Thursday, June 17, 2004

New Edgecliff announces season

By Jackie Demaline
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The 2004-05 theater season is picking up steam. Clear Stage announced in the spring that it would jump from two to five productions. Now New Edgecliff, after a hiatus, promises to be back in business next season with a five-play season at Columbia Performance Gallery (in Columbia Tusculum).

Actress/director and New Edgecliff associate artistic director Elizabeth Harris is the go-to gal for the theater's upcoming season. She directs two and stars in one of the plays next season.

She's also pulled in longtime pals Brian Isaac Phillips, Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival artistic director, and Matt Johnson, festival company member. Not coincidentally they are her cohorts in Pier Group Theatre (which had its name above the title of You Don't Exist to Me, Johnson's recent entry in Cincinnati Fringe Festival).

The New Edgecliff season:

• Sept. 8-26 - Power Failure by Larry Gelbart

• Dec. 1-9 - The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris

• Feb. 16-March 6 - Lives of the Saints by David Ives

• June 1-22 - Finer Noble Gases by Adam Rapp and Drinking Alone by Johnson, will play in rep.

"We really want to make politically and socially important statements with our programming," says Harris.

The New Edgecliff should live up to that ambition.

Power Failure, by the creator of M*A*S*H*, starts on Death Row and takes no prisoners as it progresses through our systems of government, just in time for the fall election. Harris directs.

Santaland, starring David Scott Morgan, has become a holiday evergreen for New Edgecliff.

Harris then directs Lives of the Saints from the inside-out and upside-down mind of All in the Timing playwright Ives.

Phillips brings Gases, a 2002 Humana Festival of New American Plays entry, to New Edgecliff. He starred to great effect in Rapp's Nocturne a few years back for Cincinnati Shakespeare.

Harris was looking for a one-woman show for herself, couldn't find one and recruited Johnson to write one specifically for her. Drinking Alone, she says, will be a comedy about relationships.

Tickets go on sale in August at or (888) 588-0137.

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