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REGIONAL PREMIERE MUSICAL

Fun Home

music by Jeanine Tesori
book & lyrics by Lisa Kron
based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel

August 31–September 28, 2019

 

Hailed as one of Broadway’s most original musicals and the winner of 5 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, this is the groundbreaking story inspired by the best-selling graphic memoir. Alison’s father, Bruce, was an enigmatic, brilliant man whose secrets defined her family and her life. Bruce taught high school English, ran the family’s funeral home business, and was obsessed with restoring their old house. When he dies unexpectedly, Alison digs deeply into her childhood memories to explore and unravel the mysteries of her childhood and the surprising secrets that shaped her life.

Content advisory: This production contains mature language and content and may not be suitable for all audiences.


VIDEO

feature FunHome Trailer  feature FunHome Cast  feature FunHome Teaser 

feature FunHome WLWT5  feature FunHome Local12  feature FunHome WCPO

feature FunHome Fox19


AUDIENCE BUZZ

"Quite possibly one of the best ETC productions ever." —Nancy M, via Facebook

"Absolutely AMAZING show! [We] saw it tonight and couldn't stop talking about it afterward. Treat yourself and get tickets before word gets out and it is sold out."Mary Beth, via Facebook

"An excellent show." —Cheryl S, via Facebook


REVIEWS

CRITIC'S PICK! "Spectacular...I suspect tickets will go quickly. Get yours as soon as possible: Fun Home is not to be missed.." —CityBeat

"Exquisite direction and top-notch performances, combined with a great score and intriguing story, make this a don't-miss event and sets the bar very high for the season." —Talkin' Broadway Cincinnati

"I'm so glad that it landed in ETC's capable hands since they made it well worth the wait." —Broadway World Cincinnati

"There’s not a weak link in this cast." —Sappy Critic blog

"If opening night is any indicator, tickets will be going fast — get them now!"ArtsWave Guide


PRESS

 "Young Fun Home cast member tenacious, determined." —Cincinnati Enquirer


THE CAST

Natalie Bird* as Alison
headshot web BirdFHNatalie excited to be making her Ensemble Theatre debut! She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Wright State University, where she appeared in the Tina Landau-directed States of Independence. Off-Broadway: The Top Job!. Other New York theatre: The Cherry Orchard, Columbia Stages; Edward II, Isle of Shoals; Hee-Haw: It's a Wonderful Lie, Levin Productions; and Variety Show on A Weekday, for which she also wrote. Regional credits: Lizzie, Human Race; and The Christians and In the Next Room: The Vibrator Play, Athens West. Her film credits include: The Bourne Legacy. Television/Web: Unforgettable and Dominatrix Breakroom, which she also wrote. She is currently a teaching artist at The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati. Instagram: @dottieilikeyou. www.nataliebird.com.
 
Charlie Clark* as Bruce Bechdel
headshot web ClarkFHCharlie has lived throughout the Midwest and was last seen at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati in Violet. Other Ensemble credits include Next to Normal, Rapture, Blister, Burn, Hands on a Hardbody, Luna Gale, and Next Fall. Other local credits include Church Girls, Take Me Out, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, On Golden Pond, Carousel, Love’s Labour’s Lost, See What I Wanna See, The Full Monty, and Sunday in the Park with George. Chicago credits include: Company (Jeff Award), Merrily We Roll Along, Into the Woods, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and Sweeney Todd. Twin Cities: Guys and Dolls and Mary Poppins.
 
McKenna James Farmer as Small Alison
headshot web FarmerFHMcKenna is excited to be performing her first lead role in Fun Home at Ensemble Theatre. Ms. Farmer lives in Cincinnati with her family and is a 4th grader. In addition to singing and acting, she enjoys reading and playing basketball and volleyball. She is grateful for this opportunity and the support given by the cast, crew, and director.
 
 
Emily Fink* as Medium Alison
headshot web FinkFHEmily a NYC-based performer and 2018 graduate of University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Her Cincinnati performing credits include: Mack and Mabel, They Were You, Sondheim on Sondheim, Lysistrata Jones, and Jesus Christ Superstar, CCM; and appearances with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s children’s series. Regional professional productions include Mamma Mia! and Always a Bridesmaid, Flat Rock Playhouse; and Eileen I Love a Piano, Totem Pole Playhouse.
 
Sara Mackie* as Helen Bechdel
headshot web MackieFHSara is grateful to be a player in this production at Ensemble Theatre, where some of her credits include Hands on a Hardbody, all three Wonderette iterations, Rabbit Hole, Mauritius, and many holiday favorites since 1999. She is a Wright State Acting BFA program alum and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. Other favorite regional credits include: An Act of God, Twelfth Night, Family Ties, Pump Boys and Dinettes, and Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune. She appears briefly in the feature films The Public and the forthcoming Dark Waters. www.saramackie.com.
 
