Cleveland Public Theatre Announces 14/15 Season: Experience

Check out the Season Announcement on Cleveland Public Theatre’s Executive Artistic Director Raymond Bobgan is announcing the 2014-2015 Season, which delivers on CPT’s bold mission of raising consciousness and nurturing compassion through theatre that is inventive, intelligent and socially conscious. CPT invests in innovation and diversity, and is the leading producer of new work and local playwrights in our community, producing more original work than all the professional theatres in the area combined over the past eight years. The upcoming 14-15 Season includes four World Premieres and two Regional Premieres. Additionally, CPT’s New Work Development programs continue to launch emerging artists through numerous workshop and other production opportunities, as well as provide pathways for risk and innovation by more established theatre-makers. At CPT it’s not just a show, it’s an Experience. For us theatre is not just a passive, sit-back and listen format. The 14-15 season is about experiencing new viewpoints, challenging perceptions and journeying into new worlds. The 14-15 season will feature work that tackles issues of national significance, championing courage and personal triumph over tragedy; uplifting and off-the-wall new plays by emerging playwrights; and will revive celebrated favorites. CPT’s 2014-2015 season opens with a world premiere and second full-length production (title TBD) by Teatro Publico de Cleveland, CPT’s resident Latin American theatre ensemble. In the spring of 2015, Teatro Publico ensemble members will join guest writer/director Tlaloc Rivas in the world premiere of Johanna: Facing Forward, a powerful new play based on the true story of Johanna Orozco, a Cleveland Latina who survived a gunshot to the face by her boyfriend in 2007. Her story of rehabilitation and recovery as reported in The Plain Dealer’s award-winning series by journalist Rachel Dissell sparked national discourse on the issue of teen domestic violence.

Also in the season, CPT will bring back two celebrated productions, Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant, in from NYC on a farewell tour of their crowd-pleasing theatre-meets-dinner party and the still-timely Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays. In the spring of 2015, CPT will present the Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea (by Nathan Davis) as a rolling world premiere with multiple other regional theatre across the country through the National New Play Network (NNPN)

Included in CPT’s season of new work is the fourth and concluding play in CPT’s award-winning Elements Cycle initiative, which focuses on issues of sustainability through bold original works performed in unique settings. Fire on the Water is a series of short plays created by a diverse team of playwrights, directors and actors, inspired by the infamous burning of the Cuyahoga River. CPT will partner with area theatres to create the production: Theatre Ninjas, Talespinner Children’s Theatre, Blank Canvas and Ohio City Theatre.

CPT’s fully produced work is complemented by our annual New Work Development series: Big Box, seven weeks of new works in theatre, dance, opera and multimedia performance; SpringBoard: a staged-reading series; Leap/Conceive, a weekend of short excerpts from works-in-development; and CPT’s monthly playwriting open mic, The Dark Room. 

Not only does CPT present a variety of genres and styles, but we champion the ideal of equity onstage. In recognition of this commitment, in 2012 CPT was awarded the inaugural ICWP 50/50 Applause Award given to professional theatres in America that demonstrate gender equity in programming. The 14-15 Season can be seen as a continued affirmation of this commitment to diversity, especially in regards to promoting and celebrating the work of women in the field. Of twelve full productions produced on our stages in 2014-2015, seven feature women as playwrights or lead artists.

All performances take place at Cleveland Public Theatre, 6415 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44102. 

Details of the 2014-2015 season follow:

Pandemonium 2014: TAKE FLIGHT – Saturday, September 13, 2014 (one night only)
Cleveland Public Theatre, various locations; 7:00 pm; Tickets $150
Cleveland Public Theatre’s annual fundraising extravaganza transforms the CPT campus into a labyrinth of theatre, dance, visual and performance art, along with fabulous food and drink all night long. A feast for the eyes, mind, appetite and imagination, Pandemonium was awarded Connectors Choice “Event of the Year” in 2013. This year CPT honors Beth Mooney, CEO of Key Bank with the Pan Award.

