THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE and More Set for Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati's 2016-17 Season
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC) has announced its 2016-2017 Season, which features a compelling selection of stories centered upon the power of change and moving forward.
The lineup showcases a exhilarating range of topics including: a music-filled comedy about finding your voice; a powerful tale of resilience in the face of tragedy with a timely, unique perspective on urban violence; a hysterical and hopeful new Broadway musical about the chances we all take to find love; and a deeply moving and engaging drama set during a pivotal turning point for women's issues in our nation's history. Additionally, 2016-2017 welcomes the next chapter of ETC's best-selling show in a new world premiere holiday musical that continues the story of a cast of beloved characters.
Although the 2016-2017 Season contains a six-show selection, please note that performance dates for the latter half of the season are earlier in the calendar year than is typical. This is to accommodate the construction schedule for major renovations of ETC's facilities, which will go through fall 2017.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati's kicks off its 31st season with the heartwarming, music-filled comedy of Matthew Lopez's The Legend of Georgia McBride, September 6-25, 2016. He's young, he's broke, his landlord's knocking at the door, and he's just found out his wife is going to have a baby. To make matters even more desperate, Casey is fired from his gig as an Elvis impersonator in a run-down, small town Florida bar. When the bar owner brings in a B-level drag show to replace his act, Casey learns that necessity is the mother of reinvention and that he has a whole lot to learn about show business-and himself. Playwright Matthew Lopez, known for his powerful off-Broadway post-Civil War slave drama The Whipping Man and HBO's The Newsroom, has made a 180-degree turn with this wonderfully appealing and compulsively funny new work that The New York Times calls "full of sass and good spirits."
Next, taking the stage is Kimber Lee's bold new play brownsville song (b-side for tray), playing October 11-30, 2016. Set in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn and moving fluidly between past and present, this drama is a powerful tale of resilience in the face of tragedy. Eighteen-year-old Tray is committed to making something of himself. He's working on his college essay, boxing at the gym, and holding down a part-time job. When he happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, a senseless act ends his life, leaving his family to ponder what might have been. This poetic and powerful story jumps between a hopeful future and an uncertain present to show a unique perspective on urban violence. Far from being a play "ripped from the headlines," this lyrical social drama about the shocking death of a young African-American teenager is a poignant story for our time, and demands the attention of audiences far and wide.
For the holidays, ETC is thrilled to present the world premiere of Cinderella: After Ever After, November 30-December 30, 2016 with book by Joseph McDonough, lyrics by David Kisor, and music by Fitz Patton. Following ETC's sold-out success of Cinderella this past year, Cinderella: After Ever After continues the story about what happens following a fairy tale's "happily ever after." What happens when Cinderella and Prince Freddy move into the palace with her diva stepmother and two fabulously self-absorbed stepsisters in tow? What becomes of Cinderella's beloved animal friends and Gastón, Freddy's trusted companion? Change can be hard, and when Gwendolyn The Well Wisher gets involved in an attempt to bring peace to the royal kingdom, she sets off a series of chaotic events. This brand new family-friendly musical will delight audiences of all ages this holiday season.
Mid-season, following its sensational Broadway run, First Date takes ETC's stage, exploring the most dangerous human endeavor in existence: the dreaded blind date. Making its regional debut at ETC January 17-February 5, 2017, this musical comedy has a book by Austin Winsberg, music and lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner. When blind date newbie Aaron is set up with serial-dater Casey, a casual drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a uproarious high-stakes dinner when other restaurant patrons transform into supportive best friends, manipulative exes, and protective parents, who sing and dance them through ice-breakers, appetizers and potential conversational land mines. Can this couple turn what could be a dating disaster into something special before the check arrives?
Then in spring, ETC presents the regional premiere of When We Were Young and Unafraid (February 21-March 12, 2017), Sarah Treem's (Netflix's House of Cards, HBO's In Treatment) powerful new play that takes us inside an underground women's shelter in the early 1970s. Before Roe v. Wade, before the Violence Against Women Act, Agnes has turned her quiet bed and breakfast into one of the few spots where victims of domestic violence can seek refuge. But to Agnes's dismay, her latest runaway, Mary Anne, is beginning to influence Agnes's college-bound daughter Penny. As the drums of a feminist revolution grow louder outside of Agnes's tiny world, Agnes is forced to confront her own presumptions about the women she's spent her life trying to help.
Finally, to close out the 2016-2017 Season, ETC presents the regional premiere of Steven Dietz's Bloomsday,
April 4-23, 2017. Set against the backdrop of James Joyce's groundbreaking modernist novel Ulysses, an American man searches for the Irish woman who first captured his heart 30 years earlier while leading a "Bloomsday" walking tour in Dublin. Told with humor, wit and heartache, this buoyant and moving new play bends time and space to explore a love affair that might have been. Bloomsday references June 16, 1904, the day in Joyce's novel Ulysses when the central characters in the novel, Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, peregrinate through Dublin and briefly encounter one another. Named a 2016 Finalist for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award.
Subscriptions to the 2016-2017 Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati season are on sale now. ETC will continue to offer a 5-show Tuesday evening Preview Subscription for just $125 (excludes holiday production). Additionally, ETC has added a reduced-price Sunday Evening Saver package at just $156. Regular subscription prices range from $156 to $210. The popular FlexPass is $202, which includes six flexible tickets to use for any show and in any combination.
The 2016-2017 season will continue to offer a robust suite of affordable ticket and program options designed specifically for local area teens and students to experience professional theatre. This includes a $120 Student Subscription available for any performance and which provides a seat for each of the six productions during the season. Additionally, ETC continues its $90 Teen Scene Subscription, a deeply discounted subscription option exclusively for students ages 13-19 (available select dates only).
All single tickets for the 2016-2017 Season go on sale to the general public on Monday, August 1, 2016 at
10:00 am. Subscribers, however, may start making exchanges, purchasing additional tickets, or reserving their FlexPass dates during Subscriber-Only Days, July 25-29 2016.
In 1986, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati drew back its curtains with the intended purpose of supporting local professional artists and a steadfast belief in the transformative power of the arts to create sustainable and attractive communities. After performing for two subscription seasons at Memorial Hall and following an extended search throughout the downtown area, the fledgling theatre moved to its present location at 1127 Vine Street in historic Over-the-Rhine with financial support from co-founders John and Ruth Sawyer and Ken and Mary "Murph" Taft Mahler. The theatre then secured a contract with Actors' Equity Association and opened its doors in 1988 as a fully professional theatre, presenting a wide range of productions, including classics and contemporary theatre. Then, in 1996 ETC sharpened its mission as a theatre solely dedicated to producing new works and introduced several educational outreach programs focusing on economically disadvantaged children. Today, Ensemble Theatre remains the Greater Cincinnati area's second largest professional theatre, with a subscription base of 2,300 patrons and drawing nearly 30,000 attendees annually.