Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati Presents World Premiere Dramedy WHO ALL OVER THERE?, April 11– 30

This new play is inspired by the classic Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and shines a light on what happens when cultures clash in the name of love.

Review: TROUBLE IN MIND at Cincinnati Shakespeare CompanyEnsemble Theatre Cincinnati will present the commissioned world premiere dramedy Who All Over There? by Torie Wiggins. Things aren't always black and white-especially when it comes to relationships. Penned by the one of Cincinnati's favorite multi-hyphenate artists, this new play is inspired by the classic Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and shines a light on what happens when cultures clash in the name of love. April 11-30, 2023. Directed by Stori Ayers. Premiere Sponsor is Fifth Third Bank.

When Dean, a young professional, and Danya, an aspiring singer, go on a refreshingly candid first date, they keep it real about the dynamics of a potential interracial relationship. As they grow comfortable nestled in the cocoon of their budding love, the real world brings a whirlwind of inflammatory race relations, opinionated family and friends, and troublesome pasts. Can love truly be colorblind?

"The idea came a long time ago to commission an idea from Torie Wiggins," says Producing Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers. "We bought her play on faith and without a draft, really. That's what you have to do to give somebody a chance. What's essential about theatre is the opportunity to have different perspectives and points of view that we could never have in our own experience, and Torie has given us an opportunity with this piece to be a fly on the wall in someone else's world."

About the Cast

Kenneth Early (John Martin) last performed at Ensemble Theatre as Aldrin in The Dancing Princesses, and some of his other credits there include Pipeline, Red Velvet, The Whipping Man, Grey Gardens, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, and Around the World in 80 Days. He has also been seen in productions at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, The Human Race Theatre Company, and Actors Theatre of Louisville.

Jay Wade (Sebastian "Truck" Martin) was last seen at Ensemble Theatre in Sweat and Pipeline. He also appeared as Omari in Alabama Shakespeare Festival's production of Pipeline. He is from St. Louis, MO, and earned his BFA in Acting from Southeast Missouri State University.

Maliyah Gramata-Jones (Danya Martin) returns to Ensemble Theatre, where she was last seen in The Wolves. Some of her other Cincinnati credits include Puffs and Red Bike at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Titus Andronicus at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and many beautifully "weird" projects through the Cincinnati Fringe Festival.

Spencer Lackey (Dean Willis) returns to Ensemble Theatre, where he was last seen in the virtual production of Side Man. He is an actor and composer based in Brooklyn, NY. His regional theatre credits include Barefoot in the Park, Queens Theatre; Shakespeare in Love!, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; and The Other Rhine, Know Theatre of Cincinnati. His film and TV credits include Notzilla, Healing River, and Dead of Winter on Discovery ID. Spencer has a BFA in Acting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Blake Gehring (Scot Lancaster) makes his Ensemble Theatre debut with this production. He received his BFA from Northern Kentucky University, where he studied Radio/TV/Film and Theatre. He most recently attended the Theatre Training Institute under the direction of Ken Jones. Following graduation, Blake spent several years in Los Angeles pursuing acting and stand-up comedy. A few of his favorite theatre credits include The Brighton Beach Memoirs, Young Frankenstein, The Shape of Things, The Full Monty, and Dearly Departed.

Kyndra Dyanne Jefferies (Petunia "Aunt Toonie" Thompson) makes her Ensemble Theatre debut with this production. She is a native of Cincinnati and an alum of the School for Creative and Performing Arts. Kyndra has performed in various productions in the area including Disney's Descendants, The Wiz Jr., Annie Jr., Superman, and Mary Poppins Jr., The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati; Bourbon at the Border, Falcon Theatre; Memphis, Loveland Stage Company; and Disney's Newsies, Warsaw Federal Incline Theater. Her film credits include Dark Waters and The Old Man and the Gun.

Keisha L. Kemper (Deirdre Martin) is a native of Cincinnati and makes her Ensemble Theatre debut with this production. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music with her BFA in Dramatic Performance. Her regional credits include Weezy in Alabaster and Harry in Harry and the Thief, Know Theatre of Cincinnati; Chorus/Nurse in Prokofiev: Suite from Romeo and Juliet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; (Story)Teller in The Bradbury Tattoos: An Experimental Rock Opera, Concert:Nova; Maria, Captain, and First Officer in Twelfth Night, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's Shakespeare in the Park; and Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, New Edgecliff Theatre.

Production team: Brian c. Mehring (Resident Scenic & Lighting Designer), Aharon Simone (Costume Designer), Matt Callahan (Sound Designer), Nigel C. Mask (Wig 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.

Performances Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 pm; Friday & Saturday at 8:00 pm; Saturday & Sunday at 2:00 pm. Performances vary. A complete calendar of performances is available at Click Here.

Tickets start at $35 for adults and student tickets are $28. Half-Price Rush Tickets: All remaining tickets for the current day's performance(s) are available two hours prior to each show time for half-price (discount only applies to adult tickets) when purchasing by phone or in person. $15 Student Rush Tickets: Students may purchase up to two $15 student rush tickets two hours prior to show time with valid student I.D. Available in person only.

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Review: TROUBLE IN MIND at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Trouble in Mind made its Broadway premiere in 2021, 66 years after it was produced off-Broadway at Greenwich Mews Theatre. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is known for its unique takes on classic stories and reviving them for a fresh audience, and this play is no exception. Known for its general themes of racism and sexism from a black perspective, the play eerily reflects a modern culture and language despite being written several decades ago. Manipulative tactics are used strategically by the characters, performative allyships are shattered, and false dignity is stripped for raw truth.

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