Fire on the Water (Part Four of the Elements Cycle) (2015)

Produced by Raymond Bobgan (Master Conductor).
Featuring Original Works by Jeremy Paul (Theater Ninjas), Pandora Robertson (Ohio City Theatre Project), Patrick Ciamacco (Blank Canvas Theatre), Alison Garrigan (Talespinner Children's Theatre), Cathleen O'Malley and Raymond Bobgan (Cleveland Public Theatre). Original Compositions by Sam Fisher, 14/15 Kulas Composer Fellow.

January 29, 2015 - February 14, 2015

7:30pm , Gordon Square Theatre

2.5 hours **PLEASE NOTE: PERFORMANCES ON 1/30, 1/31, 2/6 AND 2/7 ARE SOLD OUT!**

"Fire on the Water" is a fast-paced series of short plays inspired by a pivotal moment in Cleveland’s history—the 1969 burning of the Cuyahoga River. Created by a diverse team of playwrights, directors and actors, the production features original work by CPT and co-producers Theater Ninjas, Talespinner Children’s Theatre, Ohio City Theatre Project and Blank Canvas Theatre, woven into a powerful theatrical event that explores how the environment shapes identity, while celebrating the remarkable recovery of Cleveland’s waterways. "Fire on the Water" is the fourth and concluding production in CPT's Elements Cycle, which focuses on issues of sustainability in fun, intimate and personal ways. WORLD PREMIERE.

Tickets: $12-$28.

For information about the 2019 production of Fire on the Water, click here.

The Creative Production Team Includes:

Raymond Bobgan – Master Conductor
Jeremy Paul – Conducting Director
Benjamin Gantose – Lighting Designer
Sam Fisher, Kulas Theatre Composer Fellow – Sound Designer & Composer
Raymond Bobgan, T. Paul Lowry – Set Designers
Lindsay Carter* – Production Stage Manager
T. Paul Lowry – Video Designer
Alison Garrigan – Costume Designer
Jaclyn Vogel – Assistant Director
Ian Petroni – Puppet Designer
Inda Blatch-Geib – Blue Bag Blanket Creator
Carly Garinger – Research Assistant

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, appearing under a Special Appearance Contract.

Remarkable Rating:

Act 1

GENIE AND WATER ONE, Created by Cleveland Public Theatre, Written & Directed by Raymond Bobgan | THE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE AND HARRIET, Created by Blank Canvas Theatre, Written & Directed by Patrick Ciamacco | DIDO, Created by Theater Ninjas, Written by Jeremy Paul with Raymond Bobgan, Directed by Raymond Bobgan | CABINET AT A TABLE, Written Raymond Bobgan & Jeremy Paul, Directed by Jeremy Paul | CHLORINE, Adapted from a monologue by Raymond Bobgan, Julia Brennan & Lisa Yanofsky from CPT/Oberlin College/OASIS project: Water Ways, Specialty Props by Inda Blatch-Geib, Puppet Heads created by Ian Petroni| THE BEETLEBUG AND THE BAD WORM PLAY WITH FIRE, Created by Theater Ninjas, Directed by Jeremy Paul, originally created & performed by Faye Hargate, Val Kozlenko and Jeremy Paul | GENIE AND WATER TWO, Created by Cleveland Public Theatre, Directed by Raymond Bobgan

Act 2

ELEMENTARY, Created by Talespinner Children’s Theatre, Puppets created by Alison Garrigan, Directed by Alison Garrigan | INCENDIARIES, Created by Ohio City Theatre Project, Directed, Conceived & Written by Pandora Robertson, Created with & Featuring: Wesley Allen, Amanda Lin Boyd, Shayla Gordon, Valerie C. Kilmer, Daniel McNamara, Lauren Sturdivant | CUYAHOGA, BRIEFLY, Created by Cleveland Public Theatre, Conceived & Directed by Cathleen O’Malley, Inspired by the documentary film, Return of the Cuyahoga | FIRE AND WATER PUPPETS, Puppets created by Ian Petroni, Directed by Jeremy Paul | LEAVING CLEVELAND, Written & Directed by Jeremy Paul | DIVING IN/LOST AND FOUND, Created by Cleveland Public Theatre, Directed by Raymond Bobgan | WATER AND WOMAN, Created by Cleveland Public Theatre, Written by Raymond Bobgan & Faye Hargate, Directed by Raymond Bobgan

There will be no late seating for this production.

 **Please note: Performances on 1/30, 1/31, 2/6, 2/7, 2/12, 2/13 and 2/14 are SOLD OUT!**

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CPT’s Elements Cycle in American Theatre Magazine

“Our goal isn’t that everyone recycles after seeing this play. We’re saying that the role art can play is to shift consciousness – so that later, when people learn about specific things they might do, they might actually want to do those things because they are thinking about them differently.” 
– Raymond Bobgan

Study up…

  • A 2009 study by state and environmental officials measuring the overall health of the Cuyahoga River and predicting the future… I wonder where we are today?
  • After the flames: The story behind the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire and its recovery”
  • Where You Live: Your Drinking Water Quality Reports Online”
    (Find the 2017 Cleveland Water Report here.)

A Timeline…

  • ca. 11,000 BCE  –  The Cuyahoga River forms with the retreat of the last glaciers.
  • Mid- 1700’s  –   The first Christian church on the river is built by the Delaware Indians and two Moravian missionaries.
  • 1796  –   Moses Cleaveland founds the township of Euclid at the Cuyahoga’s mouth.
  • 1820’s-30’s  –   Construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal.
  • 1814  –   Cleveland is incorporated as a city.
  • 1868  –   The Cuyahoga River’s surface catches fire for the first time.
  • 1952  –   The worst fire causes $1.5 million in damages.
  • 1969  –   The river catches fire for the 13th time (at least) but receives national attention leading to…
  • 1972 –   Congress passes the Clean Water Act and the Ohio EPA is established.
  • 1984  –   The International Joint Commission names the lower Cuyahoga River and near-shore areas of Lake Erie as one of the 42 Areas of Concern on the Great Lakes.
  • 1992  –   The first River Day is celebrated.
  • October 11, 2000  –   The Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area is designated a National Park. The park occupies 32,000-acre tract along 22 miles of the river.
  • January 29, 2015  – Cleveland Public Theatre opens Fire on the Water, a world premiere multimedia theatrical event–created by CPT artists and friends Theater Ninjas, Ohio City Theatre, Talespinner and Blank Canvas Theatre–that celebrates the remarkable recovery of Cleveland’s waterways and explores how the environment shapes identity. Comedy, satire, dramatic monologue, historical mashups, soaring harmonies, a live band and 100 rolling chairs.


Blank Canvas Theatre      ohiocitytheatre talespinner    Theatre Ninjas


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