Everything is Okay (and other helpful lies)
The Creative Production Team Includes:
Buck McDaniel, 2018/2019 Kulas Theatre Composer Fellow – Music Director, Orchestrator, Arranger
Sarah Lynne Bailey – Stage Manager
Aaron Benson – Scenic Designer
Benjamin Gantose – Lighting Designer
Nina Rossi – Choreographer
Cyrus Taylor – Sound Designer
Jaclyn Vogel – Costume Designer
Research and development collaborators include Ashley Aquilla, Sean Booker, Luke Brett, Chennelle Bryant-Harris, Roderick S. Caldwell III, Chelsea Jordan Cannon, Sara Chapman, Craig J. George, Brenton Sullivan, and Jonathan Walker White.
ARRANGEMENTS BY: Melissa Crum & Caitlin Lewins, Buck McDaniel, Tim Moon, Jake Briggs
About Co-Writer and Co-Composer Melissa Crum
Melissa is Cleveland-based performer, director, writer, and educator. She 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, Melissa 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 received the 2016/2017 Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellowship through Cleveland Public Theatre, where she and co-writer & composer Caitlin Lewins developed 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 Presidents, Air Waves (Part Three of the Elements Cycle), Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant, The Loush Sisters DO the Nutcracker, Earth Plays (Part Two of the Elements Cycle), Tender Napalm, Two 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 Children’s Theatre (The Crocodile, The Cobra, and the Girl Down the Well), True North Cultural Arts (Falling), and CPT (The Drowning Girls, The 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.
About Co-Writer and Co-Composer Caitlin Lewins
Caitlin Lewins is a performer, writer, director, designer/crafter, and musician. Caitlin was awarded a 2016/2017 Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellowship, culminating in the World Premiere of Everything is Okay (and other helpful lies), a dark musical comedy co-written and co-composed with Melissa Crum. 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 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. Previously at CPT, Caitlin co-directed (with Dan Kilbane) and music directed 44 Plays For 44 Presidents and created The Cleveland Line Dance as a part of Light the Lights, Ol’ Moses CLE! (A Wild Holiday Romp). Caitlin line produced Entry Point (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 Raymond Bobgan’s Directing/Theatre Creation class. In the 2012/2013 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 Everything is Okay (and other helpful lies) (Entry Point 2018, Test Flight 2018); 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 Dreams; Grizzly Mama; and The New Century. Caitlin is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace College, where she studied Theatre, Philosophy, and Music.
About Director Matthew Wright
Previously at CPT, Matthew directed Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Spirits to Enforce, and Iphigenia 2.0, and appeared in There Is a Happiness That Morning Is. Matthew’s work as a professional actor and director has been seen across the country at theatres such as La Jolla Playhouse, Studio Arena of Buffalo, The Clarence Brown Company, New Theater, Actor’s Playhouse, Caldwell Theatre, Florida Stage, Florida Studio Theatre, Coconut Grove, Great Lakes Theater, The Cleveland Play House, Dobama Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre, and Beck Center for the Arts. In 1997 he won the Carbonnel Award for Best Actor (Miami area) for his portrayal of Prior Walter in Angels in America. More recently, he’s been cited by the Cleveland Critics Circle Awards for Superior Achievement in Directing in 2014 for Spirits to Enforce (CPT), and again in 2017 for Hand to God at Dobama Theatre. He was also cited by the Cleveland Critics Circle Awards for Superior Achievement as an Actor in 2013 for There Is a Happiness That Morning Is (CPT), and for Superior Achievement as an Actor in A Musical in 2016 for Ruthless at Beck Center for the Arts. A founding company member of Oberlin Summer Theater Festival, Matthew has appeared in numerous productions with the company since 2009. Upcoming projects include playing a cold, enigmatic mastermind in The Nether at Cleveland’s Dobama Theatre this spring. He has been a member of Actors’ Equity Association since 1988.