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ETC Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati benefits GLSEN & Stop AIDS

posted Jan 10, 2011, 1:04 PM by Michael Chanak


January 6, 2011

Clashing Beliefs Color Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts

Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati to Present Regional Premiere of the Tony-Nominated Play


(Cincinnati, Ohio) After an acclaimed, extended Off-Broadway run, and a Tony-nominated Broadway engagement last season, Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts arrives at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati for its regional premiere January 26-February 13, 2011. Luke believes in God. Adam believes in everything else. A 2010 Tony Award® Nominee for Best Play and Outer Critics Circle Award Winner for Best New American Play, Next Fall is a contemporary and intimate love story about two men in love, two parents in denial, and two friends on speed dial. 


Next Fall portrays the ups and downs of this unlikely couple’s five-year relationship with unflinching honesty and sharp humor, despite an underlying seriousness. When an accident changes everything, Adam must turn to Luke’s family and friends for support…and answers. It's a romantic comedy, it's a tragedy, it's a family drama, it's an issue play, it's a coming-of-age story…whichever way you end up viewing Next Fall, the notion of faith is central to this poignant story. Directed by D. Lynn Meyers.


Next Fall stars Michael G. Bath (My Name is Asher Lev) as Adam, an admitted atheist who falls in love with Luke, a devout Christian who is not yet out to his family, played by Ryan Wesley Gilreath (33 Variations, Mary’s Wedding). The stellar ensemble cast also includes Bruce Cromer as Butch, Luke’s conservative Christian father who has little tolerance for secular ideas; Regina Pugh (My Name is Asher Lev) as Arlene, Luke’s absent-but-well-intentioned mother; Annie Fitzpatrick (Dead Man’s Cell Phone) as best-pal Holly who was raised Catholic but now leans towards New Age spirituality; and Charlie Clark as friend Brandon who privately struggles to balance the tension between his own sexuality and Christian beliefs. Not only do each of the characters struggle to reconcile their own personal beliefs of spirituality and stereotypes, but half the play is also set in the waiting room of a Jewish hospital, adding yet another dynamic to the story.


 “I was drawn to how many varying shades of faith and love are explored openly and honestly in this play,” explains D. Lynn Meyers. “It is a play not only about religious belief, but also more importantly of faith we have in each other. And, at the end of the day, there are no right or wrong answers and no character is perfect, which is what makes this such a compelling, inclusive, and heartfelt story, ” she concludes.


Scheduled Talk-Back Performance Dates:

In cooperation with Bridges for A Just Community, ETC will host several talk-back discussions following select performances of Next Fall:


  • Thursday, February 3rd following 7:30 p.m. performance
  • Sunday, February 6th following 2:00 p.m. performance
  • Thursday, February 10th following 7:30 p.m. performance
  • Sunday, February 13th following 2:00 p.m. performance


Pay-What-You Can Previews:

ETC will host two pay-what-you-can previews:

  • Monday, January 24th at 7:00 p.m., benefiting GLSEN Greater Cincinnati (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) and Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati
  • Tuesday, January 25th at 7:00 p.m., benefiting STOP AIDS and Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati

About the Playwright

Next Fall is Geoffrey Nauffts's first full-length play. He has worked as an actor both on Broadway and Off Broadway, regionally and extensively in film and television. He has directed short plays by Kenneth Lonergan, Frank Pugliese, David Marshall Grant, Theresa Rebeck and Suzan-Lori Parks, as well as Naked Angels’ critically acclaimed production of Steven Belber’s Tape in New York, Los Angeles, and London. He wrote, directed, and co-starred in the award-winning short film Baby Steps with Kathy Bates, and co-wrote Jenifer, a movie of the week for CBS. In addition to his role as a staff writer on ABC's series, “Brothers and Sisters,” he currently serves as Artistic Director of Naked Angels, where he's been a member for over twenty-three years.

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About the Cast

Michael G. Bath (Adam) returns to ETC’s stage, having most recently appeared in ETC’s productions of Cinderella, Becky’s New Car and My Name is Asher Lev. His other recent credits include Angels in America at Know Theatre. Other ETC credits include Mauritius, Alice in Wonderland, The Frog Princess, More Fun Than Bowling, Opus, The Exonerated, and Sleeping Beauty. Mr. Bath has also performed with the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Children’s Theatre, the Performance Gallery, Theatre IV/Artreach, Showboat Majestic, and Stage First Cincinnati.


