My world in theatre and film

My Career in Short

I have many friends and professional colleagues in Cincinnati theatre circles. In collaboration with these talented people, and as an active member of SAG-AFTRA and Actor's Equity Association, I have performed on the stages of Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, as well as numerous other local theatres.

I have been fortunate enough to have feature roles in films such as This Train (with Soupy Sales), The Pride of Jesse Hallum (with Johnny Cash), This Other Eden (Narrated by Patricia Neal), and the PBS TV series Another Page with Robert Townsend.

Many awards were presented to me from the Association of Community Theatres-Cincinnati and the Ohio Community Theatre Association for such acting roles as Rosie Brice in Funny Girl, and Princess Puffer in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, to name a few, and in direction for Equus by Peter Shaffer; The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Jay Allen; Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams, which won Jackie Demaline's runner up award for design; A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, also by Williams, which was nominated for a Cincinnati Entertainment Award, Vanities by Jack Heifner, and many others. Mariemont Players' production of Vanities, under my direction, was invited to do a run at La Commedia Dinner Theatre. 

At the University of Colorado where I earned an M.A. degree in Speech and Drama, and performed in The Colorado Shakespeare Festival, I received the award for "Continuous Excellence of Artistic Achievement in Acting." For many years I did TV and radio commercials and voice overs for Frisch's Big Boy Restaurants, White Castle, Cincinnati Bell, Wendy's, and Fifth Third Bank, among others.

Gone With the Wind has always been one of my favorite movies, and I have read the book many times, which made it doubly thrilling to be cast by Daniel Selznick, son of David O. Selznick (director of GWTW), in the original play, Southern Discomfort, by Randall David Cook, produced at the Aronoff's Fifth Third Theatre in Cincinnati. As a young girl my cousin, Tommye Lynn and I spent many fun hours dressing up and playing Scarlett and Melanie in our own homemade version of GWTW.

In 2006, I "retired" from theatre to write books for young people. I find this to be a rewarding outlet for artistic expression, but I will always cherish my memories of being backstage and waiting for my cue to "razzle dazzle 'em!" I would come out of "retirement" in a heartbeat, if I got cast in a movie.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

One of the most exciting roles I had the privilege of doing was Princess Puffer in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, my first major singing role.

Josephine as Princess Puffer circa 1998
Josephine as Princess Puffer circa 1998
Josephine center as Puffer in Drood
Josephine center as Puffer in Drood
It's lovely to sing and dance in a show. Party after The Mystery of Edwin Drood
It's lovely to sing and dance in a show. Party after The Mystery of Edwin Drood

As Ivy In Sting

Josephine As Ivy in The Sting 1986
As Ivy in The Sting

This production was so much fun to do. We had a great cast and I was in a skinny phase. What more can an actress ask for?

 

As Celia in As You Like It

As Celia in As You Like It with Karen Grassle The Colorado Shakespeare Festival

The girl on the left in the picture is Karen Grassle, who later played Caroline Ingalls in the TV series, Little House on the Prairie. Here you see us as Rosalind and Celia in a scene from Shakespeare's As You Like It, performed in the amphitheater at the University of Colorado. After the show the cast enjoyed partying at Halfway House under the stars in the magnificent Colorado skies. Our professor/directors always joined us and a good time was had by all.

On location with Johnny Cash

Josephine, the actress, on location with Johnny Cash shooting The Pride of Jesse Hallum.
On Location with Johnny Cash

This was one of the most exciting experiences of my life. Johnny Cash was a wonderful person to know as well as perform with. During times on location when our stand-ins were being lighted, or when we had a break, he and I sat on a log together and talked about Arkansas, where we both hailed from. Once a group of three ladies, who had sniffed out the unpublished location site, jumped out of some nearby bushes and asked for our autographs. We know why they wanted his, but they assured me that they wanted mine, too, because someday I might be famous. The crew spoiled me, even though I had only a small role. They gave me my own trailer on the location site with my name on the door!

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karen odenbach
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you are the greatest

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