Stage Door: Lyle Benjamin Is Back

Lyle Benjamin has been on and off a lot of local stages with his company Queen City Off-Broadway. He's been dormant for a few seasons, but he's back with a slightly new name — it's now called Queen City Theater — and a couple of mid-summer productions using the black box theater at the new School for Creative and Performing Arts (108 West Central Pkwy., Over-the-Rhine) as his venue. Tonight is the opening performance of The Amish Project by Jessica Dickey. —-

Dickey's one-woman play generated a lot of buzz at the NY Fringe three in 2008, and it had an off-Broadway run in 2009. It's a fictional exploration of the 2006 Nickel Mines shooting in Lancaster County, Pa. Ten Amish girls were held hostage in a one-room schoolhouse; several were shot, and five died. Local actress Leah Strasser (a Walnut Hills and Ohio State grad who interned at Ensemble Theatre) is the solo performer, portraying seven different characters and their experiences regarding the shooting. I'll see it tonight and have a review in next week's CityBeat.

Benjamin also appears to be trying to present a Chicago production of Samm-Art Williams' Home at SCPA in late August.

Additional performances are Saturday (July 23) and next week on Friday-Saturday (July 29-30). Tickets ($15): 513-254-4413.