Tuesday, February 15, 2000

Children's, deaf theater collaborate for new play

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Children's Theatre will partner with National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) next season for Beethoven by Heart. The new play for children by Melanie Marnich will be performed by NTD ensemble members and co-directed by Children's Theatre artistic director Jack Louiso and an NTD director to be named.

        “It will be a phenomenal way to introduce young audiences to classical music, an inspiring story and sign language,” Mr. Louiso says.

        The 2000-2001 season opens Nov. 3-5 with a revival of the company's The Wizard of Oz, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the publishing of Frank Baum's classic. The show features songs from the movie.

        The biographical Beethoven plays March 2-4, 2001. Ms. Marnich, now living in Minnesota, started a long-term collaboration with Children's Theatre when she was living in Cincinnati in the mid-'90s.

        She adapted Jack and the Beanstalk, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for the company. Snow White is being revived this season, Feb. 25-27.

        Three years in the planning, Beethoven will feature signing, audio description, dialogue and work by the composer. A first draft and word of a National Endowment for the Arts grant supporting the production are expected in March. The show will be rehearsed in Connecticut.

        Next season concludes with an adaptation of Androcles and the Lion written and directed by local playwright Mary Tensing (Thanksgiving Eve). It will be performed April 6-8, 2001.All performances are at the Taft Theatre. For information call the The Children's Theatre box office at (513) 569-8080.


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