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Abraham Adams and Ananias J. Dixon in "An Octoroon" by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Dobama Theatre. (Photo by Steve Wagner Photography)

Dobama Theatre Sets 2017-18 Season of New Plays

The Cleveland theatre will present seven plays, including a world premiere by Greg Vovos.

CLEVELAND: Dobama Theatre has announced its 2017-18 lineup, which will include seven new plays, including a world premiere by Greg Vovos.

“Next year, we’ll produce a lyrical and rhythmically-infused story of a Brooklyn teenager, a Pulitzer Prize finalist starring Dorothy Silver, two area premieres by internationally known local playwrights, a suspenseful love story set during a drug trial, and an Obie Award winner from An Octoroon playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins,” artistic director Nathan Motta said in a statement. “This is a season not to be missed.”

Also, this summer, Dobama will present the world premiere of How to be a Respectable Junkie (June 15-July 2), by Greg Vovos, a member of the Playwrights’ GYM, Dobama’s professional playwriting unit. Based on real events and interviews, the play follows a heroin addict in his thirties who has decided to make a change.  Motta will direct.

The fall will get underway with the regional premiere of brownsville song (b-side for tray) (Sept. 1 – 24). Playwright Kimber Lee tells the story of Tray, a spirited 18-year-old African-American, and his family, who must be resilient in the face of tragedy.

Up next is Marjorie Prime (Oct. 13 – Nov. 12), by Jordan Harrison. In the regional premier of this Pulitzer Prize finalist, 85-year-old Marjorie has a handsome new companion who’s programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. Shannon Sindelar will direct and Dorothy Silver will star in this drama that explores themes of technology and identity.

After that is the regional premiere of Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars (Dec. 1 – 30), adapted by Eric Coble and based on the graphic novels by Tony Lee and Dan Boultwood. In this twist on the classic Sherlock Holmes tales, The Baker Street Irregulars are a gang of street kids hired by Sherlock himself to help solve cases. In this family-friendly show, they must prove that Sherlock is not dead, and along the way untangle a slew of other London crimes. Nathan Motta will direct.

Following that is the Cleveland premiere of Grounded (Jan. 19 – Feb. 11), by George Brant. In this thought-provoking drama, a fighter pilot is reassigned due to an unexpected pregnancy and grapples with the meaning and value of her work.

After that is the Midwest premiere of The Effect (March 2-25), by Lucy Prebble. When two volunteers in a clinical trial strike up an illicit romance, it’s unclear if their chemistry is real or a side effect.

Rounding out the season is the regional premiere of the Obie Award-winning Appropriate (April 20-May 29), by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. When the estranged members of the Lafayette clan descend on their Arkansas homestead for their father’s funeral, the three adult siblings must sort through a lifetime of hoarded mementos and a contentious family history.  Motta will direct.

Dobama will also continue with the Playwrights’ GYM throughout the season, and hold the 40th annual Marilyn Bianchi Kids’ Playwriting Festival in June 2018 and Dobama Emerging Actors Program (DEAP) in July 2018.

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

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