Learning to play: Playhouse committed to boosting quality of theater for young audiences

'Joan the Girl of Arc' is newest play for schools

CINCINNATI - Mark Lutwak, education director for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, can't help but come across as condescending to the canon of theater designed for youth.

"Most of it treats kids like idiots," Lutwak said.

Rather than merely criticize, Lutwak has dialed up Playhouse's commitment to commissioning new plays designed for performance in schools, youth centers and other locales where young audiences—and, often, their families—can soak up a quality theatrical experience.

Playhouse's latest effort is “Joan the Girl of Arc,” based on the story of Joan of Arc. It is part of the company's Off the Hill series of productions in unconventional spaces. There are about 35 such locales throughout the Tri-State in the company's network, Lutwak said. One of them is Holy Family School in Cincinnati's Price Hill.

This video features pieces from a rehearsal, along with a peek at a pre-performance workshop led by a Playhouse education associate for sixth-graders at Holy Family.

The following are free performances open to the public. For details, visit cincyplay.com or call (513) 421-3888:

8 p.m. Jan. 18 — Sunset Players

2:30 p.m. Jan. 19 — Carnegie Center for Columbia Tusculum

7 p.m. Jan. 24 — Woman's Art Club/The Barn

2:30 p.m. Jan. 25 — Campbell County Library

7 p.m. Jan. 31 — Springfield Township

2 p.m. Feb. 1 — Sweet Sista Splash/YMCA

7 p.m. Feb. 1 — College of Mount St. Joseph

2 p.m. Feb. 2 — Lebanon Theater

6:30 p.m. Feb. 4 — Boone County Library

7 p.m. Feb. 7 — Circus Mojo

11 a.m. Feb. 8 — Macy's ArtsWave Sampler

7 p.m. Feb. 15 — District A

1 p.m. Feb. 22 — Tall Institute




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