Cleveland Play House Opens YENTL Tonight

Cleveland Play House (CPH) will begin the New Year with a captivating production of Yentl. Based on the short story "Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy" by Isaac Bashevis Singer and adapted for the stage by Leah Napolin and Singer, Yentl tells the story of a young Jewish woman rebelling against the limitations placed upon her gender by society. This incredible CPH production will be directed by Michael Perlman and will run from tonight, Jan. 10 - Feb. 2 in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare.

CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley proclaims: "Young love abounds in this passionate, moving and funny coming of age story. Continuing our commitment to Jewish themed plays that speak to the universal human condition, Yentl compassionately illuminates the need to both respect and challenge traditional ideas of community, gender and sexuality. I have been a fan of this play since rediscovering it 2 1/2 years ago and am thrilled to be producing it with the season's largest cast of actors."

Yentl is set in a small Jewish village in Poland in the early twentieth century. The title character, Yentl, the daughter of a rabbi, is unhappy with her predestined future as a housewife and defies tradition by studying the Torah and other holy texts with her father. After his death, she takes on the guise of a young Jewish boy named Anshel, and sets out to find a yeshiva (an all-male school for studying Jewish law) where she can spend her days studying the Talmud. During her time at the yeshiva, Yentl becomes a brilliant student and develops a complicated relationship with her study partner, Avigdor, and the woman he loved and lost. This thought-provoking production is also a witty comedy, which incorporates music (although this production is NOT a musical), intrigue and drama.

Yentl contains mature themes and nudity.

The large ensemble cast of 17 includes an accomplished list of both local and New York-based actors. Guest artist Rebecca Gibel will take on the role(s) of Anshel/Yentl. Other guest artists include Bonnie Black, Samuel Cohen, Mitch Greenberg, Suzanne Grodner and Ben Mehl. The notable actors comprising the local cast include acclaimed actress Dorothy Silver, who will play the role of Yachna, Bob Abelman, Donald Carrier and Marc Moritz. Rounding out the cast are all seven members of the third-year graduate ensemble of the Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House Master of Fine Arts Acting Program. Members include Therese Anderberg, Bernard Bygott, Drew Derek, TJ Gainley, Sarah Kinsey, Christa Meyers, and Stephen Michael Spencer.

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