CPT’s Winter Season: Alive On Line

Cleveland Public Theatre announces Winter Season: Alive On Line

February 11—March 14, 2021

Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT)’s Executive Artistic Director Raymond Bobgan is proud to announce CPT’s Winter Season: Alive On Line, which delivers on CPT’s mission of raising consciousness and nurturing compassion through theatre that is daring, relevant, and socially conscious.

CPT invests in innovation and diversity and has been recognized regionally and nationwide as a leader in the support and development of new work and the amplification of emerging voices, and for producing and presenting work from artists creating theatre outside the mainstream.

According to Bobgan: “Like flowers growing up through cracks in the sidewalk, water rushing through the Cuyahoga River, or dreams that come to us at night, art will find the way.”

Alive On Line features intimate showings playing in repertory with limited “seats.” Though we cannot gather in person, we can come together as a community to experience and celebrate the power of live art. As theatre artists we have dedicated our lives to explore, nurture, and deepen human connection—unmitigated, direct, and visceral. It is about connection, and more—it gets under the skin and into the heart. Though it is important to remain temporarily distanced, we believe theatre is the place where society dreams, debates, and experiments. CPT’s mission has always been boldly aligned with this thinking—theatre is about consciousness and compassion, and we cannot afford to let these qualities atrophy in ourselves or our society.

CPT’s Winter Season has been designed as a special Zoom experience. When you come to a CPT virtual performance, you will see and connect with your fellow audience members. Our intimate performances are under an hour, with limited “seats,” and conclude with brief post-show discussions. For tickets to CPT’s Winter Season: Alive On Line, visit www.cptonline.org.

Visit www.cptonline.org to witness Awakenings, A Celebration of Cleveland Public Theatre, a one-hour TV special presented by WKYC Studios.

CPT’s Winter Season: Alive On Line


Wednesdays & Sundays: 6:00pm
Thursdays & Fridays: 7:00pm
Saturdays: 8:00pm

Added …Or Does it Explode? Performances

A Premiere Zoom Adaptation
Written & Directed by John Dayo-Aliya, 2020/2021 Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellow
Performed by Austin Sasser, De Andre Hairston-Karim, & Dar’Jon Bentley

February 11, 12, & 13

This theatrical piece uses poetry, dance, and other contemporary theatre forms to explore questions of what it means to be Black, male, and young in the 21st century. …Or Does it Explode?, an unflinching portrayal of profound anger, hurt, and joy, blends stories gathered from men ages 16-35 in Akron, Ohio. Thought-provoking vignettes display social conditions and contradictions, and what it means to do justice to one another.

Savory Taṇhā (sixteen short plays performed by a rotating ensemble)

A Zoom Premiere
Written by David Hansen
Directed by Caitlin Lewins
Performed by David Hansen, Anne McEvoy, Zyrece Montgomery, Zach Palumbo, Brian Pedaci, & Hillary Wheelock

February 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 28 & March 4, 6

Savory Taṇhā (sixteen short plays performed by a rotating ensemble) is a virtual memory play of longing and loss, happiness and hopefulness, and navigating the pathways of human desire. An ensemble of five performers will play different roles from the same text each evening.

Dragon Hypothesis

A Zoom Premiere
Text by Raymond Bobgan, Dragon Hypothesis jointly created by Raymond & Cleveland CORE Ensemble
Performed by Raymond Bobgan, Kat Shy, Anastasía Urozhaeva, Eric Wloszek

February 24, 25, 26, 27 & March 3, 5, 7

Dragon Hypothesis is a mythical meditation on worlds of dream and divinity. Follow the river to the sea, follow a blind man falling into the depths, follow his daughter as she leaps beneath the waters, and the sea captain who plucks a flower off the water’s surface. Follow four actors who dive beneath the surface, seeking. Calling us to listen to the stories, and to the flame within, Dragon Hypothesis explores sacrifice and loss, hunger and dreams, birth and blindness, and above all, our deep interconnectedness. Magical storytelling digs at the surface world, and beneath the deep. For as we know, as infinitely as we can go outward, we can go as infinitely within. To fulfill our destiny, we go on…

Part of The Hypothesis Project, created by Raymond Bobgan, this work continues to seek a theatrical poetry, where image and idea, sound and substance, vision and virtuosity weave together in an effort to discover and articulate a piece of the ineffable human experience of meeting the mind.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National
Endowment for the Arts.


Our incredible partners and friends throughout Cleveland are a major part of the special sauce that makes CPT a hub for compassion, innovation, and community.

