BWW Previews: KNOW THEATRE OF CINCINNATI PRESENTS SEASON 20
Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Ohio is known for its edgy and off-the-wall productions. Now in its 20th season, Know continues to create a theatrical playground uniting audiences and artists in a love for theatre and art.
Artistic director Andrew Hungerford said that this season features several premieres, regional and world. "For our twentieth anniversary season, we've put together a collection of shows that celebrate all aspects of love in all its forms. Romantic love, love for humanity, love for adventure and love for science. These are shows that will challenge, that will entertain and that will inspire."
Opening on the main stage July 29 - August 19 is MARIAN: THE TRUE STORY OF ROBIN HOOD by Adam Szymkowicz, who also wrote HEARTS LIKE FISTS produced at the Know in 2015. Managing Director Alice Flanders said, "The Robin Hood legend is ubiquitous. We all know it, we all love it....It's a story of heroics, of platonic love, of strength, of making the right choice and of the fight - always the fight. It's a universal story. "
According to Flanders, "The author takes the script that we are so used to seeing we don't even notice it anymore. He turns it on its head. We get a Robin Hood whose background is the unexpected. We get a merry band of humans, some whom are men, some of whom are women, and some of whom are trying to figure out where they fall between the two."
In this production, Robin Hood is Maid Marian in disguise. She leads a motley group of merry men against the greedy Prince John. Modern concerns and romantic entanglements clash on the battlefield and on the ramparts of Nottingham Castle, according to the play's description.
Know Associate Artist Director Tamara Winters directs THE ARSONISTS by Jacqueline Goldfinger. Winters said, "THE ARSONISTS is a story about how we learn to let go of what we've clung to for survival when it's not helping us survive anymore. It's a story about old wounds and how we heal them. It's story about love and reconciliation - we could use some love and reconciliation as a nation right now."
On the boards from September 22 - October 14, 2017, THE ARSONISTS takes place in a Florida swamp. It is a tale of grief, loss and redemption inspired by the Greek tragedy ELECTRA. With music, it focuses on the relationship between father and daughter.
Winters said, "We're producing the play as part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. That means that our world premiere is one of a series of premieres happening one right after the other across the national, all coordinated by NNPN, but independently produced. This helps us keep Cincinnati in the national theatre conversation, and it helps a worthy and fascinating script gain attention beyond one local market."
From November 25 to December 17, 2017, Nail Gaiman's NEVERWHERE is on the boards. Adapted for the stage by Robert Kauzlaric and directed by Andrew Hungerford, the story features Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman with a good heart and an ordinary life. He notices Door, a young woman bleeding on the sidewalk, and stops to help her. His act puts him into another world.
Richard lands in London Below, a world of shadows, darkness, monsters, saints, murderers, and angels, according to the press release. This is a story of returning to normal life by joining the journey to save Door's world, and find a way to survive.
Hungerford said, "Realizing an epic story like NEVERWHERE ON STAGE is the kind of theatrical challenge we can't resist. This adventure takes us from the tops of London's highest buildings to the depths of the darkly magical London below. It's going to be a wild ride."
Directed by Holly Derr, a visiting artist who directed Know's HARRY & THE THIEF in 2014, SUPERTRUE by Karen Hartman represents a world premiere for Know running January 19 - February 20, 2018. On vacation in the Catskills, two New Yorkers deal with turning forty. Janelle is a teacher in crisis, and Martin is a computer programmer.
A comedy, the play explores the meaning of family and the things we do for the people and things we love. Winters said that this is another complex and challenging comedy that pushes the boundaries of the genre with high theatricality and sharp wit.
Kilroy's List of most recommended new plays by women and transgender authors listed this production in 2015. Winters said, "We're excited to do our part and be the first to bring such a smart and funny new work from page to stage."
KILL MOVE PARADISE by James ljames runs from March 2 to 24, 2018. Piper Davis directs the play, which is a regional premiere. Characters Isa, Daz, Grif and Tony try to make sense of the world they have left and the new paradise.
"This is a play that takes a hard look at the cost of police brutality and how our society's institutional racism - no matter how much we deny it exists - takes the ultimate toll on young black men in America," said Winters. This is one of the first productions to follow its world premiere at Dr. Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre this spring.
Closing the season is ADA & THE ENGINE by Lauren Gunderson, who wrote SILENT SKY performed at the Know in 2016. The play runs from April 13 to May 12, 2018 and is a regional premiere; the second production ever.
Directed by Winters, ADA is set during the British Industrial Revolution of the 19th century London. Ada Bryon Lovelace, daughter of poet Lord Byron, sees the boundless potential in the analytic engines of her friend Charles Babbage, inventor of the first mechanical computer, according to the press release. Ada sees a world where art and information converge, but a world she might not live to see.
Playwright Gunderson links mathematical and musical thinking. This production includes music circling around a story of love, friendship and dreams of the future. It is a pre-tech romance heralding the computer age, according to Winters.
For more information, visit the website www.knowtheatre.com. Subscriptions are now available at the box office or by calling 513-300-5669.
Photography credit: J. Sheldon