Love theatre? Browse these stories about our favorite art form and how it's made! Topics include actors, costumes, sets and props, playwrights, directors, music, things to do and about the Playhouse. Or, view all of our blogs in order.

What's New

Becoming Little Willie John

Read how performer Antonio Michael Woodard found the spirit and soul of R&B's unsung hero.

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30 Years of A Christmas Carol

To celebrate the rich history of A Christmas Carol in the Marx Theatre, let’s take a look back at three decades of theatrical holiday cheer!

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Stage Manager's Notes

Read thoughts from Andrea L. Shell, the Stage Manager for A Christmas Carol.

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Our History Unfolds

Take a closer look at the people and the places of the West End.

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Close to Home

Playwright Keith Josef Adkins provides insights into the relevance and personal connections to his new drama The West End — a world premiere and Playhouse commission.

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Joanie Schultz Named Associate Artistic Director

We are pleased to announce that Joanie Schultz, a national arts leader and director of theatre and opera, will join the Playhouse as our new associate artistic director starting full-time in late November!

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Actors

Gamal Chasten

Gamal is a poet, playwright and composer who appeared in the world premiere of americUS at the Playhouse.

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Barbara Chisholm

Barbara Chisholm played Annie Wilkes in Misery and Erma Bombeck in Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End.

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Yassmin Alers

Yassmin played Abuela Claudia in In the Heights, and most recently appeared as Hortencia Del Rio in Destiny of Desire.

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Debra Walton

Debra played Charlaine in Ain’t Misbehavin’, Tina Turner in Beehive and as all the characters in the one-woman show, Mr. Joy.

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Nick Cearley

Nick played Linus in and is the co-conceiver and dance captain of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He also starred as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors.

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Annie Fitzpatrick

Annie has appeared in Alias Grace, A Prayer for Owen Meany, To Kill a Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice; Hank Williams: Lost Highway and six seasons of A Christmas Carol.

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Stephanie Gomérez

Stephanie played Vanessa in our 2019 production of In the Heights. "Theatre is life and life is colorful!"

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Frank Britton

Frank played Hambone in our 2019 production of August Wilson’s Two Trains Running.

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Nick LaMedica

Nick describes the experience of creating his character, Christopher Boone, in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

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You can view all Playhouse blogs featuring actors here.

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Costumes

Outfitting August Wilson

Kara Harmon shares her insight as the costume designer for August Wilson’s Two Trains Running.

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In Transition

A Q&A with The Roommate Costume Designer Tracy Christensen.

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Recreating the 1970s

We asked Jitney costume designer Tracy Dorman about creating the clothing for the cast of the production.

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You can view all Playhouse blogs featuring costumes here.

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Sets and Props

Nationally Recognized. Locally Crafted.

Since 1960, our local staff has worked together with a national network of designers, directors and performers to craft shows for the stage.

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Making Audrey II

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at what it took to bring this plant to life for the co-production between Portland Center Stage and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

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Building the Voyage to Treasure Island

See how our craftsmen and artisans built the elements that brought this extravagant world to life on the Marx stage.

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Found Objects

Get a look at the process and experience of building the set of Be Here Now with Playhouse artisans and craftsmen.

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Bringing Mr. Joy's Shoe Shop to the Shelterhouse

Get artistic insight into the highly detailed and realistic scenery that brought the world of Mr. Joy to the Shelterhouse stage.

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You can view all Playhouse blogs featuring sets and props here.

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Playwrights

Cincinnati Artist Feature

Hear from two Cincinnati-based artists, Candice Handy and Derek J. Snow, who were selected to premiere their works in The Breath Project Festival.

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Karen Zacarías

Hear from Associate Artist Karen Zacarías about Destiny of Desire. She also penned The Book Club Play and the Playhouse world premiere of Native Gardens, which helped put Cincinnati on the map.

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Larissa FastHorse

The Thanksgiving Play playwright provides her notes below on crafting this fresh, satirical comedy.

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Audrey Cefaly

The playwright of The Last Wide Open talks about writing lyrics and collaborating with composer/sound designer Matthew Nielson.

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August Wilson

The man who loved words is perhaps best illuminated by revisiting some of his own.

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Universes

Learn about the Universes — a multi-cultural, multi-disciplined collective of artists and poets — who devised the world premiere production of americUS, and have been devising work together for 24 years.

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New Play Commissions Guide an Eventual Return to the Theatre

Among the more than 80 world premieres the Playhouse has produced are plays that have been commissioned. Meet our five currently commissioned playwrights and preview the stories we are prepping for the stage.

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You can view all Playhouse blogs featuring playwrights here.

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Directors

KJ Sanchez

Read about the world premiere of Cincinnati King from the perspective of Director and Playwright KJ Sanchez, who has also directed Jane Eyre, Sex With Strangers, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, Seven Spots on the Sun and Venus in Fur at the Playhouse.

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Timothy Douglas

Director Timothy Douglas talks about the significance of revisiting August Wilson's work in Two Trains Running. He also directed Jitney, Mothers and Sons, Buzzer, Safe House, The North Pool, Clybourne Park and The Trip to Bountiful at the Playhouse.

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Wendy C. Goldberg

A Playhouse Associate Artist, Wendy has directed Doubt, Durango, Leveling Up and Circle Mirror Transformation, as well as the recent production of The Lifespan of a Fact.

