Cincy Shakes previews new season

By Ethan Nichols, World News Editor

As Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC) prepares to present its 30th anniversary season, it has unveiled its full season lineup. Included in the lineup is an array ranging from three Shakespearean classics, two world premieres and more. 

“The 2023-2024 season promises to bring people a range of emotions we can all identify with — the frenzy of falling in love, betrayal’s gut-punch or the internal struggle of faith,” CSC Communications and Engagement Manager Kyrie Owen explained. 

“Audiences will see their stories represented on stage, like complex familial relationships or silly adventures with friends. They’ll also be introduced to worlds they may not have experienced, like a Hollywood writers’ room or a disastrous opening night,” Owen said. 

“Audiences can also expect experimentation and new twists on the classics, like a winter whimsical take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” she added. 

To start off the season, the CSC will present a special production of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. Running Aug. 4-20, CSC dubs the play “a trivial comedy for serious people.”

Next up is Gaslight by Steven Dietz, a world premiere production running from Sept. 8-24. CSC’s preview of this Victorian gothic thriller promotes that this play will stand out for any horror, true crime or mystery fans.

Photos courtesy of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

From Oct. 13-28, CSC will present the comedic Wrecking Ball by Zina Camblin. This world premiere centers around a Hollywood screenwriters’ room and aims to “demolish the pristine facade of Hollywood.” 

Reviving one of Shakespeare’s greatest hits, A Midsummer Night’s Dream will run from Nov. 10 to Dec. 2. Starring Angelique Archer as Puck, the play aims to achieve the perfect mix of young love, magical forest fairies, potions and, in what will be no surprise to Shakespeare fans, a donkey head.

For the holiday season, CSC will again present Every Christmas Story Ever Told. An annual tradition, this comedic special comes with a content advisory: “Not recommended for any theatergoer who still believes in Santa.” Every Christmas Story Ever Told will run Dec. 7-30. 

The new year will kick off with an American classic: The Amen Corner by James Baldwin. Grappling with issues of race, poverty and the role of the church in Black America, The Amen Corner will run from Jan. 26 to Feb. 11, 2024.

CSC can commemorate the Ides of March with the playhouse’s production of Julius Caesar from March 1-23, 2024. Set in a crime-riddled Rome, the play shows the cutthroat nature of Roman politics as the play’s namesake becomes a target for assasination. 

Next in line is Much Ado About Nothing, another Shakespeare classic, which runs from April 12 to May 5, 2024. An instant fan favorite, this Elizabethan rom-com will tantalize audiences with witty report and an enemies-to-lovers storyline. 

To wrap up the season, we get The Play That Goes Wrong by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields. The play focuses on a local community theater trying to put on a play (in which everything seems to go wrong) and will run from May 24 to June 26, 2024.

Finally, no season at CSC would be complete without the free Shakespeare in the Park. Presented at various parks around Cincinnati and Hamilton County, the playhouse will present The Comedy of Errors. Running July 14 to Sept. 3, 2024, each show is free and open to the public — no ticket required. 

“We could say, ‘there’s something for everyone,’ but in reality, every show is for all — people will leave either seeing themselves on stage or empathizing with those with different life experiences,” Owen concluded.