The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park will host a number of new events for the spring – including the first in-person performances at the Marx Theater in over a year with two limited engagements with nationally recognized theater artists. Three outdoor performance events, two new pod games, 25 different workshops for virtual enrichment and two streaming productions are also planned.
“We are very pleased to reopen the Marx Theater in more than a year and to re-enter the realm of personal live performances,” says Artistic Director Blake Robison. “The outdoor events and virtual programs offer a variety of alternatives for those who crave a theatrical experience.”
Higher and higher: A rock ‘n soul party with Chester Gregory
April 30th – May 2nd
Broadway star and recording artist Chester Gregory pays tribute to the legends of rock and soul. The star of Motown: The Musical, Hairspray and Dreamgirls were hailed for his outstanding portrayal of Jackie Wilson in The Jackie Wilson Story. In concert, Gregory offers his considerable talents to the music of Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, James Brown and others. Presented by Artists Lounge Live.
The Skivvies: Live and literally in person
May 26th and 27th
The Skivvies are Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley, singers / actors / musicians who play stripped-down arrangements of eclectic covers and eccentric originals. The music is not only reduced – cello, ukulele, glockenspiel, melodica – but the Skivvies literally strip down to their underwear to perform. Cearley and Molina were last seen in the Playhouse in 2019. You’re a good man, Charlie Brown, and Cearley previously starred as Seymour in the 2017 production of Little Shop of Horrors.
The seats in the Marx Theater have been reduced to a maximum of 30 percent for adequate social distancing. Masks are required. Tickets are $ 54 and $ 39 and are available now for Higher and Higher. Tickets for The Skivvies will be available from April 14th.
Upstanders Onstage: Performances for Social Change:
Outdoor events with an eclectic mix of scenes, monologues, spoken word and music – May 8th, 16th and 23rd
The Playhouse is partnering with Nancy & David Wolf’s Holocaust & Humanity Center and the Cincinnati Music Accelerator to host a series of live outdoor events featuring theater performers, musicians and poets who use art to create dialogue and change in affect the world. The socially distant events take place in the parking lots of the Cincinnati Union Terminal on May 8th from 6pm to 8pm, on May 16th in the Cincinnati Art Museum and on May 23rd in the Mayerson JCC. Each evening features a different range of artists and content that will be announced at a later date. Suitable for ages 12 and up. The events are free, but prior reservation is required to ensure adequate social distancing. Reservations are possible from April 14th.
Two streaming productions in April and May:
Dragons Love Tacos can be streamed for free over the weekend as part of the virtual Off the Hill series from April 16 to May 16. When a boy and his dog watch a TV show about kites, they unexpectedly get caught up in the dos and don’ts of what to feed. Suitable for ages 3+.
Lauren Gunderson’s Catastrophist, a co-production of the Marin Theater Company and the Round House Theater Company, will be presented exclusively in Cincinnati from April 26th to May 23rd. The cost of streaming is $ 25.
About the play: Named one of the 100 most influential people in the world for his work tracking Ebola and swine flu, virologist Nathan Wolfe suggested pandemic insurance years before the novel coronavirus outbreak. Nobody bought it. Now, in a post-COVID world, we hear his story. Playwright Lauren Gunderson’s time leap story delves deep into the depths of scientific exploration and the harrowing realities of facing your own mortality. The Catastrophist is a critically acclaimed theatrical experience built out of and for this moment.
Virtual enrichment workshops
This spring, the Playhouse is offering 25 different virtual enrichment workshops on Zoom for children, young people and adults. Taught by professional theater artists, they include a variety of craft, writing, design, and performance activities. The workshops start in the week of April 22nd. The cost is $ 30 to $ 60, depending on the number of sessions in the workshop.
The Pod Plays Project is bringing out two brand new stories in June that use technology, storytelling, and a unique place in Cincinnati to experience a radio play.
Cincinnati musician and hip-hop artist Deuces’ The Edge of Town is a suburban musical pod piece about Black Empowerment set in the city of Wyoming.
Set in Eden Park, Cincinnati playwright Carolyn Guido Clifford’s pod play tells the story of a young woman who unexpectedly changes and has to move to Cincinnati to live with her aunt.
The pod games are free. Those launched last fall – The Aviators by Trey Tatum and Richie and Blanche by Isaiah Mikel-Reaves – can now be streamed.
Tickets and information for all performances and programs, including Covid-19 safety guidelines for in-person events, can be found at cincyplay.com. The Playhouse is supported by the generosity of nearly 40,000 contributors to the ArtsWave Community Campaign. The Ohio Arts Council funds the Playhouse with state tax dollars to promote economic growth, excellent education, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The playhouse is also funded by the Shubert Foundation. The special series of events in the Marx Theater is presented by the Schueler group. Higher and Higher is sponsored by Digi and Mike Schueler. Upstanders Onstage: Performances for Social Change is presented as part of the Playhouse Perspectives series, funded by a generous grant from Roderick and Barbara Barr. Seasonal support for Education and Outreach programs is supported by The Robert and Adele Schiff Family Foundation and Linda and Gary Greenberg. Off the Hill is supported by KeyBank and the John C. Griswold Foundation. Off the Grid is sponsored by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s William Baude-Maurice Oshry Fund.