Cleveland Play House MFA Class Unveils New Take on Zimmerman's METAMORPHOSES Tonight

The Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House MFA (CWRU/CPH MFA) Acting Program will present Mary Zimmerman's METAMORPHOSES in the Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre ("The Helen") at Playhouse Square for 10 performances only, tonight, March 16, through March 26, 2016.

Written by Mary Zimmerman and directed by CWRU/CPH MFA Program Director Ron Wilson, this contemporary adaptation of Ovid's epic poem closes out the program's 20th Anniversary season and is the first performance for the MFA Class of 2018.

""This beautiful play has always fascinated me, and is a perfect ensemble piece for the 2018 MFA class," said Wilson.

Adapted, inspired, and propelled by Ovid's epic poem, METAMORPHOSES, Mary Zimmerman reinterprets ancient myths and stories for a modern audience. Using movement, song, and vivid dramatic and comedic storytelling, METAMORPHOSES explores love, loss, power, and family in moving and profound ways.

Mary Zimmerman's METAMORPHOSES brings Ovid's tales to stunning visual life. METAMORPHOSES juxtaposes the ancient and the contemporary in both language and image to reflect the variety and persistence of narrative in the face of inevitable change. Nominated for three 2002 Tony Awards, including "Best Play," the 2002 production was named the "theater event of the year" by Time Magazine.


LAVOUR ADDISON (Ensemble) Lavour is pleased as punch to be joining the Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House family. Lavour grew up in the Bahamas and attended high school in Florida. He graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a double major in Psychology and Theatre. He also holds a certificate from the Stella Adler Acting Conservatory in NYC. His professional experience includes serving as the Acting Captain of the Hawaii Pirate Ship Adventures and working as a full time member of the Professional Acting Company with the Honolulu Theatre for Youth. Favorite credits include The Wild Party, The Genteel Sabai and Bug. I love you Brittni and Winston, thank you for coming on this journey with me!

PAUL BUGALLO (Ensemble) Paul is thrilled to be making his debut on the Cleveland Play House stage! He was raised in Seattle, where he discovered his passion for the performing arts and attended Central Washington University where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatrical Performance. Paul has performed in many of Puget Sound's professional spaces, including the Seattle Repertory and Center House Theatres, as well as improvisational theatres such as Unexpected Productions and Jet City Improv. Ready for the next chapter, he is now in pursuit of his MFA at Case Western Reserve University in partnership with Cleveland Play House.

MARIAH BURKS (Ensemble) Mariah graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a Specialization in Musical Theatre. She is beyond thrilled to be performing this show with her amazing classmates. She had the wonderful opportunity to finish out her undergraduate training by performing Book of Days and Urinetown: The Musical. She recently won the National Irene Ryan Scholarship Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Washington, DC. Shout out to her mother for being a Wonder Woman! Enjoy the show!

KYLE CHERRY (Ensemble) Kyle hails from Sacramento, California by way of Boston and New York. He has worked in New York with Red Bull Theater, Cherry Lane Theatre and Theatre Now New York. In Boston he worked with Huntington Theatre Company, New Repertory Theatre and Whistler in the Dark Theatre, to name a few. Favorite productions include Macbeth, Gross Indecency and A Midsummer Night's Dream. He is a company member at The Middle Voice Theater Company in New York, for whom he has acted, written and stage managed. Kyle holds a B.A. in English from Tufts University.

SARAH CUNEO (Ensemble) Sarah is beyond thrilled to be a part of the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program! A native of Montclair, New Jersey, Sarah graduated from Princeton University in June with a major in Psychology and certificates in Theater and Neuroscience. She was incredibly active in the Princeton theater community, acting in nearly twenty productions on campus and serving on the boards of several student theater groups. Her favorite productions include Red Noses, How I Learned to Drive, The Bacchae and Wait Until Dark. Much love and appreciation to the entire CWRU/CPH family.

RANDY DIERKES (Ensemble) Randy hails from Nashville, Tennessee with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Florida State University in Music Theatre. He is beyond thrilled to join the Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program. Some recent credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Spring Awakening, Bus Stop and the original cast and International/Asia tour of Barbie Live! The Musical. This summer Randy appeared in Gypsy at Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and will be in La Cage Aux Folles at Lake Dillon Theatre Company in Colorado. He would like to thank his friends and family for their enduring love and support.

