39 STEPS, KITE RUNNER & More Part of Cleveland Play House's '10-11 Season

39 STEPS, KITE RUNNER & More Part of Cleveland Play House's '10-11 Season

Cleveland Play House Artistic Director Michael Bloom announces the 2010-11 Season lineup - the final one at the historic venue on 85th and Euclid Avenue before relocating to downtown Cleveland's Theater District in the fall of 2011. A re-imagining of an American classic by Horton Foote, Midwest premieres of acclaimed literary adaptations, modern musicals and clever comedies are all contributing to the wide variety of entertainment Bloom has designed for The Play House's 95th consecutive season.

"'Everything changes, but nothing is lost' is a line from Legacy Of Light, a new play by Karen Zacarias capping off our 2010-11 season," reflects Bloom, who is overseeing designs for the renovation of The Allen Theater and two new theaters at PlayhouseSquare in downtown Cleveland, which will serve as the future home of The Cleveland Play House starting with the 2011-12 Season. "It is a fitting sentiment for the end of one Play House chapter and the beginning of another."

Following two successful Play House productions adapted from Jane Austen classics, Chicago-based director Peter Amster returns to The Play House for the third time to open the 2010-2011 Season with The 39 Steps, a hit comedy from Broadway. Amster also directs the season's holiday centerpiece, This Wonderful Life, a one-man tour de force based on the Frank Capra film It's A Wonderful Life. For the musical showpiece of the season, Bloom announces an exciting collaboration with some of New York's finest talent. "Scott Schawartz and Walt Spangler will be directing and designing Backwards in High Heels: The Ginger Musical, a dance musical celebrating the life of legendary actress Ginger Rogers."

Literary adaptations stand out in the 2010-11 season. Making its Midwest premiere is a production of The New York Times bestseller The Kite Runner. "It takes us inside an Afghanistan few of us know," remarks Bloom. Given its premiere reading in FusionFest 2008, My Name is Asher Lev by Aaron Posner marks the second Chaim Potok adaptation produced by The Play House. "It's a fascinating coming-of-age story seamlessly blended with a debate about the nature of art," Bloom observes.

The first-ever Play House production of a work by Pulitzer-prize and Academy-award winner Horton Foote, The Trip to Bountiful is the most ambitious project of the season for Bloom, who announces it will be performed by an African-American cast for the first time. Legacy of Light is a new time-traveling comedy by female playwright Karen Zacarias and the anchor for FusionFest 2011, a one-of-a-kind festival of new works in music, dance and theatre at a regional theatre.

Subscription packages to The Play House's seven-play 2010-2011 Mainstage season range from $241 to $346 and are available by calling (216) 795-7000 ext. 4. Subscribers to The Play House's seven-play Mainstage season receive free parking first choice of seating, flexible no-fee ticket exchanges, ticket insurance and pre-sale ticket offers.

Tickets for individual performances will range from $10 (for students) to $65 and will go on sale August 2, 2010. Group rates are available now at a substantial savings; interested parties should call CoSandra Wheeler, Group Sales Manager at (216) 795-7000 x180.

THE Cleveland Play House 2010-2011 MAINSTAGE SEASON

The 39 Steps
Based on an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon
Book by John Buchan, Adapted by Patrick Barlow
Directed by Peter Amster
Co-produced with Syracuse Stage
Drury Theatre ~ September 17 - October 10, 2010

"Hitchcock meets hilarious" in this affectionate spoof of one of the all-time great spy movies and a hit on Broadway for nearly three years. This season's most intriguing, most thrilling, most riotous, most unmissable comedy smash, with four of the most limber actors alive playing 150 roles.

The Kite Runner
Based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini
Adapted for the stage by Matthew Spangler
Directed by Marc Masterson
Co-produced with Actors Theatre of Louisville
Bolton Theatre ~ October 15 - November 14, 2010

It's a glorious afternoon in Kabul and the skies are bursting with the exhilarating joy of a kite-fighting tournament. But in the aftermath of the day's victory, two friends' lives are changed forever by one fearful act of betrayal. The Kite Runner takes us inside an Afghanistan few of us know. Based on the acclaimed novel that spent over 5 years on The New York Times bestseller list, The Kite Runner is the story of two boyhood friends torn apart, and the extraordinary efforts of one to Make Up For the past. A profoundly emotional tale of friendship, family, class and redemption. Performed by an ensemble of 12 with an authentic tabla musician.

This Wonderful Life
A one-man stage adaptation of It's a Wonderful Life
Written by Steve Murray; Conceived by Mark Setlock
Directed by Peter Amster
Drury Theatre ~ November 26 - December 19, 2010

Can one person really make a difference in the world? Share the hope and humor of Frank Capra's beloved classic film It's A Wonderful Life in this delightful re-imagining. The virtuoso James Leaming portrays George Bailey, Clarence the Angel, Mary, Old Man Potter, and 20 more of Bedford Falls' finest citizens in this one-man tour de force. A heartwarming family experience for the holiday season.

Backwards in High Heels: The Ginger Musical
Conceived and developed by Lynette Barkley and Christopher McGovern
Book/original songs/arrangements by Christopher McGovern
Directed by Scott Schwartz
Co-produced with Arizona Theatre Company and San Jose Rep
Bolton Theatre ~ January 7 - 30, 2011

A vibrant new musical dances its way through the life of Ginger Rogers with unforgettable music, show-stopping dance numbers and a captivating story that chronicles the legendary entertainer's journey from hometown to Hollywood. Funny, moving and a visual feast, Backwards In High Heels is a toe-tapping account of her ambitious public and private life, combining cherished standards from Berlin, Gershwin and Kern, plus original songs and stunning dance sequences. Directed and designed by New York veterans
Scott Schwartz and Walt Spangler.

The Trip to Bountiful
By Horton Foote
Directed by Timothy Douglas
Co-produced with Round House Theatre
Drury Theatre ~ February 4 - 27, 2011

In 1947 Houston, the elderly Carrie Watts dreams endlessly of visiting her childhood home one last time before it is too late. But she must literally find a way to escape the confines of her overbearing daughter-in-law and son. Both deeply emotional and uplifting, this haunting American classic, performed for the first time by an African-American cast, is an unforgettable meditation on the idea of home and its power to sustain us. A Cleveland Play House premiere-and the first-ever Play House production of a work by
Pulitzer-prize and Academy award-winner Horton Foote.

My Name is Asher Lev
Adapted by Aaron Posner, from the novel by Chaim Potok
Directed by Seth Gordon
Baxter Stage ~ March 4 - 27, 2011

Given its premiere reading in FusionFest 2008, this adaptation of Chaim Potok's classic novel is a captivating coming-of-age story that explores art, family, religion and loyalty. Asher Lev, a Hasidic Jew,
tries to balance his artistic genius with the demands of his observant family. An intriguing conflict between the sacred and the profane that The Philadelphia Inquirer hailed as "exquisite."

Legacy of Light
By Karen Zacarias
Director to be announced
Drury Theatre ~ April 8 - May 1, 2011

What is a woman's legacy? Is it the discoveries she brings to the world through her career? Is it the children she brings into the world as a mother? Two women - in two different centuries - struggle with these questions ... all while their clocks are ticking. The anchor production for FusionFest 2011, this ingenious timetraveling comedy contrasts two female scientists in their forties- played by the same actress. One, Emilie du Chatelet, living in the age of Enlightenment, races to complete her research before her child is born. The other, living in the present and unable to conceive, arranges for a surrogate to have her child. Their legacies collide in this "entertaining new comedy" (Variety) about the search for self-discovery, knowledge and love.


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