Author Archives: cptonline

Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi FREE THEATRE WORKSHOPS


“Crooked River Circus is really about the fact that a lot of us found the circus through a crooked river—we weren’t trained that way, it was not a straight path for us, some of us started late in life, and we celebrate that.”  Jaime Bouvier

As performances of How the Circus Stole Christmas: A Circus Holiday Extravaganza! start in a couple of weeks, we thought you might want to meet one of the show’s Co-Creators and Director Jaime Bouvier (pronounced like zhĕm bōō-vee-ay) of Crooked River Circus & School.

Let’s get this out of the way―she may or may not be related to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.  The legend has it, her dad on a whim and not knowing whether, or not, they were related wrote Jackie for money―he never heard back. She has French Quebec (Quebecois) ancestry, hence the French name, and grew up in Iowa where she attended the University of Iowa before moving to Cleveland in the 1990s. Shortly after moving to Cleveland, she started working with some small theater companies; and while she loved theatre, she realized that she wanted to make more money so that she could financially support a family, so she enrolled in law school.

It wasn’t until the late 2010s nearing the age of 40 that she made the transition into circus school.  While studying yoga at The Studio Cleveland, she became friends with a trapeze artist who was a few years older than her, which inspired her to take an aerial silks class. “It was important for me to pursue something I wasn’t good at, which is something I would not allow myself to do when I was younger. I did it for the sake of enjoying it instead of trying to be the best.”

Before long, her group began receiving requests to perform and the turning point came in 2015 when she went to a month-long professional training program in Vermont to take a deep-dive into lyra. While in her 40s, she was performing and holding her own with 18-and 19-year-olds.  Also, around this time, she started mixing theatre with circus which is “something rare in theater as they are very different skills. Circus is more like dance than theater. Circus artists rarely speak.  I wanted to bring voice and character to Circus.  These are skills I can translate even if I can’t do the most intense acrobatic feats.” She slowly added more apparatus like trapeze, straps, and partner acrobatics; and continued to study at prestigious circus schools abroad while supporting her circus training as a law professor which gave her summers off.

Jaime, who turned 50 this year, is a strong advocate of the health benefits of circus, especially the community aspect of it.  “I am not great at just working out for the sake of working out.  But if I am meeting up with friends, trying to achieve a new skill, or even better, trying to achieve a new partner skill with a friend, I am much more motivated to eat well and exercise.”

Crooked River Circus is also a school; thus, many of the performers that have been a part of it have gone on to have careers in other cities, many of which will be featured in How the Circus Stole Christmas: A Circus Holiday Extravaganza!  While many people equate the circus to kids, the school is actually for adults. “We often think play is for kids and I reject that. I think adults need play that they don’t often have. Part of the joy of the circus is that it’s not about what we look like, but what we are able to do. I would recommend this to people of any age, as it’s not terribly hard on the joints. It’s more accessible than you think. “

When asked to describe How the Circus Stole Christmas: A Circus Holiday Extravaganza!, Jaime had this to say: “Scrooge’s great grandnephew is sick of Christmas and summons the Ghost of Christmas Presents. She whisks him away to the North Pole to restore his Christmas spirit.  But when they get there, they find that the elves are on strike, the reindeer won’t pull his sleigh, the misfit toys are staging a revolution, and Mrs. Clause is divorcing Santa. Alien frogs are also lurking about.  And the lovebirds from The Gifts of the Magi wander in and out, underdressed for the North Pole weather. The audience will get to participate in a competition to determine what group will win: the elves, reindeer, misfit toys, or alien frogs.  And the audience also gets to participate in a big song and dance number at the end. The production features 30+ performers, with many of whom are members of the Cleveland circus “diaspora.” “It’s family-friendly, kid-friendly, but not a kid-show.” The show is recommended for ages 5+.

How the Circus Stole Christmas: A Circus Holiday Extravaganza! runs December 1-10, 2022. Tickets can be purchased at All tickets are Choose What You Pay and start at $1.

