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CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE BLOG

Welcome to our new blog! Here, we'll provide you with a behind-the-scenes look at the Playhouse through interviews, videos, guest contributors and more.

Visit often and share your thoughts with us.

A Humble Instrument
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For many Playhouse theatregoers, Arlitia Jones’ world premiere Summerland will be an introduction to the strange and fascinating story of spirit photographer William H. Mumler. But in the mid-19th century, Mumler was the subject of widespread national and even international attention, pitting believers against skeptics in judging whether Mumler’s haunting images were the stuff of miracle or deception.



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Five Questions with Billy Finn
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Billy Finn, who appeared in last season's Mad River Rising, returns to Cincinnati to portray Joseph Tooker in the world premiere production of Arlitia Jones' Summerland.



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Five Questions with Michael Rothhaar
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Michael Rothhaar returns to the Playhouse, where he most recently appeared in the 2006 production of Witness for the Prosecution. He now takes the stage as William H. Mumler in the world premiere production of Summerland. 



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Five Questions with Whitney Maris Brown
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Whitney Maris Brown makes her Playhouse debut this season as Mrs. Mumler in Summerland. She has traveled all across America throughout her regional career, and with Summerland she's able to check Cincinnati off her list.



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Echoes from Another World
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In April 1869, when William H. Mumler entered a New York City courtroom charged with two counts of felony fraud for asserting that he could provide his clients with images of their ghostly loved ones — a story that takes center stage in Arlitia Jones’ world premiere play Summerland — it wasn’t just his controversial spirit photography business at stake. Also on trial were ideas at the heart of Spiritualism, a religious and social movement that rose to prominence in the mid-19th century with its belief that the living could communicate with the dead.



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Designer's Notes: Creating the Portal Between Two Worlds
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Set designer Paul Shortt shares artistic insight into how he developed the world of Summerland. Based on true events, the world premiere play written by Arlitia Jones investigates post-Civil War photographer William H. Mumler, known for taking haunting images of loved ones from beyond the grave. The following is a curation of Shortt’s notes, sketches and designs.



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