Innovative and Diverse: Cleveland Public Theatre Announces New 2017-18 Season

Cleveland Public Theatre Announces the 2017/2018 Season, titled ‘STAND’

Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT)’s Executive Artistic Director Raymond Bobgan recently announced their 2017/2018 season, which delivers on CPT’s mission of raising consciousness and nurturing compassion through theatre that is daring, relevant and socially-conscious.

CPT invests in innovation and diversity, and has been recognized regionally and nationwide as a leader in the support and development of new work, the amplification of emerging voices and for producing and presenting work from artists creating theatre outside the mainstream.

The theme of CPT’s 2017/2018 season is STAND.

According to Bobgan: “The playwrights of the 2017/2018 season are bold leaders of thought and action. They are taking a stand. From the surreal vision of Lisa Langford wrestling with race, gender and how we grapple with our own desires and sense of self, to Leila Buck’s groundbreaking, hilarious and heart-wrenching exploration of immigration and prejudice, to Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’s look at one family’s struggle to escape the slavery of slavery’s past, these are plays that stretch the imagination as they delight and challenge. And CPT is following their lead and taking a stand, once again programming a season with a majority of playwrights of color—almost unheard of among non-culturally specific theatres—women playwrights and works that expand the vision of what theatre can be.

‘STAND’ – The New Season


One Night Only. Saturday, September 9, 2017; Cleveland Public Theatre, various locations; 7:00 pm; Tickets $165 ($95 tax deductible).

Cleveland Public Theatre’s annual fundraising extravaganza transforms the CPT campus into a labyrinth of theatre, dance, visual and performance art in every corner. Ticket is all-inclusive with fabulous local food and complimentary drinks served all night long. A feast for the eyes, mind, appetite and imagination—proceeds benefit CPT’s groundbreaking artistic work and life-changing education programs.


Previews October 5 – 7 & 12. Runs October 13 – 28. Gordon Square Theatre. Written by Eric Coble, 2016/2017 Nord Family Foundation Catapult Fellow. Directed by Craig George.

CPT Announces 2017-18 season, 'STAND.'

Andrew Claxon wants to help Grandad Claxon celebrate his 150th birthday in a last ditch effort to buck for a promotion in the company Grandad founded. If only his wife would stop losing jobs, and their daughter stop blogging, while all the neighbors keep desperately flooding into their home because of nearby rampages and plumbing explosions. And did we mention the Korean Flu that makes house-pets spontaneously combust? The Family Claxon is an insane romp into the absurdity of life in our communally duct-taped home. World Premiere.


Runs October 5 – 7. James Levin Theatre.
Created and Directed by Teatro Publico de Cleveland Ensemble Members.

Now in its fifth year, Teatro Publico de Cleveland launches a workshop series of new scripts and scenes created by local Latino artists. This series will feature 10 minute plays and showings of material in a staged reading format. New Play Development.


Previews October 26 – 28 & November 2. Runs November 3 – 18. James Levin Theatre. Written by Lisa Langford. Directed by Jimmie Woody.

Set in Cleveland, The Art of Longing follows the lives of six “third-shift” people—those who guard and take care while the rest of us are asleep. The characters’ secrets mask deeply held yearnings that manifest in fantastical abilities and anatomical switch-ups. Race, gender and the nature of art and perception are at the focal point of this theatrical experiment. The Art of Longing fashions a world where dream and reality interpenetrate each other. World Premiere.


Runs November 2 – 5, Gordon Square Theatre. The one-weekend-only production at CPT is followed by a community-wide tour.

The Y-Haven Theatre Project is a nineteen-year partnership between Cleveland Public Theatre and Y-Haven, a transitional housing facility for homeless men recovering from substance abuse and mental health challenges. Since 1998, CPT and Y-Haven, a branch of the Greater Cleveland YMCA, have annually collaborated to create an original theatre production, performed by the men and based on their life stories.


Previews November 24 – 26 & 30. Runs December 1 – 17. Gordon Square Theatre. Created by Beth Wood, Liz Conway and Michael Seevers, Jr. Directed by Beth Wood.

See cleveland public theatre's new season titled, 'stand.'
The Loush Sisters get HARD for the Holidays. Photo by: Steve Wagner.

This holiday season, the infamous sisters are BACK! This time, taking matters into their own hands…wink wink. Join Holly and Jolly Loush (aka The Loush Sisters) for their deeply anticipated return to the stage in a bawdy, boozy, over-the-top holiday cabaret. Fueled by song, sidekicks and a hefty dose of “holiday cheer,” the Loush Sisters battle villains and attempt to avert disaster in this radical satirization of America’s favorite holiday classic… Die Hard. World Premiere.


January 18 – 21. CPT Campus, multiple venuesFeaturing work by various Northeast Ohio artists.

Grab a pass and step into a festival-like atmosphere of raw art-in-progress. Entry Point is a platform for artists to develop their work in the early stages of creation, then share that work with the public in a festival forum. Entry Point activities include staged readings, works-in-progress, open rehearsals, guest panel discussions and facilitated feedback between artists and audience after every showing. New Play Development.


