Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Presents TITUS ANDRONICUS, 10/20-11/11

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Presents TITUS ANDRONICUS, 10/20-11/11

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati's stage for the classics, presents William Shakespeare's gruesome and shocking play "Titus Andronicus". This production is directed by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Artistic Associate Jeremy Dubin and features Nicholas Rose, Miranda McGee, Maggie Lou Rader and Darnell Pierre Benjamin. The production design is sponsored by Iron Wind Metals and the properties design is sponsored by Extreme Restraints.

One of the bloodiest plays in the canon, "Titus Andronicus" is full to the brim with revenge, murder, betrayal and crimes most atrocious. It evokes startling, gruesome and tragic imagery as the mighty Roman general Titus (Nicholas Rose) faces off with his mortal enemy, Tamora, Queen of the Goths (Miranda McGee). Titus and Tamora, in a spiral of bloody revenge, trade murder for hideous murder, each more brutal than the last.

CSC Artistic Associate Jeremy Dubin returns to the director's chair at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company following his previously celebrated productions of "The Merchant of Venice", "An Ideal Husband", "Twelfth Night" and "Engaged!" at CSC. Mr. Dubin says that "'Titus Andronicus' has always enjoyed a sort of cult following within the canon. It is probably the most popular of his less popular plays. It cannot be argued that the play is bloody, brutal, gory, gruesome, macabre beyond all reasonable measure. And isn't it wonderful? It is the literati's guilty pleasure. It is iambic pen-titillation to a twisted degree; the play the scholar asks to have delivered in plain brown-paper wrapping. It is a snuff film in blank verse, which offers the voyeuristic pleasure of watching others torture and be tortured in such horrifically inventive ways, that it simultaneously reaches the nadir of depravity and the apex of ingenuity. And were it only that- well who would deny the value of the giddy thrill of vicariously (and therefore safely) indulging our worser angels?".

This production of "Titus Andronicus" will be staged in a steampunk world. Designers Heidi Jo Schiemer, Travis McElroy, Kevin Semancik, Greg Bredestege and Alice Flanders have worked tirelessly with Director Jeremy Dubin to craft stunning steampunk pieces to be used for props and costumes during the production. The term "Steampunk" was originally coined in the 1980's in reference to a genre of literature, a specific subset of science-fiction rooted in the seemingly dichotomous idea of retro-futurism. The works of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells are perhaps the most evocative of the imagery and aesthetic prevalent in Steampunk. It is, in one sense, how the Victorians might have envisioned the future, though it is equally about how modern man can re-imagine the past: a past that never was unfolding into a future that could have been. Anachronism is integral to the world of Steampunk, though it is anachronism with a twist. The genre often deals with a re-envisioning of technology, taking pieces of modern technology and imagining what they would look like if run on, you guessed it, steam. Steam-powered computers, weaponry, airships (and anything else within the scope of imagination) festoon the genre's landscape; this, in juxtaposition with the Victorian sensibility of refinement, elegance and ultimately optimism give Steampunk its unique flavor. Over the past couple of decades Steampunk has grown well beyond its literary roots. Its influence can be seen in art, music, film, fashion and beyond. It has gained such a toehold in cultural consciousness that one would be hard pressed to find a major city without at least one organized Steampunk society. There, enthusiasts gather, togged to the nines in their retro-futuristic best, showing off fashions and contraptions of jaw-dropping ingenuity, and celebrating the past and future that could have been. Design Sponsor Iron Wind Metals has produced pewter figurines named "Steam Punk Willy" that will be sold in the lobby for $15- the figurine is William Shakespeare in a steampunk costume and accessories.

"Titus Andronicus" features 16 year CSC Resident Ensemble Member Nicholas Rose in the title roll. He has been involved with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company since the beginning in 1994. He was featured this season in two sold-out productions as Watson in "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and Bob Ewell in "To Kill a Mockingbird." Last season he was seen as Jim Casey in "The Grapes of Wrath", Thomas Cromwell in "A Man for All Seasons" and Macbeth in "Macbeth". CSC Education Associate and Resident Ensemble member Miranda McGee is featured as Tamora in "Titus Andronicus". She has been featured recently at CSC as Rosaline in "Love's Labour's Lost", Susannah in "Bedroom Farce" and Lydia Bennett in "Pride and Prejudice". Maggie Lou Rader appears as Lavinia in "Titus Andronicus". She was most recently seen on the stage at CSC as Mayella Ewell in "To Kill a Mockingbird" as well as last season season's critically acclaimed production of "The Grapes of Wrath" as Rose of Sharon. Third year ensemble member, Darnell Pierre Benjamin will be Aaron the Moor. He was last seen on CSC's stage as Tom Robinson in "To Kill a Mockingbird". Previously, he was featured as the King of Navarre in "Love's Labour's Lost", Valentine in "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" and Malcolm in "Macbeth".

Performances of "Titus Andronicus" are scheduled from October 20- November 11, 2012 on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm and Saturday at 2pm running on off-night of "Romeo and Juliet". No performance on November 3. The theater is located at 719 Race Street, downtown Cincinnati, two blocks west of the Aronoff Center. Single ticket prices range from $22-$28 on Sunday-Wednesday and $26-$32 on Saturday. If available, $14 student rush tickets may be purchased 30 minutes before a show with a valid student ID. Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted. Ticketing fees may apply. Discounts are available for students, seniors and groups as well as Enjoy the Arts and AAA members. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at

Special events are scheduled in conjunction with "Titus Andronicus" including an event for Young Professionals on Oct. 24 and an event for Teens on Halloween, Oct. 31. Call the box office for more details.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing Shakespeare and the classics to life for audiences of all ages. Located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, CSC produces a dozen mainstage productions each season. CSC employs a resident company of actors and artists who live and work in Cincinnati year-round, and performs on a Small Professional Theatre contract with Actors' Equity Association. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's Education and Outreach Programs see an average of 18,000 students each season by taking Shakespeare into schools, parks, community centers and by hosting educational matinees of mainstage productions at its home on Race Street. In Season 20, CSC will become one of only a handful of companies worldwide to have produced Shakespeare's 38-play canon in its entirety. CSC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

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