Tag Archives: Know Theatre of Cincinnati

Discover What Lurks in the Woods in THE MAN-BEAST

KTC_The Man-Beast logoDiscover what lurks in the woods in

By Joseph Zettelmaier

October 19 – November 10

There’s a wolf at the door.

It’s 1767, and for three years, a mysterious, bloodthirsty creature has terrorized the countryside in the French province of Gévaudan. 

Late at night, a hunter stumbles into an isolated cabin after a violent encounter with the fabled Beast. Bleeding and desperate, he implores the cabin’s mistress to help. 

But inside, he finds no ministering angel; and she finds no humble patient at her door.

Based on the 18th Century legend of the Beast of Gévaudan, The Man-Beast is a taut and seductive new drama by Know Theatre favorite Joseph Zettelmaier (author of 2015’s All Childish Things and 2016’s Pulp).

With suspense, sharp-tongued dialogue, and exquisite theatrical tension, The Man-Beast is the perfect next step in our season-long exploration of Fear Itself – asking us what makes someone a beast, and tracing the fine line between hunter and hunted.

Director Brant Russell, professor of drama at UC CCM, has put together the perfect cast to embody this ancient tale of desire, obsession, and horror:

Jim Hopkins joins us in his Know Theatre MainStage debut as notorious werewolf hunter Jean Chastel. A beloved mainstay onstage at Ensemble Theatre and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Jim also wrote and starred in White Privilege at the 2017 Cincinnati Fringe Festival.

Joining him as the fierce, reclusive taxidermist (and possible witch), Virginie Allard, is the one and only Jen Joplin. Most recently seen at Ensemble Theatre in The Humans and at Dayton’s Human Race Theatre in Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End, Jen also brought Maggie Lou Rader’s vision of Mary Shelley to life as director of Know’s most recent SecondStage production, Mary’s Monster.

The Man-Beast premiered at Chicago’s First Folio Theatre in 2017 to critical acclaim, and Know is proud to have the second production of this thrilling Gothic drama.

As to why The Man-Beast just had to be a part of Know’s  21st Season, Associate Artistic Director Tamara Winters has this to say:

The Beast of Gévaudan endures as a legend because it is rooted in something fundamentally human: the fear of unknown dangers, and the lengths we will go to ensure our illusion of security. The only difference today is how quickly panic can spread. 

The Man-Beast deftly explores all of this, while sweeping you into a fascinating tale of the power of legend and the seduction of greed. 

Throw in two of Cincinnati’s most fun actors to watch and you have the recipe for a fantastic night of theatre.

Though it’s part of Know’s MainStage season, The Man-Beast will unfold on our Underground stage. With set and lights by our own Producing Artistic Director Andrew Hungerford, props design by our new production manager Rebecca Armstrong, and costumes by Know’s intrepid resident costume designer Noelle Johnston, the Underground will be transformed into Virginie’s cabin, deep in the woods of the French countryside.

The intimate space of our Underground stage is perfect to amplify the tension of this intense and unexpected new play.

Adding to the atmosphere in the Underground will be an art gallery featuring works by Art Academy Cincinnati illustration students, featuring their own explorations of werewolves, beasts, and classic monsters of the horror genre. Curated by teacher and accomplished artist John David Back, this installation will be on display throughout the run of The Man-Beast.

Join us as we explore the dividing line between beast and human in The Man-Beast by Joseph Zettelmaier from October 19 – November 10 – only at Your Theatrical Playground. 


  • Jim Hopkins* as Jean Castel
  • Jen Joplin* as Virginie Allard
    *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 – Brant Russell
  • Scenic & Lighting Designer – Andrew J. Hungerford
  • Prop Designer – Rebecca Armstrong
  • Costume Designer – Noelle Johnston
  • Sound Designer – Douglas Borntrager

Calendar Listing

The Man-Beast by Joseph Zettelmaier

8:00 pm
 October 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31; Nov 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10
3:00 pm  October 22, 29*, Nov 4
*A pre-show brunch is available on this date with purchase of $35 “Brunch + Show” tickets in advance. Deadline for brunch reservation is October 22. Brunch provided by Water Tower Fine Wines.

Know Theatre of Cincinnati. 1120 Jackson Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
In historic Over-the-Rhine.


  • $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). 

The Welcome Experiment performances for The Man-Beast made possible by Taft, Stettinius, & Hollister LLP 

Season Design sponsorship provided by Travis McElroy. 

