CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland Public Theater returns to the stage inside the Gordon Square Theater this fall. CPT, winner of the 2020 National Theater Conference Outstanding Theater Award, unveiled its 2021-22 season lineup on Monday after last season was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Cleveland Public Theater brings people together. The strength of our programming is not just in the individual power of each project and production, but in the way they weave together, ”Executive Artistic Director Raymond Bobgan said in a statement. “As each program, each person impacts the next, the impact on the community increases exponentially. We don’t present to the community; we are a convergence of communities.
The theater, which currently hosts free outdoor performances until August 7, kicks off the new season on September 18 with its annual ‘Pandemonium’ fundraiser.
Guests can enjoy local food and drink as CPT’s Detroit Avenue campus is transformed into a “maze of theater, dance, visual art and performance around every corner.” Proceeds support artistic work and theater education programs.
The CPT’s mission is to present bold, relevant and socially conscious work with an emphasis on presenting diverse voices outside the mainstream. This mission is evident in the 10 shows for the season, which were organized under a common theme: “Evolve. “
“We believe that society can change, and it’s when we come together that these changes happen,” says Bobgan. “Our strategy is to center artists, to amplify the voice of artists within our various communities and to share their work widely. What happens when we have conversations with people who see the world differently from what we know? We challenge our thinking, we open our hearts, and our inner world expands. Together, we evolve.
The program includes “Breakout Session (or Frogorse),” a play inspired by the government-mandated attempt at change within the Cleveland Police Department; “10 minutes to Midnight,” an evening of nine original mini-pieces about the holidays; “Panther Women,” telling the stories of some of the founding women of the Civil Rights Movement; “How the Baby Died,” described as an absurdly dark comedy that takes a critical look at our view of women’s health; and the annual productions of Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi and the Teatro Público in Cleveland.
Tickets go on sale in August. Prices for full production shows are $ 15 to $ 35, while new piece development performances range from $ 10 to $ 25. Discounts for students and seniors are also available. Find more information on www.cptonline.org.
Here’s a detailed look at the Cleveland Public Theater 2021-22 schedule with show descriptions provided by CPT.
PANDEMONIUM 2021: DAWN OF DAWN
One night only. Saturday September 18, 2021; Cleveland Public Theater, various locations; 7:00 p.m. Tickets $ 180 ($ 100 tax deductible).
The Cleveland Public Theater’s annual fundraising extravaganza turns the CPT campus into a maze of theater, dance, visual art and performance in every corner. The ticket is all-inclusive with fabulous local cuisine and free drinks served all night. A feast for the eyes, the mind, the appetite and the imagination – the proceeds go to CPT’s groundbreaking artistic work and life-changing education programs. This year’s recipient is Randell McShepard, Vice President of Public Affairs and Director of Talent for RPM International Inc. Randell is an advocate for equity and inclusion, the environment and our Greater Cleveland community.
SMALL GROUP SESSION (OR FROGORSE)
From October 28 to November 13. Preview October 28. Gordon Square Theater. Written by Nikkole Salter. Directed by Beth Wood.
Can a company legislate a change of mind? In Small group session (or Frogorse), a corporate training firm is vying for a municipal contract for de-escalation and anti-bias training with the Cleveland Police Department. When the white host, introducing black and Latino police officers, throws the approved program out the window to trigger the change her way, the session unexpectedly spiraled. Can a mantis shrimp and a crocodile teach us to build trust and the strength of vulnerability? Inspired by Cleveland’s Consent Decree with the US Department of Justice, Small group session (or Frogorse) was commissioned by the Cleveland Public Theater with funding from the National New Play Network (NNPN). World premiere suite.
10 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT: 9 INORIGENT HOLIDAY GAMES
From December 2 to 18. Gordon Square Theater. Directed by Caitlin Lewins. Short pieces from local and national designers.
No matter what you celebrate in December, the holidays can bring joy, common meals, loneliness, family, pressure, parties, warm hugs on cold nights, incredible stress, romance, anxiety, disaster, hope, dysfunction and much more! This holiday season, CPT shares humor, heart, and a party-like celebration, wrapped up in a montage of short holiday (or non-holiday) plays. Part variety show, part cabaret and part 10-minute holiday theater festival, 10 minutes to midnight Celebrates the breadth of holiday (or non-event) events in this seasonal extravaganza dosed with live music, fun scenes, hilarity and humanity. World premiere.
Winter 2022. James Levin Theater. A new developmental play series featuring works in progress by local and national artists.
