INFORMED CONSENT, Elizabeth A. Davis and More Set for Cleveland Play House's 2014 New Ground Theatre Festival, Running Now thru 5/17

INFORMED CONSENT, Elizabeth A. Davis and More Set for Cleveland Play House's 2014 New Ground Theatre Festival, Running Now thru 5/17

New Ground Theatre Festival, Cleveland Play House's annual showcase of new theatrical works will open with the world premiere production of Deborah Zoe Laufer's thought-provoking Informed Consent. The Festival is comprised of 25 performances of works ranging from fully-produced, large-scale collaborations to solo performances, to readings of plays hot off the writer's printer that represent a variety of new work from nationally-recognized artists. This year's lineup also includes work from Tony Award nominee and CWRU/CPH alumna, Elizabeth A. Davis, as well as critically acclaimed playwrights George Brant and Eric Coble, and Roe Green Award Winner Heidi Schreck. For the third consecutive year, the Roe Green Award brings a leading American playwright to Cleveland to develop a new project culminating in a reading and public conversation with the playwright. CPH is indebted to Honorary Producer Roe Green, Supporting Sponsor Ohio Savings Bank and Associate Sponsors Ulmer & Berne, Westlake Reed Leskosky and Walter Haverfield. The New Ground Theatre Festival will run from today, May 7 - 17. Tickets are on sale now and start at just $10 for most events!

CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley exclaims: "Bringing new work to the Northeast Ohio community is central to what we do at Cleveland Play House. The New Ground Theatre Festival is the perfect outlet for us to explore new work, forge new relationships and deepen existing relationships with playwrights, directors and artists alike. This year's Festival will showcase the work of several multi-talented artists whose intelligent, artistic and creative pieces will delight our audiences and engage thought-provoking conversation. We are deeply grateful to all of our sponsors and to Honorary Producer Roe Green for her enthusiastic and generous support of new work at Cleveland Play House."

The Festival will commence on May 7 with two full-scale productions, beginning with the world premiere production of Deborah Zoe Laufer's Informed Consent. Laufer's play was workshopped during last year's Festival, culminating in a sold-out reading; this year's full-scale production is co-produced with Geva Theatre Center and will have audiences intrigued by the ethical, political and moral questions it raises. Based on a true story, Informed Consent delves into the personal and national debate about science vs. belief and whether our DNA is our destiny. The second production is by multi-award-winning playwright George Brant, who returns to CPH with his highly-acclaimed production of Grounded. This profound and moving story of a woman on the verge of collapse was named a Top 10 Play of 2013 in London by both The Guardian and London Evening Standard. Grounded has been described as "Theatre's answer to Zero Dark Thirty"- The Independent, and "Gripping" - The New York Times. A TalkBack with Mr. Brant will be held after the Sunday, May 11 performance.

Tony-nominated actress for Once and CWRU/CPH alumna Elizabeth A. Davis returns to CPH stages with a reading of her folk musical, Joe, a story about the unlikely friendship of a Texas beauty queen and a homeless Native American man. Ms. Davis has written the book, music and lyrics for the piece and will also be featured on stage with her violin during this reading on May 17. Also debuting on May 17 is a reading of Fairfield by Clevelander Eric Coble, whom American Theatre Magazine has dubbed "An unqualified original with rich and idiosyncratic works." Directed by CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley, this razor-sharp, insightful comedy raises the question of what is appropriate/inappropriate when it comes to race relations. A fully-developed production of Fairfield, which the New York Post has described as "Funnier than anything on Broadway," will also be featured as part of CPH's 2014-2015 Season. Rounding out the Festival will be a new play reading of Roe Green Award Winner Heidi Schreck's new work, Grand Concourse. Schreck and director Kip Fagan will participate in a TalkBack with the audience directly following the reading.

Each year, the Roe Green Award is awarded to a nationally recognized playwright for outstanding achievement in playwriting. The award includes a $7,500 cash prize; a week-long residency including rehearsals; a Master Class with CPH Playwrights' Unit, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University students; and a public reading of a new play. This year's winner, Heidi Schreck, will hold a reading of her play Grand Concourse on May 10. Heralded as "A Playwright to Watch!" by the New York Post, Ms. Schreck is also a multi-award winning actor having won two Obie awards, a Drama Desk Award and the Theatre World Award.

ROE GREEN (Honorary Producer) is an arts patron, community activist, and chief executive officer of the Roe Green Foundation. With a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Communications from University of Colorado and a master's degree in Theatre from Kent State University, her experience in stage and business management includes Cain Park, Cleveland Opera, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Today she is president emeritus of CAVORT, Inc., the Conference About Volunteers of Regional Theatres; serves on the Kent State University School of Theatre and Dance advisory board; the foundation board of Kent State University; the board of Porthouse Theatre; the board of Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, Florida; and the board of Cleveland Play House. She is responsible for the Roe Green Visiting Director Series for the School of Theatre and Dance at Kent State and the University of Colorado. Ms. Green has received numerous awards for her support of the arts and new play development including; the 2009 State of Ohio Governor's Award for Arts Patron; the Dramatist Guild's Patron of the Arts Award (2013); and the Muse Award (2014) from the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. In 2013, she received the CPH Centennial Star Award that recognizes select individuals who have made special and important contributions to CPH's rich legacy of artistic and educational programming. 2014 marks the third year of the Roe Green Award at CPH which recognizes a playwright and the development of a new work.

