Jackie Miesle, Editor
Art Kibby, Distribution
Happy New Year!
Thank you for a wonderful 2018! We look forward to a great 2019 with you.
Sound System Takes Center Stage
By Art Kibby
Thanks to MPI member Forest Goodwin and our MPI Board, we have greatly expanded the capabilities of our audio system. We recently purchased a Behringer XAir audio mixer that uses a 10” tablet to control the input and output of our dedicated audio laptop computer. The wonderful thing about this system is it allows us to control the levels of each of our 6 speakers independently. Want to hear a storm approaching from the back of the auditorium, rumbling around to stage right? No problem.
The tablet connects to the mixer wirelessly, so, for example, the sound designer can set his levels from the auditorium – hearing exactly what the audience will hear. The system is customizable, so the display will show our particular setup, and can be saved for each show. The mixer is capable of 18 inputs for future expansion.
Not only that, but we just purchased and Forest installed two Shure wireless mic systems. The half-rack receivers are mounted in the audio tower in the loft, with a hand mic linked to each. The mics use rechargeable batteries that can power each condensor mic for up to 16 hours when fully charged. Forrest has offered to train any sound person on this equipment on a scheduled basis.
Above image: Forest Goodwin shows our two new wireless mics and the tablet that controls the mixer. The wireless receivers are in the rack bottom right.
Mariemont Players and director Dan Maloney announce auditions for Out of Sterno
by Deborah Zoe Laufer.
7 PM Sunday, January 13th
7 PM Monday, January 14th
4101 Walton Creek Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45227
Dotty's life in Sterno with her husband Hamel is absolutely perfect! It's a fairy tale, it really is. True, in their seven years of marriage Hamel has forbidden her to leave their tiny apartment or speak to anyone, but Dotty is so very happy to spend her days watching video re-enactments of the day they first met. When a phone call from a mysterious woman threatens to tear her world asunder, Dotty must venture out into the vast city of Sterno, and try to discover what it is to be a "real" woman.
Out of Sterno is a coming-of-age play in an Alice in Wonderland world. It explores the triumph and heartbreak of growing up and the contradictory societal pressures women face just trying to make it across town.
Dotty – 20’s. Childlike and loving and hopeful, bursting with intense enthusiasm for everything. She refuses to think ill of anyone.
Hamel – 30’s-40’s. Dotty’s thuggish husband. Very very very very not smart. Loves his wife, needs her for everything, but is prey to other urges. Much more stupefied than angry or threatening.
Zena – 30’s-40’s. The proprietress of Zena’s Beauty Emporium. Miss Triboro Area for two years running. Tough as nails.
Dan – Magically transforms himself into every other character in the play including: Delivery Man, Taxi Driver, Waiter, Mrs. Cuthbert, Mrs. Peabody, Barb, Sallie Mae, Man on the Bus.
Please note: ages listed are stage ages. Actors auditioning can be older/younger in real life, but they have to believably be able to play the ages listed in the script.
Rehearsals will begin around the middle of March and will be determined by the availability of the cast. Please bring known conflicts from March 18th to May 26th. Please note, there is a 2 PM performance on Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 12th.
Three Bags Full opens January 11!
Don’t miss Mariemont Players’ January production, Three Bags Full !
Three Bags Full is a bright, French farce which tells the tale of a greedy merchant who finds himself snookered into being a matchmaker for his two daughters – one the child of his wife and the other, the maid’s.
Three Bags Full is directed by Becky Mullins and runs January 11-27, 2019.
For tickets, call Betsy at 513-684-1236 or purchase tickets online.
All Around Town
December, 2018 Play Reading Report
By Anna Nixon
A great turn-out this evening for our annual festive get-together. Everyone brought a delicious variety of dishes and, with Joyce’s hot mulled wine, we were happy!
We read and enjoyed a David Auburn play,“Lost Lake” with a cast of two – a man, Hogan and a woman, Veronica. Since there were five acts and five reading couples this worked out very well.
Readers were: Laura Hovland, Chessie Vigran, Bill Hartnett, Joyce and Art Kibby, Fred Rothzeid, Linda Callahan, Barbara Burke, Jan Costello, Karen Zaugg, John Nixon and yours truly.
The January reading will on Tuesday, January 15th at 7.30 pm.
MPI Membership Renewal – Please stay and play with us for another year!
The 2018-2019 membership year began July 1st and we hope you will renew! If you haven’t sent your renewal ($15 for individual or $25 for family), please do so as soon as possible so you can continue to receive the Limelight Review, party invitations, and other news! See the membership form for more information.
More Fun Than Bowling - An Excellent Interpretation of a Fine Script
Lobby Display: “The lobby display really captured the theme of the show and displayed a deep level of dramaturgy I rarely have the good fortune of witnessing.”
Pre-Show: “Initially I figured [the songs] were foreshadowing the themes of the show but after the first act I realized they were also suggesting the time of the1980s without going full bore. Each song felt like it was chosen on its individual merit versus chart-toppers or songs so quintessentially 80s that they are permanently stuck there.”
Set Design, Décor, Construction: “The real tree “sections” creating the upstage trunks were very visually appealing and the black flats did a fine job suggesting the continuation of the world beyond our walls.” “The raked stage was an excellent solution to the necessities of the “gravesite action,” and didn’t appear to bother the actors at all.” “The final product greatly reflected the designer’s intent. The grave entrance was undetectable. The solid construction reinforced us being “outdoors.”” “The set very much appeared to reflect a strong collaboration between the designer, carpenters, and décor team.”
