Tag Archives: Know Theatre of Cincinnati

Know Theatre Kicks Off 21st Anniversary Season with WHISPER HOUSE

KTC_Whisper House logoMusic & lyrics by Duncan Sheik
Book & lyrics by Kyle Jarrow

July 27 – August 19 

We all have ghosts. Some of them are real. 

Along the rocky coast of Maine, in the shadow of World War II, a young boy is sent to live among strangers…and ghosts.

​With music & lyrics by Duncan Sheik, the Tony-winning composer of Spring Awakening, this daring new pop rock musical unfolds in 1942, in and around a remote lighthouse on the coast of Maine.

Amid the threat of U-Boats patrolling the shoreline and the nation’s rising suspicion toward foreigners, a young boy named Christopher is sent to live with an aunt he’s never met, after his father is shot down over the Pacific. 

His aunt Lily is a reclusive lighthouse-keeper, unaccustomed to the company of children and harboring more than a few secrets in her isolated home.

Surrounded by strangers on a forbidding rocky shore, Christopher becomes entangled in a web of intrigue between the hard-nosed and patriotic Sheriff Charles; Lily’s Japanese handyman, Yasuhiro; and a pair of singing ghosts who may or may not be entirely real. 

The Know is thrilled to present the third ever full production of this new musical, and the first US production of the current version of the show.  Says Know Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Andrew Hungerford,

“I’ve been following WHISPER HOUSE since its world premiere in San Diego and the release of the original concept album, waiting for the opportunity to get my hands on the script. In Spring of 2017, I had the chance to catch the London premiere. It confirmed for me what a great, and increasingly timely, show it would be for the Know. Through the magic of Twitter, I was able connect with Duncan Sheik, and here we are.”

WHISPER HOUSE became the perfect way to start our 21st season, entitled “Fear Itself.” Each story this season explores a fresh aspect of what we fear and why, and how we overcome those fears – or what happens when we don’t. Duncan Sheik and Kyle Jarrow’s show kicks things off by taking a lyrical look at our fear of the “other”: what fuels it, and how we confront it.

(Fun fact: Know Theatre previous produced Tony-nominated writer Kyle Jarrow’s A Very Merry (Unauthorized) Scientology Pageant back in 2008!)

Bringing to life the world of WHISPER HOUSE is a fantastic cast of veteran Cincinnati talent and bright new faces:

Leading the cast as Lily the lighthouse-keeper is Kelly Mengelkoch, a beloved regular on the Cincinnati Shakespeare stage now making her Know Theatre MainStage debut. Joining her as Lily’s devoted helper and handyman Yasuhiro in his Cincinnati debut is Adam Tran.

College-Conservatory of Music theatre professor Brant Russell is a familiar face to Know Theatre fans for his work in the director’s chair. But this time he appears onstage as the unbending and nationalistic Sheriff Charles.

And stuck in the middle of it all as young Christopher is newcomer Andrew Ramos, making his professional debut on the Know Theatre stage.

To fill out this ghost story, the Know is proud to welcome back two fan-favorites to add both musicality and the spooky edge to this tale: Erin Ward (last seen in 2017’s The Arsonists) and Cary Davenport (seen in both 2015’s Girlfriend and 2018’s Ada & The Engine) play the ghosts of musicians who perished along the lighthouse’s shore years before…and who now revel in interfering with the affairs of the living.

And at the helm of this adventurous new musical is Dan R. Winters, co-director of one of Know’s most popular shows of all time, 2017’s smash-hit Neverwhere.

Dan brings a love of physical theatre and a sense of playful experimentation to the stage that are a fantastic match for this stirring look at a tumultuous moment in our history – one that looks increasingly like today.

Join us as we dive into the mystery and music of WHISPER HOUSE, running July 27 – August 19  – only at Cincinnati’s Theatrical Playground. 


  • Kelly Mengelkoch* as Lily
  • Adam Tran as Yasuhiro
  • Erin Ward as Female Ghost
  • Cary Davenport as Male Ghost
  • And introducing Andrew Ramos as Christopher

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, appearing under a Special Appearance Contract.