Teatro Publico de Cleveland – October 16-19, Gordon Square Theatre
Last season, Teatro Publico de Cleveland took the city by storm with their premiere original performance, Cuando Cierras Your Eyes. This season the ensemble returns with a new show based on the stories, dreams and musings of Cleveland’s Hispanic community (title TBD). World Premiere.

Connect: A Multi-Arts Series – October 9-25, various
CPT presents a series of shows that might be off-the-wall, but are powerful, wondrous, and deeply moving works of passion by great artists- works local, national and international, fuse different art forms into singular, dynamic performances.

*She’s Wearing White… – October 9-25, The Church (6203 Detroit Avenue, CPT Campus)
Created by 2014 Creative Workforce Fellow Faye Hargate and visual artist Joan Hargate. This mother-daughter team rejoins to create an interactive performance art installation that investigates purity, ideal femininity, and sexual role playing through the lens of the Virgin-Bride’s wedding night. Bedding ceremonies, BDSM culture and American wedding planning culture will serve as source material. Housed in CPT’s Church, the space will transform into a multi-sensory mosaic of languid lace, extinguished candles, castoff alters and siren sounds whilst an ensemble of female performers murmur petitions of purity and pleasure through the labyrinth-like white sheet walls. Audience members are invited to touch, taste, smell and feel the environment around them. World Premiere.

*The Neighbor’s Grief is Greener – October 23-25, Gordon Square Theatre
In partnership with the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, CPT will host Israeli theatre company The Visual Theatre of Emanuella Amichai’s production of The Neighbor’s Grief is Greener, a macabre visual performance that takes place in the sterile and static setting of an archetypal suburban kitchen. Inspired by 1950s era music, television and consumer culture, The Neighbor’s Grief is Greener merges physical theatre and contemporary dance with striking theatrical design that has wowed audiences and critics around the world.

Spirits to Enforce – October 9-25, James Levin Theatre
Written by Mickle Maher (There is a Happiness that Morning Is). Directed by Matthew Wright. Twelve superheroes take up residence in a secret submarine to hold a fundraising drive for their upcoming production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Seriously. Infusing elements of Shakespeare’s language, comic book lore, and choral arrangement, Mickle Maher’s Spirits to Enforce promises an utterly unique theatrical trip. Regional Premiere.

Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant – December 4-December 21, Gordon Square Theatre
One of CPT’s most popular holiday entertainments is back for a final farewell. Hailed as “a deliciously demented feast for the holidays” by The Plain Dealer, this hilarious musical performance includes crazy cabaret, comedy, dancing, game-show competitions, violence, and a five course meal. Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant is an eclectic, bizarro and delightful night at the theatre that will have you laughing well into 2015. NOT to be missed.

American Falls – December 4-20, James Levin Theatre
Written by Miki Johnson. This stunning and brilliant drama follows the story of eight people in a small town- six are living and two are dead. American Falls exposes the inner life of every-day people desperately seeking meaning and love in a poetic and sensuous interplay of stories, monologues and a horrifying makeover. “Ms. Johnson reminds us what great theatre has always been about is great storytelling…” –Houston Chronicle. Directed by Raymond Bobgan and starring CPT favorites Chris Seibert and Darius Stubbs. Second US Production.

Fire on the Water – January 29-February 14, Gordon Square Theatre
Fire on the Water is a fast-paced series of short plays inspired by the burning of the Cuyahoga River. Created by a diverse team of playwrights, directors and actors, this production will be a community wide effort as CPT teams up with co-producers Theater Ninjas, Talespinner Children’s Theatre, Ohio City Theatre and Blank Canvas Theatre. CPT’s four-part Elements Cycle focuses on issues of sustainability in fun, intimate and personal ways. This concluding work will focus on how the environment can shape identity and will celebrate the remarkable recovery of Cleveland’s waterways. World Premiere.