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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Contemporary Acting with Jared Joplin and Miranda McGee

KTC_Jared Joplin and Miranda McGee headshotsThis contemporary acting workshop taught by area theatre favorites, Jared Joplin and Miranda McGee, begins with group/ensemble work and continues into scene study using cutting edge contemporary scripts. A fantastic opportunity to hone your acting skills while getting a glimpse of what’s new in American Theatre! The class meets for six 2.5 hour sessions, with an invited performance for the final session on Know Theatre’s Underground cabaret stage.


  • All classes will take place Mondays  from 6:30pm-9:00pm
  • Classes will take place at Know Theatre and Gabriel’s Corner
  • October 22, 29, November 19, 26, December 3, 10 (performance)

Cost: $175

ENROLL HERE: Enroll in Contemporary Acting with Jared Joplin and Miranda McGee

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KTC_Marys Monster2

Maggie Lou Rader as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Photo by Dan R. Winters Photography.

MARY’S MONSTER presented by the Know Theatre of Cincinnati through Sept. 23. Click here for a synopsis and more information on the production. I attended the opening night performance.

Know Theatre of Cincinnati continues their 21st season themed “Fear Itself” with an original work written and performed by Maggie Lou Rader. MARY’S MONSTER discusses the life of novelist Mary Shelley, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. 

For her first solo script, Rader has chosen a daunting subject. While Shelley did not receive recognition for the bulk of her works while she was alive, today scholars have shown increasing interest in her complete body of literary output. Shelley’s personal life was as complicated as it was haunted by tragedy.

While I found the subject matter interesting, the script itself seemed to focus more heavily on her relationships than on her literary achievements. The complicated nature of these relationships caused some of the exposition to become heavy and confusing. Given the heaviness of the script, the lighter moments were few and far between, so even the addition of some gallows humor would be welcome. On a personal level, I didn’t find Shelley to be very likable

KTC_Marys Monster1

Maggie Lou Rader as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Photo by Dan R. Winters Photography.

Director Jennifer Joplin makes good use of the set designed by Andrew J. Hungerford. They were times when it felt she had to work around the stage’s centerpiece as opposed to working with it. Even though the pacing was good, the show could use some editing, particularly as it builds to its conclusion. There were times when I felt Rader’s vocal delivery became a bit sing-songy and I would like to have heard a bit more emotion in her voice over the losses Shelley faced. A few of these tragic moments could have been given a bit more time and weight to them.

Overall, MARY’S MONSTER is an interesting, well-performed, but uneven portrait of a woman whose literary worth is still being explored and debated more than a century and a half later.

My rating: 4.25 out of 5.

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

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THE MAN-BEAST Runs Oct. 19-Nov. 10

KTC_The Man-Beast logoTHE MAN-BEAST
Know Theatre of Cincinnati
Oct. 19-Nov. 10

Directed by by Brant Russell

Featuring: Jen Joplin & Jim Hopkins

In the late 18th century, the wilds of France are stalked by the fearsome Beast of Gévaudan, which has claimed over one-hundred victims in three years. King Louis has offered a rich reward to the hunter who kills the beast, and hunters have come from all over the country to take it down.

But an outcast forester and a strange woods-witch are crafting their own plans to claim the prize.

  • Fri-Sat, Oct. 19-20 at 8pm
  • Sun, Oct. 21 at 3pm
  • Wed-Sat, Oct. 24-27 at 8pm
  • Sun, Oct. 28 at 3pm
  • Wed-Sat, Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at 8pm
  • Sun, Nov. 4 at 3pm
  • Wed-Sat, Nov. 7-10 at 8pm

Official page |

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MARY’S MONSTER Runs Sept. 14-23

KTC_Marys Monster logoMARY’S MONSTER
Know Theatre of Cincinnati
Sept. 14-23

Written and performed by Maggie Lou Rader
Directed by Jen Joplin

On a dark night near the end of her life, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrestles with ghosts: her dead children, her sister, her famous husband, her mother, and Frankenstein, her most famous creation. Death has loomed over her entire life, and now, shovel in hand, she will reckon with it, one way or another.

  • Fri-Sat, Sept. 14-15 at 8pm
  • Sun, Sept. 16 at 3pm
  • Wed-Sat, Sept. 19-22 at 8pm
  • Sun, Sept. 23 at 3pm

Official page |

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