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Marcia Milgrom Dodge

Director Marcia Milgrom Dodge gives us a closer look at her work on Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. You can also read about her work on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

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Robert Barry Fleming

Director and Choreographer Robert Barry Fleming, who is also the Artistic Director at Actors Theatre of Louisville, takes us behind the scenes of the epic musical Once on This Island.

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Eleanor Holdridge

A Q&A with the director of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson. Eleanor was also at the helm of our 2016 world premiere of Lauren's play The Revolutionists

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Lisa Portes

A Q&A with the director of The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse. You can also read about her direction of our 2016 production of Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar.

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Portia Krieger

Portia, who directed Be Here Now, is a New York-based theatre director who mostly works on new plays and musicals.

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Blake Robison

Playhouse Artistic Director Blake Robison shares his perspective on directing Margaret Atwood’s mind-bending thriller Alias Grace.

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You can view all Playhouse blogs featuring directors here.

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Music

The Music of Mad River Rising

When sound designer Matthew M. Neilson found out that he had permission to access folk singer and Hadestown creator Anaïs Mitchell’s entire catalog of songs for Mad River Rising, he was thrilled and a bit star struck.

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The Music and Language of In the Heights

Take a deeper dive into the acclaimed music and language of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first smash hit. “It’s enormous fun to write in two languages," says Lin of the show, which combines rap, hip-hop, musical theatre, latin music, soul and R&B.

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Composer's Notes

Sound Designer/Composer Matthew M. Nielson provided his notes in the early stages of rehearsal about composing The Last Wide Open's original music and working with playwright Audrey Cefaly, who wrote the lyrics.

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The Evolution of African American Gospel Music

Marie and Rosetta tells the story of gospel singers Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Marie Knight. Learn how their collaboration reflects the evolution of African American gospel music, from its roots in spirituals to the rock and roll we know today.

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Musical Stylings

Here’s a look at the genres that Little Shop of Horrors uses to create a satirical, musical treat.

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Music Director's Notes

Hear from Richard Livingston Huntley, the music director and drummer for the world premiere of Cincinnati King.

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You can view all Playhouse blogs featuring music here.

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Things to Do

Bruce Cromer Reads A Christmas Carol

Our spirits needed a lift! May the final chapter of A Christmas Carol — as read by our long-time Scrooge, Bruce Cromer — bring you some hope and joy today.

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World Book Day

We love a great story. To celebrate World Book Day, we're sharing a list of Kindle and audiobook editions of recent Playhouse shows.

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You can play!

Discover tutorials, apps and news stories that celebrate the classical music stylings of 2 Pianos, 4 Hands!

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You can view all Playhouse blogs featuring things to do here.

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About the Playhouse

Lights Up for a Cause

The Playhouse joined We Make Events North America by "going red" for the 12 million people out of work due to COVID-19. Read more about the project, and how you can help.

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Clearing the Way for the New Building

Site work for the Playhouse’s new Mainstage Theatre Complex is underway!

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A Closer Look

Learn about the first phase of our building project and the historic gems we found during the remodel of our Rosenthal Shelterhouse Theatre.

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A Legacy of New Work

Learn about the new works produced by the Playhouse over the years and the individuals who have helped make many of them a reality.

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Multigenerational Gems

“It’s absolutely a delight to see a grandparent, a parent and a kid all enjoying the story in their own way. Like a really good Pixar film, these stories work on all levels,” says Artistic Director Blake Robison.

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Meet the Associate Artists

Nicole A. Watson and Karen Zacarías to join Wendy C. Goldberg as this season’s Associate Artists. Previous Associate Artists include Timothy Douglas, KJ Sanchez, Eric Ting and Michael Evan Haney.

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Embracing New Rehearsal Techniques

Director Blake Robison brought in Movement and Intimacy Coach Casey Sams to work on the play’s most physically demanding scenes — many of which involve intimate moments between characters.

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Cheers to Heidelberg and the Vontz Family!

Heidelberg's steadfast and enthusiastic support has helped us bring world premieres and theatrical favorites to Cincinnati audiences, contributing to the unmatched variety the Playhouse offers year after year. Read

A Q&A with Buzz Ward

Managing Director Buzz Ward has had an unprecedented and incredible 29-year tenure leading Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. As the longest serving executive in the Playhouse’s history, much of the theatre’s ongoing success can be credited to him — having managed it for nearly half its 61 years.

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You can view all blogs about the Playhouse here.

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Playhouse Love Stories

Rehearsal to Romance

We love a good love story. Read about three couples who came to Cincinnati to perform in Playhouse productions and left with life-changing relationships.

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First Dates

We’re honored to be a part of these love stories, which all begin with an evening at the Playhouse. Read on for romance!

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Love Stories: A Christmas Carol

See how this magical holiday favorite played a meaningful role in the love stories of these wonderful couples!

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Set for Romance

Hear from couples whose date nights at the Playhouse have continued to set the scene for their romance.

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Happily Ever After

Read about couples who got engaged right here at the Playhouse, and see how they each started a new chapter of their love stories!

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Marry Me a Little

“I do” may be the most romantic lines ever spoken on our stages! See how couples in the past have sealed their love with their wedding at the theatre.

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You can view all Playhouse Love Stories here.

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