Ryan Wesley Gilreath (Luke), a Cincinnati native, also returns to ETC, having last appeared in 33 Variations and Mary’s Wedding. He earned his BFA in Performance from the University of Central Florida, and has been acknowledged by the Society of American Fight Directors in Stage Combat. Mr. Gilreath recently performed in Will Power (The Human Race Theatre), Fat Pig (New Edgecliff Theatre), Blue Jacket, and Sleepy Hollow (First Frontier, inc). Regional credits include Boy Gets Girl and The Unexpected Guest (The Theatre Barn); Deathtrap, Amy's View, and Sly Fox…(Florida Repertory Theatre). He currently resides in New York City.


Bruce Cromer (Butch) last appeared on ETC’s stage Wayfarer’s Rest and Underneath the Lintel. He has as been a professional AEA actor since graduating from the Wright State Professional Actor Training Program in 1980. Many audiences recognize Mr. Cromer as a regular in Playhouse in the Park’s A Christmas Carol as Scrooge and before that as Bob Crachit. For the past thirty years, he has worked in the American Regional Theatre, at the Cincinnati Playhouse, Seattle Children's Theatre, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, St. Louis Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Globe Theatre of Los Angeles, Clarence Brown Theatre, Santa Fe Stages, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, etc. He is a full Professor of Acting/Movement and Head of Acting at Wright State, a Resident Artist with the Human Race Theatre Company, and a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors.


Regina Pugh (Arlene) has performed and directed in Cincinnati for over twenty-five years, including nineteen years in the Cincinnati Playhouse annual production of A Christmas Carol (1992-2010). She was previously seen at ETC in last season's My Name is Asher Lev. She has also worked locally in Equus (New Edgecliff Theatre) and The History Boys (New Stage Collective). She is a founding member of Performance Gallery and co-coordinates “Let it Shine,” an after-school arts program at John G. Carlisle Elementary School in Covington.


Annie Fitzpatrick (Holly) most recently appeared in Becky’s New Car and Dead Man’s Cell Phone last season. Recently, she performed in New Edgecliff’s production of Night of the Iguana. Her other ETC credits include Sleeping Beauty, Mauritius, Alice in Wonderland, Rabbit Hole, String of Pearls, Ugly Duck, Intimate Apparel, The Exonerated, Earhart, and Dinner with Friends. She has also worked at St. Louis Repertory Theatre, CATCO, Human Race Theatre Co., Porthouse Theatre, Florida Stage, and Cincinnati Children’s Theatre.


Charlie Clark (Brandon) was last seen at ETC’s productions of Don’t Me Pull This Show Over, The Frog Princess, Alice in Wonderland, and Grey Gardens. His other Cincinnati credits include Church Girls for Commonwealth Theatre, Oliver!, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for The Carnegie, Sunday in the Park With George, The Goat, The Full Monty and, See What I Wanna See, and Take Me Out for New Stage Collective. 


Production team includes Brian c. Mehring (Resident Scenic & Lighting Designer), Aaron Clements (Technical Operations Director), Matthew Hollstegge (Production Coordinator & Master Electrician), Shannon Rae Lutz (Properties Master & Design Assistant), Fitz Patton (Sound Designer), and Reba Senske (Costume Designer). The Stage Manager is Brittanie Sicker.


Ticket Information

Single tickets are $34 to $42, depending on the day. Subscription packages are also still on sale, including pro-rate subscriptions, gift certificates, and FlexPasses. Children’s tickets are $16 for all performances. Rush Tickets: $15 rush tickets are available for all performances 15 minutes prior to curtain and are subject to availability.


Senior/student, Cincinnati Public Radio Perks Card, FAF Card, AAA, and Enjoy the Arts discounts available. ETC accepts all major credit cards, Over-the-Rhine Merchant gift cards, and Downtown Cincinnati gift cards. Group rates are available for 10 or more people. Patrons may purchase tickets in person at the ETC box office (1127 Vine Street), by calling (513) 421-3555, or online at


The 2010-2011 Season Sponsor is the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation. Silver Anniversary Sponsors: Dr. & Mrs. Charles O. Carothers, The Mitchell S. & Jacqueline P. Meyers Foundation, John & Ruth Sawyer, and PNC Bank. Fairy Godmother Sponsor: Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. Additional support provided by the Charles H. Dater Foundation, Fine Arts Fund, Garfield Suites Hotel, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, Macy’s, Inc., The Merten Company, National Endowment for the Arts, and Ohio Arts Council.