Cleveland Play House to Present Peter Shaffer's AMADEUS This Month

The production runs April 6 to April 28.

By: Apr. 05, 2024
Cleveland Play House to Present Peter Shaffer's AMADEUS This Month
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Cleveland Play House presents the suspenseful, music-filled drama, Amadeus, written by Peter Shaffer. Running April 6 through April 28 in the Outcalt Theatre, the play is directed by Laura Gordon, and features Josh Bates*, Will Blum*, Madeline Calais-King*, Scott Campbell, Cate Castelli, Ellen Grace Diehl*, Victoria Alev Duffy*, Liz Huff, Dylan Ireland*, Shunté Lofton*, Steve Marvel*, Gavin Michaels*, Alfredo Ruiz*, Jonathan Smoots*, September Stanton, Owen Connor Stout, and Price Waldman*. 

Why does God grace some individuals with talent and genius, but render others dull and mediocre? This is the question that plagues Italian composer Antonio Salieri as he chases after fame and fortune in 18th and 19th century Vienna. Frustrated by his plight, Salieri becomes obsessed with ruining a young rival composer - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - in a deadly game of deceit and revenge. Musical history is re-orchestrated In Peter Shaffer's Tony Award-winning tale of music, malice, and madness - Amadeus.

Shaffer's thought-provoking, fictitious examination of the rivalry between renowned Italian composer Antonio Salieri and Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is the springboard for his acclaimed play, Amadeus. As the story unfolds, musical history is enlivened and re-imagined in this intense, darkly comic parable about faith, malice, madness, and the love of music. The Broadway production garnered the Tony Award for Best Play in 1981. Shaffer then penned the screenplay for the highly praised 1984 film, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, among numerous other accolades.

The themes of envy, jealousy, revenge, and humanity's relationship to the Divine reverberate throughout the two-act play. At the same time, Shaffer assesses the dueling critiques of each composer's talent by also uncovering impulsive creativity and the perils of fame. With echoes of "scandal" haunting Salieri, who transforms from his elder state to his younger self, Salieri's character in the play exclaims, "God needed Mozart to let himself into the world. And Mozart needed me to get him wordly advancement. So it would be a battle to the end - and Mozart was the battleground." This statement becomes the thesis of Shaffer's historical conjecture.

At the helm of CPH's production is Laura Gordon. A sumptuous feast for the eyes, the CPH production takes place in the intimate Outcalt Theatre - in the round - with audience members acutely immersed in the intrigue of this 18th century story of revenge. Gordon's creative staging incorporates an ensemble of seventeen actors covering over two dozen roles.

For this production, CPH has partnered with The Cleveland Orchestra, whose September 2023 concert featured a live musical soundtrack for the film version of Amadeus. This production will also feature all eight members of the Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House MFA in Acting Program's Class of 2024.

The design team includes scenic design by Regina García, costume design by Howard Tsvi Kaplan, lighting design by Jason Fassl, sound design by Barry G. Funderburg, wig and hair design by Roxanne De Luna, intimacy, fight, and movement by associate director, Jason Spelbring, dramaturgy by Michael Glavan, and stage management by John Godbout* and Tom Humes*.

Running April 6 through April 28 in Playhouse Square's Outcalt Theatre, evening performances of Amadeus are held Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. Matinee performances are held on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Additionally, an evening performance will be held on Sunday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m.

The production contains mild profanity, sexual innuendo, discussions of adultery, seduction, and sexual extortion, as well as physical violence toward women and visualizations of suicide. This production is highly recommended for mature audiences ages 16 and up.

Tickets start at $25. Student tickets are $15 (valid student ID required). Ohio Direction/EBT cardholders receive $5 admission to any performance (up to eight tickets). Military personnel and their immediate families receive 50% off tickets. Seniors may receive $10 off tickets. Groups of 20+ can save up to 30% on their purchase. Tickets can be purchased by calling 216.241.6000 or by visiting


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