Max Meyers* as Roy/Mark/Pete/Bobby Jeremy
headshot web MeyersFHIn honor of his performance in Fun Home, Max is making a donation to the It Gets Better Project. To join him and learn more about the important work they do, visit www.itgetsbetter.org. Max is grateful to be in his hometown performing professionally for the first time since age 14. Off-Broadway credits: Lolita, York, and The Christians, Playwrights Horizons. National Tour: Buddy Holly Story. Other favorites: Last Five Years and HAIR. Next, he’ll be playing Billy Cane in Bright Star at Florida Studio Theatre. He earned his BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and is a proud alum of The New Studio on Broadway. Dedicated to his grandfather, Mitchell Meyers, whose love of theatre lives on in him. www.maxmeyersonline.com@heyitsmaxmeyers.
 
Jude Walker* as Joan
headshot web WalkerFHJude is over the moon to be making their Ensemble Theatre debut! Most recently, Jude was seen in the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s touring productions of Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and their personal favorite, Julius Caesar as Mark Antony. Last year, Jude published their first poetry book, For the Braves Ones, exploring themes of gender and sexuality. Jude is a proud graduate of the Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts. Instagram: @jude.m.walker.
 
Henry Weghorst as John Bechdel
headshot web WeghorstFHHenry is honored to be making his debut with Ensemble Theatre in Fun Home. His recent work includes A Christmas Story, Cincinnati Landmark Productions; Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company; A Christmas Carol (2015-2017), Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; All My Sons, Stagecrafters, and five different productions with Cincinnati Opera. Henry is a fifth grader in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, where he is a involved with chorus and the academic team. When not participating in the arts, he enjoys chess, Cub Scouts, basketball, and flag football.
 
Espen Wells-Jordan as Christian Bechdel
headshot web WellsJordanFHEspen is delighted to have his debut with the Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. He is a sixth grade student, majoring in Drama and Vocals. He has studied with the Cincinnati Boychoir and most recently performed as Fletcher in Disney’s Freaky Friday: A New Musical, directed by Drew and Lea Lachey. He is very grateful for this opportunity and thanks his family, friends and teachers for their continued support and love.
 
 

 *member Actors' Equity Association

 
REGIONAL PREMIERE COMEDY

Sex and Education

by Lissa Levin

October 12–27, 2019

Meet Joe Marks, a graduating basketball star whose college scholarship is suddenly in jeopardy when his poorly-written, sexually explicit note to his girlfriend is confiscated during a final exam. Meet Miss Edwards, his jaded public high school English teacher on her last day of teaching. With nothing to lose and resentment from years of disinterested students, she assigns him the task of turning the purloined letter into a polished, persuasive essay. This scintillating romp is a hilarious lesson for all in life, sex, sports, and grammar.

Approximate running time is 90 minutes with no intermission.

Content advisory: This production contains mature language and content and may not be suitable for all audiences.


VIDEO

  feature SexandEd Trailer  feature SexandEd Cast 


REVIEWS

 "The script is laugh out loud funny...an enjoyable night of theater." —Behind the Curtain blog


PRESS

"What happens when English teacher intercepts poorly-written sex note." —Cincinnati Enquirer


THE CAST

Esther Cunningham* as Hannah Winters/Every Cheerleader
headshot web CunninghamSEEsther is thrilled to be back at Ensemble Theatre, where she was last seen as Emmy in A Doll’s House, Part 2, Baby Bob/Helen in Bob: A Life in Five Acts, and as the Mad Hatter understudy for Alice in Wonderland. Off stage she works with the ETC Education Department as a teaching artist for the Hunter Heartbeat Program. She is a graduate of Wheaton College, where some of her favorite credits include Julius Caesar, The Sparrow, and Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Ms. Cunningham sends loads of gratitude to her family, Susan, Christopher, and friends near and far who continue to inspire and encourage her, as well as Lynn for making ETC a home.
Dale Hodges* as Miss Edwards
headshot web HodgesSEhas been a proud member of Actors’ Equity since 1974 and is delighted to return for her 27th production at Ensemble Theatre, where her favorite credits include Ripcord, Outside Mullingar, Other Desert Cities, Mrs. Mannerly, and Grey Gardens. Select regional credits include Wit, King Lear, To Kill a Mockingbird, 23 years of A Christmas Carol with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Noises Off with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Ms. Hodges has worked on Broadway in Equus and Benefactors, off-Broadway in Top Girls and A Woman in Mind, and in regional theatres around the country, including 16 summers with Peterborough Players in New Hampshire. She would like to thank David and her off-stage family for always keeping her grounded, Lynn and her remarkable team for always making her welcome, and Lissa and Dan for inviting her into their classroom! 
R. Graham Rogers* as Joe Marks
headshot web RogersSEis delighted to be making his Ensemble Theatre debut with this production! He is an actor and playwright who recently earned his BFA in Acting from University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. His recent credits include Sam in The Flick, The Esquire; H2O: A Play About Water, 2018 Edinburgh Fringe; The Mayor in The Government Inspector, Ensemble in Middletown; and various men in the world premiere of The Earth is Flat by Todd Almond, CCM. His original play Black & White was a part of Fringe Development at the 2019 Cincinnati Fringe Festival. He would like to thank his mom for all of her support!