Y-Haven Theatre Project

March 12, 13, & 14

The Y-Haven Theatre Project is a 22-year partnership between Cleveland Public Theatre and Y-Haven, a transitional housing and treatment facility for formerly homeless individuals. CPT collaborates with the clients of Y-Haven to create an original theatre production. This season, The Y-Haven Theatre Project goes online with live-streamed performances sharing the powerful stories of recovery and personal triumph.


Catapult is an ongoing fellowship program intended to help artists move their projects to a “production ready” stage through multiple readings, rehearsal time at CPT, workshop productions, and/or invitational showings. Catapult playwrights and creators will be awarded a Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellowship and play an active role in the life of the theatre while they are developing their work. The 2020/2021 Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellow is John Dayo-Aliya.

Premiere Fellowships, made possible by dedicated funding from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC), celebrate, reward, and support artists who have demonstrated excellence in and are committed to new play development. 2020/2021 Premiere Fellows to be announced in the coming weeks.

The Dark Room open mic for playwrights continues pairing playwrights with actors to perform (mostly) cold readings of scripts-in-progress in a fun, low-risk atmosphere. The Dark Room has been incredibly successful in the virtual realm and will soon be happening twice a month.


Alongside the above programming, CPT continues year-round education programming throughout Cleveland. When the schools and community centers closed and orders were put in place, Cleveland Act Now Academy continued on and immediately moved to a virtual format where CPT Teaching Artists began prototyping how to translate our unique classroom experience into a virtual platform. We’re collaborating with our partners at Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CHMA) to find new ways to serve the youth and families of CMHA. We continue our partnership with Youth Opportunities Unlimited, the City of Cleveland, and our many partners to reinvent CPT’s Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP) so that teens can continue to grow and learn through the experience of creating theatre. The Y-Haven Theatre Project is scheduled to have public performances March 2021.


Based on CPT’s guiding education principles of Empowerment, Equity, Excellence, and Enthusiasm, CPT’s Teaching Artists work to build close, long-term relationships with participants, families, and community partners by facilitating trust and open exchange. Our education programming seeks to create, for participants and teachers alike, a reciprocal collaborative learning environment that supports awareness and fosters powerful and life-affirming artistic experiences.

CMHA CAN (formerly Brick City Theatre) takes place in partnership with Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) at community centers for children and families who live in public housing. Under the guidance of CPT Teaching Artists, young artists learn how to create and perform their own plays, dance, poetry, music, and visual art. These original performances are crafted and presented annually at CMHA and Cleveland community centers as well as arts festivals throughout Cleveland. CMHA CAN is offered at four CMHA community center sites: Lakeview Terrace CAN, Woodhill Homes CAN, Outhwaite Homes CAN, and Riverside Park CAN. CAN also partners with local community centers.

CAN Academy is a free performing arts program at Cleveland Public Theatre for younger teens and youth from Cleveland and surrounding neighborhoods. Young artists engage in rigorous (and fun!) theatre training, learning acting fundamentals, script analysis, storytelling techniques, and play creation. CAN multidisciplinary performing arts activities improve academic skills, instill empathy and responsibility, build character, and enhance creative thinking.

STEP, 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, 30 youth, ages 14-19, work together to create, produce, perform, and tour their own play. This program is the longest-running arts-based, workplace development program in Cleveland and is an international model for engaging youth.

Y-Haven Theatre Project
The Y-Haven Theatre Project is a 22-year partnership between Cleveland Public Theatre and Y-Haven, a branch of the Greater Cleveland YMCA. Y-Haven is a transitional housing facility for formerly homeless individuals recovering from substance abuse and mental health challenges. Every year, CPT collaborates with the clients of Y-Haven to create an original theatre production, performed by the participants, and based on their life stories. The Y-Haven Theatre Project captures an authenticity and emotional power as the cast shares their true-to-life experiences often hidden from the world.


…Or Does it Explode?, Savory Tanhā (sixteen short plays performed by a rotating ensemble), and Dragon Hypothesis:
Tickets are $1 with a suggested donation of $1 to $99. Patrons must use Zoom to see virtual performances. Patrons will receive an email 1-2 hours before showtime with the meeting login information. Online sales for each performance will close 2 hours before start time.

Y-Haven Theatre Project:
Tickets are FREE with a suggested donation of $1 to $99. Stay tuned for more information about how to reserve your virtual seat.

To purchase tickets, visit www.cptonline.org.

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