Cleveland Act Now (CAN) Academy: Stitching the story of us – Seniors

Cleveland Act Now (CAN) Academy: Stitching the story of us – Juniors

Artist Spotlight: Charmaine Spencer

When you take a trip through the maze that is Candlelight Hypothesis, you will see a number of art pieces that resemble wings that are overhead when you enter the “exhibit” space of the immersive production.  These pieces where commissioned by Director Raymond Bobgan for his newly mounted version of Candlelight Hypothesis; and created by local artist Charmaine Spencer. “Raymond wanted a more artsy feeling [for the piece].” So, Charmaine recalled a piece she created that had another incarnation, and thought it would work well as clouds, but when she did the walkthrough with Raymond, she literally saw wings around him, and changed the focus. The pieces are made of conduit which make them very lightweight and when the lighting hits them, they appear to glow in the dark like a moth’s wings.

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Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) is hiring an Associate Technical Director!

Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) is hiring an Associate Technical Director, which is a core part of the CPT staff and will make a meaningful contribution to life at CPT and its success. CPT will be accepting applications for this position until the role is filled.

Review of candidates will begin immediately and will continue until position is filled. To apply for the position, send an email to Raymond Bobgan, Executive Artistic Director, at Subject line should read: [LAST NAME], Associate Technical Director. The email should include two attachments: a resume, and a two-page cover letter describing your history, passion, why you are interested in this position, and what you have to offer. Candidates may be asked to provide additional materials after original application. No phone calls, please.

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Cleveland Public Theatre’s Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP) Workshop Series.

Cleveland Public Theatre is proud to present the STEP Workshop Series. Available to ages 14-19, these workshops aim to support Cleveland’s young artists in the continuation of their artistic training. These free workshops will occur throughout the calendar year and will explore a variety of artistic practices. Participants will work with professional Cleveland artists working at the top of their field in developing their craft and discovering their individual artistic voices. Workshops are open to young artists of all experience levels.

The first workshop of the Series, Monologue & Audition Techniques for Musical Theatre, will focus on skills needed to prepare for and perform authentic, powerful audition performances. For this workshop, youth should prepare a contemporary monologue (memorization is encouraged but not required) and 16 or 32 bars from a musical theatre piece of their choice. Bringing sheet music is encouraged.

Join us on Saturday, November 5th, from 10 am-2 pm at Cleveland Public Theatre, 6415 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44102. Reserve your spot in the workshop via this link: REGISTER HERE!

Questions? Contact Melissa Crum, CPT Artistic and Education Associate, at: or call at (440) 429-5876.

Cleveland Public Theatre is hiring a Technical Director!

Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) is hiring a Technical Director, who is a core part of the CPT staff and will make a meaningful contribution to life at CPT and its success. CPT will be accepting applications for this position until the role is filled.


CPT is hiring a Technical Director (TD). This role requires leadership and initiative and reports to the Executive Artistic Director (EAD). This role participates in leading the theatre and supporting the EAD in strategy and decision-making.

Salary range is $60k to $72k, commensurate with experience and skillset. Additional compensation is offered for major design projects up to $6k per year, so maximum pay range is $78k. CPT may accommodate additional outside work.

The TD manages and implements all technical aspects of productions, except costumes, for CPT’s season, consisting of 6-12 full productions, 2-4 new work development series, 2 multi-stage special events, and other artistic projects. CPT programs in two theatres, various onsite studios, and occasionally produces work offsite in nontraditional spaces. The TD will lead the building of this department and will work with the EAD and the artistic department to grow capacity. For the 2022/2023 Season, the TD oversees and works with CPT’s Associate Technical Director and over-hire technicians to implement all sets, lighting, video, and sound installations. The TD is responsible for oversight of CPT’s scene shop and technical equipment. The TD is also offered opportunities to work as a designer; and receives additional compensation for major projects. Candidates must have three years full-time technical theatre work (or equivalent as a freelancer) with excellent technical skills in the following areas: sound technician, master electrician, and set construction. Expertise in some of the following skills is also a plus: sound design, lighting design/video design/implementation, and scenic design. The successful candidate will be collaborative, eager to learn new ways of working, service oriented, and highly self-motivated. CPT promotes a positive work environment and works to maintain a sustainable workload for technical staff and their teams.

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Cleveland Act Now (CAN) Academy – Building the Actors Toolkit – Seniors

Cleveland Act Now (CAN) Academy – Building the Actors Toolkit – Juniors