What would you take out of a world on fire?
By Brant Russell
April 21 – May 14, 2023
For deposit: one landmine, never used.
Things aren’t great in Bialystock – for one thing, the world’s ended, and its residents are pretty sure it’s the only town left. Then it gets worse: strangers arrive, tensions rise, and a battle for the unparalleled resources the town protects seems inevitable. Faced with the destruction of all they hold dear, the people of Bialystock must decide what’s worth saving in the apocalypse … and in the world that comes after.
Know Theatre of Cincinnati‘s 25th Anniversary Season closes with a darkly funny and explosive world premiere by College-Conservatory of Music’s chair of Acting Brant Russell and directed by the Know’s Producing Artistic Director Andrew J. Hungerford.
Bankers is a home-grown world premiere, which first hit the stage as a developmental reading in the 2019 Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Andrew was immediately inspired by how Bankers used a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world to wrestle with immediate, real-world questions about environmental justice, community care, and how we come together in times of crisis. Andrew knew this show deserved a wider audience on the Know MainStage.
Brant’s work has been a fixture at the Know for years. He appeared onstage as the Sheriff in Whisper House (2018), and directed The Hunchback of Seville (2015), Darkest Night at the Gnarly Stump (2016), The Man-Beast (2018), Theatre: A Love Story (2021) and Dickless (2021). Now, Cincinnati audiences can experience his singular wit and piercing insight as playwright of our latest world-premiere adventure.
Why Bankers, right now?
Bankers is all about what we do when the chips are down on a societal level. It’s about how we take care of ourselves, our community, and our world at large when we realize we’re living in a world that’s changed beyond recognition.
It’s about finding the empowerment to take steps to build something greater than what came before, instead of giving into despair.
It’s about how we deal with what’s been broken beyond repair, and how we come together to find a way to mend it anyway.
Who is this show for?
Bankers is for lovers of sci-fi, speculative fiction, and post-apocalyptic stories.
It’s for fighters for environmental justice.
It’s for anyone who’s ever grappled with moral questions about what we owe each other on a communal or a global scale. It’s for anyone who’s realized that the world can’t be mended by one person – and who’s decided to keep doing the work anyway.
It’s for anyone who’s had the urge to give apathy a strong poke in the eye.
It’s for you.
Here’s our team for the apocalypse:
We’re delighted to welcome two friends of the Know to their MainStage acting debut: Aisha Josiah, the playwright of this season’s Dickless, joins the cast of Bankers to play Surrey, whose family has protected the land of Bialystock for generations, and k. Jenny Jones, intimacy director and fight choreographer extraordinaire, takes on the role of Sharon, who’s driven to distraction from grieving the family she lost at the end of the world.
Returning to the Know MainStage for the second time is Jim Hopkins, who previously appeared in 2018’s The Man-Beast, to play the Old Man, whose unexpected arrival in Bialystock may not be the happy accident he’s claiming. His traveling companion, the Migrant, is played by Eileen Earnest, who’s appeared on our MainStage in Beertown (2016), The Fisherman’s Wife (2016) and Mercury (2019).
Rounding out the cast are James Creque as Hunter, Bialystock’s one-man security detail; Know audiences will remember James from Hearts Like Fists (2015), The Fisherman’s Wife (2016), Mercury (2019), All’s Faire (2021), and The Twunny Fo’ (2022), and Ben Dudley as Herbie, for whom the battle for Bialystock’s resources becomes fiercely personal. Ben’s previous Know appearances include All Childish Things (2015) and Puffs (2019).
Bankers opens April 21 and runs through May 14. Tickets are available on our website, knowtheatre.com, or by calling our box office at 513-300-5669.
- James Creque as Hunter
- Ben Dudley as Herbie
- Eileen Earnest as the Migrant
- Jim Hopkins* as the Old Man
- Jenny Jones* as Sharon
- Aisha Josiah as Surrey
* Appearing Courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, appearing under a Special Appearance Contract.
- Director, Lighting & Scenic Designer: Andrew J. Hungerford
- Costume Designer: Noelle Wedig-Johnston
- Sound Designer: Douglas J. Borntrager
- Props Designer: Danielle Robison
- Technical Director: Jim Stark
- Stage Manager: Grace Wohlschlegel
AT A GLANCE
Production: Bankers, by Brant Russell
Dates: April 21 – May 14, 2023. Wednesday – Saturday shows are at 8 PM; Sunday matinees are at 3 PM.
Where: Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson Street in Over-the-Rhine.
Livestreaming on select dates beginning April 26.
Themes: tragi-comedy · dystopia · environmental justice · apocalypse
Tickets: The standard ticket price is $25. Audiences may opt to support the Know’s initiative to pay all artists and employees a living wage by selecting the $40 Living Wage Ticket.
Low-cost admission available for $15. On Wednesdays, as part of a program we call “The Welcome Experiment,” tickets are $5 in advance, or FREE at the door.
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. 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.