Production Team

  • Director – Dan R. Winters
  • Music Director – Erin McCamley
  • Scenic & Lighting Designer – Andrew J. Hungerford
  • Scenic Charge & Prop Designer – Sarah Beth Hall
  • Costume Designer – Noelle Johnston
  • Sound Designer – Douglas Borntrager

WHISPER HOUSE is made possible with the generous support of Marilyn Scripps
Season Design sponsorship provided by Travis McElroy

Calendar Listing

  • WHISPER HOUSE by Duncan Sheik and Kyle Jarrow
  • 8:00 pm  July 27, 28; August 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18
    3:00 pm  July 29*; August 5, 12, 19
    *A pre-show brunch is available on this date with purchase of $35 “Brunch + Show” tickets in advance. Deadline for brunch reservation is April 23. Brunch provided by Water Tower Fine Wines.
  • Know Theatre of Cincinnati. 1120 Jackson Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202 in historic Over-the-Rhine.
  • Tickets:
    • $25 regular price tickets
    • $35 “Living Wage” tickets, supporting working artists in Cincinnati
    • $15 Rush tickets at the door 10 minutes prior to curtain (when available).
    • FREE walk-up tickets are available on Wednesdays, as part of Know’s Welcome Experiment. Advance reservations to Welcome Experiment performances are $5.00.
    • Tickets can be purchased by visiting knowtheatre.com or calling 513.300.5669 (KNOW).

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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WHISPER HOUSE Runs July 27-Aug. 19

KTC_Whisper House logoWHISPER HOUSE
Know Theatre of Cincinnati
July 27-Aug. 19

Directed by Daniel Winters
Music directed by Erin McCamley
Choreographed by Darnell Pierre Benjamin

Cast: Cary Davenport as Ghost, Erin Ward as Ghost, Andrew Ramos as Christopher, Kelly Mengelkoch* as Lily, Adam Tran as Yasuhiro & Brant Russell as Charles

It’s 1942 – at the height of World War II – and young Christopher is sent to live with an aunt he’s never met: Lily, the reclusive keeper of a Maine light house. On the rocky shore, Christopher is caught in the middle of a collection of strangers: the patriotic Sheriff Charles; Lily’s Japanese handyman, Yasuhiro; and a pair of ghosts who may or may not be entirely real.

  • Fri-Sat, July 27-28 at 8pm
  • Sun, July 29 at 3pm
  • Wed-Sat, Aug. 1-4 at 8pm
  • Sun, Aug. 5 at 3pm
  • Wed-Sat, Aug. 8-11 at 8pm
  • Sun, Aug. 12 at 3pm
  • Wed-Sat, Aug. 15-18 at 8pm
  • Sun, Aug. 19 at 3pm

Official page |

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Drink and Play Adult Summer Camp at Know Theatre of Cincinnati

KTC_Summer Camp promo1Drink and Play Adult Summer Camp


  • 6:00-6:30: Bar open for students
  • 6:30-9:30: Camp Activities
  • 9:30-10:30: Bar open for students

Imagine your favorite childhood summer camp. Pretty great right? What could have made it better? A fully stocked bar, perhaps? Come join us Tuesday, July 10-Friday, July 13 for Drink and Play: Adult Summer Camp. During camp, you’ll experience a great blend of your favorite summer camp activities and the collaborative experience of creating a 10 minute play as a cohort– all with a beer in your hand. Join Camp Counselor Dave and others for stage combat, ghost stories, improv, set design, arts & crafts, and Playmaking 101.

REGISTER ONLINE: Register for Drink and Play: Adult Summer Camp Here

DATES: Tuesday, July 10-Friday, July 13

COST: COST: $175, which includes:

  • 1 complimentary daily drink (with artist discounted pricing on additional drinks)
  • Discounts on Know Season 21 Flex Pass

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Awards Announced for Theaters Around the World Promoting Gender Equity

Industry still has a long way to go, Centre for Women Playwrights finds

ICWP_logoNEW YORK, USA, JUNE 11, 2018

The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) today announced its 2018 50/50 Applause Awards, honoring theaters that produce plays written in equal measure by women and men. At the same time, the Centre finds that the vast majority of theaters around the world are coming up short in terms of gender equity.

