"Red Ash Mosaic," by Raymond Bobgan and the Cleveland Public Theatre ensemble, at Cleveland Public Theatre through June 17. Pictured: Faye Hargate, Holly Holsinger, Darius Stubbs, Adam Seeholzer, and Raymond Bobgan. (Photo by Steve Wagner)

Cleveland Public Theatre Announces 2017-18 Season

The lineup will feature world premieres by Eric Coble, Lisa Langford, and Tearrance Arvelle Chrisholm.

CLEVELAND: Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) has announced its 2017-18 season, which will have the theme “Stand.”

“The playwrights of the 2017-18 season are bold leaders of thought and action. They are taking a stand,” said executive artistic director Raymond Bobgan in a statement. “And CPT is following their lead and taking a stand, once again programming a season with a majority of playwrights of color—almost unheard of among non-culturally specific theatres—women playwrights, and works that expand the vision of what theatre can be.

The season will open with the world premiere of Eric Coble’s The Family Claxon (Oct. 5-28), a comedy about an eccentric family celebrating its patriarch’s 150th birthday. Craig George will direct.

Next up will be Teatro Publico de Cleveland 10-Minute Play Series (Oct. 5-7), which will feature staged readings of new plays and scenes from local Latinx artists.

The world premiere of Lisa Langford’s The Art of Longing (Oct. 26-Nov. 18) will be next. The play is set in Cleveland and follows individuals whose jobs require them to work in the night and what goes on while the rest of us sleep. Jimmie Woody will direct.

Y-Haven Theatre Project (Nov. 2-5) will be next. The project is a collaboration between CPT and Y-Haven, a transitional housing facility for homeless men recovering from substance abuse and mental health challenges, and the men will create an original theatre production based on their life stories. The show will go on tour after its one-weekend engagement at CPT.

For the holidays, the theatre will bring back The Loush Sisters Get Hard for the Holidays; Yippie-Kai-Yay Mother-Loushers (Nov. 24-Dec. 17), created by Beth Wood, Liz Conway, and Michael Seevers Jr., a comic evening of cabaret in which the Loush sisters satirize Die Hard. Beth Wood will direct.

The new year will start with Entry Point (Jan. 18-21, 2018), which will feature staged readings, open rehearsals, and panel discussions about art in progress by Northeast Ohio artists.

The regional premiere of How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes (With 199 People You May or May Not Know) (Jan. 24-28, 2018), conceived and led by Michael Rohd and created by Sojourn Theatre and collaborators, will be next. During the show, the audience spends 90 minutes deciding how to spend the evening’s $1,000 cash in box office sales.

The following show will be the world premiere of Leila Buck’s American Dreams (Feb. 8-March 3, 2018), an interactive game show where audience members decide which contestant wins citizenship to “the greatest nation on Earth.” Tamilla Woodard will direct the piece, which was created in collaboration with actors Varín Ayala, Monte Bezell, Osh Ghanimah,  Ahmad Maksoud, Jens Rasmussen, Imran Sheikh and Rasha Zamamiri

Next up will be the regional premiere of En El Tiempo de las Mariposas/In the Time of Butterflies (Feb. 22-March 10, 2018), adapted by Caridad Svich from Julia Alvarez’s novel. The story follows the Mirabal sisters in the Dominican Republic as they organize resistance against a dictatorial regime.

Tearrance Arvelle Chrisholm’s Br’er Cotton (March 29-April 21, 2018) will be next. Part of a National New Play Network rolling world premiere, the show follows 14-year-old Ruffrino as he navigates the killings of young black men in his impoverished neighborhood in Lynchburg, Va.

Test Flight (March 29-April 28, 2018), a play development series showcasing new works in development, will be next.

Danceworks 2018 (May 17-June 9, 2018) will be next. The event brings in contemporary dance companies from Northeast Ohio to showcase their work.

The final show of the season will be a show from the Cleveland Core Ensemble and Raymond Bobgan (May 24-June 16). The ensemble features Bobgan, Dionne Atchison, Faye Hargate, Adam Seeholzer, and Darius Stubbs, and Bobgan will direct.

Founded in 1981, Cleveland Public Theatre focuses on creating and producing new work that raises consciousness and nurtures compassion.

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