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Cleveland Public Theatre Announces 2021/2022 Season: EVOLVE


The season will launch on September 18 with Pandemonium 2021: The Break Of Dawn.

Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT)'s Executive Artistic Director Raymond Bobgan has announced the 2021/2022 season, which delivers on CPT's mission of raising consciousness and nurturing compassion through theatre that is daring, relevant, and socially conscious.

CPT invests in innovation and diversity, and has been recognized regionally and nationally as a leader in the support and development of new work, the amplification of emerging voices, and for producing and presenting work from artists creating theatre outside the mainstream.

The theme of CPT's 2021/2022 season is EVOLVE.

According to Bobgan: "Cleveland Public Theatre brings people together. The strength of our programming is not only in the individual power of each project and each production, but how they weave together. As each program, each person, impacts the next, the community impact grows exponentially. We don't present to the community; we are a convergence of communities. We believe society can evolve, and it is when we come together that these changes happen. Our strategy is to center artists, to amplify the voices of artists amidst our diverse communities, and to share their work broadly. What happens when we have conversations with people who see the world differently than what we know? We challenge our thinking, we open our hearts, and our inner world expands. Together, we evolve."

Pandemonium 2021: The Break Of Dawn

One Night Only. Saturday, September 18, 2021; Cleveland Public Theatre, various locations; 7:00pm; Tickets $180 ($100 tax deductible).

Cleveland Public Theatre's annual fundraising extravaganza transforms the CPT campus into a labyrinth of theatre, dance, visual, and performance art in every corner. Ticket is all-inclusive with fabulous local food, and complimentary drinks served all night long. A feast for the eyes, mind, appetite, and imagination-proceeds benefit CPT's groundbreaking artistic work and life-changing education programs. This year's Honoree is Randell McShepard, Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Talent Officer for RPM International Inc. Randell is an advocate for equity and inclusion, the environment, and our Greater Cleveland community.

Breakout Session (or Frogorse)

Runs October 28 - November 13. Preview October 28. Gordon Square Theatre.
Written by Nikkole Salter. Directed by Beth Wood.

Can a society legislate a change of heart? In Breakout Session (or Frogorse), a corporate training company is vying for a city contract for De-escalation and Anti-bias Training with Cleveland's Police Department. When the white facilitator, presenting to Black and Latino police officers, tosses the approved curriculum out the window to ignite change her way, the session spirals in unexpected ways. Can a mantis shrimp and a crocodile teach us about building trust and the strength of vulnerability? Inspired by Cleveland's Consent Decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, Breakout Session (or Frogorse) was commissioned by Cleveland Public Theatre with funding from the National New Play Network (NNPN). Continued World Premiere.

10 Minutes To Midnight: 9 Quirky Plays For The Holidays

Runs December 2 - 18. Gordon Square Theatre.
Directed by Caitlin Lewins. Short plays by local & national creators.

No matter what you celebrate during December, the holidays can bring joy, communal meals, loneliness, family, pressure, parties, warm hugs on cold nights, incredible stress, romance, anxiety, disaster, hope, dysfunction, and so much more! This holiday season, CPT shares humor, heart, and a party-like celebration, wrapped in a montage of short holiday (or non-holiday) plays. Part variety show, part cabaret, and part 10-minute holiday play festival, 10 Minutes to Midnight celebrates the breadth of holiday happenings (or non-happenings) in this seasonal extravaganza dosed with live music, fun-sized scenes, hilarity, and humanity. World Premiere.

Test Flight

Winter 2022. James Levin Theatre.
A New Play Development series featuring works-in-progress by local & national artists.

Test Flight is a multi-week series that showcases new work on its way to full production. Test Flight provides both local and national artists with the keys to the theatre and the opportunity to co-produce original works-in-progress. The series encourages risk-taking and an entrepreneurial spirit towards creating new work. New Play Development.

Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi

Winter 2022. Gordon Square Theatre.
Created by the ensemble members of Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi with Raymond Bobgan & Faye Hargate. Directed by Raymond Bobgan.

Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi-a project developing work by, for, and with Arabic-speaking communities-shares life-affirming stories that honor community, family, and the freedom of expression. Created by the ensemble cast of amateur and professional performers, this original production guided by Raymond Bobgan and Faye Hargate will feature ensemble members performing their own personal stories, scenes, poetry readings, and live music. The program will be bilingual, presented in English and Arabic with subtitles. World Premiere.

Panther Women: An Army For The Liberation

Runs February 4 - 26. Previews February 4, 5, & 10. Gordon Square Theatre.
Written & Directed by India Nicole Burton.

Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation follows three prominent women who were members of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Movement, and explores the lives and unique experiences of Black women in America. A choreopoem built upon extensive research and collaboration with a cohort of Black artists, this world premiere production chronicles the lifelong pursuit of justice by some of the founding women of the Civil Rights Movement. Gripping, gutting, bursting with beauty, musicality, and amazing and complex stories, Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation touches on the core of the human condition, and celebrates Black women. World Premiere.

danceworks 2022

Winter 2022. James Levin Theatre.
Featuring Northeast Ohio choreographers.

Every year, Cleveland Public Theatre welcomes Northeast Ohio's most adventurous contemporary dance companies to the James Levin Theatre stage for several weeks of single and double bill performances.

