Joey Votto Makes a Splash! 

Cincinnati Reds First Baseman provides narration in The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s production of The SpongeBob Musical: Youth Edition this October 

Cincinnati – The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is thrilled to announce that Cincinnati Reds First Baseman Joey Votto will lend his voice to their upcoming production of THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION.  

Votto will be heard as the “French Narrator” in the show, introducing the audience to the world of Bikini Bottom. This marks the first time a Cincinnati Reds player has been featured in a The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati production. 

Votto is the National League’s 2010 Most Valuable Player and Hank Aaron Award winner, a 6-time NL All-Star, and a Sporting News NL All-Star. He is the only Reds first baseman ever to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award (2011) and Major League Baseball’s 2017 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award winner for exemplary contributions to his community. Votto received Most Valuable Player Award votes 8 times in the last 13 seasons and was voted 6 times by the Cincinnati chapter of the BBWAA the Ernie Lombardi Award as the Reds’ MVP. Joey Votto was born in Toronto, Ontario, and grew up in the city of Etobicoke. He is fluent in French. 

“We are so thankful to Joey Votto and his team for being a part of the 23-24 TCT Season,” says TCT Managing Director and CEO Kim Kern. “Our audiences will enjoy hearing a Cincinnati icon bring this character to life.” 

Please note: Joey Votto will not appear live at the Taft Theatre. Only his voice recording is being used.  

23-24 MainStage Season opens with THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION at the Taft Theatre October 14-23, 2023. Tickets are on sale now at  

“TCT is making a splash with our season opener THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION! With songs from Cyndi Lauper to T.I. to Lady A, this musical brings to life the characters of Bikini Bottom. This show will have the whole family singing and dancing out of the theatre!” says Artistic Director, Roderick Justice. 

THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION is a 60-minute musical adaptation based on the beloved animated series created by Stephen Hillenburg. Plunge into this stunning all-singing, all-dancing, dynamic stage show! When the citizens of Bikini Bottom discover that a volcano will soon erupt and destroy their humble home, SpongeBob and his friends must come together to save the fate of their undersea world. With lives hanging in the balance and all hope lost, a most unexpected hero rises up. The power of optimism really can save the world! 

Based on the series by Stephen Hillenburg. Book by Kyle Jarrow. Musical Production Conceived by Tina Landau. Original Songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady A, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, T.I. And Songs by David Bowie, Tom Kenny & Andy Paley. Additional Lyrics by Jonathan Coulton / Additional Music by Tom Kitt. Nickelodeon, SpongeBob SquarePants, and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc. 

Stage Direction and Co-Choreography by Maddie Jones. Roderick Justice, Artistic Director and Co-Choreographer. Dani Lobello, Director of Production. Scenic Design by Nate Bertone. Sets and Props provided by Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center. Lighting Design by Benjamin Gantose. Costume Design by Jeff Shearer. Music Direction by Jacob Priddy. Sound Production by Don Moore. Technical Direction by Ben Adams and Maggie Foley. Resident Stage Manager, Jadi Davis.  

Ideal for ages 4+. This production runs 60 minutes without an intermission. 


Saturday, October 14 at 2PM (ASL interpretation will be offered at this performance.) 

Saturday, October 14 at 5PM 

Sunday, October 15 at 2PM 

Friday, October 20 at 7PM 

Saturday, October 21 at 11AM  

Saturday, October 21 at 2PM 

Sunday, October 22 at 2PM 

THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION is made possible by Dress Run Sponsor TriHealth, Production Sponsor The Summit Hotel, and Season Sponsor The Charles H. Dater Foundation. Additional funding for MainStage Ticket Subsidies is provided by PNC Foundation. The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is supported by the tens of thousands of people who give generously to the annual ArtsWave Campaign, the region’s primary source for arts funding. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. 

