The Art Rouse Award

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

E.J. Hanna


Kathy Labanz (left), Megan Schultheis (seated) and Dee Anne Bryll (right) are part of the Drama Workshop's Belles, which moves on to statewide competition in September.



Cincinnati's ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY THEATRES (ACT) held its annual excerpt competition on June 24-26 (expanded to three days to encompass 17 groups each presenting 30-minute cuttings from shows presented during the 2003-04 season). In addition to showcasing some excellent shows, the busy weekend at Parish Theatre on Miami University's Hamilton campus designates four shows that will move on to a state-level competition produced by the OHIO COMMUNITY THEATRE ASSOCIATION (OCTA): Belles from THE DRAMA WORKSHOP; The Fantasticks from LEBANON THEATRE COMPANY; Jitters from MARIEMONT PLAYERS; Man of La Mancha from THE FOOTLIGHTERS; and FALCON THEATRE's Jesus Christ Superstar. If one of them can't attend the Sept. 3-6 weekend event here in Cincinnati at the Holiday Inn Eastgate, the alternate selection was The Last of the Red Hot Lovers by LANDEN-DEERFIELD THEATER COMPANY. ACT also presents a variety of awards at a banquet following the excerpts. The Mario Pitocco Award, honoring an individual who has shown continuous service in technical theater, went to costumer PEGGY STOUFFER, who works principally with The Loveland Stage Company; the Art Rouse Award, recognizing individuals who show exceptional commitment and dedication to community theater, was bestowed on BILL and STELLA BRINKMANN, who have focused their considerable energies on the Village Players in Fort Thomas for 40 years but who actually began their involvement in community theater back in 1929. Congratulations to one and all.

CINCINNATI PLAYWRIGHTS INITIATIVE is our local version of places like Playwrights Horizons in New York or The Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. Throughout the year they present developmental workshops of plays by aspiring local playwrights. If you have a script in progress, CPI will consider it for a workshop at the Contemporary Arts Center or Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. Northern Kentucky University's Dr. Sam Zachary will head the selection process.

Cincinnati's ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY THEATRES (ACT) held its annual excerpt competition on June 24-26 (expanded to three days to encompass 17 groups each presenting 30-minute cuttings from shows presented during the 2003-04 season). In addition to showcasing some excellent shows, the busy weekend at Parish Theatre on Miami University's Hamilton campus designates four shows that will move on to a state-level competition produced by the OHIO COMMUNITY THEATRE ASSOCIATION (OCTA): Belles from THE DRAMA WORKSHOP; The Fantasticks from LEBANON THEATRE COMPANY; Jitters from MARIEMONT PLAYERS; Man of La Mancha from THE FOOTLIGHTERS; and FALCON THEATRE's Jesus Christ Superstar. If one of them can't attend the Sept. 3-6 weekend event here in Cincinnati at the Holiday Inn Eastgate, the alternate selection was The Last of the Red Hot Lovers by LANDEN-DEERFIELD THEATER COMPANY. ACT also presents a variety of awards at a banquet following the excerpts. The Mario Pitocco Award, honoring an individual who has shown continuous service in technical theater, went to costumer PEGGY STOUFFER, who works principally with The Loveland Stage Company; the Art Rouse Award, recognizing individuals who show exceptional commitment and dedication to community theater, was bestowed on BILL and STELLA BRINKMANN, who have focused their considerable energies on the Village Players in Fort Thomas for 40 years but who actually began their involvement in community theater back in 1929. Congratulations to one and all. ...

CINCINNATI PLAYWRIGHTS INITIATIVE is our local version of places like Playwrights Horizons in New York or The Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. Throughout the year they present developmental workshops of plays by aspiring local playwrights. If you have a script in progress, CPI will consider it for a workshop at the Contemporary Arts Center or Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. Northern Kentucky University's Dr. Sam Zachary will head the selection process. Subject and length are wide-open; musicals can be submitted (with a demo CD or tape). Scripts must have received a public reading (by CPI or elsewhere) or produced once and re-worked. Writers need to be residents of Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana. If you aren't a member of CPI, there's an entry fee ($15). Entries (with contact information attached but not on the manuscript) should be sent to: Chuck Wente, Executive Director, CPI, 425 E. Fourth St., Newport, KY 41071 by Sept. 12. Info: 859-291-6996. ...

I've said before that I find it a bit odd when SHADOWBOX CABARET at Newport on the Levee tries to wedge in more serious theater with its bread-and-butter sketch comedy and Rock tunes. They proudly describe their offerings as "theater for the attention deficient," so even though their performers can handle more serious material, audiences usually come stoked to have fun. Hence, the balance of comic and serious material is a tad uneasy. That's not an issue for this summer's show, THE BEST OF SHADOWBOX, which focuses entirely on comedy and Rock. "This is the one show where we leave out the 'theater' part of the normal Shadowbox formula," says General Manager Stacie Boord. "We've found that a summer show works best if we omit the longer pieces that usually make up the first act." I'd offer that they might find that during other seasons, too, but perhaps audiences are all the more ready to whoop it up with the heat and all. If you've visited Shadowbox before, this is a chance to see the hardworking talent there bring back some favorite characters as well as some brand-new sketches. "It's exciting to revisit old characters," Boord says. "The challenge of this show is to bring these sketches back to their original level to make the experience fun for both our new and returning patrons." The review is also a chance for Shadowbox to introduce some new performers from recent auditions in addition to showcase some talent imported from their flagship operation in Columbus. Info: 859-581-7625.

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