At the theatre: Diverse plays and musicals ahead this season

A promising mix of familiar and fresh titles planned across Dayton area stages.

Entertaining musicals, thought-provoking plays and exciting new works provide a diverse foundation for Dayton’s 2022-2023 theater season.

On professional stages, the season’s signature event is a partnership between Dayton Live and the Human Race Theatre Company. The organizations will co-present the national tour of the 2020 Tony Award-winning revival of Charles Fuller’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning, African American-themed military drama “A Soldier’s Play.” Directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon and starring Tony nominee Norm Lewis, the tour’s stop in Dayton, aptly arriving during Black History Month, will be its only Ohio engagement. In other words, it’s a must-see.

Separately, Dayton Live’s Broadway Series leans toward Hollywood familiarity (“Pretty Woman,” “Legally Blonde,” “Frozen”) yet culminates with “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations,” a dynamic trip down Motown memory lane. At Human Race, the Dayton premiere of the politically and racially tinged comedy “Barbecue,” written by Cincinnati native Robert O’Hara, will mark a return to the troupe’s envelope-pushing instincts. Also, the new musical “Indigo,” which will have its world premiere directed by Dayton native Schele Williams (“Motown The Musical”), has drawn comparisons to the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical “Next to Normal.”

On college campuses, the debut of Wright State University’s School of Fine and Performing Arts –offering shared experiences for dance, fine arts, motion pictures, music and theater students – climaxes with a collaborative production of the classic musical comedy “On The Town” featuring a full onstage orchestra with music students and faculty. Sinclair Community College’s roster notably contains its annual family-friendly holiday staple “A Charlie Brown Christmas” along with “Romeo & Juliet & Zombies” just in time for Halloween. The University of Dayton will host an outdoor touring circus performance from the 58-year-old, Vermont-based Bread and Puppet Theater and supply an evening of theater, song and graphic design devoted to the legacy of Paul Laurence Dunbar titled “Echoes Through Time.”

Community theaters will balance feel-good and serious fare. Dayton Theatre Guild, currently launching its season with a terrific production of “The Lifespan of a Fact,” will particularly challenge audiences with Lee Blessing’s football drama “For the Loyal,” inspired by the Penn State sexual abuse scandal. Lighter tales can be found at Dayton Playhouse (“Monty Python’s Spamalot”), Beavercreek Community Theatre (“Sordid Lives”), Springboro Community Theatre (“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”), Troy Civic Theatre (“Barefoot in the Park”) and Xenia Area Community Theater (“A Tuna Christmas”).

Equally noteworthy is INNOVAtheatre’s Miami Valley premiere of the acclaimed, gay-themed 1993 Tony Award-winning musical “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” one of the best shows in John Kander and Fred Ebb’s dark, musically glorious catalog.

THEATER

PROFESSIONAL

Dayton Live

Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St., Dayton, Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, PNC Arts Annex, 46 W. Second St., Dayton

937-228-3630 or daytonlive.org

Dayton Live, which operates the Victoria Theatre, Schuster Center, Loft Theatre and PNC Arts Annex, presents more than 300 professional performances annually for all ages, including its Broadway Series, which brings national tours to town direct from New York, and Discovery Series, a popular option for school field trips.

Premier Health Broadway in Dayton Series

Nov. 1-6, 2022: “Pretty Woman: The Musical”

Nov. 22-27, 2022: “Legally Blonde – The Musical”

Jan. 24-29, 2023: “Les Misérables”

Mar. 21-26, 2023: “Anastasia”

May 4-13, 2023: “Frozen”

June 13-18, 2023: “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations”

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Projects Unlimited Star Attractions

Oct. 16, 2022: “Anjelah Johnson-Reyes: Who Do I Think I Am? Tour”

Dec. 16-18, 2022: “Million Dollar Quartet Christmas”

Dec. 20, 2022: “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas”

Jan. 13-15, 2023: “Blue Man Group”

Feb. 14-19, 2023: “A Soldier’s Play”

Feb. 24-25, 2023: “R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – A Celebration of the Legendary Queen of Soul”

National Geographic Live! Series

TBA

Universal 1 Credit Union Music Series

Oct. 15, 2022: Dailey & Vincent

Nov. 18, 2022: Classic Albums Live Performs Eagles: Hotel California

Dec. 15, 2022: Voctave

Mar. 18, 2023: Branford Marsalis Quartet

Dayton Children’s Family Series

Oct. 10, 2022: Kevin Locke

Nov. 1, 2022: “Sugar Skull! A Dia de Muertos Musical Adventure”

Nov. 9, 2022: “Step Afrika!”