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s Broadway-style MainStage productions, including THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION, are performed in the historic Taft Theatre, 5th and Sycamore Streets in Downtown Cincinnati. Tickets start at $10. Visit or call the TCT Box Office at 513.569.8080 x10, Monday – Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM to purchase tickets.  

The sensory-friendly performance of THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION on Wednesday, October 18 at 1 PM is intended for individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as children (and adults) with other special needs who may benefit. To create a sensory-friendly performance, the show is performed in a welcoming, supportive environment for those with sensory challenges. Slight adjustments to lighting and sound are made, and effects such as fog, strobes, and lights that extend into the audience are minimalized. A downloadable Social Narrative (in Word format) is made available on the TCT website one week before the performance. At the theater, TCT provides an area staffed by specialists in the field where patrons can take a break from the performance if necessary, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has trained staff on hand.   

For details about how to purchase tickets to TCT’s Sensory-Friendly performances, visit

CAST (In Alphabetical Order) 



BRAXTON BELL…. Electric Skate/Ensemble 

RHYS BOATWRIGHT……. Live Foley Artist 



KRISTEN DAS …. Pearl Krabs  

IAN TIMOTHY FORSGREN…. Electric Skate/Ensemble 

JOSH GALLOWAY…. SpongeBob SquarePants 


ALEC HARRISON……Perch Perkins 


BOB HERZOG…. Sheldon J. Plankton 


HENRY HOWLAND…. Squidward Tentacles 

BRANDI LA’SHERRILL…. Mayor of Bikini Bottom 

*ELLI MADDOCK…. Ensemble 

AARON MARSHALL…. Patrick Star 


*KIP RICHARDSON…. Ensemble Swing 



KATE STARK…. Ensemble 



JOEY VOTTO… French Narrator 

JORDAN WARD…. Ensemble 


For Perch and Plankton: Jude Abella; for Patrick and Mr. Krabs: Braxton Bell; for SpongeBob: Ian Timothy Forsgren; for Mayor: Emily Hilbrecht; for Sandy: Elli Maddock; for Pearl Krabs and Karen: Elexis Selmon; for Squidward: Collin Brogan Stinnett 

*Denotes TCT’s Young Artists Company 

THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: YOUTH EDITION is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals.  


Auditions Announced for The SpongeBob Musical: Youth Edition and Narnia: the Musical


The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCT) is holding auditions in May for the first two MainStage productions in their 2023-2024 season at the Taft Theatre.

All roles are paid positions.

TCT, the nation’s oldest theatre for children, is passionate about creating an inclusive workplace and is committed to a dynamic casting process. All roles are open to everyone regardless of ethnicity, background, ability, or gender identity.

Upon audition registration, you may indicate which shows for which you would like to be considered. Auditions are by appointment only.

You only need ONE audition appointment, even if you are interested in both productions.

Adult performers and young performers ages 9-18 who would like to be considered for TCT’s Young Artist Company, may make an audition appointment by visiting the link below:

Appointment dates:

THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL: Youth Edition callbacks will take place on Saturday, May 6, 10:00 AM – 2:30 PM

NARNIA: The Musical callbacks will take place on Sunday, May 7, 4:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Auditions and Callbacks are held at TCT’s headquarters located at: 4015 Red Bank Road, Cincinnati OH 45227.

If you are unable to attend auditions in person and would like to inquire about a virtual submission, or for information concerning auditions email Maddie Jones at

Visit the link below to sign-up for an audition appointment.


Please prepare the piano sheet music to a memorized song that shows your acting and vocal range. (1-minute max). The song must be age appropriate. Remember to have your PIANO SHEET MUSIC, as we will not be auditioning for a cappella skills. An accompanist will be provided. Your sheet music MUST have the piano part, not just the vocal line, and music should be in a 3-ring binder with any cuts CLEARLY marked for the accompanist.

You only need a song. You do NOT need to prepare a monologue.



