Know goes noir with premiere of ‘Pulp’

The Know Theatre is putting Cincinnati in the national spotlight with its staging of the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of playwright Joseph Zettelmaier’s “Pulp.”

A comedic genre-bending “whodunit,” it kicked off at the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis last spring. It also will be produced at Michigan’s Williamston Theatre throughout October.

The network supports theaters producing the same new play within a 12-month period. The result is a “rolling premiere,” which gives a playwright the chance to develop a work with multiple directors, creative teams and communities. “Pulp” is the second rolling premiere for The Know. Steve Yockey’s “Pluto” was brought to the theater in 2014.

In “Pulp,” Joseph Zettelmaier – author of Know’s 2015 hit Star Wars caper “All Childish Things” – tells the story of washed-up private investigator Frank Ellery. He takes on a case in which life begins to imitate literature when a literary agent is gruesomely murdered. The main suspects? The victim’s only remaining clients: four eccentric writers working at different pulp magazines.

“There are so many things that excite me about tackling this show: our fantastic cast, the thrill of working on an evolving world premiere script, and my own personal love for the Pulp stories of the ’30s through ’50s,” said Know Theatre artistic director Andrew Hungerford, who is directing the play. “I grew up reading Ray Bradbury’s science fiction, and the ‘Maltese Falcon’ is a favorite of mine (both the book and the film).”

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company ensemble member Paul Riopelle makes his Know Theatre debut as the down-on-his-luck gumshoe.

Know’s education director, Maggie Lou Rader, is femme-fatale romance writer Desiree St. Clair; Justin McCombs is the wealthy playboy; Darnell Pierre Benjamin is an up-and-coming sci-fi writer; and MadCap Puppets artistic director Dylan Shelton is horror writer R.A. Lyncroft.

“Pulp” runs Oct. 7-29. Tickets are $25, or $15 at the door, if available., 513-300-KNOW (5669)

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