Feb. 11, 2023: “Grimmz Fairy Tales”

Feb. 12, 2023: “Sensory-Friendly: Grimmz Fairy Tales”

Mar. 9, 2023: “Chloé Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies Live”

Mar. 11, 2023: “The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon”

Mar. 11, 2023: “Sensory-Friendly: The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon”

Apr. 15, 2023: “The Adventures of Tortoise and Hare – The Next Gen”

Apr. 16, 2023: “Sensory-Friendly: The Adventures of Tortoise and Hare – The Next Gen”

Apr. 23, 2023: “Madagascar The Musical”

Discovery Series

Oct. 10, 2022: “Discovery: Kevin Locke”

Nov. 1, 2022: “Discovery: Sugar Skull! A Dia de Muertos Musical Adventure”

Nov. 10, 2022: “Discovery: Step Afrika!”

Jan. 23, 2023: “Discovery: The Secret Life of Bears with Rae Wynn-Grant”

Feb. 6-10, 2023: “Discovery: The Funk Box Experience”

Feb. 10, 2023: “Discovery: Grimmz Fairy Tales”

Mar. 10, 2023: “Discovery: The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon”

Apr. 11, 2023: “Discovery: Junie B.’s Essential Survival Guide to School”

Apr. 14, 2023: “Discovery: The Adventures of Tortoise and Hare – The Next Gen”

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Human Race Theatre Company

Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton

937-228-3630 or humanracetheatre.org

The Human Race Theatre Company is Dayton’s only professional regional theatre and has particularly championed many new plays and musicals. Universal storytelling is a key component in its programming as the organization attempts to produce shows that touch on emotions and reminds audiences “why we are here.”

Sept. 8-25, 2022: “Grounded”

Oct. 27-Nov. 13, 2022: “Deadline”

Dec. 8-23, 2022: “Who’s Holiday!”

Feb. 14-19, 2023: “A Soldier’s Play”

Apr. 13-30, 2023: “Barbecue”

June 8-25, 2023: “Indigo”

La Comedia Dinner Theatre

765 W. Central Ave., Springboro

937-746-4554 or lacomedia.com

La Comedia Dinner Theatre has established a long tradition of quality productions featuring New York and local talent. Food choices include certain dishes representing the “flavor” of the show.

Through Sept. 11, 2022: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”

Sept. 15-Oct. 16, 2022: “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?”

Nov. 3-Dec. 30, 2022: “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas”

Jan. 19-Feb. 12, 2023: “Steeple People”

Feb. 16-Mar. 26, 2023: “Little Women – The Musical”

Mar. 30-May 7, 2023: “Sleuth”

May 11-June 18, 2023: “Jimmy Buffet’s Escape to Margaritaville”

June 22-Aug. 6, 2023: “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella”

Credit: MACKENSIE KING

Credit: MACKENSIE KING

TheatreLab Dayton

PNC Arts Annex, 46 W. Second St., Dayton

937-228-3630 or theatrelabdayton.org

TheatreLab Dayton (formerly Dare to Defy Productions) thrives from an ambitious mindset balancing recognizable and relatively unknown contemporary musicals. The troupe will present two shows in repertory this season as well.

Sept. 8-10, 2022: “La Cage aux Folles”

Oct. 20-29, 2022: “Sweeney Todd”

Jan. 12-21, 2023: “In the Green”

Jan. 12-21, 2023: “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”

Mar. 9-19, 2023: “Urinetown – The Musical”

May 12-13, 2023: “The Secret Garden”

Arbogast Performing Arts Center

500 S. Dorset Rd., Troy

937-418-8392 or arbogastpac.com

The Arbogast Performing Arts Center’s goal is “to bring added value to regional schools and the greater Miami Valley area with enhanced programs in performing and visual arts.”

Jan. 15, 2023: “Llama Llama – Live!”

Feb. 11, 2023: “Mike Super: Magic Illusionist”

Mar. 4, 2023: “MJ Live!”

