The schedule includes a world premiere musical with a Cincinnati connection and a world premiere drama that reunites a critically acclaimed production team.
The season marks the 15th anniversary of Playhouse producing artistic director Edward Stern and executive director Buzz Ward.
The Playhouse will premiere of University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music alum Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor's "heartwarming coming-of-age musical," Ace, the story of a 1950s boy "searching for a sense of family and identity in the unlikeliest of places." It plays the mainstage Marx space Oct. 17-Nov 17.
"When troubled 10-year-old Billy Lucas is given a model airplane, it unlocks the door to a fantastic new world, with the mysterious fighter pilot Ace as his guide," according to the theatre. "Ace takes Billy on a series of heroic and haunting World War I and II adventures, and what Billy discovers reveals not only the secrets of his past but also the key to his future."
Stafford Arima (Off-Broadway's Altar Boyz) directs. Also premiering at the Playhouse in the coming season: 1:23, a new drama seemingly torn from the headlines by playwright Carson Kreitzer. The play "explores the reasons that cause people to do things they never thought possible and investigates what could bring a mother to kill her own child," according to the Playhouse. It's "a collage inspired by several true cases that combines remarkable flights of fancy with actual testimony from police transcripts."
(The title refers to the time of day when a police interview is conducted.)
Mark Wing-Davey, who created the Playhouse's premiere of The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer, will direct in the Shelterhouse space (Feb. 3-March 4, 2007).
The Playhouse season will also include John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men (directed by Stern); the Off-Broadway AIDS drama, In the Continuum with its New York actress-playwrights Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter, in roles they created; the regional premiere of Connie Ray and Alan Bailey's folk musical Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming, "which offers fans a new chapter for the popular Sanders Family Singers"; Jeffrey Hatcher's darkly comic Murderers, three monologues set in a Florida retirement community; Steven Dietz's rewrite of William Gillette's clunky Sherlock Holmes, now smartened up and called Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure (it's popping up on a number of regional theatre slates; Stern will direct); the 16th annual staging of A Christmas Carol (adapted by Howard Dallin and featuring Bruce Cromer as Scrooge); Carlyle Brown's regionally popular drama about black slave-era horse jockeys, Pure Confidence; Craig Lucas' dark comedy Reckless (directed by Michael Evan Haney); and This Wonderful Life, Steve Murray and Mark Setlock's one-man version of the beloved holiday film, "It's a Wonderful Life" (Martha Banta will direct, following her staging of its world premiere).
For more information about Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, www.cincyplay.com.