We have been long time fans of The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and have seen a number of their shows over the years. We are over the moon with excitement for Cincy Shakes as they have moved into some new digs in Over the Rhine. The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will be celebrating the opening of the Otto M. Budig Theater with a production of one of my favorite tales from the Bard…A Midsummer Night’s Dream. From all I have heard their new theater is fantastic, and I cannot wait to see this show come to life on their brand new stage. After we attend the show this week I will share some pictures and more details about the theater with you. For now, be sure to get your tickets to A Midsummer Night’s Dream and plan to take in the scene at the new theater for yourself.
UPDATE ~ More about A Midsummer Night’s Dream & The Otto M. Budig Theater
Last week we attended Media Night at the Otto M. Budig Theater and we were privileged to be in the audience for their opening show at their new theater. A Midsummer Night’s Dream blew us both away. The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company pulled out all the stops to wow the audience and to bring one of Shakespeare’s great works to life with pizzaz and wonder!
If you thought that the last Cincy Shakes theater was intimate wait until you see this new space! The Otto M. Budig Theater gives a nod to the great Globe Theater of so many years ago. What was amazing was that there truly was not one bad seat in the house. Not only were there no bad seats, but every single patron sat within arms reach of the action, close enough to see the “blood, sweat and tears”. Every seat in the Otto M. Budig Theater was no more than twenty feet from the stage where all the action was taking place. It was hard not to feel like we were actually part of the show. The theater is simple and elegant at the same time. I always loved the shows at the former home of Cincy Shakes, but now with their new theater they have all sorts of new space and new stage equipment to enhance their performances.
The lobby offers a bar and little nods to William Shakespeare everywhere through quotes and decor. I feel like the lobby is a place I could hang out even if I was not attending a show. People were mingling and chatting so happily at the bar in in the lobby that it felt more like a neighborhood watering hole than a theater lobby.
The theater itself gave a nod to the great Globe Theater of so many years ago. What was amazing was that there truly was not one bad seat in the house. Not only were there no bad seats, but every single patron sat close enough to see the “blood, sweat and tears”. Every seat in the Otto M. Budig Theater was no more than twenty feet from the stage where all the action was taking place. It was hard not to feel like we were actually part of the show.
As for the performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I have started writing and deleted so many sentences trying not to give any spoilers away. It does not matter how familiar you are with this tale, this show will amaze you. It was funny, romantic, cosmic and quirky. The cast and crew were phenomenal, they truly outdid themselves. It was a perfecting opening show and I look forward to many more performances at the Otto M. Budig Theater.
More Pictures from Cincy Shakes:
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Opens The Otto M. Budig Theater with A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Otto M. Budig Theater, the new custom-built home of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in Over-the-Rhine, opens on September 8 with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The production runs through September 30 and is directed by Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips. The cast features longtime resident ensemble members Matthew Lewis Johnson as Bottom, Giles Davies as Oberon, Associate Artist Miranda McGee as Titania, and Associate Artistic Director Sara Clark as Puck.
Hermia (Courtney Lucien) loves Lysander (Crystian Wiltshire). Lysander (Kyle Brumley) loves Hermia. Demetrius loves Hermia. Helena (Caitlin McWethy) loves Demetrius, and no one loves Helena. When this convoluted love quadrangle flees from prying parental eyes to the forest, they run straight into an ongoing bitter dispute between Oberon (Giles Davies) and Titania (Miranda McGee), the King and the Queen of the Fairies, and magical interference turns all their relationships topsy-turvy. Meanwhile, a troupe of enthusiastic but inept thespians likewise falls into magical mayhem as their leading man, Bottom (Matthew Lewis Johnson), finds himself the butt of a fairy joke when the trickster Puck (Sara Clark) swaps his head for a donkey’s – an alteration that Titania finds a distinct improvement.
Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips offered the following thoughts on why he chose A Midsummer Night’s Dream to be the inaugural production of The Otto M. Budig Theater: “As our company is in the process of transforming from what it was on Race Street to what it will be on Elm Street, I wanted a play that was all about transformation, and the transformative powers of love. The lovers experience transformation as they leave Athens and enter the forest – itself a place of transformation – and even a foolish human can be transformed into a magical half-donkey creature.” Featuring a design that marries theatrical magic with high-tech accents, this production is sure to enchant audience members of all ages, and will be great fun for families.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs September 8-30, with performances on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM, as well as Saturdays September 9 and 30 at 2:00 PM. The performances on the opening weekend Saturday Sep. 9 and Sunday Sep. 10 will have open house events before and after performances for added celebration of the opening! These events are free and open to the public.
The theater is now located at 1195 Elm Street in OTR, adjacent to Washington Park. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at www.cincyshakes.com.
Disclaimer: I was given complimentary media passes for review purposes, but all opinions are 100% my own as always. Images and Press release provided by The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company