The Centre received 103 nominations and only 62 qualified for the award.

The awards honor theaters at least half of whose productions in their July 2017- June 2018 seasons are written by women.Further, a theater must have staged three or more productions during the season and have plays authored by both male and female in their season. For the 2018 Awards, only Main Stage productions were taken into account, as that is where most theater budgets are spent and where playwrights receive the most media attention and career advancement.

The 62 recipients of this year’s awards are found throughout Australia, Canada, Finland, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, United States, and Wales.

For the 2017-2018 season, approximately 60% of the qualifying theaters are repeat recipients. For example, Here Arts Center has made the list for six years in a row, while off the WALL has made it for five consecutive years. Awardees range from community and college theaters to internationally renowned public theaters.

 “We are pleased to see that there are some theaters that, year after year, provide opportunities for women playwrights. We salute their efforts,” said 50/50 Applause Award Co-Chair Patricia L. Morin. “However, we will witness more economic discrimination toward women playwrights (smaller stages, less performances, less pay), as well as the constant promotion of male voices, unless more theaters step up and join the ranks to support 50/50 gender parity.”

Academic and charity organization research continues to support the notion that there are gender inequities in theatrical companies around the globe.

For example, the League of Professional Theatre Women recently released the results of its 2018 “Women Count” study. The percentage of women playwrights represented by the theaters profiled in the study ranged from 29% in 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 to a season high of 37% in 2016-2017.  This looks like an upward movement to be welcomed, but a closer look at the figures shows that five theaters profiled in the study had no women playwrights at all in the 2016-2017 study season.

In late 2017, American Theatre magazine reported that, out of 513 not-for-profit theaters across the U.S., only 26% of their new plays and revivals were written by women, with 62% written by men and 11% co-written by women and men.

The Playwrights Guild of Canada reported that for the 2017 season in that country, productions by male playwrights continued to dominate — 64%, which was the same as 2016 — and shows by women playwrights still hovered around the 25% mark.

The National Voice, a publication of The Australian Writers Guild, reported that, of 95 shows surveyed for 2017 that included Australian playwrights — including those staged by state theater companies — 56% were written by men.

The 2018 50/50 Applause Awards come in the wake of a momentous year for women’s struggle for equality in many different arenas. The #metoo movement that began in October 2017 rocked the film, media and theater industries across the world. The movement has shown how a bullying and sexually abusive environment limits the participation and career success of women.

A majority of theater artistic directors do not stage the work of female and male playwrights in an equal proportion, and this has repercussions for society by suppressing women’s stories and filling the theater stages with the male imagination. The male presence not only dominates artistic directors, it dominates the theater boards, governing boards, and public funding institutions throughout the world.

The bravery of those speaking out in the #metoo movement is echoed in the words of Millicent Fawcett, the early 20th century British suffragist who campaigned for women’s rights throughout her life, and whose motto was “Courage calls to courage everywhere”.

To have a professional theater scene that encourages, enables and celebrates women playwrights, governing boards, public funders and artistic directors around the world should ask themselves if the theater programs they are supporting are enabling gender discrimination in favor of men, and silencing the voices of the creative women who have equally valid things to say. The 50/50 Applause Award certificate should be as important as fire and public safety certificates, and their theaters should not be able to open their doors without it.

At the urging of feminist and journalist Caroline Criado Perez, a statue of Millicent Fawcett was placed in London’s Parliament Square in April. In the foreword to the Fawcett Society report “Sex & Power 2018″, Perez writes: “Finally, we have to stop pretending that the path to equality is out of our hands. Power is never given freely. Liberty is never achieved by chance. It is achieved by design. So let’s start designing it.”

