Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati

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Holiday Musical

Fiona: The Musical

book by Zina Camblin | music & lyrics by David Kisor

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A watercolor painting of a young hippo looking adorably forward surrounded by plants, flowers, water, bubbles, and a purple watercolor background.

Everyone’s favorite hippo makes her musical debut in this world premiere!

Based on the true story of the hippo that captured the world’s heart, this story follows Fiona’s journey from premature baby to larger-than-life heroine! When Fiona is born two months early at only twenty-nine pounds, the odds are stacked against her. But when a determined team of zookeepers and doctors refuses to give up on the little hippo that could, the beautiful friendships that form might be just the thing to give Fiona the strength she needs. From Cincinnati native Zina Camblin and ETC composer David Kisor, this touching story reminds us of the power of perseverance, compassion, and never giving up on the underdogs—or underhippos!


Fiona illustration courtesy of Loren Long.

Run time: ~2 hrs including one intermission

Fiona: The Musical is suitable for the whole family. Her musical story of resilience and friendship will have both talls and smalls rooting for the underdog!

You'll love this show if you love...

  • Feel-good stories with tons of heart and charm
  • Exciting events that the whole family will love
  • Characters and shows based on real life and unique to Cincinnati (and by local writers!)
  • The one-of-a-kind experience of being part of a world premiere
  • High energy musicals that make you want to sing and dance
  • Plots about identity, friendship, and acceptance with characters you’ll adore
  • Everyone’s favorite hippo, Fiona!

Similar ETC shows:

  • The Frog Princess by Joseph McDonough and David Kisor
  • The Dancing Princesses by Joseph McDonough and David Kisor


Similar titles:

  • Madagascar (DreamWorks)
  • The Lion King (Disney)
  • Jungle Book (Disney)
  • Happy Feet (Warner Bros.)

Creative team

A black-and-white photo of an adult woman with a medium-dark skin tone, short curly hair, and glasses staring seriously into the camera

Zina Camblin

Zina Camblin

David Kisor

Composer & Lyricist
David Kisor

Events & Accessibility

Relaxed PerformanceRelaxed Performances

Saturday, November 18 at 2:00 pm | Saturday, November 25 at 2:00 pm

Relaxed performances are designed to create a comfortable arts experience for any audience member who may benefit from a more relaxed attitude surrounding theatre “rules.” Enjoy a welcoming, judgment-free environment with modifications including lower sound levels, relaxed attitude towards noise and movement from the audience, and more! Learn more about our relaxed performances.

Registration is required to attend a relaxed performance. Check back in August for the registration form.

Several people in theirs 20s and 30s around a restaurant table smiling at the cameraShow Up! Young Professionals Event

Saturday, December 2 at 2:00 pm

Join other Young Professionals (at a special YP price) for the performance then walk to a nearby bar or restaurant to mingle and discuss the show over discounted drinks and bites.

American Sign LanguageASL-Interpreted Performance

Thursday, December 14 at 7:00 pm

Interpreters perform a translation of the play into ASL alongside the performance in a position with great sightlines to see both the action of the play and the interpreters.

Ask for an assistive listening device at any performance from our box office.

Audio Described PerformanceAudio Described Performance

Saturday, December 16 at 2:00 pm

Patrons can use a headset for one ear to hear descriptions of key visual elements inserted into natural pauses in the show, allowing patrons to still hear dialogue, sound effects, and music.

Ask for large print or Braille playbills at any performance from our box office.

Photo credits | First Timer’s Guide, Brooke Steele in The Frog Princess; Ticket Info, Bryant Bentley, Burgess Byrd, and Leslie Goddard-Baum in Detroit ’67 (Mikki Schaffner); Subscriptions, Cast of Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Ticket Discounts, Torie Wiggins in Your Negro Tour Guide. All images by Ryan Kurtz unless otherwise noted.