CLEVELAND, OHIO: Cleveland Play House (CPH) has announced its 2015–16 season, the theatre’s 100th. The list includes productions of classic and contemporary plays, including a world premiere of Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors.
“The shows you will see on CPH’s stages this year will appeal to your head, heart, spirit, social consciousness and civic pride,” artistic director Laura Kepley said in a statment. “With the support of our loyal audiences, CPH has earned its place in Cleveland’s history, and we look forward to honoring our past and launching the next 100 years of great theatre for every generation, and for generations to come.”
The season opens with A Comedy of Tenors (Sept. 5–Oct. 3) by Ludwig and directed by Stephen Wadsworth. In the play, former mayor of Cleveland, Henry Saunders, attempts to stage the concert of the century. However, when an Italian superstar signs on to perform and Saunders’s wife stars wreaking havoc, nothing seems to go right. The show features characters from Ludwig’s oft-produced Lend Me a Tenor. The theatre last staged the world premiere of Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot (or Holmes for the Holidays) in 2011.
CPH will celebrate Arthur Miller’s 100th birthday by producing The Crucible (Oct. 10–Nov.8), directed by artistic director Kepley. The play was last produced at CPH in 1954. Next, Ralphy and his Red Rider BB gun will spread some Christmas cheer in CPH’s production of A Christmas Story (Nov. 27–Dec. 23). John McCluggage directs.
Then 2016 will begin with the cult classic Little Shop of Horrors (Jan. 9–Feb. 7, 2016) directed by Amanda Dehnert. To commemorate Martin Luther King Day, CPH will present The Mountaintop (Jan. 23–Feb. 14, 2016) by Katori Hall, about a fictional encounter between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a hotel maid the night before his death.
Luna Gale (Feb. 27–March 20, 2016) by Rebecca Gilman will follow, and will be directed by CPH board member Austin Pendleton. The play is about a social worker, whose latest case involving neglectful, young parents and a super-religious grandmother pushes her to her limits.
Rajiv Joseph’s Mr. Wolf (April 2–24, 2016) will be an anchor production of the 2016 New Ground Theatre Festival. In the play, Michael’s daughter, Theresa, has gone missing, turning his world upside down. As the search for Theresa continues, Michael’s family must learn how to heal each other. The show will be Cleveland native Joseph’s first production at CPH.
And closing out the season will be Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias (May, 2016) directed by Kepley.
Since its founding in 1915, Cleveland Play House has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres.