Fire on the Water

Created & Performed by Northeast Ohio artists.

February 14, 2019 - March 02, 2019

7:30pm, Thu/Fri/Sat/Mon, Gordon Square Theatre. Previews February 14. Opening Night is February 15.

Fire on the Water, the acclaimed multimedia theatrical event, returns to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 burning of the Cuyahoga River in an all-new version. Fire on the Water is a fast-paced series of short plays inspired by this pivotal moment in Cleveland's history. Created by a team of playwrights, directors, and actors, the production features original work woven into a powerful production exploring how the environment shapes identity, while celebrating the remarkable recovery of Cleveland's waterways.

Featuring: Courtney Nicole Auman, Luka Blackhill, Sidney Edwards, Faye Hargate, Brinden Harvey, Shatara Jordan, Michael Levin, Kim Martin, Terah McGowan, Daniel McKinnon, Mary-Francis R. Miller, Zach Palumbo, Adam Seeholzer, Kat Shy, Anastasia Urozhaeva, Hillary Wheelock.

The Gordon Square Theatre is ADA compliant featuring a ramped entrance and an all gender, wheelchair accessible restroom.

Preview / Standard Price (Monday, Thursday): $15
Standard Price (Friday, Saturday): $35

If you have trouble purchasing a ticket online, please leave a voicemail with our Box Office (216.631.2727 ext. 501) or email Jaclyn Vogel, Director of Patron Services (, and we will get back to you within one business day.

The Creative Production Team Includes:

Raymond Bobgan – Conceiver & Lead Playwright
India Nicole Burton* & Raymond Bobgan – Co-Directors
John Dayo-Aliya, Alison Garrigan, Cathleen O'Malley, Jeremy Paul, Darius J. Stubbs, Dr. Mary E. Weems – Contributing Playwrights
Alison Garrigan, Cathleen O'Malley, Jeremy Paul, Darius J. Stubbs – Contributing Directors
Maelstrom Collaborative Arts, Talespinner Children's Theatre – Collaborating Companies
Jennifer Caster** – Stage Manager
Jaytionna Wells – Associate Stage Manager
Alison Garrigan – Costume Designer
T. Paul Lowry – Video & Scenic Designer
Benjamin Gantose – Lighting Designer
Buck McDaniel*** – Composer, Sound Designer, Music Director
*2018/2019 NNPN Producer in Residence
**Stage Manager appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
***2018/2019 Kulas Theatre Composer Fellow
Remarkable Rating:

Every SATURDAY show will be followed by a post-show discussion with NE Ohio “Sustainability Heroes.”

Stick around after the show, grab a beer or refill your canteen, and join an energetic and informative conversation with some of the individuals working to preserve and protect our precious waterways.

About Conceiver, Lead Playwright, & Co-Director Raymond Bobgan

This is Raymond Bobgan’s 13th season as the Executive Artistic Director at Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT). Raymond specializes in working through an ensemble process to create new performances that are bold, multilayered, and highly physical. Raymond’s work has been seen in Romania, Brazil, Denmark, Serbia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Canada and has been featured in American Theatre magazine, Canadian Theatre Review, Theatre Journal, and in Lisa Wolford’s book Grotowski’s Objective Drama Research. Raymond has created many works for CPT including: Red Ash Mosaic; Feefer Rising, with Faye Hargate; Rusted Heart Broadcast; Insomnia: The Waking of Herselves, with Holly Holsinger and Chris Seibert; Cut to Pieces, with Chris Seibert; and Blue Sky Transmission: A Tibetan Book of the Dead, co-produced by CPT and La MaMa ETC (NY).

Raymond initiated the Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP) in 1994, a job-training theatre program for teens, co-created the Y-Haven Theatre Project with James Levin which engages formerly homeless men in writing and performing theatre, and initiated Teatro Público de Cleveland, CPT’s resident Latino theatre company, and Station Hope, a community arts festival honoring Cleveland’s social justice heritage and exploring contemporary issues of social justice. Raymond and Cleveland Core Ensemble’s production of Red Ash Mosaic recently toured nationally to New Orleans and Columbus.

In 2017, Raymond received the Cisgender Ally Award at Cleveland’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, and in 2015, received Equality Ohio’s Ally Award. He received the 2017 Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio and in 2014 became the first recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize in the discipline of Theatre. He currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the National New Play Network, serves on the Theatre Communications Group Board of Directors, and is the Chair of the Board of the Gordon Square Arts District. Raymond is a two-time recipient of the Creative Workforce Fellowship (2010 for theatre, 2014 for music composition), a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (now Arts Cleveland).

About Co-Director India Nicole Burton

India Nicole Burton is an actress, director, playwright, and producer. She is a native of Akron, OH and graduated from The University of Akron in 2011 with a BA in Theatre Arts with an emphasis on performance. Upon graduating, India founded Ma’Sue Productions, an African American theatre company located in Akron. She has directed, produced, and performed in several of Ma’Sue’s plays and acted as artistic director until 2015. India has worked with many prominent Akron, Cleveland, New York, Atlanta, and L.A. actors, directors, and playwrights. Some of India’s acting credits include Julius Caesar (Portia), Bootycandy (Actor 1), and An Octoroon (Dido). India’s directing credits include for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf (Heads Up Productions), The Laramie Project (Heads Up Productions), Daybreak’s Children (Ma’Sue Productions), A Happening on Imperial (Ma’Sue Productions), O Patria Mia (Ma’Sue Productions), Little Women (Hathaway Brown Theatre Institute), and two short plays produced at Cleveland Public Theatre’s Station Hope: What we could have been and Maya: The Poet. India’s assistant directing credits include the 2014 production of The Color Purple at Karamu House, brownsville song (b-side for tray) at Dobama Theatre, and Cleveland Public Theatre’s Barbecue. She is the director of drama at Dike School of the Arts where she trains students in acting and performance, grades pre-K through 8th. India is currently working on developing and devising an original play about women in the Black Panther Party.

Study up…

On June 22, 1969, the Cuyahoga River caught fire for the 13th time, sparking national attention that led to the federal Clean Water Act and the establishment of the Ohio EPA. Explore the articles, photo galleries, and video below to journey back in time to the Cuyahoga River’s past—and see how far it has come since its miraculous recovery.

“There was once smoke and fire. Now there is hope—not to mention places to dine and drink, row and fish and revel in how far the river has come.”

Click here to embark on a visual tour via

“The river was like a cauldron. It would just bubble up, oxygen trying to get out of the river. It had a coat of oil on it. And you’d see rats float down the river the size of dogs, bloated from whatever it was they ingested. And there was a rule that if you fell in the river, you immediately went to the emergency room in the hospital.”

Click here to read more and watch a video on Cleveland Historical.

“The flaming Cuyahoga became a figurehead for America’s mounting environmental issues and sparked wide-ranging reforms, including the passage of the Clean Water Act and the creation of federal and state environmental protection agencies.”

Click here to learn more at

Each year by July 1, you should receive a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), also known as an annual drinking water quality report from your water supplier. Your CCR tells you where your water comes from and what’s in it. Click here for the 2017 Cleveland Water Quality Report






Thank you to our Advisory Committee:

Peter Anagnostos
David Beach
Peter Bode
Molly Farris
Italo Gonzalez
Chief Matt Gray
Dave Karpinski
Councilman Martin Keane
Chief Valarie McCall
Linda Warren
Andrew Watterson
Chief Jason Wood
John Michael Zayac
Councilman Matt Zone