The 50/50 Applause Award recipients for the 2017-2018 season are: 

* Indicates a Repeat Recipient

* 16th Street Theater, Berwyn, IL   USA

Acadiana Repertory Theatre, Lafayette, LA   USA

* Alberta Theatre Projects, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Little Rock, AR   USA

* Aurora Theatre Company, Berkeley, CA   USA

Baxter Theatre Centre, Cape Town, South Africa

Belvoir St. Theatre, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia

Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Berkeley, CA, USA

Burning Coal Theatre Company, Raleigh, NC   USA

Capital Stage Company, Sacramento, CA, USA

Catholic University of America, Hartke Theatre, Washington, DC   USA

* Centenary Stage Company, Hackettstown, NJ, USA

* Central Works, Berkeley, CA, USA

Centre du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

* Checkpoint Theatre, Singapore, Singapore

* City Theatre Company, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Epic Theatre Company, Cranston, RI, USA

* Factory Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles, CA, USA

* Globe Theatre, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

* Globus Theatre @ the LAB, Bobcaygeon, Ontario, Canada

* Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Griffin Theatre Company, Kings Cross NSW, Australia

* HERE Arts Center, New York, NY, USA

* Horizon Theatre Company, Atlanta, GA, USA

Huntington Theatre Company, Boston, MA, USA

* Imago Theatre, Portland, Oregon, USA

Jungle Theater, Minneapolis, MN, USA

* Key City Public Theatre, Port Townsend, WA, USA

* Kitchen Theatre Company, Ithaca, NY, USA

* Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH   USA

La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, CA, USA

Lab Theater Project, Tampa, FL, USA

* Magic Theatre, San Francisco, CA, USA

* Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley, CA, USA

Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, Centenary Theatre Program of Louisiana, Shreveport, LA, USA

MCC Theater, New York, NY, USA

* Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company, Houston, TX   USA

New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch, NJ, USA

* Northlight Theatre, Skokie, IL, USA

* off the WALL Productions, Carnegie, PA, USA

* Open Stage of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA   USA

* Paul Robeson Theatre, Buffalo, NY, USA

People’s Light, Malvern, PA, USA

* Plan-B Theatre Company, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

* Playwrights Horizons, New York, NY, USA

Portland Stage Company, Portland, ME, USA

* Prairie Theatre Exchange, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

* Rep Stage Howard Community College, Columbia, MD, USA

* Round House Theatre, Bethesda, MD, USA

Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

* Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

* Shelterbelt Theatre, Omaha, NE, USA

* Shotgun Players, Berkeley, CA, USA

* Signature Theatre Company, New York, NY, USA

* South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, CA, USA

Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins, MN, USA

* Synchronicity Theatre, Atlanta, GA, USA

* Teatro Paraguas, Santa Fe, NM, USA

The Other Room, Cardiff, Wales, UK

* University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Theatre, Chattanooga, TN, USA

Wasa Teater, Vasa, Finland 

More information about the awards and theatre productions can be found at: http://www.womenplaywrights.org/award

View the 50/50 Applause Awards 2018 video which showcases photos from over twenty theaters and production photos from a selection of their female authored plays on Youtube – https://youtu.be/y_CadAxHZJw

About ICWP:

ICWP started in 1988 with a mission to support women playwrights worldwide and bring attention to their work. The ICWP 50/50 Applause Awards were founded in 2012 to increase awareness and applaud theaters that produced a season with an equal or greater number of plays written by female playwrights. 

Website: http://www.womenplaywrights.org

Twitter: @icwp #icwp5050

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WomenPlaywrights

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Opening Production Announced for 2018-2019 Season at Know Theatre of Cincinnati

KTC_logoA few weeks ago, we told you we weren’t ready to announce the first show of our next season…

Because we’ve been waiting, we’re now EXTRA SUPER excited to announce that our season opener will be WHISPER HOUSE, a ghost story musical by Duncan Sheik (composer of the beloved mega-hit Spring Awakening and American Psycho) and Kyle Jarrow (just nominated for a Tony Award for the book of Spongebob Squarepants)!

WHISPER HOUSE runs July 27 – August 18.

Click here for the press release of previously announced 2018-2019 season productions.

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