PETER HARGRAVE (Ensemble) Peter is thrilled to join the talented graduate ensemble in the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program! A native Texan, Peter holds his BFA from Abilene Christian University and is a graduate of Syracuse University's Tepper Semester. His favorite regional credits include Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Man of La Mancha and The Taming of the Shrew (Texas Shakespeare Festival); Beauty and the Beast (Gateway Playhouse); South Pacific (Musical Theatre West); and several stints on Disney Cruise Line. Endless thanks to his family, his wife Kat, and the wonderful staff at CWRU and CPH who have already made Cleveland feel like home.

MEGAN MEDLEY (Ensemble) Megan is thrilled to be joining the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program Class of 2018! Home is Lexington, Kentucky, and she graduated from Butler University's Theatre Program in May 2014. Since then she continued to work in the Indianapolis theatre scene, where her credits include Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Giselle (NoExit Performance); The Rocky Horror Show (Zach Rosing Productions); Different Trains (Magnet Films); and Rapture, Blister, Burn (Theatre on the Square). She is very excited to perform for the first time with her classmates in METAMORPHOSES. Please Enjoy!

PAIGE YEPKO (Ensemble) is a second year theater and political science double major at Case Western Reserve University. Paige is thrilled and honored to be making her CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program debut with the class of 2018. Recent credits include Ancestor in The Addams Family and Armande in The Learned Ladies.


RON WILSON (Director) returned to Cleveland in 1999 to serve as the Chairman of the Department of Theater at Case Western Reserve University and serves as the Director of the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting program. He has been the Resident Fight Choreographer with CPH since 1999. He has directed over 60 productions throughout his career so far. Directing credits for the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program include In Arabia We'd all Be Kings, Arcadia, Hurlyburly, Bus Stop, Hay Fever and The Real Inspector Hound. Other directing credits include The Triumph of Love, Cincinnati Play House in the Park; and The Comedy of Errors, Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Other credits include musical theater, opera, mime and movement theater. Acting credits include The Guardsman, Room Service and The Underpants, Cleveland Play House; and All's Well That Ends Well, CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program.

Mary Zimmerman (Playwright) is the 1998 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the 2002 Tony Award for best director and 10 Joseph Jefferson Awards, including ones for "Best Production" and "Best Direction." She is a member of the Lookingglass Theatre Company of Chicago, an Artistic Associate of the Goodman and Seattle Repertory theatres, and a Professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. Works which she has adapted and directed include Argonautika (Lookingglass, Berkeley Rep, Shakespeare Theatre Co, McCarter Theatre), Mirror of the Invisible World (Goodman), The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (Goodman, BAM, Seattle Rep, Second Stage), The Odyssey (Lookingglass, Goodman, McCarter, Seattle Rep), Arabian Nights (Lookingglass, MTC, BAM, Berkeley Rep, Kansas City Rep), Journey To The West (Goodman, Huntington, Berkeley Rep), METAMORPHOSES (Lookingglass, Seattle Rep, Berkeley Rep, Mark Taper Forum, Second Stage), Secret in the Wings (Lookingglass, Berkeley Rep, McCarter, Seattle Rep), S/M (Lookingglass), Eleven Rooms of Proust (Lookingglass, About Face) and a new opera with Philip Glass called Galileo Galilei (Goodman, the Barbicon in London, and B.A.M.) She made her Metropolitan Opera directorial debut with Lucia di Lammermoor in the fall of 2007 and has subsequently directed La Sonnambula for the MET.

LAURA CARLSON TARANTOWSKI (Scenic Designer) is a Cleveland-based set designer and scenic artist. Her free-lance design work has taken her to many theaters around the mid-west including: Dobama Theatre, Madison Opera, Cain Park, Berea Summer Theatre, Ohio Northern University, Cumberland County Playhouse, Viterbo University, Beck Center for the Arts and 30+ productions for Theatre Cedar Rapids. She is the resident set designer for Near West Theatre since 2009 and was thrilled to play a part in designing the décor, marquee and murals that decorate their brand new building in Cleveland's Gordon Square Art District. Recent set designs include All Shook Up and La Finta Giardiniera (Baldwin Wallace University); The Investigation (Cesear's Forum); The Call and Slowgirl (Dobama Theatre); Dogfight (Beck Center for the Arts) and Family Happiness (Oberlin College). Recent work for Near West Theatre includes Scrooge, The Snow Queen and Hair. She holds an MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BA in Theatre from Brenau University.

