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CWRU CPH MFA Program Announces New Season And Incoming Class Of 2022

CWRU CPH MFA Program Announces New Season And Incoming Class Of 2022

The Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House (CWRU/CPH) MFA Acting Program is thrilled to announce the incoming Class of 2022, as well as an exciting new season for both the new and existing classes.

The CWRU/CPH MFA Class of 2020 will take on Shakespeare's provocative classic The Merchant of Venice, directed by Sara Holdren. This 3rd year class makes their professional stage debut during CPH's main stage 2019-2020 season.

The dynamic new 1st year class of 2022, represent undergraduate programs from across the United States, and will make their CWRU/CPH MFA debut this spring with Will Eno's deeply moving comedy Middletown, directed by Donald Carrier. CWRU and CPH are excited to welcome this dynamic new class that will continue the strong tradition the program has established over the course of the past 23 years.

"After seeing a record number of candidates from across the country and internationally," says Donald Carrier, Interim Director of CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program, "I am thrilled to welcome a New Group of talented, dynamic, curious, and collaborative young artists who will grow and thrive here in Cleveland. As always, it's a privilege, a joy and a responsibility to train these students as they move forward on their artistic paths."

"On the audition tour, we met incredible young artists and are thrilled to be welcoming a unique and promising class," says Cleveland Play House Artistic Director Laura Kepley, "I am confident that with the excellent training in the CWRU/CPH studios and by working side-by-side with top professionals on Cleveland Play House mainstage productions these talented young theatre makers will make a significant impact on the future of American theatre."

CWRU/CPH MFA Program Class of 2022

Isaac Baker is an actor from Bowling Green, Kentucky. He graduated from The University of Evansville in 2019 with a BFA in Theatre Performance. Some of his favorite roles include Bruce Bechdel in Fun Home, John Proctor in The Crucible, Pa Joad in Grapes of Wrath, George Wickham in Pride and Prejudice, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice, and Antonio in Twelfth Night. In addition to his work with the University of Evansville, Isaac has spent time with the Great River Shakespeare Festival and Brute Candor Productions.

KRISTINA GABRIELA: Born and raised in south Texas, recently earned her BA in Theatre with an acting/directing focus at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Recent credits include Mimi (RENT), Ariel (The Tempest), and Sophie (Mamma Mia).

Sierra Grabowska is originally from Shepherdstown, West Virginia though she comes to Cleveland by way of Boston. After earning her BA in Theater and English from UMass Amherst, she has performed in Boston with multiple touring companies and is a company member of Magnificent Bastards, a Shakespearean improv comedy troupe. Some of her favorite credits include Juliet in Shakespeare Now!'s Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet in Boston Theater Company's Hamlet, and Puck in Boston Theater Company's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Bridget Kim is originally from Morehead, Kentucky. She received a BA in Political Science and minored in Theatre Arts at the University of Louisville. She was last seen onstage as Ginny Yang in Smart People, LeeAnn in A Piece of My Heart, Rebecca in The Long Christmas Ride Home, and Grace in Baltimore.

Gustavo Márquez was born in California and was raised in Colorado. He earned his BFA in Music Theatre from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. He has performed in productions that have taken him to California and across to Delaware, and has been seen in such productions as Sweat, A Christmas Carol, and Native Gardens with the Denver Center Theatre Company.

Chris Portley was born in Denton, Texas, and raised in Dallas, Texas. He earned his BS in Integrative Studies at the University of North Texas where he played Kent in Stick Fly. After graduating, he studied at the Shakespeare Academy at Stratford as part of the 2017 ensemble, where he played Ferdinand in The Tempest and Elbow/Abhorson in Measure for Measure in repertory. Other theatre credits include Delray in Memphis with the Musical Theatre of Denton and Father Comes Home from the Wars with AART. Recent film credits include independent short, Peddling.

Jordan Allyse Taylor is originally from Ypsilanti, Michigan, and obtained her BFA in Acting from Oakland University in April 2019. Her favorite credits include: In The Red and Brown Water, Marcus; or Secret of Sweet, Othello, and Electra.

NOAH WILLIAMS has performed in works ranging from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams. He has trained at Troy University where he received his bachelor's degree in Theatre, and at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Noah recently played Petruchio in The Taming of The Shrew, Black Stache in Peter and The Starcatcher, Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple, Reverend Parris in The Crucible, Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Tom in The Glass Menagerie at Troy University.



Written by William Shakespeare

Directed by Sara Holdren

November 6-16, 2019

The deal was struck. The loan terms signed. Default comes with a lethal price, and now Antonio can't pay up. Will mercy or retribution win out? The Merchant of Venice is a potent mix of suspense, romance, and courtroom drama rife with moral complexities. Join the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program's Class of 2020 as they take on Shakespeare's most provocative tale of money, privilege, and prejudice.


Written by Will Eno

Directed by Donald Carrier

March 18-28, 2020

Welcome to Middletown, USA. Population: Stable. Elevation: Same. It's an ordinary small town. With ordinary people. All living seemingly ordinary lives. And yet, from all this ordinary emerges the extraordinary-the absurd, the hilarious, and the beautiful moments of lives being lived. Told with humor and deep compassion, this spiritual successor to Our Town shows us the joy, sadness, small victories and defeats we experience as we go through the ups and downs of being human. This production will introduce the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program's Class of 2022 to local audiences.

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