Live theater returns to the Cincinnati Playhouse with the world premiere of THE WEST END

The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park returns in the 2021-22 season with a renewed commitment to enriching the community with stories that reflect the diverse world we live in and the people in it. From October 9th, THE WEST END, a world premiere drama by Keith Josef Adkins, will take the audience into a transformative chapter in the city’s history thanks to the support of the Rosenthal Family Foundation. The show runs through November 7th. The premiere is on October 14th.

“Our theater is a meeting place for the community where we try to shed light on the human experience,” explains Blake Robison, stage artistic director. “We celebrate differences and strengthen our common humanity. The connections we make through live theater and artistic engagement are second to none and we are excited to tell this story about the life and legacy of the people who made the history of Cincinnati. have shaped. “

Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who grew up in Cincinnati. His 2014 historical drama, Safe House, premiered at the Playhouse. His plays have been produced off-Broadway, in Los Angeles and Chicago, and across the country.

THE WEST END is a personal continuation of the playwright’s interest in his parentage. His previous drama Safe House was inspired by his matriarchal ancestors – a free black shoemaking family in Cynthiana, Kentucky, before the Civil War. This time he set out to honor his patriarchal roots.

“My mother’s family has lived in the Cincinnati area since the late 18th century,” says Adkins. “They were considered free colored people, and I honored them and their lives with my play Safe House. My father’s family moved from Georgia to Cincinnati’s West End in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. and I wanted to honor their experience. “

In 1941, the West End of Cincinnati was home to African Americans who recently migrated in search of new opportunities, as well as German settlers who faced new hostilities when the US was on the verge of entering World War II. THE WEST END begins here with Grace, who has also fled the south and whose row house is home to people of both origins.

“I think it’s great that THE WEST END is a piece of life that celebrates and honors all those who had to find a new home during the Great Migration and see Cincinnati as a crossroads or meeting point between so many different people. I love this piece is an investigation into the found family. THE WEST END is one such piece that has deep roots in the lives of black people in Cincinnati. I can’t think of a better home for THE WEST END than the Cincinnati Playhouse, “said Nicole A. Watson, Playhouse Associate Artist and Production Director, who directed the 2016 critically acclaimed production of Mr. Joy at the Playhouse.

(in speaking order) Brian D. Coats (Peek); Latonya Borsay (grace); Shanelle Leonard (Chloe); Kevin Cristaldi (Zieglar); Amara James Aja (Heath)


Keith Josef Adkins (playwright); Nicole A. Watson (director); Lawrence E. Moten III (set designer); Sarita Fellows (costume designer); Porsche McGovern (lighting designer); Paul James Prendergast (composer / sound designer); Stephanie Klapper, CSA (casting director); Brandon T. Holmes, (Production Manager); Andrea L. Shell, (second stage manager); Brooke Redler, (Second Stage Manager)


To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit Customers who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf, Blind, or Speech Impaired: Dial 711 to connect to the box office through Ohio Relay Services.

The performances from Tuesday to Saturday start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2:00 p.m. There is a matinee on Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. Single tickets start at just $ 35. Student tickets are only $ 15 on the day of the show for all other shows. Discounted youth ticket prices are available for all productions and range from $ 30 to $ 45 depending on the show and seat.

NOTE: Recommended for ages 13+. In this historical drama, characters grapple with mature topics such as racism, war, xenophobia, and adult relationships. They discuss these with profound wisdom and stoicism, though not without the occasional adult language and a few acts of violence.


Visitors must be masked and fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a recent negative COVID-19 test to attend an indoor performance. Please visit the Health and Safety page for more information.

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