.

Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It! will be a pay-what-you-can production. Advance tickets will be available for reservation for various donation levels at knowtheatre.com; the Know also gladly welcomes donations in cash or via PayPal or Venmo for those who wish to walk up. All patrons will be asked to wear masks, and maintain a distance of at least six feet from those outside their party as often as possible. One performance will be available as an internet livestream; the date of that performance is yet to be announced.

Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It! was commissioned and developed by Goodman Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre. It was originally directed by Henry Godinez and features musical arrangements by Felton Offard. The Know Theatre’s production will run concurrently with Goodman Theatre’s, which will tour the Chicago area.

In the spirit of Fannie’s activism, the Know Theatre is partnering with The Greater Cincinnati Voter Collaborative to conduct voter registration drives at every performance. We’re offering this show as “Pay What You Can” so that as many people can take part as possible, and so we are also asking our community to step up and help make this project happen with individual donations. If you want to help bring voter registration and an inspiring story of empowerment to local communities, please visit knowtheatre.com/support to make a gift in support of this project today.

Join Fannie Lou Hamer and the Know Theatre in a neighborhood near you to check your voting registration, get charged up for civic engagement, and get to work changing the world. 

CAST

  • Elizabeth Leigh Taylor as Fannie
  • Nathan Singer as Music Man

PRODUCTION TEAM

  • Director: Derek Snow
  • Scenic Designer: Andrew J. Hungerford
  • Costume Designer: Noelle Wedig-Johnston
  • Sound Designer: Douglas J. Borntrager
  • Props Designer: Kayla Williams
  • Stage Manager: Meghan Winter
  • Technical Director: Henry Bateman 

AT A GLANCE

  • Production: Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It! by Cheryl L. West
  • Dates: Sept 23 – Oct 4, 2020
  • Where: Parking lots around Cincinnati
  • Tickets: This is a pay-what-you-can production. Advance tickets are available for various donation levels at knowtheatre.com; we also accept donations in person for walk-up tickets.

Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It! is made possible by Guest Artist Sponsor Judge (Ret.) Mark P. Painter. Additional community support comes from the Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr./US Bank Foundation, Price Hill Arts Connection, The Rodenberg Family Foundation, and Sophia McAllister. 

Know Theatre is Cincinnati’s Theatrical Playground. The Know showcases unexpected voices, new works, and plays that embrace the inherent theatricality of the live experience. Know Theatre seeks to be a place where artists and audiences feel welcome to take artistic risks, creating work that is cutting edge and accessible. 

Know Theatre’s work is made possible, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.  

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Know Theatre with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. 

Know Theatre is also supported by The Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, helping to change our communities for the better through collaboration and innovation, and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, which provides a simple, powerful, and highly personal approach to giving. 

 Know Theatre is a member of Theatre Communications Group and an Associate Member of the National New Play Network. 

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FEAST Quick Review

FEAST presented by Know Theatre of Cincinnati through Sept. 20. 

KTC_Feast1

Jennifer Joplin as Grendel’s mother.

The gang at Know Theatre have been at the forefront of bringing online content to local audiences. With FEAST, Know brings a fully-staged production to our “little boxes” with great success.

Playwright Megan Gogerty re-tells the legend of Beowulf from the viewpoint of Grendel’s mother. As history is written by the victors, she-who-was-not-named in the epic poem takes us to tasks for her grievances against our fathers, who not only killed and mutilated her son, but who also painted him as a “monster” for all time.

Gogerty’s script is smart, insightful and cleverly weaves 21st century themes into the narrative. Unexpected laughs, great turns of phrase, and thought-provoking conclusions permeate the performance.

Jennifer Joplin handles the dense and demanding script extremely well. Her verbal stream of consciousness flows from doting mother to vengeful, not to be trifled with demigod, and every emotion rings true.

Director Tamara Winters’ deft hand shows a strong understanding of the material. The show is well staged, being mindful of the camera but not beholden or tied to it. The flow of the show feels natural and makes great use of the entire play space.

The set, designed by Andrew Hungerford, not only defines the confined space, but allows the use of light and shadow to enhance the visual component of the show. Clever stage lighting plays with Joplin’s features as the character’s emotions ebb and flow. Stringent use of sound and visual effects, supplied by Douglas Borntrager, do much to add to the atmosphere of the work.

Congratulations all on a well-done, engaging production.

My rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Click here for more information on the production.

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Let’s Build a Theatre Where Everyone is Welcome to Play

KTC_Lets Play logoAn Action Plan for Equitable Theatre 

CINCINNATI, OH – This is an extraordinary time to be a theatre artist. The entire theatre sector has spent the last three months soul-searching about how we can keep our art and our community whole while a global pandemic prevents us from performing our most basic function: bringing people together for the shared experience of live performance.

But the spectacular displays of civil disobedience and impassioned protest in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have put these existential questions about the nature of live theatre into even clearer relief.

Because the truth is that the American theatre has done a poor job of bringing our whole community together for a very long time.

And that includes Know Theatre of Cincinnati.

Though many of us have proclaimed a commitment to diversity, we remain complicit in the establishment and maintenance of environments that do not value or foster Black voices. We have participated in racist structures and failed to recognize the voices in our own community that we should have been lifting up. We have prioritized efforts including gender parity and economic accessibility without giving the same energy or resources to anti-racist work.

It’s time to own that history, and take action.

Some of this work has already been going on behind the scenes – but solidarity cannot be silent, and it is important now to make plain the work we have quietly been undertaking, as well as the next steps we will take to make the Know a more expressly anti-racist organization.