Based on the series by Stephen Hillenburg

Book: Kyle Jarrow

Musical Production Conceived by: Tina Landau

Directed by: Maddie Jones

Choreography by: Roderick Justice and Maddie Jones

The stakes are higher than ever in this dynamic stage musical, as SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Chaos erupts. Lives hang in the balance. And just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage. The power of optimism really can save the world!

The SpongeBob Musical is based on the beloved animated series created by Stephen Hillenburg.

Rehearsals: September 9 – October 7, 2023

Mon – Thurs: 6:30-9:30 PM, Sat: 10 AM – 4 PM

Tech in the Taft Theatre: October 11–13, 2023 Daytime/Evening

Performances: October 14 –23, 2023

The first Monday of the week is dark after opening. Throughout the week, TCT hosts morning and afternoon performances for school field trips. Afternoon and evening performances for the public take place Friday-Sunday.


SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: (any gender, portrays male) He is optimistic, innocent, and boyish; energetic and sometimes hyperactive. This actor should have the ability to move well and be an extremely physical actor – unafraid of climbing and being on tall objects. Additionally: Must be naturally funny and have great comedic skills and precision. Strong pop tenor.

SQUIDWARD Q. TENTACLES: (portrays male)Grumpy, cynical, dry, short- tempered, generally negative but lovable! This Actor must be a strong tap dancer. Comedic timing skills are necessary.

PATRICK STAR: (portrays male) Well-intentioned but lacking common sense or skills;

kind and somewhat clueless, an innocent; a big softie, who can also be prone to sudden child-like fits of rage or frustration.

SHELDON J. PLANKTON: (portrays male) His personality outweighs his size- slick,

scheming, nefarious; has the ability to charm; determined, he will do anything to get

ahead in life; very greedy, but his heart is still open enough to rekindle a romance with

his wife. This character will need to dance and rap skills a plus.

KAREN, THE COMPUTER: (portrays female) Glamorous, a robotic wife of Plankton. She’s been there for Plankton’s every scheme and plot and has become jaded – she’s been there and done that. Strong comic actor, as well as singer and mover.

PEARL KRABS: (portrays female)Mr. Krabs’ bratty teenage daughter. This is a character role with Gospel vocal overtones.

SANDY CHEEKS: (portrays female)A brainy and athletic Texan squirrel who came to Bikini Bottom for a research project. She acts as SpongeBob’s most trusted ally on their quest to stop the volcano from erupting, using her vast amount of scientific knowledge and brilliant inventions to aid the mission.

EUGENE KRABS: (portrays male) The greedy owner of the Krusty Krab, and employer of SpongeBob and Squidward. While everyone is off panicking about Bikini Bottom’s imminent doom, he decides to strike the iron while it’s hot and puts on a huge “apocalypse sale” at his restaurant, exploiting the fear of his fellow fish to make him even richer.


-Mayor of Bikini Bottom

-Perch Perkins


-Old Man Jenkins

-Mrs. Puff

-Larry the Lobster

ELECTRIC SKATES: Rock and roll band members, the Skates are hard-core, grungy, heavy metals meet World Wrestling. Strong Dancers, very comfortable on skateboards (need to “play” guitar while skating), ability to do skateboard tricks a plus. Also open to rollerblade or inline skating if the actor is expert, with tricks available.

ENSEMBLE: A variety of character types to play several featured ensemble roles; Actors with comedic timing, extremely strong pop/rock or contemporary musical theatre voices and be able to tap and dance Hip-hop extremely well; Seeking STRONG Dancer, Singer, Actors with versatile singing and acting ability who will cover principal roles.


Based on C.S. Lewis’

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe

Book: Jules Tasca

Music: Thomas Tierney

Lyrics: Ted Drachman

Directed by: Roderick Justice

Choreography by: Maddie Jones & Roderick Justice

NARNIA THE MUSICAL tells the story of four English schoolchildren – brothers and sisters – sent away from London during World War II to stay with their uncle in a large manor. They stumble upon (and through) a wardrobe into the magical kingdom of Narnia, held in the power of the White Witch, whose evil spell has frozen the land, so that it is “always winter – and never Christmas.”

