The multigenerational cast includes principals Jason Lakes as Father, Sam Downs as Adam, Nicholas Brown as Cain/Ham, Tanner Brown as Abel/Japheth, Jeff Weinkam as Noah, Anna Rae Brown as Mama Noah, Maddy Weinkam as Yonah, Michael Plaugher as Snake, Maria Greely as Young Cain, and Ben Brown as Young Abel.
Storytellers include Alisha McFarlane, Tamar Fishbein, Bethany Scearce, Melanie Brown, Lily Brackney Brown, Dani Jones, Ilana Milberg, Terry Neack, Michaela Back, Rey Howe, Nora Scarboro, Dan Schindler, Matthew Clifton, and Jamie Pavlofsky. Nelson Riley and Lily Risner Bang are featured dancers.
Waldeck’s artistic team includes musical director Sarah Plaugher, the aforementioned Weinkam as choreographer, production stage manager Josh Gibson, assistant stage manager Abby Kinnebrew Smith and costumer Poleena Greely.
Established in part to provide more diverse opportunities for actors in Dayton and Cincinnati, INNOVAtheatre is pleased to be housed at the Sorg, which was built in 1891. Having offered space to various local music acts as well as troupes such as Xenia Area Community Theater, the venue aims to provide “programming and services that make an essential contribution to the cultural economy, economic revitalization, education, and quality of life of Middletown and its region.” The Sorg Opera Revitalization Group (SORG) notably oversees the venue.
“The Sorg has been known as a concert venue more so than a performing arts venue and we’re trying to bring that (performing arts element) back,” Waldeck said. “And (being in) Middletown allows us to combine our actors from Dayton and Cincinnati. It’s not too far of a location for our actors to drive in order for them to do the shows they love. We’re here to do good theater and do it well.”
“Sorg Opera House is an amazing (venue) that really adds to the quality of entertainment in the Miami Valley,” said Stephen Ream, SORG board member. “We are a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. We also have several exclusive play premieres coming out in the next two years that are exclusive to just our theater.”
In addition to promising a sense of spectacle, particularly in terms of lighting design, Waldeck hopes audiences are eager for an experience in which the importance of family and connection is paramount.
“This story is relevant to today,” he said. “Family is integral to everything whether personal blood relatives or friends.”
Contact this contributing writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to go:
What: “Children of Eden”
Where: Sorg Opera House, 63 S. Main St., Middletown
When: July 9-18; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sundays
Cost: Reserved tickets $25 in advance
Tickets or more information: Visit innovatheatre.com or sorgoperahouse.org
FYI: Masks are not required but are optional. The theater is open at full capacity.