Brag Alert: I went to CCM, and credit it as most of the reason why I act, develop, and perform the way I do. This is an AMAZING school with AMAZING people running the performance programs, and any show from CCM is worth attending Watching this show was an AMAZING, refreshing experience for theatre in Cincinnati, and I wish CCM did more collaborations like this, although I know they have A LOT going on in terms of just teaching their students and running their own shows. But GO CCM! The school is a jewel of this community.
NOW: The review below was submitted as part of my contributions to the League of Cincinnati Theatres.
RUNAWAYS at the Know Theatre in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati
Directed by Vince DeGeorge, with Musical Direction by Luke Flood.
created by Elizabeth Swados
RUNAWAYS at the Know Theatre is a tender musical about the children that run away. It tackles the heartbreaking realities that push children out of their homes or relationships, and delves into the loneliness that comes from tackling life too early, and with too little guidance or love. It explores the varying stories of runaways - in current time and past - through dance, song, and small dialogue vignettes, gradually creating and crafting specific relationships out of larger more-universal experiences. It is compelling.
KNOW doesn’t typically take on large-production casts; it could be the operating shoestring budget, or general capacity of managing a large slew of performers. Regardless, the intimate setting at the Know paired with a multitude of bodies in this show is stunning. The direction and choreography of RUNAWAYS deftly plays with physical repetition, sound, elemental noise, and creative transition using little more than the feet, hands, and musical expertise of the performers. The 77-minute show remains engaging and interesting, in large part to superb technical direction in the Know’s beautifully intimate space.
The show, overall, is a breathtaking surprise - the young performers are so wonderfully earnest, proving again just how fantastic CCM is at curating and developing compelling performers. RUNAWAYS showcases racial diversity in a way that enhances the individuality of the CCM performers; we, the audience, are given real glimpses into the different lives these performers take on and are left wondering at the emotional vein that connects performer to character. The show is delicate, poised, quietly funny, and brave in its retelling - a worthwhile undertaking from CCM and the Know Theatre.
Ensemble includes: Ciara Harris, Marissa Hecker, Kendall McCarthy, Jenny Mollet (also Choreographer), Gabriela Rodrigues, Emily Royer, Shauna Topian, Amanda Valenzuela, Bryce Baxter, Dylan Dougal, Zach Erhardt, Louis Griffin, Tyler Jent, Jordan Miller, Dylan Mulvaney, Kyle Pollak, Tyler Sodama, Alex Stone, Donelvan Thigpen and Zack Triska.