In the next installment of UC College-Conservatory of Music’s 2016-17 Studio Series, the Acting Department introduces audiences to the residents of a small town as they search for life’s meaning. Directed by CCM Acting Professor and Department Chair Richard Hess, Will Eno’s Middletown runs Thursday, Oct. 20- Saturday, Oct. 22 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater.
Middletown, which won the 2010 Horton Foote Prize for Promising New American Play, was praised by the New York Times for its “tart, funny, gorgeous little comments on the big things: the need for love and forgiveness, the search for meaning in life, the long lonely ache of disappointment.”
Will Eno veers toward the avant-garde with his approach to stark realism in Middletown. His influences include playwrights Samuel Beckett and Don DeLillo, and the recently deceased Edward Albee was a mentor to him. The play was inspired by Thorton Wilder’s Our Town, which was last seen on CCM’s Mainstage in April 2011.
One of the central characters in Our Town is the local milkman, while Middletown gives the spotlight to the town’s celebrity, an astronaut in orbit around Earth. Both plays concern the passing seasons of life and are unapologetically frank and sentimental, according to Hess.
“Middletown is about nothing except life and death and everything in between,” Hess says. “With a wry and unexpectedly profound touch, Will Eno has written one of the wisest plays I have ever worked on. Its simplicity is monumental.”
The show will be presented in thrust theater configuration, with set design by CCM student Theron Wineinger. Audience members will be seated close to the action of the play in this intimate setting.
“Middletown might make the audience both laugh and cry,” Hess says. “It will hit home for everyone in a deeply personal way. Its wisdom is universal, and, in our crazy world, human to human contact that is sane, rational and open might be a welcome tonic.”
Admission is free for Middletown, but tickets are required. Tickets become available through the CCM Box Office on Monday, Oct. 17. They often sell out quickly, so visit our guide to Studio Series tickets for tips and tricks to secure your seats.
Sydney Ashe as Mary Swanson
Lauren Carter as Tour Guide/Aunt/Female Doctor
Kenzie Clark as Tourist/Woman on Date/Attendant 2
Mafer Del Real as Librarian
Nick Heffelfinger as Tourist/Astronaut Greg/Freelancer/Male Doctor
Isaac Hickox Young as Cop
Meg Olson as Public Speaker/Cop’s Radio Voice/Ground Control/Hospital Intercom Voice/Science Radio Host/Music Radio Host
Maddie Page-Schmit as Sweetheart
Andrew Ramsey as Mechanic
Graham Rogers as Landscaper/Man on Date/Hospital Attendant
Rupert Spraul as John Dodge
- 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20
- 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21
- 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati
Admission is free. Reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 17. Please visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. Limit two tickets per order.
Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for information on parking rates.
For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.
For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor & Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation