Week #1: Everything is okay (and other helpful lies)

March 22, 2018 - March 24, 2018

7:00pm, Thu/Fri/Sat, James Levin Theatre.

80 minutes with an intermission.


Test Flight is a multi-week series that showcases new work on its way to full production. Test Flight provides both local and national 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.

The newly-renovated James Levin Theatre is fully ADA compliant featuring a patron elevator and an all gender, wheelchair accessible restroom.

Everything is okay (and other helpful lies)

Created by Melissa Crum & Caitlin Lewins, 2016/2017 Nord Family Foundation Catapult Fellows.

Directed by Craig J. George.

This dark musical comedy is a celebration of the not-so-happy ways in which we persevere, grow, and change – whether we want to or not. Friendships are challenged, buddies die, and everybody drinks. Cheers.

Performers: Luke Brett, Melissa Crum, Madelyn Hayes, Caitlin Lewins, & Brenton Sullivan
Music Director: Jake Briggs
Lighting Designer:
Wes Calkin
Artwork by: Jessica Mellen

Melissa Crum (Co-Creator & Performer) Melissa is a Cleveland-based performer, director, writer, and educator. Crum currently holds a position as a Staff Teaching Artist with Playhouse Square and is passionate about arts education and its role within our growing community. Recently, Crum served as Education Associate at Dobama Theatre, and has been a Teaching Artist with Cleveland Play House, Great Lakes Theater, The Musical Theatre Project, and Cleveland Public Theatre’s Brick City Theatre Program. Melissa recently received the Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellowship through Cleveland Public Theatre, where she and co-creator Caitlin Lewins will develop an original musical, Everything is okay (and other helpful lies). Melissa completed the 2013/2014 Joan Yellen Horvitz Director Fellowship at Cleveland Public Theatre where she directed The Drowning Girls. Cleveland Stage Credits include 44 Plays For 44 PresidentsAir Waves (Part Three of the Elements Cycle)Conni’s Avant Garde RestaurantThe Loush Sisters DO the NutcrackerEarth Plays (Part Two of the Elements Cycle)Tender NapalmTwo Plays by Gao Xingjian (CPT), and Loki and Lucy (Talespinner Children’s Theatre). Melissa has directed locally at Dobama Theatre (Peter and the Starcatcher; remount, production by Nathan Motta), Talespinner (The Crocodile, The Cobra, and the Girl Down the Well), True North Cultural Arts (Falling), and CPT (The Drowning GirlsThe Waters – A Nord Fellowship Reading, Style is The Answer to Everything – A Nord Fellowship Reading). Crum has also directed and co-created several short works at CPT including: Bags of Air which appeared in Air Waves (Part Three of the Elements Cycle)The Natural Order of Things which appeared in Earth Plays (Part Two of the Elements Cycle) and Seppuku (Big Box ’10). Melissa studied Directing Devised Theatre and Theatre Creation under the tutelage of Raymond Bobgan, and holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Cleveland State University.

Caitlin Lewins (Co-Creator & Performer) Caitlin Lewins, a Cleveland native, is a performer, writer, director, avid crafter, and musician. Recently, Caitlin was awarded a 2016/2017 Nord Family Foundation Catapult Fellowship. During the fellowship year, Caitlin will develop (with Melissa Crum) a new musical, Everything is okay (and other helpful lies). Last season at CPT, Caitlin co-directed (with Dan Kilbane) and music directed 44 Plays For 44 Presidents. Caitlin joined the CPT staff in the fall of 2013 as Story Connector, became New Play Associate in the summer of 2014 and transitioned into her current role as Director of Audience Engagement & Media Relations in 2017. Caitlin completed the 2013/2014 Joan Yellen Horvitz Director Fellowship which culminated in the production Left in Ink which she conceived, directed, and co-created. Recently at CPT, Caitlin created The Cleveland Line Dance as a part of Light the Lights, Ol’ Moses CLE! (A Wild Holiday Romp). Caitlin line produced Entry Point 2017 (A New Play Development Program), four Road to Hope events in the Spring of 2016, line produced The Santaland Diaries at Playhouse Square and the Nord Family Foundation Playwright Reading Series, directed Canon Fodder – a Nord Fellowship Reading, music directed Frankenstein’s Wake, and assistant directed/contributed to The Loush Sisters Love Dick’ns: Great Expectations. Caitlin co-created and directed Edison and Ford which appeared in Air Waves (Part Three of the Elements Cycle) and completed her third year in the Directing/Theatre Creation class. In the 12/13 season, Caitlin was Stage Manager/Assistant Director to Raymond Bobgan for Rusted Heart Broadcast and made her writing/directing debut at CPT with The Environmented in Earth Plays (Part Two of the Elements Cycle). Recent/favorite performances include Light the Lights, Ol’ Moses CLE! (A Wild Holiday Romp)Red Ash Mosaic (workshop)She’s Wearing White…Air Waves (Part Three of the Elements Cycle)Earth Plays (Part Two of the Elements Cycle)Bird Behind the Curtain (Big Box 2013), 13 Most American DreamsGrizzly Mama, and The New Century. Caitlin is a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College, where she studied Theatre, Philosophy, and Music.

The goal of Test Flight is to support new work and local/national artists.

CPT provides:
– The James Levin Theatre
– Basic production staff, stage management, box office support
– Marketing and advertising support

The artists provide the rest!

The writers, directors, actors and designers selected for Test Flight dedicate themselves to creating new and original work, or stretching their artistic powers by working in new disciplines.


                                                     The Nord Family Foundation