Runs January 24 – 28. Gordon Square Theatre. Conceived and led by Michael Rohd. Created by Sojourn Theatre and collaborators. Presenting Sponsor: United Way of Greater Cleveland.

How do we tackle poverty in America? In our community? Over the course of 90 minutes, audiences listen, explore and ultimately decide how to spend $1,000 cash from that evening’s box office sales. An experiment in dialogue, collective decision-making, shared responsibility and the potential for art to transform our world, How to End Poverty is spectacularly eclectic in form, often delightful and occasionally uncomfortable. The production engages audiences alongside community experts, blending adventurous theatricality with real time, task-based connective encounters amidst strangers. Regional Premiere.


Previews February 8 – 10 & 15. Runs February 16 – March 3. James Levin Theatre. Written by Leila Buck. Directed and developed by Tamilla Woodard. In collaboration with Varín Ayala, Monte Bezell, Osh Ghanimah, Ahmad Maksoud, Jens Rasmussen, Imran Sheikh and Rasha Zamamiri.

Written by Leila Buck. Directed and developed by Tamilla Woodard. In collaboration with Varín Ayala, Monte Bezell, Osh Ghanimah, Ahmad Maksoud, Jens Rasmussen, Imran Sheikh and Rasha Zamamiri.

You are invited into the live studio audience of “American Dreams,” where you will decide which of three contestants will receive the ultimate prize: citizenship to “the greatest nation on earth.” Weaving playful audience engagement with up-to-the-moment questions about immigration and more, this participatory performance-in-process explores how we navigate between fear, security and freedom; who and what we choose to believe—and how those choices come to shape who we are. World Premiere.


Previews February 22. Runs February 23 – March 10. Gordon Square Theatre. Written by Caridad Svich based on Julia Alvarez’s novel.

Check out cleveland public theatre's brand new theatre season!
En El Tiempo De Las Mariposas. Photo by: Steve Wagner.

Based on Julia Álvarez’s extraordinary novel “In the Time of the Butterflies,” En el Tiempo de las Mariposas is a fictionalized account of the courageous Mirabal sisters from the Dominican Republic. The sisters inspired resistance cells throughout the country against the dictatorial regime of Gen. Rafael Leónidas Trujillo. The ‘butterflies,’ their secret code name, were brutally murdered by the regime in 1960. En el Tiempo de las Mariposas paints a visual dreamscape of the activist sisters’ interior lives, the beauty and ferocity of the natural world and the music heard on the radio of the time. Performed in Spanish with English Supertitles. Regional Premiere.


Previews March 29 – 31 & April 5. Runs April 6 – 21. Gordon Square Theatre. Written by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm.

Lynchburg, Virginia. The former site of a thriving cotton mill is now an impoverished neighborhood. Deeply affected by recent killings of young black men like himself, Ruffrino, a 14-year-old “militant,” incites riots at school and online. More and more at odds with his mother and grandfather, the boy’s anger grows beyond containment while the family home literally sinks into the cotton field and no one seems to notice but him. National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere.


March 29 – April 28. James Levin Theatre. A 5-week play development series featuring works-in-progress by local and national artists.

Test Flight is a multi-week series that showcases new work on its way to full production. Test Flight provides both local and national/international artists with the keys to the theatre and the opportunity to co-produce original works-in-progress. The series encourages risk-taking and an entrepreneurial spirit towards creating new work while offering artists a structured support system, activating an art-focused environment. New Play Development.


May 5, 6:30 – 10:00pm. St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ohio City.
A Beacon of Freedom. A Convening of Community. A Celebration of Hope.

Now in its fifth year, Station Hope is a jubilant community event that celebrates Cleveland’s social justice history and explores contemporary struggles for freedom and equity. Engage with over 250 artists as they envision, interrogate and seek out hope on the grounds of Cleveland’s first authenticated Underground Railroad site, St. John’s Episcopal Church. Audiences explore the historic properties while viewing works of theatre, music, storytelling and dance inspired by the most important issues of our time.


Runs May 17 – June 9. Gordon Square Theatre. Featuring Northeast Ohio choreographers.

Every year, Cleveland Public Theatre welcomes Northeast Ohio’s most adventurous contemporary dance companies to the Gordon Square Theatre stage for four weeks of single and double bill performances.


Previews May 24 – 26 & 31. Runs June 1 – 16. CPT Campus, multiple venues. Created by Raymond Bobgan and Cleveland Core Ensemble. Directed by Raymond Bobgan.

In the spring of 2018, the Cleveland Core Ensemble, comprised of Raymond Bobgan, Dionne Atchison, Faye Hargate, Adam Seeholzer and Darius Stubbs, will premiere an original work created by the company and directed by CPT’s Executive Artistic Director, Raymond Bobgan. World Premiere.

Posted by: Logan Foster

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