Jason Bruffy, new artistic director for Know Theatre Tribe

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

Geoff Raker

The moving force behind the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, Jason Bruffy is Know Theatre Tribe's new artistic director.

Theater is starting up everywhere in town (see story on page 43), and there's more in store. Not surprisingly, KNOW THEATRE TRIBE, which takes a different approach to most things, runs its season on a calendar year, so they've just announced their 2005 offerings. It's an intriguing and challenging collection of plays, just what we've come to expect from the multicultural, contemporary theater. They'll offer the first show of the new year with David Rabe's 1976 play Streamers (Jan. 6-29), about the conflicts over race, sexual orientation and politics among men in a U.S. Army unit. It's set in 1968, but it could just as well be the present. That will be followed by the regional premiere of 4.48 Psychosis (Feb. 17-March 12) by Sarah Kane, an exploration of the psyche of suicide (4:48 a.m. is the time most suicides take place). Kane was a promising British experimental playwright who, in fact, committed suicide in 1999 at the age of 28. The world premiere of Frank J. Avella's Iris (March 31-April 23) will explore the often absurd world of artificial insemination, same sex parents and psychiatric help. Two strangers — one black, one white — meet on a park bench in the regional premiere of Jane Martin's Good Boys (May 5-28) and find their lives are inextricably and violently intertwined. For many years Martin's plays were the exclusive provenance of Actors Theatre of Louisville; the writer is believed by many actually to be ATL's former artistic director, Jon Jory.

Know's season wraps up with the world premieres of two one-act plays, Sticks & Stones may... (July 21-Aug. 13). Know has commissioned two young writers for the scripts: Jennifer Spillane, who recently moved to Cincinnati, and David Tucholski of Alexandria, Va. In other Know news, JASON BRUFFY has been named the group's new artistic director. Six months ago, Bruffy, a former member of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival and the moving force behind the 2004 Cincinnati Fringe Festival, became Know's artistic associate. He replaces actor Matthew Pyle, who wants to spend more time onstage. Bruffy says, "The Know Theatre Tribe exemplifies the diversity in our community. We focus on diversity and social relevancy in our programming and in casting. We are not a theater that does an African-American play because it's African-American History Month or a GLBT play because it's Pride Week, but to explore how our community interacts day-to-day." ...

If you're interested in a behind-the-scenes look at how a theater moves a production from the page to the stage, you might want to check out a new series offered by Dayton's HUMAN RACE THEATRE COMPANY, where they're launching a "Script Club." Participants can purchase show scripts from Books & Co. and then attend a discussion at the popular Dayton bookstore to learn more about the production. The club will meet on the following dates to discuss shows Human Race will be staging at its Loft Theatre: Sept. 30 (Was, a world premiere musical based on an unusual take on The Wizard of Oz); Nov. 18 (Beth Henley's Crimes of the Heart); Jan. 14 (The Drawer Boy, a popular production at Cincinnati Playhouse last season); March 11 (The Retreat from Moscow, which will also have a March production at the Playhouse); and May 26 (Steve Martin's The Underpants, also on the Playhouse's schedule in April). Info: 937-461-3823. ...

I often wish we had more room in CityBeat to cover our area's thriving community theater scene. Mariemont Players usually produces some of the best, and word is that its upcoming production of OF MICE AND MEN, opening Friday and running through Sept. 26, will be worth seeing. It's directed by ED COHEN, a multiple CEA nominee and winner, and he's assembled an all-star cast including JAY WOFFINGTON, DAN COHEN, BILL HARTNETT, ERIC DAY, TOM STOREY, WAYNE KIRSCH, TIM ROGERS, CHARLES MCCLINON, TIFFANY HAWKING and BOB NAUGLE. Tickets: 513-684-1236.

Rick Pender

RICK PENDER has written about theater for CityBeat since its first issues in 1994. Before that he wrote for EveryBody’s News. From 1998 to 2006 he was CityBeat’s arts & entertainment editor. Retired from a long career in public relations, he’s still a local arts fan, providing readers (and public radio listeners)...
Scroll to read more Theater articles

Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.