Many residents of the Greater Cincinnati
area have taken a strong interest in the performing arts,
establishing music societies for vocal and instrumental groups,
bringing in touring performance groups, and establishing educational
institutions devoted to training musicians, dancers, singers,
and actors of all ages. When USITT visits the Queen City in
March of 2008 attendees will find that Cincinnati is proud
to have its own professional ballet, opera and regional theatre
companies as well as active community theatres and individuals
whose dreams have led them to be community leaders by promoting
the arts to young people.
Music has played an important role
in the cultural life of Cincinnati. The May
established in 1873 and is the reason the Music Hall was designed,
built, and opened with the 1878 performances. The May Festival
Chorus was founded in 1880 and is still truly a community
group composed of people of all ages and from all walks of
life who love to sing.
Symphony is the fifth
oldest in the country and oldest in Ohio founded in 1895.
It has a continuing international reputation of premiering
works by Debussy, Ravel, and Bartok as well as commissioning
new works. Most notable is Aaron Copeland's Fanfare for
the Common Man.
second oldest opera company in America was founded in 1920.
The Cincinnati Opera performed in the summer at the Cincinnati
Zoo Pavilion until it moved to its current home in Music
Hall in 1972. It continues to perform four operas each summer
that bring internationally known performers, directors, and
designers to Cincinnati. The organization also provides outreach
programs to school children with performances by members of
their young artists program.
Cincinnati is the home of the
last survivor of one of America's floating theatre traditions.
The Showboat Majestic took to the Ohio River in Pennsylvania
in 1923, with Tom Reynolds and his family of 11 who lived,
traveled, and performed up and down the Ohio River and its
tributaries. The boat was drydocked in Indiana due to the "Safety
at Sea Act" of 1965. The City of Cincinnati purchased
the boat and docked it at the central riverfront as a focal
point for developing the area in 1967. It has continuously
provided professional summer stock entertainment using local
Theatre Association, established
in 1929 as the National Thespians, works to promote and strengthen
school theatre by recognizing and rewarding excellence and
viewing theatre as an instrument of lifelong learning. The
organization originally focused on secondary schools and
has recently expanded to include middle school and college
students preparing for careers in theatre education.
of Community Theater – Cincinnati (ACT) has been operating
since 1955 as a non-profit, service organization dedicated
to supporting and developing community theatre in the Greater
Cincinnati area. In 2005, ACT was inducted into the Ohio Community
Theater Association Hall of Fame. There are 18 member groups
that are non-professional companies providing communities
with entertainment and performance opportunities.
of Cincinnati Theatres was established in 1999 to bring together
quite a spectrum of groups involved in the performing arts.
Anyone with an interest in the performing arts can join this
organization. Members of this organization are non-profit
production companies as well as actors, directors, playwrights,
producers, designers, and venue suppliers such as costume
shops, lighting suppliers, and services for sign language
interpretation and ticketing.
There are 27 producing organizations
including the Tony Award-winning professional regional theatre
Playhouse in the Park. This theatre was founded
in 1959 and opened with its first performance in the Thompson
Shelter House in Eden Park. In 1968 a second performance
space opened allowing two productions to perform. It has
won international acclaim performing in Canada, Europe, Asia,
and Australia. A very important part of the community, it
provides classes and entertainment programming to young people
both on-site and touring in-school productions performed
by a company of acting interns.
Founded in 1986, Ensemble
Theatre of Cincinnati is a professional equity theatre dedicated
to the production and development of new works, and home
to regional, world, and off-Broadway premier productions.
Three university programs also are members
of the League. They include Northern Kentucky University,
Xavier University Players, and The University of Cincinnati
- College Conservatory of Music. The Conservatory is the largest
single source of performing arts events with close to 1,000
performances per year ranging from solo vocal and instrumental
recitals, chamber music, jazz ensembles, and full orchestras
to full scale opera, musical theatre, drama, and dance performances.
Check out the League
of Cincinnati Theatres' website for a complete listing of all the
member organizations, and if time permits, enjoy what they
have to offer when the 49th Annual Conference & Stage
Expo is in Cincinnati from March 18 to 21, 2009.