Apr. 1, 2023: “Fairytales on Ice”

Clark State Performing Arts Center

Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 S. Fountain Ave., Springfield

937-328-3874 or pac.clarkstate.edu/events

Clark State Performing Arts Center delivers national tours and concerts annually.

Oct. 7, 2022: “Fiddler on the Roof”

Nov. 8, 2022: “The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays”

Dec. 3, 2022: “Hip Hop Nutcracker”

Jan. 15, 2023: “Winnie the Pooh”

Mar. 7, 2023: “Pride and Prejudice”

Mar. 16, 2023: “Taj Express – The Bollywood Jukebox”

ExploreHuman Race Theatre presents Dayton premiere of ‘Grounded’

COLLEGIATE

Cedarville University

251 N. Main St., Stevens Student Center, Cedarville

937-766-7700 or cedarville.edu/ticketinfo

Cedarville University adheres to programming that educates and entertains with a spiritual focus while exploring deeper themes.

Sept. 29-Oct. 9, 2022: “The Giver”

Feb. 2-12, 2023: “Our Town”

Apr. 13-23, 2023: “Much Ado About Nothing”

Clark State College

Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 S. Fountain Ave., Springfield

937-328-3874 or pac.clarkstate.edu/theatre_arts.php

Clark State College’s theater arts program presents varied works from classics to modern pieces as well as original scripts.

Oct. 28-Nov. 6, 2022: “Red Herring”

Apr. 14-23, 2023: “Clybourne Park”

Miami University

119 Center for Performing Arts, Oxford

513-529-3200 or miamioh.edu

Miami University’s theater program prides itself on works that “inspire a world of possibilities.”

Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2022: “These Shining Lives”

Oct. 26-30, 2022: “Angel’s Trumpet”

Apr. 26-30, 2023: “The Play That Goes Wrong”

Sinclair Community College

Blair Hall Theatre, Building 2, 444. W. Third St., Dayton

937-512-2808 or sinclair.edu/tickets

Sinclair Theatre continues to balance well-known titles with works waiting to be discovered.

Oct. 21-29, 2022: “R & J & Z (Romeo & Juliet & Zombies)”

Dec. 15-18, 2022: “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Mar. 24-Apr. 1, 2023: “The Hello Girls”

University of Dayton

Boll Theatre, 300 College Park, Dayton

937-229-2545 or tickets.udayton.edu

University of Dayton’s theater program embraces a collaborative, educational and community-driven perspective with an emphasis on devised projects and original works.

Sept. 20, 2022: “Domestic Resurrection Circus”

Nov. 11-12, 2022: “Simple Gifts”

Dec. 2, 2022: “Echoes Through Time”

Mar. 24, 2023: Improv Night for Brighter Connections Theatre

Apr. 21-22, 2023: “Dido and Aeneas”

Wittenberg University

Chakeres Memorial Theatre, 905 Woodlawn Ave. and Lab Theatre, 225 N. Fountain Ave., Springfield

937-327-7464 or wittenberg.edu

Wittenberg University offers students practical opportunities from contact improvisation to experimental pieces in alternative spaces.

Oct. 27-30, 2022: “The Wolves”

Nov. 10-12, 2022: “Exit, Pursued by a Bear”

Feb. 16-19, 2023: “Six Years Old”

Apr. 13-16, 2023: “Boeing Boeing”

Wright State University

Creative Arts Center, 3640 Col. Glenn Hwy., Dayton

937-775-2500 or wright.edu/tdmp

In addition to embracing the classics, Wright State University has a professional-caliber musical theatre component ranking among the best programs of its kind in the Midwest.

Sept. 23-Oct. 2, 2022: “The Mousetrap”

Nov. 4-20, 2022: “Sister Act”

Nov. 18-Dec. 4, 2022: “Bright Star”

Feb. 3-12, 2023: “Arcadia”

Feb. 17-26, 2023: “The Laramie Project”

Mar. 17-Apr. 8, 2023: “On The Town”

Explore10 noteworthy shows to see in September

COMMUNITY

Actor’s Theatre of Fairborn

23. E. Main St., Fairborn

937-878-3353 or actorstheatrefairborn.org

Established in 1921, Actor’s Theatre has rebounded following a lengthy hiatus.

