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"Peter and the Starcatcher" by Rick Elice at Dobama Theatre.

Dobama Theatre Sets 2016–17 Season of New Plays

The Cleveland theatre will present works by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Annie Baker, and Robert Askins.

CLEVELAND: Dobama Theatre has announced its 2016–17 lineup, marking the theatre’s 57th season. It will include six productions of new plays, including the return of the theatre’s 2015 production of Peter and the Starcatcher.

“The exceptional lineup of scripts we’ll produce next year all deal in some vital way with an examination of identity,” said artistic director Nathan Motta in a statement. “Over the course of the season, our audiences will experience productions that are diverse in scope, theme, and style. We’re excited about these plays’ ability to entertain as well as provoke thought and conversation.”

The season will kick off with The Mystery of Love and Sex (Sept. 2–Oct 2) by Bathsheba Doran.  Directed by Shannon Sindelar, the play shows how sex complicates the friendship between a white Jewish girl and a black Christian boy.

Next is Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s An Octoroon (Cot. 21–Nov.13), directed by Motta. The play is based on Dion Boucicault’s 1859 play The Octoroon, where a black playwright is trying to remount the melodramatic work, to much racial complications.

The Dobama 2015 production of Rick Elice’s Peter and the Starcatcher (Dec. 2–31) will return for an encore. The play—based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, with music by Wayne Barker—will be directed by Melissa Crum. It imagines how an orphan named Peter became the boy who never grew up.

Conor McPherson’s The Night Alive (Jan. 20–Feb 12, 2017) will be directed by Leighann Delorenzo. The play chronicles a man who finds hope after defending a destitute woman from a violent attack.

Following that will be the Pulitzer-winning The Flick (March–26, 2017) by Annie Baker. The play is about the employees of a movie theatre. It will be directed by Motta.

Closing the season will be Robert Askins’s Hand To God (April 21–May 21, 2017). In the dark comedy, directed by Matthew Wright, a conservative Texas boy discovers that his sock puppet has become possessed by the devil.

Dobama Theatre was founded in 1959. It produces contemporary work by both established and up-and-coming playwrights.

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