From the Producing Artistic Director

From the Producing Artistic Director

The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a resident ensemble theater bringing Shakespeare and the classics to life for audiences of all ages.

The act of theater fulfills one of the most universal and timeless needs of mankind. From the beginning, we have sat around fires sharing stories that question and explain the great mysteries of life. This need for the communion between story and audience is as essential and instinctive as our need for food and shelter. Theater lives in the realm of the senses, in the immediacy of breath, in the illusory nature of time. It exists in the connection of actor and audience and in the commonality of all experience. Theater confronts society with the face of the human story, with its soul. We believe the world is a place of wonder, filled with joys, dreams, struggles, and fears. We believe it is our responsibility to celebrate that which is joyous and to confront that which is fearful. To this end, we engage in a living theater, a theater of our time and for our community.

We believe in the existence of immutable truths and themes in the human experience. The great plays of dramatic literature have continued to illuminate these truths and themes throughout history. These plays are our point of reference; they guide our exploration; and they help us define and connect with one another. The works of Shakespeare and the classics of dramatic literature serve as the lens through which we examine the human condition.

We believe that danger requires safety. The most interesting and honest theatrical art requires artists to take tremendous leaps of faith, placing their whole body, mind, and spirit at risk. The ensemble of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company provides the nurturing environment required for the rigorous challenges of classical theater.

We believe in a living theater, a theater that can grow and breathe with each season, a theater that is sustaining of its artists and of its audience, a theater that is taking artistic risks, a theater that is concerned with itself and its place in our world, a theater that strives to be better.

We believe that artistic success requires fiscal responsibility and creative strength. Simply meeting the stringent demands of the marketplace can dictate programming to a negative end. To be a market driver, to set the pace for ourselves and other arts organizations in the region, we reserve certain artistic rights: We reserve the right to entertain unabashedly, to spread lightness and fun for its own sake; we reserve the right to confront topical and/or timeless issues when responsibility dictates; and we reserve the right to celebrate and challenge established traditions, to produce interesting period productions, as well as paradigm-shifting reimaginings.

—Brian Isaac Phillips, Producing Artistic Director