Theatre Experiences Past and Future
By Liz Eichler
Theatre goers – what was your favorite theatrical experience of 2022 and what are you looking forward to in 2023?
There were so many surprising, unforgettable moments as we witnessed Cincinnati theatre returning–in fits and starts–after the pandemic.
Focusing on the word experience, discovering new works and voices, new angles, and new visual theatre makers and feeling the energy of a crowd have been my highlights of the past year and things I look forward to on 2023. Of the 30-50 shows I see each year, I focus on the positive. Not only does the greater Cincinnati area have great performers, we have great designers, craftspeople, writers, and motivators.
Just a Few from 2022
- One of the most educational shows was Human Race’s Grounded. Did you know the U.S. Middle East drone program is headquartered near Las Vegas? The show had phenomenal use of projections as well as Maggie Lou Rader’s performance (Rader also has an an impressive playwrighting career.) It was also an opportunity to welcome new AD Emily N. Wells.
- Miami University’s These Shining Lives was one of the many shows incorporating intimacy coaching, this time by Torie Wiggins. What a noticeable difference it makes when theatres and directors provide actors with the time and freedom to act from a space of permission and security. Hurrah for intimacy directors and coordinators.
- NKU’s The Lightning Thief was a great play for a college cast, and really spoke to the GenZ crowd, and shows how NKU SOTA is fulfilling on its mission to grow new audiences. It was so energizing to be part of the full-house. Also, NKU’s new design professor Tao Wang is absolutely amazing.
- Yes, opening night for the Hamilton tour will be one of my favorite people watching experiences. The Aronoff lobby was simply bubbling! Still some masking but there was so much joy to be at a great theatrical venue again. Of course the show delivered, providing yet more nuances to one of the strongest and influential theatrical productions ever.
- Cincinnati Fringe 2022 was an energetic celebration of theatre and artists–many finally seeing each other for the first time in years.
What to see in 2023
I am looking forward to every show at every theatre! However:
- Falcon Theatre’s Lifespan of a Fact. Falcon is always an exciting and intimate theatre experience, this show, directed by Ed Cohen should be an amazing highlight at the end of this month.
- Miami University’s The Play that Goes Wrong. I’ve seen this twice, on Broadway and in tour, and both times I could not help but think about the stage craft and stage management to make all of these sight gags and tricks work as it would be produced in regional, community and college theatres. We will see Gion DeFrancesco and Marly Wooster make it happen in April.
- In the able hands of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, the world premiere of The Rewards of Being Frank by Alice Scovell will certainly produce belly laughs this January. This farce revisits the couples in Oscar Wilde’s classic “The Importance of Being Earnest” as they manage children and “a timeless struggle over cucumber sandwiches.”
- Of course, Cincinnati Fringe in June. It will be the 20th Anniversary of “Cincinnati’s Theatre Party.”
- CCM’s Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella played on repeat when my kids were young. I’m sure the creative team at CCM will make this confection memorable in March.
Cincinnati is blessed with phenomenal theatre. Make your New Year’s resolution to check out at least one new theatre. Here are the links!
- American Legacy Theatre
- Cincinnati Lab Theatre
- Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
- Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
- Clifton Performance Theatre
- Covedale Center for the Performing Arts
- Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati
- The Falcon Theatre, Newport
- Human Race Theatre, Dayton
- Warsaw Federal Incline Theatre
- Know Theatre of Cincinnati
- Madcap Puppet Theatre
- The Carnegie
- The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati
- University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music
- Miami University Theatre
- Northern Kentucky University SOTA
- Mount St. Joseph’s University Theatre
- Broadway in Cincinnati Series