CLEVELAND: Cleveland Play House has announced its 2017-18 season, featuring eight productions.
The season will begin with Shakespeare in Love (Sept. 9-Oct. 1), adapted by Lee Hall, about young playwright William Shakespeare finding inspiration for one of his most famous plays in a young woman. Laura Kepley will direct.
Next up will be The Diary of Anne Frank (Oct. 21-Nov. 19), adapted by Wendy Kesselman from Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett’s play, about Anne Frank and her family as they hide from the Nazis in 1942 Amsterdam. Kepley will direct.
Just in time for the holidays will be Philip Grecian’s A Christmas Story (Nov. 24-Dec. 23), a non-subscription engagement, about a young boy named Ralphie attempting to convince his parents to gift him a Red Ryder B.B. gun for Christmas. John McCluggage will direct.
Following will be George Brant’s Marie and Rosetta (Jan. 20-Feb. 11, 2018), about the life and music career of Sister Rosetta Tharpe and all of the musicians she inspired. Neil Pepe will direct.
The season will continue with Ayad Akhtar’s The Invisible Hand (Feb. 17-March 11, 2018), about an American investment banker held hostage in Pakistan by Islamic revolutionaries who is willing to risk everything to return home to his family. Pirrone Yousefzadeh will direct.
Next will be The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (April 14-May 6, 2018), with music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin, conceived by Rebecca Feldman, with additional material by Jay Reiss. The musical follows six middle-school misfits participating in a competitive spelling bee. Marcia Milgrom Dodge will choreograph and direct.
Following will be Marco Ramirez’s The Royale (May 5-27, 2018), presented as part of CPH’s 2018 New Ground Theatre Festival, about Jay Jackson, the first African-American Heavyweight Champion preparing for the fight of his life. Associate artistic director Robert Barry Fleming will direct.
The programming will also include Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin (June 7-17, 2018), a non-subscription engagement, which brings to life the composer and lyricist’s journey toward the American dream through his music.
Founded in 1915, the Cleveland Play House produces musicals and plays in additional to providing educational programming.