Sept. 16-25, 2022: “Cease to Exist”

Beavercreek Community Theatre

3868 Dayton-Xenia Rd., Beavercreek

937-429-4737 or bctheatre.org

Beavercreek Community Theatre continues to divide its programming between traditional and edgier tastes.

Oct. 21-30, 2022: “Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery”

Dec. 2-11, 2022: “Hammered: A Thor & Loki Play”

Jan. 27-Feb. 5, 2023: “The Wolves”

Mar. 3-12, 2023: “Dorothy in Wonderland”

Apr. 21-30, 2023: “Sordid Lives”

June 16-25, 2023: “Twelfth Night – The Musical”

Brookville Community Theatre

770 Arlington Rd., Brookville

937-833-6790

Brookville Community Theatre specializes in intimate and large-scale shows equally well while appealing to fans of such diverse voices as Oscar Wilde, Stephen Sondheim and Neil Simon.

Sept. 8-18, 2022: “The Battle of Hog Holler”

Nov. 10-20, 2022: “The Gift: 7 Pounds, 3 Ounces”

Feb. 16-26, 2023: “Enchanted April”

Apr. 20-30, 2023: “Dearly Beloved”

Children’s Performing Arts of Miamisburg

937-388-4814 or cpamburg.com

CPAM is dedicated to promoting to area youth the appreciation of the performing arts through education, practice and performance.

Sept. 10-11, 2022: “Disney’s The Lion King Jr.”

Dec. 11-13, 2022: “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

Dayton Playhouse

1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton

937-424-8477 or daytonplayhouse.org

For over 60 years, the Dayton Playhouse has dedicated itself to entertaining theatergoers of all ages with classic and contemporary works.

Sept. 16-Oct. 2, 2022: “Monty Python’s Spamalot”

Nov. 11-20, 2022: “Harvey”

Jan. 13-29, 2023: “Once On This Island”

Mar. 10-19, 2023: “God of Carnage”

May 5-21, 2023: “Meet Me in St. Louis”

Credit: RICK FLYNN PHOTOGRAPHY

Credit: RICK FLYNN PHOTOGRAPHY

Dayton Theatre Guild

430 Wayne Ave., Dayton

937-278-5993 or daytontheatreguild.org

For over 75 years, Dayton Theatre Guild has produced eclectic plays that surprise and provoke in order to provide cultural growth.

Through Sept. 11, 2022: “The Lifespan of a Fact”

Nov. 4-20, 2022: “Broadway Bound”

Jan. 13-29, 2023: “For the Loyal”

Mar. 17-Apr. 2, 2023: “Relativity”

June 2-18, 2023: “Hedda Gabbler”

INNOVAtheatre

Sorg Opera House, 63 S. Main St., Middletown

innovatheatre.com

Dedicated to innovation through inclusion, INNOVAtheatre embraces diversity in its quest to provide unique theatrical experiences.

Oct. 21-23, 2022: “The Rocky Horror Show”

Oct. 27-30, 2022: “Clybourne Park”

Nov. 10-13, 2022: “Kiss of the Spider Woman – The Musical”

Dec. 15-18, 2022: “Meredith Willson’s Miracle on 34th Street – The Musical”

Jan. 19-22, 2023: “Of Men and Cars”

Feb. 16-19, 2023: “Next to Normal”

Apr. 13-16, 2023: “Hairspray”

Lebanon Theatre Company

10 S. Mechanic St., Lebanon

513-228-0932 or ltcplays.com

Lebanon Theatre Company aspires to produce works “evoking emotion and wonder” for theatergoers.

Through Sept. 11, 2022: “Harvey”

Dec. 8-11, 2022: “A Plaid Christmas”

Middletown Lyric Theatre

1530 Central Ave., Middletown

513-425-7140 or middletownlyric.org

Middletown Lyric Theatre seeks “to inspire, nurture, challenge, educate and empower its artists and audiences” while continuing to produce “affordable, accessible” theater for the community it serves.

Oct. 14-22, 2022: “Church and State”

Dec. 9-17, 2022: “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

Springboro Community Theatre

Springboro Performing Arts Center, 115 Wright Station Way, Springboro

937-203-0927 or borotheatre.org

Springboro Community Theatre’s mission is to “promote the ongoing appreciation of live theatre by providing teaching, acting and audience opportunities.”

