To raise consciousness and nurture compassion through groundbreaking performances and life-changing education programs.


  • CPT was Founded in 1981 by James Levin.
  • Annual operating budget is $2,500,000.
  • 22 full-time staff, 12 part-time staff, & 800 artists participate in our performances, education programs, & fundraising events.

CPT Engages Youth and Communities

Each year CPT engages nearly 1,000 youth and adults in programs that enhance academic achievement and teach job skills, compassion, mindfulness, and community pride. Original productions, created by participants, are performed in public parks, treatment centers, shelters, prisons, universities, and juvenile detention centers, and attended by 15,000 community members.

CPT Incubates Innovative New Works by Local Artists

CPT produces more new work by local artists than all the Northeast Ohio professional theatres combined. Through four developmental programs, CPT serves local artists at every step of the creative process, from early ideas all the way to full productions and the entrepreneurial step of launching a new work. In the last 10 years, CPT has produced more than 55 world premieres, 45 of which were by local artists. Our DanceWorks series also regularly includes world premiere dance pieces.

CPT Attracts Young and Diverse Audiences

CPT attracts a young and diverse audience with a contemporary aesthetic and an informal, welcoming environment. A recent community-wide survey noted that CPT is the only major theatre with an audience that includes above-market representation of singles under 30 and residents of the City of Cleveland. CPT co-founded Gordon Square Arts District, which has attracted neighborhood investment in new businesses, market-rate housing, and retail stores.

CPT Launches Nationally Significant New Plays

With a national reputation for developing new plays and producing innovative interpretations of classic works, CPT has garnered praise for its work and received notices in articles and reviews by The New York Times, American Theatre magazine, Theatre Journal, The Dramatists Guild, and Canadian Theatre Review. Shows created at CPT have toured to New Orleans, New York, Toronto, Minneapolis, Belgrade, and the United Kingdom. CPT engagement programs have served as a model for similar programs in Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The History of Cleveland Public Theatre