CINCINNATI -- D. Lynn Meyers faced two enormous challenges in 1997, when she returned to Cincinnati to lead the Ensemble Theatre.
First was the company’s seven-figure debt, and the second was the theater’s home in a tumultuous Over-the-Rhine.
Meyers’ return was a surprise even to herself.
She’d grown up in Cincinnati and directed shows at Playhouse in the Park before working on both coasts casting films, including “Shawshank Redemption." When she returned, through Ensemble Theatre, she had to decide whether to steer the company into an orderly bankruptcy or commit to raising the money and enthusiasm needed to renew the company.
It took seven years to retire the $1 million in unsecured debt and even longer for both the company’s finances and the neighborhood around the theater to stabilize.
Today, Ensemble Theatre in the Gateway Corridor in Over-the-Rhine is revitalized, and the armed guard who once served primarily for security is now a concierge. About 80 percent of the company’s subscribers renew their tickets, Meyers said, before ever learning of the next season’s lineup.
On the eve of Ensemble’s newest show, “Rapture, Blister, Burn,” WCPO arts reporter Matt Peiken brought his video camera to a rehearsal and met with Meyers and other insiders, who feel vindicated for their faith in the company and the neighborhood.
IF YOU GO
What: "Rapture, Blister, Burn,'' a social comedy that tells the story of the women's movement through the eyes of three generations of women.
When: Oct. 9-27
Where: 1127 Vine St., Cincinnati
Tickets: $16 to $43 and can be bought at the Box Office, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and from noon until show time Saturday and Sunday.
Info: ensemblecincinnati.org or (513) 421-3555
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
A new brewery and restaurant is coming to Over-the-Rhine and it will have a face familiar to Cincinnati’s brewing scene at the helm.
Northern Kentucky native Suzanne Fitzpatrick's Christmas gift to her niece 17 years ago is now available to every child.
Tim Perrino launched Cincinnati Landmark Productions life three decades ago as a summer youth theater program.
Looking for something fun to do this Thanksgiving weekend? 9 On Your Side has teamed up with CityBeat to bring you the Top 9 picks!
This is Bruce Cromer's ninth straight year in the spotlight role of “A Christmas Carol” through Playhouse in…
High winds are to blame for the cancelation of an annual holiday favorite.
Few other American cities boast such a welcoming landscape for exploring homegrown music. It all begins with something simple yet…
The 133-year-old company, specializing in handcrafted tile and pottery items, is opening new doors in the Gateway Quarter on Jackson Street.
Cincinnati's underground scene is coming together this weekend for a first of its kind event in Ubahn Music Festival , featuring A-list…
Barbara Houghton's mix of text and conceptual photography exposes the rhetoric and imagery of her upbringing in a strict Catholic…