ANGELINA HERIN (Costume Designer) has designed costumes and worked as a makeup artist with companies across the country. She is pleased to have had her work presented at venues including Seattle Opera, Village Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre, American Folklore Theatre, Ashland University, Montana Repertory Theatre and Theatre South Carolina. In addition, Angelina has had the opportunity to work with several television production companies as a makeup artist and stylist, including Script to Screen, Mad Monkey and ESPN. She is currently an Assistant Professor and Resident Costume Designer at Case Western Reserve University. Angelina earned her Master of Fine Arts in Costume Design at the University of South Carolina. She is a member of USITT and Costume Society of America.

MICHAEL BOLL (Lighting Designer) recently designed Cleveland Play House productions of A Christmas Story, The Little Foxes, Venus in Fur, Every Good Boy Deserves Favor, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play and Stew and the Negro Problem. CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program credits include Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Philadelphia Story, Three Sisters, Too True To Be Good, Identity Theft, The Winter's Tale, In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, An Orchard, Cloud 9 and Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. Cleveland lighting design work includes Cleveland Public Theatre, Cain Park, Cleveland Museum of Art, Karamu House, Dobama Theatre and Beck Center for the Arts. Off-Broadway credits include The Moliere Cycle (Classic Stage Company); Songs for a New World (George Street Playhouse); Dog Sees God (SoHo Playhouse); and The Moonlight Room (Associate Lighting Designer, Beckett Theatre). His work has also been seen at the N.Y. Fringe Festival, La MaMa E.T.C., HERE Arts Center, Blue Heron Theatre Company, Center Stage New York, and Yale Cabaret.

CYRUS O. TAYLOR (Sound Designer) Cyrus Taylor is a native of Cleveland, and an alumnus of Case Western Reserve University's undergraduate theater program. His design credits include The Call (Dobama Theater); Mothers and Sons and Seminar (Beck Center for the Arts); A Streetcar named Desire and Woman and Scarecrow (Mamai Theater Company); Mr. Burns (Cleveland Public Theater); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and The Addams Family (CWRU). He has also acted as audio engineer for Godspell and The Frogs (Cain Park); Titus: A Grand And Gory Rock Musical (Cleveland Public Theater); Forever Plaid, Mary Poppins and Spitfire Grill (Beck Center for the Arts); along with numerous events and performances at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Although he has previously worked with the CWRU/CPH MFA program as a dramaturg, this is his first sound design for the program.

WIGS AND WHISKERS (Wig Design), owned and operated by Mary Schilling-Martin and Caitie Martin, provides wig, hair and specialty makeup services to performing arts organizations, entertainment companies and educational institutions around the country. Their motto is: "To hair is human, to wig divine." Regional credits include Cleveland Play House, Lyric Opera Cleveland, The Goodman Theatre, The Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Arizona Theatre Company, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens, Theatre at the Center, American Theatre Company, Chicago Theatre for Young Audiences, Light Opera Works, Northwestern University, Roosevelt University in Chicago, University of California at San Diego, San Diego State University, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Denver Center Theatre Company, Opera Colorado and Arizona Opera Company.

The Stage Manager for this production is KAITLIN LaVELLA KELLY, and the Production Assistant is EMILY WRIGHT. DONALD CARRIER is the Associate Director of the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program.

Single tickets are on sale now; prices range from $10 to $20. Tickets are $10.00 for currently enrolled students under age 24 with valid ID. For single tickets, please call 216-241-6000 or go online at Groups of 10+ call 216-400-7027 or email

Cleveland Play House and Case Western Reserve University's partnership to offer a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting is now in its 20th Anniversary. In 2003, it became a conservatory program completely housed at Cleveland Play House. Every two years, the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program accepts a class of eight actors into its three-year program. All three years are spent in residency at Cleveland Play House, providing students with unique access to its new downtown Cleveland state-of-the-art facilities and the professional expertise of its staff. Program graduates include Rich Sommer (Mad Men, Harvey), Elizabeth A. Davis (Once - Tony Award Nomination, Allegro- Drama Desk Nomination), Tom Degnan (The Good Wife), and Stephen Michael Spencer (Oregon Shakespeare Festival).

Cleveland Play House, recipient of the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award and founded in 1915, is America's first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, CPH 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. CPH has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,600 productions. Today, Cleveland Play House celebrates its centennial while performing in three state-of-the art venues at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.

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