Standing on Ceremony – March 5-21, Gordon Square Theatre
Conceived by Brian Shnipper. Written by Jordan Harrison, Moises Kaufman, Mo Gaffney, Neil LaBute, Wendy McLeod, Jose Rivera, Paul Rudnick and Doug Wright. Back by popular demand, this powerful series of short plays promote marriage equality and the power of love to overcome. “Funny and moving. A celebration….”The New York Times. Directed by CPT favorite Craig George.

DanceWorks 2015 – April 2-25, Gordon Square Theatre
Each year Cleveland Public Theatre welcomes the opportunity to showcase Northeast Ohio’s contemporary dance companies as they premiere new work and revive celebrated performances. Six dance companies take the stage in this acclaimed annual series.

in a word – April 16-May 2, James Levin Theatre
Written by Lauren Yee. Directed by Beth Wood. Two years have passed since a Fiona’s eight-year-old son mysteriously vanished. As she delves back into her memories of that fateful day to find the missing piece, logic buckles and language breaks. Grief and comedy collide in this lyrical, absurdist journey on how to get over, get around and get through what haunts you. World Premiere (co-premiere with San Francisco Playhouse).

Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea – May 21-June 6, James Levin Theatre
Written by Nathan Davis. Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian. It’s a month before his first day in college and Dontrell wakes up from a dream that will change his life. This young African American’s unconventional journey begins with swimming lessons, and ends in a boat drifting into the sea to meet his grandfather’s spirit. This magical play is about our connection to the past and living in the moment. World Premiere.

Johanna: Facing Forward – May 28-June 13, Gordon Square Theatre
Written and Directed by Tlaloc Rivas. Johanna moves back and forth through time to tell the story of Johanna Orozco, a Cleveland Latina who was shot in the face by her boyfriend in 2007. Johanna’s story is complex and raises critical questions, but it is also a life-affirming story of triumph. Based on the Plain Dealer’s award-winning series “Facing Forward” by journalist Rachel Dissell. Produced in conjunction with Teatro Publico de Cleveland. World Premiere.

TBA: Second Stage
CPT will continue to play a leading role in cultivating our region’s talent with workshop and second stage full productions of new work.

Special Events Y-Haven Theatre Project – November 6-9, Gordon Square Theatre
A great way to see CPT’s life-changing education programs in action. CPT artists and the residents of Y-Haven, a residential program for homeless men in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, collaborate to create an original play based on experiences of homelessness, addiction and the power to change.

Opera Per Tutti
Opera Per Tutti, Cleveland’s professional opera company is continuing its mission of “opera for all” and will return to CPT during the 2014-2015 season to perform selected works from their repertoire.

New Play Development SpringBoard – October 23-Nov 2, Storefront Studio
Springboard brings the excitement of new play development to audiences with fully staged-readings. Not just actors at music stands, these new works are up on their feet as actors negotiate with scripts-in-hand and only a few rehearsals. Audience members give feedback and engage in post-show discussions to help local playwrights improve their work.

Big Box ’15 – January 8-February 21, James Levin Theatre
The centerpiece of CPT’s season, Big Box is one of CPT’s most popular events. Big Box features workshop productions in theatre, dance, opera and genre-defying performances, all by Northeast Ohio artists.

Season Audition Information
Cleveland Public Theatre is holding general auditions for our 14/15 season. All Northeast Ohio actors interested in working with CPT are encouraged to audition. CPT has a history of multicultural casting and is committed to representing our community on stage.

When: Saturday, May 17th 2p – 7p & Sunday, May 18th 12p – 6p
Where: Cleveland Public Theatre (6415 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102)

Auditions are by appointment only and will be scheduled in five minute increments. Actors should prepare no more than two minutes of material which can include 1-2 brief monologues and/or a short a cappella song. AEA contracts will be considered throughout the season.

Interested actors should schedule an appointment by emailing CPT Artistic Intern Anne Bakan (

For more information about Cleveland Public Theatre’s 2014-2015 season, please visit or contact Cathleen O’Malley, Director of Audience Engagement & Media Relations at (216) 631-2727 x 212 or

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