By Arlitia Jones

Thompson Shelterhouse | Feb. 4 - March 5, 2017

Directed by Michael Evan Haney

Stand between two worlds.
Based on mesmerizing true events, Summerland tells the riveting tale of William H. Mumler, a spirit photographer with a talent for taking haunting images of the dead. Set in 1869, the story follows Mumler’s meteoric rise and fall, from his wildly successful studio business, which boasted Mary Todd Lincoln as a client, to his indictment for fraud. Did Mumler really capture the visits of loved ones from beyond the grave? Or were his living subjects the victims of unspeakable deception meant to prey upon their longing to believe? Summerland is a gripping and suspenseful world premiere in which the camera provides an invitation to the truth between two worlds.

Advisory: Summerland is appropriate for adult and teenage audiences. It contains minimal adult language, but the play's supernatural themes may be too spooky for younger audiences.

Running Time: The show runs approximately 2 hours and 5 minutes, including one intermission.


Production Sponsor

Barbara and Bill Weyand

Additional Support

Leon Meyer

The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust

Season Sponsor & Design Sponsor

Allan Berliant and Jennie Rosenthal Berliant Family Fund

Season Sponsor of New Work

The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Foundation

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Between Two Worlds

Prologue, January 2017

Summerland possesses all of the elements of a great mystery: a marriage filled with secrets, seemingly supernatural forces challenging perceptions of what is and isn’t real, an undercover agent determined to prove fraud. But what makes this suspenseful world premiere most intriguing is the fact that the story’s twists and turns are inspired by actual events nearly 150 years old.

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Breaking Through the Veil

Prologue, January 2017

Prior to starting rehearsals for Summerland, director Michael Evan Haney took a moment to discuss this exciting world premiere and why he thinks audiences are in for a fascinating, thought-provoking journey.

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Preview Performances

Feb. 4, 2017, at 8 p.m.; Feb. 5, 2017, at 7 p.m.; Feb. 7, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 8, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.

Be among the first to see the show before opening night and save! Preview performance tickets are discounted and begin at just $35. Not valid with other discounts.

Opening Night

Feb. 9, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.

Share the excitement of Thursday opening nights with a lively post-show cast party with complimentary hors d'oeuvres by Vonderhaar's Catering.

Meet the Artists

Feb. 12, 2017, at 2 p.m.; Feb. 19, 2017, at 2 p.m.; Feb. 22, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.; March 2, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.

Join in stimulating discussions with cast and crew following the performances.

Seeing Through Spirit Photography

Playhouse Perspectives | Monday, Feb. 13, at 7:00 p.m.

Explore the mysterious and deceitful world of spirit photography with guest lecturer Dr. Theresa Leininger-Miller. The University of Cincinnati art history professor appears as part of our Playhouse Perspectives series to help audiences delve into the world of William H. Mumler and his contemporaries, who manipulated photo negatives to create false images of subjects with their deceased loved ones.

Join us to learn how this process became a phenomenon that swept the United States in the late 19th century as a reaction to the Civil War. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so reserve your spot now through the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888. The Playhouse Perspectives series is supported by a generous grant from Roderick and Barbara Barr.


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