Lighting Design & Execution: “The lighting design did a great job of supporting the outdoor locations and also isolating the non-cemetery courtship moments of Jake, Lois, and Loretta. The cues were subtle and highly effective.”
Sound Design & Execution: “All the sound effects were timely and appropriate and added to the world of the play, especially the background to Jake’s monologues. The live bicycle bell added a lively spirit to the presence of Molly.”
Special Effects: “First off, the “bowling pin-wheels” which started spinning by themselves, was very well executed and happened on cue every time. Secondly, Jake coming up through the ground at the top of the show was a surprise! I’m not quite sure how that was pulled off, but what a way to make an entrance! Very well done!”
Costume Design: “The costumes were very effective in expressing the 80s without garnering too much attention. Molly’s “I love NY” tee, the high waisted jeans, faded denim, overalls, and bowling shirts were tastefully 80s in a way they’d be sought after in a vintage clothing store now. I’ve seen too many productions set in the 80s where the costume designer didn’t use enough restraint and it resulted in the clothing upstaging the action. This was not the case and while the costumes suggested a time, the styles still permitted the story to have a universal quality.”
Make-Up & Hair Design: “Loretta’s crimped side ponytail was fitting of both the time and her youth. Lois’ hair was very fitting of her character for the performance”
Properties: “The bicycle especially was very well selected as it plays an important part in the story. I also appreciated the flowers used for planting at Lois and Loretta’s graves as well as Mr. Dyson’s briefcase with the handcuff. Not to mention his sack lunch which he actually ate on stage!”
Producer: “The show ran extremely smoothly. I never noticed a dropped line, or even a hesitation, indicating a high level of rehearsal and professionalism. I was impressed with all the technical elements under the producers’ control.”
PAT KRAMER as Jake: “Mr. Kramer’s characterization of Jake was very subtle and it was easy to tell what kind of man he was: obsessive about bowling, yet somewhat distant from his daughter and other people in his life while putting on a good-natured front.” “Patrick Kramer played Jake as a fascinating divorcee and widower. He gave a high energy performance and great depth to this otherwise goofy “serial monogamist.” He was engaging, lively, and owned his serious moments very well. He was relatable as a father, a husband, and the good guy you know who has all the bad luck. His stories were engaging and his comedic timing was quite good.”
JACKIE MIESLE as Molly: “I found Molly to be a perfectly rounded character from her generally perky attitude to her serious emotional moment while reading her mother’s letter. All of these were very well played and made me really feel for her upon learning of her mother’s death and then deciding to bury the bicycle.” “Jackie Miesle played an engaging Molly with a lot of youthful high energy. She was sweet, supportive, and displayed a lot of love for her dad and “moms.” The bicycle bits seemed well rehearsed enough to appear effortless. Her character lightened the mood and warmed the hearts of the audience.”
LIZ TAYLOR as Lois: “Lois’ Naked Pastor in the Pick-up story was one of the highlights of the play for me!” “Elizabeth Leigh Taylorbrought depth and life experience to the character of Lois. Her comic timing was excellent and the audience thoroughly enjoyed her telling of the truck story.” “Her reaction to Jake’s rather unconventional wooing was perfect.”
NATASHA BOECKMANN as Loretta: “Natasha Boeckman played a kind and thoughtful Loretta. While young and fun, her character also possessed a demure quality. She seemed genuinely concerned with the balance of the widower and his daughter. Her character was convincing in just as much of the nonverbals as the dialogue.” “I really bought her performance, both as friend to Lois and Molly and as Jake’s wife. Very natural and believable.”
MARK METZNER as Mr. Dyson: “Mr. Metzner was on stage and in character for almost the entire show. Even when lurking in the shadows or behind trees, he kept it up. This takes a lot of focus, especially when eating his sack lunch (in character) during the entire intermission. Mr. Dyson showed total commitment to his mission at all times even when the audience finds out his true purpose/identity. An amazing performance!”
Stage Management: “This was a single set show, so there were no set changes. The actors all appeared on cue for their scenes and the lighting changes and special effects (namely the bowling pin-wheels) happened on cue as well.”
Ensemble: “Cast members interacted naturally and well. All the relationships (and they were ALL related in one way or another) were believable. I really bought into the myriad of emotional connections between Jake, Molly, Lois, and Loretta.” “Jake, Molly, Lois, and Loretta all worked hard together to tell their story and bring relatable characters beyond even what the playwright intended. These characters could so easily be flat characterizations, but you all brought in light and meaning. Jake’s life didn’t feel full of stupendous misfortune; instead your ensemble showed us his life of love.”
Direction: “The blocking was simple with a lot of levels to play with given the slant of the grassy area. Almost every area of the stage was utilized except maybe the upstage right area where the trees were. Only Mr. Dyson appeared to wander back there on occasion or Molly when she rode the bicycle through it on the way downstage.” “The relationship between Jake and his daughter seemed sincere with just the right amount of hokey father-daughter play. Jake cultivated his relationships with Lois and Loretta in unique ways that demonstrated strong character development.” “Jake’s components of the story line, along with those of his daughters and wives, had obvious intent, good pacing, and seemed very well rehearsed. There was a stark contrast between his scenes and the bits with Mr. Dyson.” “Congratulations! An excellent interpretation of a fine script. Pacing was quick; naturally delivered, but with well-timed cue pickups. All of the relationships were clearly and lovingly developed. You drew the best out of an excellent cast (kudos on your choices there, too)… I enjoyed that the bicycle never looked artificial entering or leaving—its speed and handling were realistic for the outdoors, and I never felt it was just coming from, or going to, “offstage.””