Sept. 16-25, 2022: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”

Nov. 11-20, 2022: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”

Jan. 6-15, 2023: “Marvel Spotlight”

Mar. 3-12, 2023: “Rent”

Apr. 21-30, 2023: “The Outsider”

June 16-25, 2023: “Cyrano de Burger Shack”

Springfield Arts Council

John Legend Theater, 700 S. Limestone St., Springfield

937-324-2712 or springfieldartscouncil.org

Springfield Arts Council promotes community-building through the performing arts.

Oct. 21-22, 2022: “Mary Poppins Jr.”

Town Hall Theatre

27 N. Main St., Centerville

937-433-8957 or washingtontwp.org

Town Hall Theatre provides an assortment of familiar titles including junior versions of many musical hits.

Oct. 21-23, 2022: “Monster in the Closet”

Dec. 2-18, 2022: “Junior Claus”

Jan. 27-29, 2023: “Robin Hood”

Mar. 3-19, 2023: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”

May 5-21, 2023: “Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical Jr.”

Troy Civic Theatre

Barn in the Park, Adams St., Troy

937-339-7700 or troycivictheatre.com

For over 50 years, Troy Civic Theatre has offered family-friendly entertainment.

Sept. 30-Oct. 9, 2022: “See How They Run”

Dec. 2-11, 2022: “The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge”

Feb. 24-Mar. 5, 2023: “Barefoot in the Park”

Apr. 28-May 7, 2023: “Fireflies”

May 12-14, 2023: “Motherhood Out Loud”

Undercroft Players

Basement of First Lutheran Church, 138 W. First St., Dayton

undercroftplayers.com

Undercroft Players strives to give theatergoers quality productions at an affordable price.

TBA

Xenia Area Community Theater

45 E. Second St., Xenia

937-372-0516 or xeniaact1.org

Xenia Area Community Theater’s programming embraces classic comedies and dramas as well as original works.

Sept. 16-25, 2022: “She Kills Monsters”

Nov. 4-13, 2022: “The Haunting of Hill House”

Dec. 2-11, 2022: “A Tuna Christmas”

Feb. 3-13, 2023: “Are You Being Served?”

Mar. 17-26, 2023: “End Days”

May 5-14, 2023: “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”

Yellow Brick Theater

PNC Arts Annex, 46 W. Second St., Dayton

831-233-8437 or yellowbricktheater.org

Yellow Brick Theater allows children a place “to express themselves creatively, feel connected to their peers and learn valuable life skills.”

Oct. 14-16, 2022: “A Chorus Line: Teen Edition”

Feb. 3-5, 2023: “Junie B. Jones The Musical Jr.”

Yellow Springs Theater Company

937-708-1255 or ystheater.org

Yellow Springs Theater Company is devoted to new and classic works.

TBA

Young at Heart Players

Dayton Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton

937-654-0400 or youngatheartplayers.com

Young at Heart Players is primarily devoted to themes such as connection and ageism in an attempt to enhance communication, creativity and socialization in the lives of senior adults.

TBA

Credit: SCOTT J. KIMMINS

Credit: SCOTT J. KIMMINS

OTHER

Black Box Improv Theater

518 E. Third St., Dayton

daytonblackboximprov.com

Black Box Improv provides four nights of improv comedy (Wednesdays-Saturdays) in an inclusive environment. Classes are also available.

Mayhem & Mystery Interactive Theatre

Spaghetti Warehouse, 36 W. Fifth St., Dayton

937-461-3913 or mayhemmystery.co

Mayhem & Mystery delivers entertaining whodunits on Mondays at Spaghetti Warehouse. If you solve the crime, you win a prize.

Through Oct. 31, 2022: “Food and Whine Frenzy”

Muse Machine

Victoria Theare, 138 N. Main St., Dayton

937-222-6873 or musemachine.com

Muse Machine is a nationally celebrated arts education organization serving over 76,000 students and their teachers each year.

Jan. 12-15, 2023: “The Little Mermaid”


FALL ARTS PREVIEW

The fall arts season is underway. Throughout September, we’re bringing you season schedules and highlights for arts groups throughout the region.

Sept. 4: Theater

Sept. 11: Music

Sept. 18: Dance

Sept. 25: Visual arts

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