Arts news from across the region

From the Dayton Playhouse to the University of Cincinnati

The Roaring ‘20s are back.

Dayton Playhouse’s production of Simon Levy’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic “The Great Gatsby,” directed by Matthew Smith and attractively costumed by Theresa Kahle, continues through Nov. 14.

An excellent, production-elevating Brandon Shockney brings wonderful narrative ease to his appealing portrayal of Nick Carraway, cousin of Daisy Buchanan (pleasant, period-conscious Olivia Ekler) fascinated by the titular millionaire (charming Playhouse newcomer Dustin Schwab). Shockney’s calm, easygoing presence allows Nick’s ultimate disgust of the hypocritical elite to pack a punch.

Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave. Tickets are $18-$20. Call 937-424-8477 or visit Patrons must wear masks.

Brookville Community Theatre offers musical revue

Brookville Community Theatre presents “Broadway Through the Years,” a musical theater revue, through Nov. 21.

Selections stem from such shows as “Into the Woods,” “Sweeney Todd,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Once,” “Oklahoma!,” Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” “My Fair Lady,” “Wicked” and more.

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Under the direction of James Nelson, the cast consists of Teresa Blakeley, Kendal Garrett, Kate Gaston, Adonis Lemke, Amanda Newhart, Krissy McKim O’Malley, Debbi Robbins, Jonathan Thomas and Mark Van Luvender.

Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Brookville Community Theatre, 770 Arlington Road, Brookville. Tickets are $17. Call 937-833-6790 or visit

In related news, Brookville’s 2022 lineup, the troupe’s 37th season, will consist of: Larry Shue’s comedy “The Foreigner” (Feb. 17-27, directed by Larry Lindstrom), John Patrick’s comedy “The Curious Savage” (Apr. 21-May 1, directed by Jen Bell), Andrew Lippa, Marshal Brickman and Rick Elice’s musical “The Addams Family” (June 30-July 17, directed by James Nelson), James Nelson’s comedy “The Battle of Hog Holler” (Sept. 8-18, directed by James Nelson), and TBD (Nov. 10-20).



Telegraph Quartet to perform in Yellow Springs

The Telegraph Quartet will be presented in a hybrid in-person/live streaming performance courtesy of Chamber Music Yellow Springs on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Yellow Springs, 314 Xenia Ave.

The concert’s theme is “War and Peace,” highlighting how three very different 20th century composers were affected by the events of World War II. The selected works are Grazyna Bacewicz’s “String Quartet No. 4,” Erich Korngold’s “String Quartet No. 3″ and Benjamin Britten’s “String Quartet No. 2.”

Formed in 2013, Telegraph Quartet consists of violinists Eric Chin and Joseph Maile, violist Pei-Ling Lin and cellist Jeremiah Shaw. They have performed in concert halls across the country and abroad, united by a passion for standard chamber music repertoire and contemporary, non-standard works.

For more information, visit



Area director announces retirement

Director Richard E. Hess, a resident artist of the Human Race Theatre Company since 1996, will retire from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the end of the 2021-2022 school year.

After graduating from the MFA directing program at CCM in 1993, Hess became a professor of acting, movement and directing, eventually becoming the chair of the drama department following the 1994-1995 school year, a position he held for 25 years.

“What a journey,” Hess said. “I am so grateful to every student with whom I spent time in class or in rehearsal, who allowed me to learn to be a better teacher with each passing year, who attended classes and rehearsals with passion and open hearts and intense creative curiosity.”

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Hess recently helmed an outstanding, sold-out run of librettist Edna Walsh and Academy Award-winning composers Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová's 2012 Tony Award-winning musical “Once,” the 33rd musical he directed at CCM. In addition to the terrifically expressive leading performances of Jackson Reagin (Guy) and Gracie Parker (Girl), the production’s striking authenticity and intimacy was bolstered by the expertise of the cast playing their own instruments. The artistic team included musical director Steve Goers, dialect coach Joy Lanceta Coronel, set designer Sami Tamulonis, lighting designer Aiden Bezark, and Eric Santagata, providing musical staging.

His acclaimed Human Race Theatre productions includes “A Delicate Balance,” “Doubt,” “Proof,” “I Am My Own Wife,” “Red” and “Race.”

“At the moment, I’m just retiring from teaching at CCM,” Hess said. “I’m excited to see what forks in the road appear next. Forward!”

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