 *denotes a member of Actors' Equity Association

 
FAMILY-FRIENDLY MUSICAL

The Frog Princess

book by Joseph McDonough
music and lyrics by David Kisor

December 4, 2019–January 4, 2020

It is time for Prince Ivan to marry, but when he discovers his bride-to-be is actually a frog, he is toad-ally disappointed. Vasilisa is more than your typical hoppy-go-lucky frog, though…she’s a kindhearted princess under a curse! When the villainous Old Bones takes Vasilisa to a far-away land, Ivan sets out to find her, discovering along his journey that love sees beyond outside appearances. With a revitalized script and score, this modern, musical spin on the classic beloved Russian fairy tale celebrates the beauty within each of us.

This production is suitable for all audiences.

Approximate running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes with one intermission.

Premiere Sponsor:
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Artist Sponsor:
Messer-Logo-Trans

 

 

 

 

 

 
REGIONAL PREMIERE COMEDY

Fortune

by Deborah Zoe Laufer

January 18–February 15, 2020

Maude, aka Madame Rosa, is not your average fortune teller. A true clairvoyant with a bluntness that won’t quit, she often scares her customers away with the truth of what their futures hold. However, when love-hungry accountant Jeremy stumbles into her parlor with death in his imminent future, Maude tells a little white lie triggering supernatural consequences and changing both their destinies. In hilarious rom-com style, Fortune sweetly affirms the benefits of the unpredictability of life.

Approximate run time: 2 hours, including one intermission

Content advisory: production contains mild adult content and may not be suitable for young audiences.

Premiere Sponsor: John Goering

 
REGIONAL PREMIERE DRAMA

Pipeline

by Dominique Morisseau

March 7–April 4, 2020

Nya, an inner-city public high school teacher, is committed to her students but desperate to give her only son, Omari, opportunities they’ll never have. But when an explosive incident at his prestigious private school threatens to get him expelled, will all her efforts be lost? A compelling, must-see portrait of parenthood, education, and the experience of young black men in America, Pipeline brings an urgent conversation powerfully to the forefront.

Approximate run time: 1 hour, 30 minutes with NO intermission

Content advisory: This production contains mature language and content and may not be suitable for all audiences.

Premiere Sponsor:
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Artist Sponsor:
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Opening Night Sponsor:
GBBN

 
REGIONAL PREMIERE DRAMA

Photograph 51

by Anna Ziegler

April 18–May 16, 2020

London, 1952. Pioneering British biophysicist Rosalind Franklin’s DNA discovery leads to the Nobel Prize—not for her, but for three men: Francis Crick, James Dewey Watson, and Maurice Wilkins. Masterfully weaving the thriller-like twists and tension in the competitive chase to map the DNA molecule and based on the true story, this is a riveting and moving portrait of one of the great female scientists and the pivotal—yet often-overlooked—role she played in the biggest breakthrough of the 20th century.

Approximate run time: 1 hour, 30 minutes with NO intermission

Content advisory: contains mild adult language and mild adult content/themes and may not be suitable for young audiences.

Opening Night Sponsors:
Johnson Investment Counsel
Taft Law
Thompson Hine
Paycor

 

 
REGIONAL PREMIERE DRAMA

20th Century Blues

by Susan Miller

May 30–June 27, 2020

An impromptu behind-bars snapshot taken during a 1970s protest lockup sparks an eccentric, four-decade friendship. Every year, photographer Danny and her friends reunite to take a new photo showcasing their changing (and aging) selves. When Danny is offered a TED Talk career retrospective at MoMA, the ritual that has been the glue holding the women together for 40 years is now also what may tear them apart. The images unearth secrets and force the women to question who they are in this close-up on art, aging, and audacious friendship by two-time Obie Award winner Susan Miller.

Approximate run time: 1 hour, 40 minutes with NO intermission

Content advisory: This production contains mature language and content and may not be suitable for all audiences.

Opening Night Sponsor:
Pure Romance

 

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