In this spellbound landscape, filled with creatures of myth and fable, the children face temptation and fear, but learn deep lessons of courage, unselfishness, and wisdom that help them grow in spirit and prepare them for life in our world.

From the excitement of the opening number “Doors and Windows,” to the poetry of “Narnia (You Can’t Imagine),” to the stirring “To Make the World Right Again,” your spirits will soar with all those in this enchanted land in Narnia The Musical.

Rehearsals: November 4 – December 2, 2023 (No rehearsal November 22 – 24. Potential added rehearsal Sunday, November 26) Mon – Thurs: 6:30-9:30PM, Sat: 10AM – 4PM

Tech in the Taft Theatre: December 6 – 8, 2023 (Daytime/Evening)

Performances: December 9 – 18, 2023

The first Monday of the week is dark after opening. Throughout the week, TCT hosts morning and afternoon performances for school field trips. Afternoon and evening performances for the public take place Friday-Sunday.


ASLAN: (portrays male) Regal and powerful but with an underlying passion, the lion stands as the rightful king of Narnia.

WITCH: (portrays female) Cunningly sweet one moment then strikingly wrathful the next, she is the one who has usurped the throne from Aslan.

PETER: (portrays teenage male) The oldest of the four children who venture to Narnia. While a young man of integrity, he has had to play the role of parent perhaps too young and thus reflects a somewhat bossy persona.

SUSAN: (portrays teenage female) The second oldest of the four children who venture to Narnia. While compassionate, she also has had to play the role of parent a bit too young, and thus reflects a slight bossy persona.

EDMUND: (portrays young male) The second youngest of the four children who venture to Narnia. Cranky and temperamental, he sides with the witch without his siblings.

LUCY: (portrays young female) The youngest of the four children who venture to Narnia. Sincere and sweet, she leads her family in the adventure.

MR. BEAVER: (portrays male) A cranky pessimist, but at heart a true Narnian patriot who aids the children.

MRS. BEAVER: (portrays female) Plucky and boisterous, she also aids the children in their venture.

TUMNUS: (portrays male) Quirky and nervous, the good-hearted faun gets mixed up in the wrong crowd.

RENWITH: (any gender) The stubborn, tough, and vengeful wolf who challenges Peter to a sword fight in the name of The White Witch.

FENRIS: (any gender) The arrogant and militant wolf who leads The White Witch’s secret police.

DWARF: (any gender) The crusty character serves as the witch’s main ever scratching sidekick.

THE PROFESSOR: (portrays older male) A cheerful yet mysterious man who narrates the show.

FATHER CHRISTMAS: (portrays older male) A Santa-like character, lacking many of the overt stereotypes, leaves a profound sense of hope and cheer.

ASLAN’S ARMY/ENSEMBLE/PUPPETEERS: (any gender, ages 9+) Various Narnians who fight for Aslan in the final battle and stand by his side when he faces the witch.

Emery Theater Block Party

Join us in celebrating our future home at the Emery Theater. This family-friendly block party in OTR will be fun for the whole family. Enjoy food from Che OTR, LaRosa’s, and Kroger’s On-The-Rhine Eatery; signature cocktail from Northside Distillery, music from Q102, face painting, balloon animals, character meet-and-greets, tours of the Emery Theater and more!

Rain or shine.

The whole community is invited to 1112 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. The block between Central Parkway and 12th Street in downtown Cincinnati will be shut down for this event. 

Join us in celebrating our future home at the Emery Theater. The Block Party will feature: 

A short program will begin at 1:00 PM, hosted by Local 12’s Bob Herzog, featuring Cincinnati Mayor, Aftab Pureval. 

Media sponsors of the TCT at the Emery Block Party include Cincinnati Magazine, Local 12, and Q102. 

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