Cleveland Public Theatre announces 2021 Free Summer Season
Outdoors. Live. In-Person.
July 1 – august 7, 2021
Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT)’s Executive Artistic Director Raymond Bobgan is proud to announce in-person, outdoor performances as part of the 2021 Free Summer Season. CPT is thrilled to offer live, onsite performances for the first time since March 2020, including Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation and performances by CPT resident ensembles Teatro Público de Cleveland and Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi مسرح كليفلاند العربي . CPT will once again be home to live and in-person programming that is daring, relevant, and socially conscious.
According to Bobgan: “CPT typically doesn’t produce summer performances onsite, outside of our annual summer education program STEP, but we couldn’t miss the opportunity to come back and celebrate remarkable local artists in real time, in space together. We don’t know what the future holds, but we are seizing this moment and doing what we are called to do in our work – bring people together. Art is essential – and needed – and it’s our job to address that need.”
CPT is committed to public health and safety and will continue to follow the latest COVID-19 protocols for staff, artists, and patrons. All performances will be free and take place outdoors on CPT’s summer stage, positioned on the lawn between CPT’s Parish Hall and Church buildings. There are no tickets; simply show up just before the performances begin and choose a seat or a spot on a blanket.
CPT summer stage performances will offer a casual environment, where the priority for the experience will be gathering and witnessing live, local art, in-person, for the first time in over a year.
We open the 2021 Free Summer Season with Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation, written and directed by CPT’s Artistic Associate, India Nicole Burton, followed by ten other live offerings, including performances by CPT resident ensembles Teatro Público de Cleveland and Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabiمسرح كليفلاند العربي. Continue reading for the full listing of performance offerings.
CPT will also offer programming at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens as part of their World on Stage line-up, a series of multicultural music, dance, spoken word, and theatre at the Gardens’ new Centennial Peace Plaza at 1051 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Arts in August, in partnership with Tremont West, Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack, and LAND Studio, also returns this summer, presenting free professional dance, theatre, and music in Lincoln Park.
CPT’S 2021 FREE SUMMER SEASON ON CPT’S OUTDOOR STAGE
PANTHER WOMEN: AN ARMY FOR THE LIBERATION
Written & Directed by India Nicole Burton
CPT Stage (7:00pm): Thursday, July 1; Friday, July 2; Saturday, July 3; Thursday, July 8; Friday, July 9
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Stage: Saturday, July 10 at 5:30pm; Sunday, July 11 at 4:30pm
Cast: DayShawnda Ash, Courtney Black, Chennelle Bryant-Harris, Mary-Francis R. Miller, Maya Nicholson, Khemi Shalahuddin, De’Aja Wilson
Producer: Raymond Bobgan | Line Producers: India Nicole Burton, Beth Wood | Assistant Director: Zyrece Montgomery | Stage Manager: Lisala Peery | Assistant Stage Manager: Cait Butler | Choreographer: Alexis Britford | Consultant to the Choreographer: Lexy Lattimore | Scenic Design: Sequoia Bostick | Costume Design: Marti Coles | Assistant to the Costume Designer: Janaya Robinson | Dramaturg: Kenya Ann Hall | Music Director: Mary-Francis R. Miller
Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation follows the stories of three prominent women who were members of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Movement, and explores the lives and unique experiences of Black Women in America.
ERIC SCHMIEDL’S THE KARDIAC KID
Written & Performed by Eric Schmiedl
CPT Stage (7:00pm): Saturday, July 10
Director: Bill Hoffman | Sound Designer: Richard Ingraham | Composer: Gary Grundei | Composer: Mark Lutwak
It is January 4, 1981. The temperature in Municipal Stadium is thirty-six below zero. The ball hangs frozen in the air as people from Avon to Aurora perch wide-eyed in front of their television screens, clutching the hands, and knees, and faces of anyone nearby. Think you know what happens next? Maybe. And then again, maybe not. The Kardiac Kid is a theatrical love letter uniting five stories of Cleveland joy, tears, hope, and most importantly, a passion for these people and this place and this team to change history… forever.
THE DARK ROOM
Led by Mindy Herman & John Busser
CPT Stage (7:00pm): Tuesday, July 13; Tuesday, July 27
The Dark Room is an “open mic” for playwrights where writers take center stage and their work has a chance to grow. Held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, The Dark Room is open to all writers and performers, as well as audience members interested in cold readings of new scripts. Part of CPT’s New Play Development programming, The Dark Room provides new and experienced writers the opportunity to test drive their new play, novel, poem, or any other written material in a supportive, yet critical, environment.
TEATRO PúBLICO DE CLEVELAND (TPC) with Papo Ruiz Y La Dulzura De La Salsa
CPT Stage (7:00pm): Friday, July 16
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Stage: Saturday, July 18 at 2:30pm (performance with Papo Ruiz Y La Dulzura De La Salsa and Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center!)
