Dayton Playhouse pauses nationally recognized festival for one year

The Dayton arts calendar in 2023 will not contain the Dayton Playhouse’s nationally recognized FutureFest of new works.

“The Board of Directors of the Dayton Playhouse is going to give FutureFest a much-needed rest for the summer of 2023,” said a post on the organization’s website. “Don’t be alarmed; we are simply working more diligently behind the scenes to create a better FutureFest in 2024.”

Credit: ANNIE PESCH

Credit: ANNIE PESCH

The Playhouse tentatively announced the festival will return July 19-21, 2024.

“It is sure to be the hottest ticket in town,” the post said. “Look for more information as we regroup, replan, reimagine and revitalize FutureFest.”

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Washington, Pennsylvania playwright William Cameron’s Depression-era drama “Every Livin’ Soul” took top honors at this year’s 32nd annual FutureFest, held July 15-17. Loosely based on the true story of legendary bank robber Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd, named “Public Enemy No. 1″ by the FBI shortly before his death in 1934, “Every Livin’ Soul” received the highest scores among six finalists from a five-person panel of professional adjudicators. Judging criteria included character development, dramatic concept, language, plot, page-to-stage, and the next stage.

Credit: DAYTON PLAYHOUSE

Credit: DAYTON PLAYHOUSE

In related news, the Playhouse opens its 2022-2023 season with Eric Idle and John Du Prez’s silly 2005 Tony Award-winning musical comedy romp “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” based on the iconic 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Under the direction of Jenni Cypher, the production’s kooky essence is hindered by unstructured, individualistic aims. In particular, Elisha Chamberlin should rein in his multiple portrayals for the sake of the whole.

Even so, there are significant bright spots: John Detty confidently embodies Sir Lancelot and an especially funny French Taunter among other roles; John Hamilton provides equally seamless variety as Sir Galahad, Swamp King and Black Knight; CJ Suchyta, supported by Kurt Cypher’s Patsy, is an admirable King Arthur; Kevin Willardson brings endearing charm to the Broadway-adoring Sir Robin; and lovely soprano Jackie Randall, costumed in beautiful gowns designed by Kathleen Carroll, dazzles as The Lady of the Lake, specifically delivering “The Diva’s Lament” with authoritative gusto worthy of an encore.

Credit: DANA KARRICK

Credit: DANA KARRICK

Performances continue at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 2. Tickets are $18-$20.

For tickets or more information, call 937-424-8477 or visit daytonplayhouse.com.

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The Playhouse is located at 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton.

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