Cleveland Public Theatre to Present Theatrical Benefit For Ukraine

The benefit will be held on December 15, 2023.

By: Dec. 02, 2023
Cleveland Public Theatre to Present Theatrical Benefit For Ukraine
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Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) is partnering with the Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings and Benefit for Ukraine to present a special benefit called Buried Words, Seeds of Hope on Friday, December 15, 2023.  

In keeping with Cleveland Public Theatre's mission to, the theatre is presenting the special night featuring short plays, music, poetry and art by Ukrainian/Ukrainian American artists, with some artists from Cleveland including director Nadia Tarnawsky.

“I often make phone calls to the village women and men who shared their songs with me.  I always call them on their birthday, or on Christmas, but also phone because they came to mind that day.  The phone calls are always short – ‘“I don't want you to waste your money on this call!”' - and almost always include the phrase ‘“Thank you for not forgetting about me.”' More than anything, I want the audience to hear these stories from Ukraine and not forget about the people there who are continuing forward day by day - sowing seeds, making theatre, writing poems, singing songs, and giving their lives for their freedom and the sovereignty of their nation.” ―Nadia Tarnawsky, Buried Words, Seeds of Hope director and a featured playwright

About the Event

Buried Words, Seeds of Hope is a benefit for Ukraine which will feature readings of short plays, poetry and songs that bring forth experiences of playwrights and artists from Ukraine since the war began.

The plays will be read in English.

The Creative Team and Partners
Co-producer: RusalKazka

Directed by: Nadia Tarnawsky

Partners: John Freedman, Maksym Kurochkin, & Philip Arnoult's CITD.

Featuring work by Ukrainian Artists: Pavlo Arie, Iryna Harets and Anastasiia Kosodii. Additional texts by Serhiy Zhadan, Vira Hanchar & Nadia Tarnawsky.

Ticket and Show Information

At 7:00pm—walk through a photo exhibit and meet some of our partnering Ukrainian organizations. At 7:30pm― Performance of Buried Words, Seeds of Hope: play readings by Ukrainian playwrights. Cleveland Public Theatre is located at 6415 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44102, in the heart of the Gordon Square Arts District.

Every Ticket is Choose What You Pay starting at $1 with no handling fee, and may be purchased online at, or over the phone through the Box Office at 216.631.2727 ext 501. Proceeds go to U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Cleveland (USCRI) to resettle refugees in Northeast Ohio and the Cleveland Maidan Association to provide humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

The Gordon Square Theatre is ADA-compliant featuring a ramped entrance and an all-gender, wheelchair accessible restroom.

About the Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings (WUPR)

The Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings (WUPR) emerged immediately after the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. John Freedman reached out to Maksym Kurochkin, the artistic director of the THEATRE OF PLAYWRIGHTS in Kyiv, with a proposal to share contemporary Ukrainian writing with the world that would offer a first draft of history through the lens of the playwright. Philip Arnoult and the Center for International Theatre Development (CITD) gave a huge kick-start to the program, providing generous $1000 commission grants to over 20 Ukrainian playwrights. These monologues, tales, diaries and experimental texts formed the backbone of WUPR and have helped to raise $500,000 for Ukrainian-based organizations. Events have taken place in the U.S., the U.K., Hong Kong, Finland, Germany, Austria and 25 other countries. WUPR now represents approximately 60 writers and over 160 texts, having curated over 475 readings, productions, films, and videos. The original works written by the members of the Theater of Playwrights are published by Laertes Press in A Dictionary of Emotions in a Time of War: 20 Short Works by Ukrainian Playwrights.

About Director Nadia Tarnawsky

Nadia Tarnawsky is a recipient of a Fulbright Award. She spent much of 2017 and 2018 in Ukraine collecting traditional Ukrainian folk music. Other awards include a Traditional Arts Fellowship from Artist Trust, a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship from the University of Kansas which allowed her to collect traditional folk songs and folklore in Ukraine as well as an Artist Support Residency from Jack Straw Productions which provided studio time to record an album with her ensemble Alchymeia

About the Donation Recipients

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) 

Cleveland's staff and volunteers rebuild the lives of refugees with a focus on dignity. From the refugee family's arrival at Cleveland's airport, to their first day at their new jobs, USCRI's comprehensive social services ensure refugees have the resources they need to become healthy, secure, and self-sufficient members of our community.

Cleveland Maidan Association  is a humanitarian aid organization that has been organizing aid to Ukraine for nearly 10 years. Their efforts have supported those impacted by the war in Ukraine through medical, financial, and other in-kind donations such as clothing, vehicles, and generators. With volunteers both in the US and on the ground in Ukraine, they work to make sure that aid is delivered to where it is most needed quickly and effectively.

About Cleveland Public Theatre

Cleveland Public Theatre has been at the forefront of new play development since 1981. Through four developmental programs, CPT serves local artists at every step of the creative process, from early ideas all the way to full productions and the entrepreneurial step of launching a new work.

With a national reputation for developing new plays and producing innovative interpretations of classic works, CPT has garnered praise for its work and received acknowledgement and recognition from The New York Times, American Theatre magazine, Theatre Journal, The Dramatists Guild, and Canadian Theatre Review. Shows created at CPT have toured to New Orleans, New York, Toronto, Minneapolis, Belgrade, the United Kingdom, and South Korea. CPT engagement programs have served as a model for similar programs in Turkey and Uzbekistan.