Four William Shakespeare plays make up the bulk of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's 2016–2017 Season lineup, the Ohio company's final season in its current Race Street location. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC) is scheduled to move into the new Otto M. Budig Theater at 12th and Elm Streets in the city's Over The Rhine district for the 2017–2018 season.
“We have big things planned and a special move to make in the near future. But before we go, we have one last season here on Race Street," Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips said in a CSC press release. "We will present a slate of titles that are as nostalgic as they are timeless and represent the next phase of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. This is the perfect chance to join us this season as we bid a fond farewell to Race Street, because this goodbye is only the beginning.”
The Shakespeare slate begins in November with Much Ado About Nothing. In the last several years, CSC has sold out house after house for Shakespeare comedies, so the company decided to slot another one for the holiday season.
Winter 2017 will bring the conclusion of Cincinnati Shakespeare’s History Cycle that began in 2013, sponsored by Osborn Rohs Williams & Donohoe LLC. Henry VI: The Wars of the Roses, Part 2, featuring Resident Ensemble Members Darnell Pierre Benjamin as Henry VI and Kelly Mengelkoch as Queen Margaret, opens in January, followed in February by Richard III, featuring Resident Ensemble Member Billy Chace in the title role.
The production that will close the doors on the Race Street theater will be the play that, traditionally, closed out Shakespeare's career, The Tempest, with Resident Ensemble Member Nicholas Rose as Prospero.
The 2016–2017 Season will open in September with The Diary of Anne Frank, followed in October by Bernard Pomerance’s award-winning American classic, The Elephant Man. Another American classic, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, will be staged in March.
In addition to this seven-play subscription series, CSC has scheduled two special-event productions. This summer, All the Great Books (Abridged), by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, will use three actors to act out 90 of the world's greatest literary works in 90 minutes, from The Odyssey to Harry Potter, from the Bible to Green Eggs and Ham. For the latter half of December, the company will revive Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) as three actors with Santa's help run from Scrooge to Grinch with Frosty, Rudolph, and Charlie Brown in between.
As the final season on Race Street gets under way, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is already looking ahead to the first season in the Budig theater by offering final season subscribers priority access to tickets in the new theater. 2016–2017 subscription packages and single tickets are now on sale. Adult subscriptions are $240, senior subscriptions are $211, and student subscriptions are $130, with discounts available for preview shows. Single ticket prices range from $22–$38 on Thursday nights and Saturday and Sunday matinees and from $26–$42 on Friday and Saturday nights. Student Rush tickets are available for any non-sold out performance in the mainstage seats for $14 starting one hour before curtain with a student ID.
For tickets, visit the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company website at www.cincyshakes.com or call the box office at 513-381-BARD (2273) ext. 1.
For the dates of productions, see Bard on the Boards.
March 4, 2016