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Jodie Linver, Keisha Kemper, Maggie Lou Rader, and Kelly Mengelkoch / Image: Dan R. Winters // Published: 3.5.20
Jodie Linver, Keisha Kemper, Maggie Lou Rader, and Kelly Mengelkoch / Image: Dan R. Winters // Published: 3.5.20
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Know Theatre's 'Alabaster' Is a Touching Drama With a Cast That's 50% Goat

Know Theatre's latest and current show, Alabaster by Audrey Cefaly, is the fifth Mainstage production to kick off the theater's 22nd season themed around the concept of "The Fight." One more Mainstage show will follow it in the coming months.


[From the Know Theatre website]

A noted photographer sets out to explore the topography of "scars." Her journey lands her in the mysterious realm of an undiscovered folk artist hiding away in North Alabama.

A beautiful new play that explores what it means to be truly "seen," how we pick up the pieces, how we move forward and how we heal. Narrated by a goat.

It's rated PG-13.


Short answer: It's funny. It's sad. It's scary. It's touching. It's classic drama without the predictability.

Long answer: It's not often half the cast of a show are goats, but that's what you get with Alabaster—a drama about two women, each grappling with a tragic past and trying their best not to hurt minute to minute.

From the outset, the audience is introduced to June (Maggie Lou Rader) and Alice's (Kelly Mengelkoch) turbulent, burgeoning relationship. Alice, a photographer traveling the country artfully documenting women with physical scars, and June, a farmer with a penchant for painting and currently Alice's subject, swing back and forth between fleeting moments of mutual curiosity and violent, emotional chaos. Nary a dull moment fills the stage as the two metaphorically butt heads before shaking hands while Weezy (Keisha Kemper) and Bib (Jodie Beth Linver) stand by—literally "outside" to their room—to serve as the comical foil to June in the midst of one of her nuclear outbursts. As the show progresses (no spoilers, I promise), the audience comes to understand why the artistic, tortured women are so brutal with one another and come to sympathize with each.

It's a touching story told by a cast who can spit sharp dialogue just as well as they can burst into convincing tears and scream from their soul. Two thumbs up for everyone involved.

Also—and this isn't a feature I was prepared to enjoy when I went to see this show—the set is almost entirely made of wood to resemble a weathered farmhouse, and it smells great. The whole theater is a real balsam daydream upstairs at Know Theatre right now. As Andrew Hungerford said in a quote tweet, "We offer a full sensory experience at Know Theatre."


Know Theatre is among the least expensive theaters in Cincinnati. Adult ticket prices are $25 Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and only $10 on Wednesdays.

Also on Wednesdays, free tickets are set aside for the first 50 people who arrive at the theater!


Two hours and five minutes with a 15-minute intermission.


Every Wednesday through Sunday from now until Saturday, March 21st.


Directed by Lisa Sanaye Dring with scene design by Andrew Hungerford. Noelle Wedig-Johnston designed the costumes, Jen Fok is the lighting designer, and Douglas Borntrager is responsible for sound. Props and scenic charge by Kayla Williams. Meghan Winter is the stage manager, and Henry Bateman is the technical director.

The four-person cast includes Maggie Lou Rader, Kelly Mengelkoch, Keisha Kemper, and Jodie Beth Linver.


Get those tickets at the bottom of this page.

More information about Know Theatre and upcoming shows can be found on the Know Theatre website, too.