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Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati Presents Family-Friendly Holiday Musical THE DANCING PRINCESSES

This whimsical production brings to life a royal mystery as five diverse sisters dance their way through an incarnation of the classic, enchanting story.

The tango, the cha cha, and the waltz, oh my! It's time to break out those dancing shoes with the return of Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati's family-friendly musical The Dancing Princesses, by local playwright Joseph McDonough with music and lyrics by David Kisor.

This whimsical production brings to life a royal mystery as five diverse sisters dance their way through an incarnation of the classic, enchanting story. With hot chocolate, dance numbers, and shenanigans aplenty, The Dancing Princesses is holiday fun for the entire family!

Playing November 30- December 30, 2022. Directed by D. Lynn Meyers. Premiere Sponsor is The Schueler Group. Opening Night Sponsors are Messer Construction and the Johnson Investment Counsel.

Wanting the best for his daughters, an overprotective king locks the castle doors each night. Yet, each morning, the princesses' shoes have been curiously worn to tatters. Keen to cobble together the mystery of the frayed footwear, the King resorts to drastic measures of royal proportions. This heartfelt and humorous story of five uniquely different princesses explores the universal quest for understanding, acceptance, and love.

"We commissioned this play in 2017 when we had just opened our newly renovated facilities," says Producing Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers. "It gave us a sense of renewal then and gives us that same sense now after a tentative few years. This show, maybe more than any of our other holiday productions, is about how to never stop growing, learning, and moving forward. It's all about learning to thrive."


About the Cast

Michael G. Bath (Joziam) returns for his 25th consecutive holiday show with Ensemble Theatre, where he has also appeared in Tiny Beautiful Things, Cinderella, The Frog Princess, Fly By Night, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Sleeping Beauty, and Hands on a Hardbody, among others. Other regional credits include Superior Donuts with Clifton Players and Angels in America at Know Theatre. Michael has also performed with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Children's Theatre of Cincinnati, the Performance Gallery, Showboat Majestic, and Stage First Cincinnati.


Darnell Pierre Benjamin (Jack/Dream Dancer) has been seen at Ensemble Theatre in The Legend of Georgia McBride, Detroit '67, and many holiday shows. Darnell has been a professional performing artist, director, choreographer, educator, and activist for over 15 years. He works as a professor in the arts programs at Northern Kentucky University and College-Conservatory of Music and is also an active board member with Caracole, Pones, Stop the Stigma Productions, and Treehouse Cincinnati. Kenneth Early (Aldrin) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in Pipeline, where his other credits include Alice in Wonderland, The Dancing Princesses (2017), Red Velvet, The Whipping Man, Grey Gardens, Snow White, and
The Frog Princess. Other regional credits include Once on This Island, Misery, August Wilson's Jitney, and To Kill a Mockingbird, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Macbeth, Of Mice and Men, and To Kill a Mockingbird, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; On Golden Pond, The Human Race Theatre; Once on This Island, Actor's Theatre of Louisville; Pluto and Harry and the Thief, Know Theater; and Awaited at the Aronoff.


Sara Mackie (Woman) is an alumna of the Wright State Acting BFA Program. She performed with Ensemble Theatre most recently in Cinderella, The Frog Princess, Fun Home, and many other productions since 1999, including Hands on a Hardbody, all three Wonderette iterations, Rabbit Hole, and Mauritius, among others. Some of her other credits include An Act of God, Family Ties, Twelfth Night, Human Race Theatre; Pride and Prejudice and Romeo and Juliet, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; Pump Boys and Dinettes, The Carnegie; and Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, New Edgecliff Theatre. You can also catch her briefly in the feature films The Public and Dark Waters.

Andrew Maloney (Mack/Dream Dancer) is back on the Ensemble Theatre stage where he was last seen in Alice in Wonderland, The Dancing Princesses (2017), and First Date. His other ETC credits include Violet, Around the World in 80 Days, and Snow White. Internationally, he appeared in the Ecuadorian premiere of West Side Story at the Teatro Nacional Sucre in Quito, Ecuador. His recent credits include Rent, Assassins, The Little Mermaid, and A Chorus Line.


Brooke Steele (Tiva/Young Zilda) has appeared numerous times at Ensemble Theatre, where some of her favorite credits Cinderella in Cinderella, Vasilisa in The Frog Princess, Miriam in Fly By Night, Violet in Violet, and Suzy Simpson in The Marvelous Wonderettes.


Kate Wilford (Zilda) has appeared in ETC's productions of Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Violet, Luna Gale, Becky's New Car, Good People, Dead Man's Cell Phone, and many others. She has appeared at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in August: Osage County and All the Way and A Prayer for Owen Meany with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Regionally, she has also worked at The Lyceum Theatre, Beef N Boards, Westgate Theatre, and The Kenley Players and was a founding member of The Troupe in Cincinnati. She has also directed at Xavier University, Thomas More College, and The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati.

Shonita Joshi (Nritya) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in Queen. She is a south Asian actor, born and brought up in Pune, India. Prior to moving to the US, she worked for three years in Mumbai in the Indian film industry and two years at Google. Shonita graduated in 2019 from Stella Adler School of Acting in New York. Some of her recent credits include Antony & Cleopatra, Pericles, Much Ado About Nothing, and Twelfth Night with Hip to Hip Theater Company NYC and A Christmas Carol, Stuart Little, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane with Playhouse in the Park.

Antonio Cruz (Pharron) is a Mexican American operatic baritone from Tucson, Arizona. Some of his roles include Silvio in Pagliacci with El Paso Opera, L'horloge Comtoise in L'enfant et les Sortilèges with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and as Jim/Troll #2 in the world premiere of Fierce with Cincinnati Opera. Tony has been an apprentice artist with Kentucky Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, and Des Moines Metro Opera respectively. He holds an Artist Diploma in Opera and a Master's of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, as well as a Bachelor's of Music from the University of Arizona.

Rounding out the ensemble cast is last season's Acting Apprentice Malyssa Quinn (Tusu), as well as this season's Acting Apprentices Andrea Beasley (Dream Dancer/Courtier), Timothy Belton (Dream Dancer/Courtier), Caroline Mariono (Woman u/s), Emmy Rice (Natalya/Young Asa), and Elexis Selmon (Gidela).


Production team: Brian c. Mehring (Resident Scenic & Lighting Designer), Steve Goers (Music Director), Dee Anne Bryll (Choreographer), Patti James (Choreographer), Lea Lachey (Choreographer), Reba Senske (Costume Designer), Matt Callahan (Sound Designer), Kelly Yurko (Wig & Makeup Designer), Shannon Rae Lutz (Properties Curator & Design Assistant), and Jack Murphy (Technical Director). Production Stage Manager is Margot Whitney. Assistant Stage Manager is Lexi Muller.


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