Test Flight is a multi-week series that features new work in production. Test Flight provides local and national artists with the keys to theater and the opportunity to co-produce original works in progress. The series encourages risk taking and entrepreneurship towards the creation of new works. Development of new games.
MASRAH CLEVELAND AL-ARABIليفلاند العربي WINTER PRODUCTION
Winter 2022. Gordon Square Theater. Created by members of the Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi ensemble with Raymond Bobgan & Faye Hargate. Directed by Raymond Bobgan.
Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi – a project developing work by, for and with Arabic speaking communities – shares empowering stories that honor community, family and freedom of expression. Created by the distribution of sets of amateur and professional artists, this original production led by Raymond Bobgan and Faye Hargate will feature members of the ensemble performing their own personal stories, scenes, poetry readings and live music. The program will be bilingual, presented in English and Arabic with subtitles. World premiere.
PANTHER WOMEN: AN ARMY FOR LIBERATION
From February 4 to 26. Previews February 4, 5 and 10. Gordon Square Theater. Written and directed by India Nicole Burton.
Panther Women: an army for liberation follows three prominent women who were members of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Movement, and explores the unique lives and experiences of black women in America. A choreoeme built on extensive research and collaboration with a cohort of black artists, this world-first production chronicles the lifelong pursuit of justice by some of the founding women of the civil rights movement. Striking, eviscerating, overflowing with beauty, musicality and amazing and complex stories, Panther Women: an army for liberation touches the heart of the human condition and celebrates black women. World premiere.
DANCE WORK 2022
Winter 2022. James Levin Theater. Featuring choreographers from Northeast Ohio.
Each year, the Cleveland Public Theater welcomes Northeast Ohio’s most adventurous contemporary dance companies to the James Levin Theater stage for several weeks of single and double performances.
TEATRO PÚBLICO DE CLEVELAND (TPC) SPRING PRODUCTION
Spring 2022. James Levin Theater.
Teatro Público de Cleveland is a collective of Latino theater artists and produces shows that preserve and promote the cultures of Cleveland’s Latinos for the Spanish speaking and general public. The company-selected TPC Spring Show seeks to connect with Latino and non-Latino audiences in a powerful experience of cross-cultural work.
HOW THE BABY DIE
From March 18 to April 9. Previews on March 18, 19 and 24. Gordon Square Theater. Written by Tori Keenan-Zelt. Directed by Beth Wood.
How the baby died is a darkly visceral and absurdly comedic play about parenting, pregnancy, abortion, and women’s physical autonomy. Contemporary comedy and Le Grand Guignol (aka French Horror Theater!) Collide, and the only prop available is a baby. And baby, it’s getting bloody. Hilarity, hijinks and chaos ensue. Is this comedy inappropriate? Or is it our view of women’s health gone wrong? Support provided by Venturous Theater Fund, a Tides Foundation fund.
THE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND REAL ADVENTURES OF MS. JOAN SOUTHGATE
From April 22 to May 14. Previews on April 22, 23 and 28. Gordon Square Theater. Written and performed by Nina Domingue, 2019 Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellow. Directed by Nathan Henry.
In 2002 Joan Southgate, a retired social worker and activist from the Cleveland area, left the small town of Ripley, Ohio, with one simple goal: to showcase the courage and ingenuity of freedom seekers and scholars. families of drivers who risked everything on the Underground Railroad. . Beloved Cleveland artist Nina Domingue tells the story of Joan’s life through the 519 mile walk through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Canada. World premiere.
Spring 2022 Text by Raymond Bobgan, Candlelight hypothesis jointly created by Raymond & Cleveland CORE Ensemble. Directed by Raymond Bobgan.
Raymond Bobgan creates bold, multi-layered and highly physical new performances through an ever-evolving overall process. Raymond formed the Cleveland CORE Ensemble with the goal of maintaining the conditions for developing unique theatrical practices, studying the potential of the acting profession, and creating a distinctive set of theatrical works. The ensemble’s performances are typically layered with powerful physical action, poetic lyrics and original music.
HOPE STATION 2022
May 28. St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ohio City. A celebration of hope. A dialogue for change.
Station Hope is a jubilant community event celebrating Cleveland’s social justice history and exploring contemporary struggles for freedom and fairness. Meet over 250 artists as they envision, question and seek hope on the grounds of Cleveland’s first authenticated Underground Railroad site, St. John’s Episcopal Church. Audiences explore historic properties while viewing works of theater, music, storytelling and dance inspired by the most important issues of our time.