CLEVELAND: Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) has announced its 2015–16 season, entitled “Identity/Identify,” featuring world premieres, regional premieres, and special events.
“Identity/Identify represents two strong impulses,” said CPT executive artistic director Raymond Bobgan. “One, the urge to define identity in specific terms, to assert who we are as individuals, internally and in the world; and the other, our yearning to empathetically connect with others, to truly identify with diverse perspectives. These two seemingly disparate actions are at the core of theatre’s potential impact.”
The season will kick off with Pandemonium 2015: Transform (Sept. 12), an annual fundraising event complete with theatre, dance, visual, and performance art.
The season begins with Nassim Soleimanpour’s White Rabbit Red Rabbit (Oct. 8—25), a metatheatrical piece about geopolitical and social isolation to be performed by a different actor each night without prior direction, rehearsal, or knowledge of the script. It is produced by CPT in association with Aurora Nova Productions.
Next will be a world premiere production by Teatro Publico de Cleveland (Oct. 16—24), structured from personal stories, dreams, and traditions of the multinational ensemble. Bobgan will direct.
Following will be the world premiere of The Loush Sisters Love Dick’ns: Great Expectations (Nov. 27—Dec.19), created by Beth Wood, Liz Conway, and Michael Seevers Jr. This bawdy cabaret reinterprets A Christmas Carol. Wood will direct.
Next is The Santaland Diaries (TBA), adapted by Joe Mantello from David Sedaris, about an out-of-work actor who takes a job as a Macy’s Christmas elf.
Following is the world premiere of Feefer Rising (Dec. 11—19), a devised solo performance by Faye Hargate and Bobgan that explores sexuality and selfhood through a girl’s journey to womanhood. Hargate stars and Bobgan will direct.
Next will be the world premiere of Pandora Robertson’s Incendiaries (Jan. 8—23, 2016), a coproduction with Ohio City Theatre Project. This exploration of past conflicts between law enforcement and people of color is based on the 1966 Hough race riots. Robertson will direct.
Following will be Frankenstein’s Wake (Jan. 15—30, 2016), an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel created by Holly Holsinger and Bobgan.
Next is the regional premiere of Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play (Feb. 19—March 5, 2016), a post-apocalyptic tale of survival, passion, and the enduring power of Bart Simpson. Matthew Wright will direct.
Following will be the National New Play Network rolling world premiere of Hilary Bettis’s The Ghosts of Lote Bravo (March 4—19, 2016), developed in collaboration with El Círculo theatre of Mexico City, about how hope prevails over the violence, poverty, and grief in a town where girls often disappear. Dante Fernando Larzabal will direct.
The season also includes Big Box ’16 (March 17—April 9, 2016), featuring presentations of works-in-progress from local artists.
Next will be Out of the Box (March 24—April 2, 2016), featuring Darren Katz’s SeXcurity and the regional tour of Don Quixote: a pilgrimage by Jennifer Schlueter and Available Light Theatre.
Following will be Station Hope 2016 (April 30, 2016), a celebration of the triumphs of the Underground Railroad, Cleveland’s social justice history, and contemporary struggles for freedom and justice.
Next is the regional premiere of with Aaron Davidman’s Wrestling Jerusalem (May 6—22, 2016), about his journey to understanding the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Davidman will star and Michael John Garcés will direct.
Following is the world premiere of CPT’S devised Blue Sand Dreaming (June 3—11, 2016), the story of a woman grappling with her life, her memory, and her selves. Chris Seibert and Darius Stubbs will star, and Bobgan will direct.
The season concludes with the regional premiere of Nikkole Salter’s Lines in the Dust (June 3—18, 2016), about a working-class single mom who loses the charter school lottery for her teenage daughter. Wood will direct.