Teatro Público De Cleveland Spring Production

Spring 2022. James Levin Theatre.

Teatro Público de Cleveland is a collective of Latino theatre artists and produces performances that preserve and promote the cultures of Cleveland Latinos for Spanish-speaking audiences and the broader public. TPC's spring show, selected by the company, seeks to connect with Latino and non-Latino audiences in a powerful experience of cross-cultural work.

Runs March 18 - April 9. Previews March 18, 19, & 24. Gordon Square Theatre.
Written by Tori Keenan-Zelt. Directed by Beth Wood.

How the Baby Died is a darkly visceral, absurdly comic play about parenting, pregnancy, abortion, and women's physical self-agency. Contemporary comedy and Grand Guignol (a.k.a. French Horror Theatre!) collide, and the only prop available is a baby. And baby, it gets bloody. Hilarity, hijinks, and mayhem ensue. Is this comedy inappropriate? Or is it our views of women's health that have gone awry? Support provided by Venturous Theater Fund, a fund of Tides Foundation.

The Absolutely Amazing And True Adventures Of Ms. Joan Southgate

Runs April 22 - May 14. Previews April 22, 23, & 28. Gordon Square Theatre.
Written & Performed by Nina Domingue, 2019 Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellow. Directed by Nathan Henry.

In 2002, Joan Southgate, a retired Social Worker and Cleveland-area activist, stepped off from the small town of Ripley, Ohio, with a simple goal: highlight the courage and resourcefulness of freedom seekers and conductor families who risked everything on the Underground Railroad. Nina Domingue, beloved Cleveland artist, chronicles Joan's life through the 519-mile walk across Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Canada. World Premiere.

Candlelight Hypothesis

Spring 2022.
Text by Raymond Bobgan, Candlelight Hypothesis jointly created by Raymond & Cleveland CORE Ensemble.
Directed by Raymond Bobgan.

Raymond Bobgan creates new bold, multilayered, and highly physical performances through an ever-evolving ensemble process. Raymond formed Cleveland CORE Ensemble in an effort to sustain the conditions to develop unique theatre practices, investigate the potential of the craft of acting, and create a distinctive body of theatrical works. The ensemble's performances are characteristically layered with powerful physical action, poetic texts, and original music.

Station Hope 2022

May 28. St. John's Episcopal Church in Ohio City.
A Celebration of Hope. A Dialogue for Change.

Station Hope is a jubilant community event celebrating Cleveland's social justice history and exploring contemporary struggles for freedom and equity. Engage with over 250 artists as they envision, interrogate, and seek out hope on the grounds of Cleveland's first authenticated Underground Railroad site, St. John's Episcopal Church. Audiences explore the historic properties while viewing works of theatre, music, storytelling, and dance inspired by the most important issues of our time.

New Play Development

In addition to the Test Flight series detailed above, an ongoing fellowship program throughout the 2021/2022 season, Catapult, is intended to help artists move their projects to a "production ready" stage through multiple readings, rehearsal time at CPT, workshop productions, and/or invitational showings. Catapult playwrights and creators will be awarded a Nord Family Foundation Fellowship and play an active role in the life of the theatre while they are developing their work.

And, as always, The Dark Room, an open mic for playwrights, continues the second Tuesday of every month (7:30pm at The Church), pairing playwrights with actors to perform (mostly) cold readings of scripts-in-progress in a fun, low-risk atmosphere.

Other Productions And Special Events

The theatre's partners and friends throughout Cleveland are a major part of the special sauce that makes CPT a hub for compassion, innovation, and community. Mark your calendars for Día de Muertos and Y-Haven Theatre Project.

Día De Muertos

Saturday, October 30. 11:00am - 10:00pm. CPT campus: Church, Parish Hall, & surrounding area.
Presented by Cleveland Public Theatre/Teatro Público de Cleveland & Día de Muertos Ohio.
Artistic Director: Héctor Castellanos Lara.

A vibrant cultural celebration for the whole family, the annual "Day of the Dead" honors the memory of those who have passed and is a treasured holiday in Mexico and throughout Latin America. Activities include indoor and outdoor art installations, Latin food, live music, performances, and a colorful "Skulls & Skeletons" procession.

Y-Haven Theatre Project

Runs November 18 - November 20. Gordon Square Theatre.
Created & Performed by the participants of Y-Haven, a branch of the Greater Cleveland YMCA.
The one-weekend-only production at CPT is followed by a community-wide tour.

The Y-Haven Theatre Project is a 23-year partnership between Cleveland Public Theatre and Y-Haven, a branch of the Greater Cleveland YMCA. Y-Haven is a transitional housing facility for formerly homeless individuals recovering from substance abuse and mental health challenges. Every year, CPT collaborates with the clients of Y-Haven to create an original theatre production performed by the participants and based on their life stories. The Y-Haven Theatre Project captures an authenticity and emotional power as the cast shares their true-to-life experiences often hidden from the world.

Full production single tickets are $15 - 35, with premium pricing for CPT's holiday show and other special events. New Play Development pricing ranges from $10 - $25. Student and senior discounts are available for all Friday and Saturday nights. For more information, go to or call the CPT Box Office at 216-631-2727 ext. 501.

Tickets will go on sale August 2021.

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