Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati

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Comedy

The Match Game

by Steven Strafford

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A photo of three paper cups in a row with a hand lifting one up to reveal a ball underneath it against a bright real background. A photo of three paper cups in a row with a hand lifting one up to reveal a ball underneath it against a bright real background.

Families, are we right?

A world premiere dramedy! Steph has typical mid-life woes on her plate: a precocious daughter about to graduate high school and an absentee father who just moved in, who may or may not be faking dementia. Oh, and did we mention she has a little bit of cancer? Steph has ulterior motives for letting in her dad and a grand scheme to pull it off. When the family gathers for a birthday party with a hidden agenda, they’re forced to confront the truths they’ve been too afraid to acknowledge. The 2022 winner of the Jackie Demaline playwriting competition, this world premiere dramedy hilariously reflects on how families aren’t always well matched.

Run time: ~2 hr, 15 min with one intermission

Content warning: As Steph and her family navigate hard truths and schemes, they use adult language and mentions of sexual relationships. Steph and (possibly) her father are dealing with serious health conditions, and cancer and Alzheimer’s are heavily discussed, albeit with a healthy dose of levity and humor.

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

  • Dysfunctional family dynamics full of secrets and schemes
  • Seeing brand new works and supporting local playwrights
  • Clever and hilarious dialogue that’s nonstop
  • Finding humor in bad situations
  • Shows about learning to rely on each other and opening up to loved ones
  • Relatable, complex characters whose bad choices you love to see snowball
  • Laughing so hard it hurts!

Similar ETC shows:

  • Grand Horizons by Bess Wohl
  • Ripcord by David Lindsay-Abaire
  • The Humans by Stephen Karam

 

Similar titles:

  • Modern Family (ABC)
  • The Big Sick (Lionsgate)
  • Little Miss Sunshine (Searchlight)

Video

Watch an interview with the playwright of The Match Game
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Watch the family tree video for The Match Game
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Watch the cast interview for The Match Game
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Watch the teaser video for The Match Game
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Cast

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Savannah Boyd

Nora
Savannah Boyd
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Bruce Cromer

Johnny
Bruce Cromer
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Deb G. Girdler

Deb
Deb G. Girdler
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Henry Howland

Sean
Henry Howland
A photo of a middle-aged man with a reddish-fair skin tone and red hair and a beard staring deeply into the camera

Jared Joplin

Brian
Jared Joplin
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Jennifer Joplin

Steph
Jennifer Joplin
A photo of a middle-aged man with a medium-fair skin tone and gray hair staring intensely into the camera

Allen R. Middleton

Alan
Allen R. Middleton

Creative team

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Steven Strafford

Playwright
Steven Strafford

Jared D. Doren

Director
Jared D. Doren
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Brian c. Mehring

Scenic & Lighting Director
Brian c. Mehring
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Maria Fernanda Ortiz Lopez

Costume Designer
Maria Fernanda Ortiz Lopez

Matt Callahan

Sound Designer
Matt Callahan

Emily Egner

Choreographer
Emily Egner
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Hannah Dringenburg

Wig Designer
Hannah Dringenburg

Melissa Bennett

Fight Director
Melissa Bennett
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Shannon Rae Lutz

Properties Curator & Design Assistant
Shannon Rae Lutz
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Jacob Dowell

Techincal Director
Jacob Dowell

Chris Lipstreu

Associate Production Manager & Master Electrician
Chris Lipstreu

Regina Pugh

Production Stage Manager
Regina Pugh

Lexi Muller

Assistant Stage Manager
Lexi Muller

Events & Accessibility

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

Saturday, April 20 at 2:00 pm

Join other Young Professionals (at a special YP price) for the performance then mingle and discuss the show over discounted drinks and bites at our 1125 Bar. Learn how to score your YP ticket here!


ETC EssentialsETC Essentials

Sunday, April 28 at 1:00 pm

Dive even deeper into each show with a FREE conversations series that explores our productions’ themes and context with local scholars and community members. These start an hour before show time, and registration is recommended.

Register


""Meet the Artists

Thursday, April 25 at 7:30 pm | Sunday, April 28 at 2:00 pm

Stay after the show for a FREE post-show behind-the-scenes discussion with artists from the production.

 


American Sign LanguageASL-Interpreted Performance

Wednesday, May 1 at 7:30 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, May 4 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.


An old-fashioned microphone against a deep blue backgroundETC Cabaret | Broadway

Saturday, May 4 at 10:00 pm

Join us for a late night musical treat of Broadway show tunes, performed by some ETC favorites! Save your $20 seat to this after-hours cozy cabaret!

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.