The work already underway in support of an equitable Know Theatre includes:

  • Ensuring our board of directors better represents the Cincinnati community at large, which has taken us from a 6-person board with only 16% representation of people of color to a 15 person board with 27% representation of people of color. Our goal is to continue thoughtful recruitment until we reach at least 40% representation of people of color.
  • Forming a board-lead committee of staff, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion professionals, and local artists, to define policies, review vendors to prioritize BIPOC-owned partnerships, and discover ways in which this artistic community can collectively liberate us all from the constraints of systemic racism and economic inequality.
  • Our staff is instituting a system of education and anti-racist training to acknowledge and interrogate existing biases and lack of education around anti-blackness and white supremacy. This is an ongoing learning and unlearning process necessary for us to fully engage with anti-racist work as a company; and our work in this space will focus on harm reduction, harm prevention, and relationship repair.
  • Sourcing funds specifically for hiring artists of color. This is a continuation of an effort we quietly undertook in the 2019-2020 season, with support of the David C. Herriman Foundation of the GCF, to enable us to bring visiting designers and directors of color to work with us, be paid competitively for their artistry, be offered housing to support their stay in Cincinnati, and give all of our artists the chance to work with rising artists they would otherwise not have had the chance to collaborate with.

It is clear that there is much, much more work to be done to ensure that members of our community who are Black, Indiginous, and People of Color (BIPOC) feel welcome and embraced as artists, as patrons, as board members, and as staff.

So as we launch into a new season, we commit to the following actions:

  • Over 22 seasons, we have maintained an average of just under 20% of shows on our MainStage by BIPOC writers, which we recognize is simply not good enough. To reflect the fact 40% of the Cincinnati population identifies as black or African American, we pledge to produce an average of 40% plays by BIPOC writers on our MainStage, and work to maintain that level of representation in future seasons.
  • We also pledge to not only cast BIPOC performers in BIPOC stories, but also seek to cast at least 50% of our roles across a season with artists of color. Our casting representation over the last 6 seasons has ranged from a high of 50% BIPOC actors to a low of 28% – we pledge to meet and maintain an average of 50% from now on.

  • The low salaries of small nonprofit theatre reinforce racial and economic privilege in hiring – unless you have inherited wealth or alternate sources of income, job opportunities in companies including the Know have not been open to you. We will work to raise full-time staff salaries to at least $30,000 so that job postings become more welcoming and viable for BIPOC applicants.

  • We will rewrite our artist and employee handbooks to ensure that we are no longer creating a hostile environment – intentionally or unintentionally – for BIPOC artists and staff members. We will use the guidance from the #dearwhiteamericantheatre petition and Stratford Festival’s #inthedressingroom conversations as starting points, as well as conversations with local artists who have come to us with concerns.
  • We will be open to criticism and we will not meet criticism with defensiveness. In all things, we will strive to honor our history as the Know Theatre Tribe and a voice for inclusion and change in Cincinnati’s theatre community.

Know Theatre began 22 years ago as the Know Theatre Tribe, a multicultural and nomadic arts collective committed to bringing the voices of diverse artists into Cincinnati communities.

As we launch into what already, due to the pandemic, will be an unprecedented season full of experimentation in how to deliver art in digital forms, we will no longer backburner the work that needs to be done to honor that history and take us toward an equitable, anti-racist theatre.

We will proclaim with both our work and our words that Black Lives Matter.

We welcome your thoughts and ideas about the theatre you want to see evolve across Cincinnati in this moment. We invite your stories and your criticisms. We look forward to building a theatre that better represents and celebrates all of our stories – not just the stories of a few.

Know Theatre is Cincinnati’s Theatrical Playground. The Know showcases unexpected voices, new works, and plays that embrace the inherent theatricality of the live experience. Know Theatre seeks to be a place where artists and audiences feel welcome to take artistic risks, creating work that is cutting edge and accessible.

Know Theatre’s work is made possible, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Know Theatre with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

Know Theatre is also supported by The Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, helping to change our communities for the better through collaboration and innovation, and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, which provides a simple, powerful, and highly personal approach to giving.

Know Theatre is a member of Theatre Communications Group and an Associate Member of the National New Play Network.

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FEAST Runs Aug. 7-Sept. 20

KTC_Feast promoFEAST
Know Theatre of Cincinnati
Aug. 7-Sept. 20
[Online]

Written by Megan Gogerty
Directed by Tamara Winters

Cast: Jennifer Joplin as Agathae

You are cordially invited to break bread, virtually, with one of the seminal monsters of literature: Grendel’s Mother, from the Anglo-Saxon epic, Beowulf. Share in her hard won victories and shattering griefs. Turn your collective gaze upon the wreckage of the 21st century, and find what it takes to maybe build a better world. And have a little treat. You deserve it.

FEAST. is an uncompromisingly brash reflection on devotion, grief, and the communal responsibility to stoke the fires of revolution. It’s a bold mash-up of a classical story with bracing modernity, painting a world where mythology comes crashing into pop culture.

  • Fri-Sat, Aug. 7-8 at 8pm
  • Wed-Sat, Aug. 12-15
  • Sun. Aug. 16 at 2pm
  • Wed-Sat, Aug. 19-22
  • Sun. Aug. 23 at 2pm
  • Wed-Sat, Aug. 26-29
  • Sun. Aug. 30 at 2pm
  • Wed-Sat, Sept. 2-5
  • Sun. Sept. 6 at 2pm
  • Wed-Sat, Sept. 2-5
  • Sun. Sept. 6 at 2pm
  • Wed-Sat, Sept. 9-12
  • Sun. Sept. 13 at 2pm
  • Wed-Sat, Sept. 16-19
  • Sun. Sept. 20 at 2pm

Official page |

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