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Monday, February 19, 2018

Commonwealth Artists Student Theatre (CAST) Announces Summer Season, Community Partnership, And First Grant

Commonwealth Artists Student Theatre (CAST) Announces Summer Season, Community Partnership, And First Grant

After six years presenting summer musicals under the Fort Thomas Independent Schools umbrella, Commonwealth Artists Student Theatre (CAST) is now a year-round youth theatre organization and is starting its first season with three exciting announcements.

CAST productions are open to all incoming freshmen and graduating seniors in ANY high school in our region. To give even more students the opportunity to participate in a summer theatre experience, CAST will present a non-musical play in addition to its traditional musical, joining previous productions of The Producers, Parade, The Addams Family, Ragtime, Spamalot, and Les Misérables.

The Play: in the CAST tradition of offering students the opportunity to present material often not found in high schools, the first non-musical offering will be the regional premiere of Cincinnati native Theresa Rebeck's O Beautiful. Mike Sherman, theatre director from Walnut Hills High School, will direct this play described as a "theatrically inventive mashup of contemporary American life and the history that got us to this politically polarized age." See below for dates and location of O Beautiful.

The Musical: following on the heels of last summer's well-received production of the sing-through dramatic musical Les Misérables, CAST will go in a completely different direction this summer with the wild and wonderful Shrek: The Musical. Based on the successful animated films, Shrek: The Musical will bring the beloved characters of Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, and the rest to the stage for the entertainment of all. Shrek: The Musical will be presented the weekends of July 13-15 and July 20-22 at the Highlands High School Performing Arts Center.


CAST and Covington's The Carnegie announced a community partnership to further the educational, outreach and production goals of both organizations.

The partnership will kick off this summer when The Carnegie will host CAST's production of O Beautiful during the weekends of June 29-July 1 and July 6-8.

The plan between the two organizations is for CAST to expand its operations to a year-long company housing most of their programming at The Carnegie. With the expansion, CAST will offer productions throughout the school year, educational workshops on college readiness, technical theatre, etc., as well as assist The Carnegie in their youth programs and outreach. CAST and The Carnegie will market each other’s ventures as well as recommend programming to their subscription bases and the public.

“Partnering with CAST was really a no-brainer for The Carnegie,” said The Carnegie Theatre Director Maggie Perrino. “Our own education programming ends when students get into high school, so this partnership promotes access to proven, successful arts instruction for children at the high school level.”

“We are so grateful that CAST and The Carnegie could find a way to partner together and foster more opportunities in theatre for high school students in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati,” said CAST Artistic Director Jason Burgess.

“As a community arts organization, we are always looking for new ways to engage with the residents of Northern Kentucky and facilitate arts opportunities for people of all ages,” said The Carnegie Executive Director Kimberly Best. “CAST is an outstanding arts organization in our community and we couldn’t be more pleased to announce this partnership.”

This new partnership has garnered the attention of both the business community and the arts community.

Brent Cooper, President & CEO of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce said, “This is exactly what we need more of throughout the region.  Our future workforce, the kids participating in these programs, will learn improved communication skills, teamwork, and discipline.  The skills being taught at both the Carnegie and CAST are crucial to our ability to grow future talent.”

Said Alecia Kintner, President & CEO of ArtsWave, “As supporters of both CAST and the Carnegie, we are thrilled to see this collaboration occur.  These organizations have demonstrated a commitment to growing the arts throughout the region.”


CAST is excited and grateful to announce its first grant from ArtsWave in support of the upcoming summer season of O Beautiful. "Receiving that first grant validates that our vision for CAST to provide more theatrical experience for high school students in our region resonates with the arts community. We are looking forward to audiences seeing the benefit of the ArtsWave grant on stage this summer at The Carnegie," said Amy Burgess, executive director of CAST.

Photo: CAST, Les Miserables, Fort Thomas Matters file. 

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