2014 New Ground Theatre Festival Events

Informed Consent by Deborah Zoe Laufer

April 23 - May 18

Fully staged production - Second Stage

Co-produced with Geva Theatre Center

Directed by Sean Daniels

Tickets range in price from $45-$72 each

Genetic anthropologist Jillian has devoted her life to finding a cure for early-onset Alzheimer's, the inherited disease that took her mother, and will soon overtake her and perhaps eventually her own daughter. When Jillian is brought on to conduct a study on diabetes in the isolated Havasupai tribe, she runs a series of unauthorized tests. Jillian's hopes to discover information that will aid her battle against Alzheimer's soon clashes with the Tribe's beliefs. As Jillian's ethics are thrown into question, this world premiere play asks: Are we defined by our biology or by our memories? And when is knowledge actually power?

InsideCPH events for this production and New Ground Theatre Festival include:

Tech Tuesday: Informed Consent
April 19, 2014 @ 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Behind-the-Scenes: New Ground Theatre Festival
April 26, 2014 @ 11:30am - 1:00pm

Informed Consent is the centerpiece of our New Ground Theatre Festival, in which we develop and showcase new work. From the Mainstage Centerpiece Production to lines fresh from the playwright's pen, and everything in between, New Ground puts new play development center stage. Join Informed Consent playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer, as well Cleveland's own Eric Coble-whose Fairfield will be workshopped during this year's Festival, and be its Centerpiece Production next year!-for a revealing conversation about new work

15th Humanism & the Healing Arts Multidisciplinary Conference
April 29, 2014 @ 1:00pm - 3:00pm

CPH has joined forces with the Summa Health System for this one-day symposium which, like Informed Consent, combines Art and Science in a truly unique way. Join CPH artistic staff and Informed Consent cast, as well as a diverse group of medical professionals, for this one-of-a-kind event.

Presentation and Panel Discussion--Presentation by Cleveland Play House staff and actors from the play Informed Consent by Deborah Zoe Laufer

Panelists: Kirk A Stiffler, MD, MPH, FACEP - Director, Emergency Medicine Research Center and Chair, Institutional Review Board, Summa Health System Cristie Cole, JD, Fellow, Cleveland Fellowship in Advanced Bioethics, Member of the Mohawk Nation (aka Akwesasne). Cleveland Play House staff and actors.

The Summa Health System designates this live activity for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. The Summa Health System is accredited by the Ohio State Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

TalkBack: Informed Consent
May 04, 2014 @ 4:30pm - 5:00pm

Stay after the show to continue the conversation our plays start! TalkBacks offer the chance to interact with the cast, creative team, local experts and fellow playgoers in an open and lively Q&A about the play and the questions it raises.

TalkBack: Informed Consent
May 06, 2014 @ 9:00pm - 9:30pm

TalkBack: Informed Consent
May 11, 2014 @ 4:30pm - 5:00pm

Grounded by George Brant

May 7 - May 17th

Fully staged production - The Helen

CPH presents Page 73's production of Grounded

Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll

Tickets range in price from $10 - $30 each

An unexpected pregnancy ends an ace fighter pilot's career in the sky. Reassigned to operate military drones from a windowless trailer outside Las Vegas, she hunts terrorists by day and returns to her family each night. As the pressure to track a high-profile target mounts, the boundaries begin to blur between the desert in which she lives and the one she patrols half a world away. A TalkBack with Mr. Brant will be held after the Sunday, May 11 performance.

Grand Concourse by Heidi Schreck (Roe Green Award Winner Reading)

May 10

Play reading - The Helen

Directed by Kip Fagan

Ticket price: $10 - $20 each

Shelley is tired. A young nun who has successfully run a soup kitchen in the Bronx for years, she has begun to question her faith and the depths of her compassion. When a new volunteer joins the ranks, Shelley faces the ultimate test. Just how far can a person's ability to forgive be stretched before it irrevocably snaps? Grand Concourse is a finely observed tale of the good, the evil, and the mysterious that exists in the everyday-and in all of us. Schreck and director Kip Fagan will participate in a TalkBack with the audience directly following the reading.

Fairfield by Eric Coble

May 17

Play reading - The Helen

Directed by Laura Kepley

Ticket price: $10 - $20 each

"Peace. Love. Respect for all." So goes the motto of Fairfield Elementary, a public school located in a liberal minority majority district. But when a young teacher's misguided attempts at celebrating black history month take a dark turn, chaos erupts, students riot, and it seems that it may be near impossible to safely reach the CelebrEthnic potluck scheduled for February 28th. Fairfield is a razor-sharp insightful comedy from Cleveland playwright Eric Coble that examines the line between appropriate/inappropriate, how we teach and talk about race and culture, and questions: is it indeed possible to overcome?

Joe by Elizabeth A. Davis

May 17

Folk musical reading - The Allen

Directed by Tim Acito

Ticket price: $10 - $20 each

A Texas beauty queen befriends a homeless Native American man. Spanning a decade and the Texan plains, their complicated relationship unearths deep cultural divides and challenges the meaning of friendship and charity. Joe is a deeply personal and heart-felt testament to joys and struggles of forming a life-long connection with another human being. This autobiographical play with music is penned by CWRU/CPH alumna and Tony award nominee Elizabeth A. Davis.

CPH's New Ground Theatre Festival will take place May 7 - 17, 2014. Tickets range in price from $10 - $72 each. Save up to 50% when you buy multiple Festival shows. Students and anyone under 35 as low as $10! To order single tickets please call 216-241-6000 or visit www.clevelandplayhouse.com. Groups of 10+ save up to 40% off single ticket prices; call 216-400-7027.

Founded in 1915, Cleveland Play House is America's first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, Cleveland Play House has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. It has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,300 CPH productions. Cleveland Play House looks toward its centennial while performing in three state-of-the art venues at PlayhouseSquare in downtown Cleveland.

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