Cast: Bianca Flores, Eliberta Flores, Sonia Fonseca, Elena Foulis, Ricardo Ortega, Jonathan Rodriguez, Felicita Sanchez, Selena A. Vicario
Director: Raymond Bobgan | Stage Manager: Georgina Galindo-Godinez
Teatro Público de Cleveland is a collective of Latino theatre artists and produces performances that preserve and promote the cultures of Cleveland Latinos for Spanish-speaking audiences and the broader public. TPC will present spoken word performances of poems, in collaboration with Raymond Bobgan and Faye Hargate, that seek to connect with Latino and non-Latino audiences in a powerful experience of cross-cultural work.
Content Warning: Teatro Público de Cleveland’s (TPC) workshop performance includes descriptions of U.S. policy on the border, sensitive issues that arise around that subject, and elements of injustice.
CPT’s 2021/2022 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT
CPT Stage (7:00pm): Saturday, July 17
Mark your calendars for CPT’s 2021/2022 Season Announcement. Stay tuned for more information about this special celebration.
MASRAH CLEVELAND AL-ARABIمسرح كليفلاند العربي
CPT Stage (7:00pm): Friday, July 23
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Stage: Sunday, July 25 at 4:30pm
Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi مسرح كليفلاند العربي —a project developing work by, for, and with Arabic-speaking communities—shares life-affirming stories that honor community, family, and the freedom of expression. The ensemble will present spoken word performances of poems, in collaboration with Raymond Bobgan and Faye Hargate, that seek to build bridges between performers and audiences in a powerful experience of cross-cultural work.
TWELVE LITERARY ARTS
CPT Stage (7:00pm): Saturday, July 24
Twelve Literary Arts brings performance poetry to public spaces while supporting poets and writers of all ages with youth programming, adult professional development, and brave spaces to dream, write, and teach into reality a world of social justice and equity.
STUDENT THEATRE ENRICHMENT PROGRAM (STEP)
CPT Stage (7:00pm): Thursday, July 29; Saturday, August 7
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Stage: Sunday, August 1 at 4:30pm
Cleveland Public Theatre’s celebrated Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP) is Cleveland’s longest-running arts and job training program for teens. STEP returns to city parks this summer, celebrating its 26th year with an original play. STEP is a rigorous arts-based program that provides hands-on job training, engaging Cleveland youth from families defined as low-income in a powerful learning experience that develops job skills, academic achievement, and interpersonal skills. As part of this eight-week summer program, youth ages 14-19 work together to create, produce, perform, and tour their own play.
SIAARA FREEMAN’S BLACK WOMEN & FEMMES: A LINEAGE OF LANGUAGE
Presented & Performed by Siaara Freeman, 2020/2021 CPT Premiere Fellow
CPT Stage (7:00pm): Friday, July 30
Black Women & Femmes: A Lineage of Language showcases spoken word artists, accompanied by artists from a variety of artforms, to center and celebrate Black women, girl, and femmehood in its fullness.
ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCE TBA
CPT stage (7:00pm): Saturday, July 31
Coming soon! We can’t wait to share with you what else we have in store for the CPT outdoor stage.
CPT AT THE CLEVELAND CULTURAL GARDENS
CPT will also offer programming at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens as part of their World on Stage line-up, a series of multicultural music, dance, spoken word, and theatre at the Gardens’ new Centennial Peace Plaza at 1051 Martin Luther King Blvd. The Cleveland Cultural Gardens celebrate more than 40 cultures and countries. They feature symbolic monuments, landscaping, and sculpture which depict world cultural heritage and the immigrant experience in America.
Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation | Saturday, July 10 at 5:30pm; Sunday, July 11 at 4:30pm
Teatro Público de Cleveland | Sunday, July 18 at 2:30pm (performance with Papo Ruiz Y La Dulzura De La Salsa and Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center!)
Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi مسرح كليفلاند العربي | Sunday, July 25 at 4:30pm
Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP) | Sunday, August 1 at 4:30pm
Visit www.clevelandculturalgardens.org for more information.
ARTS IN AUGUST
Continue the summer fun! Stay tuned for a detailed release about free performances in Lincoln Park as part of Arts in August, in partnership with Tremont West, Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack, and LAND Studio.
Visit www.experiencetremont.com for more information.
CPT OUTDOOR STAGE DETAILS
Cleveland Public Theatre is located at 6415 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, OH, 44102. The outdoor stage is placed between CPT’s Parish Hall and Church buildings.
There are no tickets and the performances are free. Audience members can sit in chairs or on blankets provided by CPT. CPT is committed to public health and safety and will continue to follow the latest COVID-19 protocols for staff, artists, and patrons.
For more information, visit www.cptonline.org or call the CPT Box Office at 216-631-2727 ext. 501.