Sunday, June 13, 2004

Fall calendar raises profile

Know Theatre Tribe

By Jackie Demaline
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Know Theatre Tribe is turning up the volume. Jason Bruffy, who's already promised a return of Cincinnati Fringe Festival in 2005 and the soon-to-debut Cincinnati Experimental Arts, is on board as artistic associate and the Know team has big plans that start with an autumn calendar stuffed with events - but they're not calling it a season.

"We're trying to do as much as we can in fall to keep the Know name out there," says executive producer Jay Kalagayan. That's because, he says, there are big plans for 2005, which Know (notorious for waking up Cincinnati with Corpus Christi in 2003) will be ready to announce in August.

The fall schedule will take Know on the road for site specific performances. "We like taking theater to the people," says Kalagayan, adding, "to develop new audiences for the Cincinnati arts scene, we need to go where they work and play."

• Sept. 9-Oct. 2 - Pretty Fire. Burgess Byrd returns in the Know's one-woman smash from 2003, which follows a young black girl from infancy to adolescence. "I'm jubilant!" says Byrd.

Pretty Fire will play at the Greenwich, the jazz club in Walnut Hills where owner Mark Yates has been committed to theatre and performance programming.

• Oct. 3-26 - The Good Thief. Nick Rose, who established himself as one of the city's best actors during his long tenure at Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, goes solo in the regional premiere of a one-man show by Irish writer Conor McPherson.

Rose plays a thug who has botched a job, leading to kidnapping, murder and desperate flight. Bruffy will direct.

It's a show, says Kalagayan, "that suits itself to Nick Rose in a bar storytelling" - not unlike McPherson's great hit for Cincinnati Shakespeare, The Weir. Location to be announced, but expect it to be staged at an Irish pub.

Thief, muses Rose, is the right show "in a time where the line of right and wrong, good guys and bad guys, smears a dull gray across the social landscape."

• Dec. 5-21 - The Eight: Reindeer Monologues. The dark political satire about bad Santa has become a holiday staple in Cincinnati. Know returns it to the Courtyard at Arnold's Bar & Grill. Artistic director Matthew Pyle directs.

Pretty Fire will be part of Cincinnati Arts Association's Artists on Tour program, as will The Great Grey Poets: The Works and Lives of Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman which will tour throughout the area at libraries, book stores, coffee houses and bars (schedule to be announced) from mid-September through mid-October.

It's being compiled by Bruffy, who is overseeing the theater's Know-How educational programming and by local dramaturge Liz Cobbe.

"For an organization our size, Artists on Tour is an incredible way to jump-start our educational outreach," says Kalagayan.

The mega-sized Cincinnati Arts Association takes on administrative duties and paperwork, and actors are paid for their work.

With partnerships like this, Cincinnati, says Kalagayan, is "going to be" a viable option for actors and artists.

Know wraps its 2004 season in August with the regional premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire's Wonder of the World with a cast including Molly Binder, Chris Guthrie, Jeff Groh and Amanda Monyhan.

Information: 300-5669 or

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