The four-year-old Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, which has been warmly received by the local critics, has finally moved into its permanent digs. After building up their audience base at an interim space at the Aronoff Center, the Shakespearians have moved into their new home at 719 Race St. in downtown Cincinnati -- the former site of a movie revival house.
The troupe will christen its new abode with a production of Much Ado About Nothing, April 2-26.
The production is directed by Jassson Minadakis (the theatre's co-founder and artistic director) and features Khris Lewin as Benedick and Marni Penning (the theatre's other co-founder, who is married to Minadakis) as Beatrice.
CSF has a mission to "not use phony English accents" and to incorporate audience interaction into its performances. In addition, the company usually uses contemporary clothing for costumes and puts an emphasis on "the words and action, not on spectacle."
The Festival's board of advisors includes Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson, who has spoken enthusiastically in published interviews about the "amazing energy" of the young company. For those interested in a sneak peek at the theatre, CSF will hold a preview fundraising performance Sat., Mar. 28 at 8 PM, which will include scenes from Hamlet, Macbeth and other past CSF productions.
Performances of Much Ado are Wed.-Fri. at 8 PM, Sat. at 2 and 8 PM and Sun. at 2 PM. (No performance April 12.) For tickets, $12-$15, call (513) 381-BARD, which translates to (513) 381-2273.
-- By Rebecca Paller