Cleveland Teens Create An Original Play at CPT's STEP Youth on Tour

Cleveland Teens Create An Original Play at CPT's STEP Youth on TourCleveland Public Theatre's (CPT) Executive Artistic Director Raymond Bobgan is proud to present the return of CPT's celebrated Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP), Cleveland's longest-running arts and job training program for urban teens. STEP celebrates its 23rd year with the latest original play, And Yet, We Shine, on tour to Cleveland city parks from August 1-11.

Created and performed by the 2017 STEP cast and tech ensemble, And Yet, We Shine unfolds in a nation where artistic expression is illegal. To galvanize resistance and combat this oppression of creativity, artists gather in secret to tell each other stories. Three tales are woven together: one follows three young people as they struggle to choose their place (and identity) within a totalitarian society; another, inspired by Ionesco's Rhinoceros, grapples with individual resistance to mass conformity; and in the final story, two brothers awaken to systems of injustice and inequity while traveling across the country to connect with their absent father. Featuring original song, storytelling and dance, And Yet, We Shine highlights Cleveland youth as they share their hearts, speak truth to power and grow in community. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy free theatre in the park!

Founded in 1995, CPT's Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP) celebrates its 23rd year of providing rigorous arts education and job training for low income urban teens. STEP is an 8-week intensive that offers youth the opportunity to earn money while working and training in close collaboration with professional artists. Each year, the CPT Teaching Artists select works of literature that serve as a starting point for the teens to create an original theatrical production. STEP participants meet five hours per day, five days per week to engage in acting, writing, movement, percussion, voice, dance, technical production and touring while developing valuable job skills such as timeliness, commitment and teamwork. The program culminates in the creation of an original theatrical production that tours to indoor and outdoor venues across the city. Through STEP, the youth see themselves as positive and inspirational forces, and watch as their work impacts the larger Cleveland community. Many youth return to the program year after year, eventually going on to assume leadership roles inside of the program.

Cleveland Public Theatre's STEP 2017 presentation of And Yet, We Shine will be performed at the following outdoor locations. Rain locations are indicated.

8/1/17 Tues Herman Park (W 58 & Herman Ave I Rain Location: Cleveland Public Theatre 6415 Detroit Ave) 7pm

8/2/17 Wed Riverside Park Community Center (17800 Parkmount Ave I Rain Location: Community Room) 2pm

8/2/17 Wed WOW (University Circle's Wade Oval Wednesday Festival - *Preview Showing Only) 5:45pm*

8/3/17 Thurs Saint Luke's Foundation - Britt Oval (11327 Shaker Blvd I Rain Location: Gymnasium) 5:30pm

8/4/17 Fri Woodhill Homes Community Center (2491 Baldwin Place I Rain Location: Gymnasium) 12pm

8/4/17 Fri Lincoln Park (W 14 & Starkweather Ave I Rain Location: Pilgrim Church 2592 W 14) 7pm

8/5/17 Sat Cleveland Public Theatre (6415 Detroit Ave. I Rain Location: inside CPT) 7pm

8/7/17 Mon St. Stanislaus - Iron Ward Festival (3649 E 65 & Forman Ave I Rain Location: Social Center 6601 Baxter) 7pm

8/8/17 Tues Harvard Community Services Center (18240 Harvard Ave East I Rain Location: Community Room) 12noon

8/9/17 Wed Outhwaite Community Center (2452 E 46 & Quincy Ave I Rain Location: Gymnasium) 12pm

8/10/17 Thurs Denison Elementary School (3799 W 33 & Denison Ave I Rain Location: Gymnasium) 6pm

8/11/17 Fri Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Acad. (3145 W 46 I Rain Location: Gymnasium) 3pm

Co-Directors Adam Seeholzer and Molly Andrews-Hinders

Assistant Director/Writing Instructor John Dayo-Aliya

Dance Instructor Mikaela Brown

Assistant Instructors Terah McGowan & Dezhanay Simmons

Administrative Assistant Josy Jones

Tech Team Leader Ryan T. Patterson & Inda Blatch Geib

Tech Assistant Dezhanay Simmons

Costume Designer Inda Blatch-Geib

Costume Assistants Dred Geib & Chialla Geib-Fenske

Performance Ensemble: Andy Antos, Kaundima Ashley, Grace Chito, Elijah DeBerry, Hatim Elsair, Tiajhanae Jennings, Jeliel King-Weaver, Francheska De La Cruz, Quenisha Moss, Chance Nsabiyeze, Neivay Patterson, Rozlyn Pittman, Anthony Stiegelmeyer, Jennae Taylor, Iyonna Turner, Sadara Wagner

Tech Team: Tatiana Acoff, Brandon Alicea, Solomon Dooley, Raquia Hendricks, Chase McMichael, Abigail Murray, Mary Jane Reinhardt, Aaliyah Taylor-Boswell, Gyasi Turner, Shawnisha Wilson

Very special thanks to Councilpersons: Anthony Brancatelli, Phyllis Cleveland, Kevin Conwell, Brian J. Cummins, Blaine Griffin, Martin J. Keane, Kerry McCormack, Terrell H. Pruitt and Matt Zone

Made possible through the generous support of: Cleveland City Council and the Mayor's Office of Prevention, Intervention, and Opportunity for Youth and Young Adults; Cleveland Foundation; George W. Codrington Foundation; Cuyahoga Arts & Culture; Cyrus Eaton Foundation; First Federal Lakewood; Char & Chuck Fowler Family Foundation; Goldin Foundation; George Gund Foundation; Howley Family Foundation; Martha Holden Jennings Foundation; KeyBank; David & Inez Myers Foundation; Nordson Corporation; Ohio Arts Council; PNC Bank; Saint Luke's Foundation; Kelvin & Eleanor Smith Foundation; Thomas H. White Foundation

Special thanks to these Community Partners: ACLU of Ohio; Art House; Bellaire-Puritas Development Corporation; Broadway Public Art; Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc.; City of Cleveland Department of Community Development; Cleveland Metropolitan School District; Cleveland Public Library; Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority; Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization; Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation; Harvard Community Services Center; Kamm's Corners Development Corporation; LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland; Near West Family Network; Ohio City Inc.; Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation; Omni Media; Partnership for a Safer Cleveland; Pilgrim UCC; Slavic Village Development; Stockyard, Clark-Fulton & Brooklyn Centre Community Development; Sweet Moses Soda Fountain & Treat Shop; Tremont West Development Corporation; WIRE-Net

For more information on the Cleveland Public Theatre's STEP program, 2016/2017 season or to schedule an interview, please contact Caitlin Lewins, Director of Audience Engagement and Media Relations at or 216-631-2727 x211 or visit

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