Cincinnati Playhouse's New Play Reading Series Taps Works About Race, Faith and Gender, Including New Raisin in the Sun-Inspired Drama

By Carey Purcell
08 Jan 2014

The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park will launch a free reading series, beginning Jan. 27 and continuing through Feb. 17.



The readings will take place on Monday evenings at 7 PM in one of the Playhouse's rehearsal halls.

"New plays are the life blood of theatre," artistic director Blake Robison said in a statement. "We have a number of successful playwrights who were born and raised in the Cincinnati area. I'm personally excited to hear from them how their early years growing up here influenced the works we're going to read."

The new play reading schedule includes:

The Etiquette Of Vigilance
By Robert O'Hara
Jan. 27

"Inspired by A Raisin in the Sun, The Etiquette Of Vigilance picks up 50 years after Travis and his parents became the first black family to integrate Chicago's Clybourne Park neighborhood. Now, Lorraine, his daughter and the first member of her family to attend college, is struggling with the pressures of fulfilling her family's dream. The Etiquette Of Vigilance premiered as part of Steppenwolf's First Look Repertory of New Work in 2010. Robert O'Hara — winner of NAACP, Helen Hayes and Obie awards for directing and the Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Play for playwriting — directed the 2006 Playhouse production of In the Continuum."

The Lightning Touch
By Joseph McDonough
Feb. 3

"In 1969, while the world is fixated on the Apollo moon landing, two strangers arrive at the Chicago motel where Erin O'Connell works with her blind Aunt Agnes. One of these men, Horace, might actually be a faith healer, and Erin wants him to make Agnes see again. But, for reasons he doesn't understand, Horace has recently lost his healing touch and now people have been suddenly dying after he lays his hands on them."

Safe House
By Keith Josef-Adkins
Feb. 10

"In 1843 Kentucky, the Pedigrew family holds a unique place in their antebellum Southern community as free people of color. But while one brother has dreams of opening a shoe business and creating a successful life for his family, the other risks everything in an effort to help fugitive slaves escape to Liberia. Safe House is based on the lives of Adkins' real-life ancestors and originally was commissioned by Atlanta's Alliance Theatre."

Better
By Jessica Cohen
Feb. 17

"At the women's shelter where she volunteers, Cate is surrounded by the worst examples of domestic partnerships. But, when she begins to compare her own relationship with those she sees around her, she starts to question what she's been taught about socially accepted gender roles and healthy choices."

The readings are free, but space is limited and advance reservations are required. Call (513) 421-3888 for reservations.

Visit cincyplay.com for more information.