Dobama Theatre Unveils 24/25 Season Of Comedies, Award Winners, And Premieres

The season kicks off with POTUS Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive.

By: Apr. 02, 2024
Dobama Theatre Unveils 24/25 Season Of Comedies, Award Winners, And Premieres
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Dobama, Cleveland's Off-Broadway Theatre, has revealed its 2024/25 Season; a line-up of five extraordinary new plays that are all professional Cleveland, Regional, or World premieres. All performances will be held in the Donald A. Bianchi Theatre at the Dobama Theatre facility in the bustling Cedar-Lee District of Cleveland Heights.

The season will kick off on October 4, 2024 with POTUS Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive by Selena Fillinger, directed by Carrie Williams. When the President of the United States unwittingly spins a PR nightmare into a global crisis, the seven women he relies upon most risk life, liberty, and the pursuit of sanity to keep the commander-in-chief, and the nation, out of trouble. This show was a star-studded hit on Broadway with a cast that included Rachel Dratch, Julianna Hough, and Vanessa Williams. The all-female farce was nominated for three Tony awards and was one of the most produced plays in the country last year. This side-splitting comedy runs during the height of the 2024 Presidential election.

During the holiday season, audiences will be able to visit a Neverland unlike any other. PETER/ WENDY is perfect for the child in all of us and is sure to have families flying to the theatre this December. Directed by Artistic Director Nathan Motta, Jeremy Bloom's inventive adaptation of J.M. Barrie's story is suited for all ages. Following the adventures of Peter Pan and Wendy, this production will have immersive elements and allow audiences to watch a Lost Boy wander across the stage, Tinkerbell flit around the theater, and Mrs. Darling transform into Captain Hook. Full of poetry and theatre magic, this interactive experience for the entire family lands on the Dobama stage December 6th.

The season continues in January with THE HOT WING KING by Katori Hall. Directed by Sheffia Dooley this vivacious comedy is both wildly entertaining and deeply moving. Cooking up laughs and drama in equal measure, this winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2021 is a funny, deeply felt script that explores Black masculinity and how it is perceived as told through the story of Cordell, his boyfriend Dwayne, and their closest friends and extended family. It's a hilarious play about a tight knit group of friends who are preparing for victory in Memphis' annual hot wing competition. When Dwayne takes in his troubled nephew however, it becomes a recipe for disaster. Suddenly, a first-place trophy isn't the only thing Cordell risks losing. Audiences are welcomed into a bustling kitchen to witness the marinating, frying, and carrying on in Katori Hall's award-winning play.

Coming in March 2025 is THE WOLVES by Sarah DeLappe. This Pulitzer Finalist is an astonishing play that examines society and soccer through the scary, exhilarating brightness of raw adolescence. The play spotlights the players of a girls' indoor soccer team as they navigate big questions and wage tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of teenage warriors. From the safety of their stretch circle, nine young women discover things about themselves and see each other for who they really are. With overlapping dialogue that is both hilarious and distinctive, this extraordinary script moves swiftly from gross-out jokes to intimate conversations. THE WOLVES takes the field next spring, playing March 7th through 30th.

Dobama's 65th anniversary season concludes with the World Premiere of a new script from celebrated playwright George Brant. This extraordinary play tells the true story of Eliese, a woman born and raised in Cleveland who returns home after graduate school and finds herself coming to terms with her past and confronting inner demons while working deep in the belly of a steel mill. Commissioned by Dobama Theatre in 2021, this script is adapted from Eliese Colette Goldbach's gritty and moving memoir of the same name. Former Cleveland Play House Artistic Director Laura Kepley returns to Cleveland to direct this thrilling new play. The World Premiere of RUST: a memoir of steel and grit debuts in April 2025.

"Next season will include three of the most celebrated new American plays in recent memory - all of which are among the most produced scripts in the country in the past five years," says Artistic Director Nathan Motta. "We also have a holiday show for all ages that is full of theatre magic and a long-awaited World Premiere from playwright George Brant based on a real-life memoir set in Cleveland. This is truly a remarkable season that we are thrilled to share with audiences - one full of rip-roaring comedies and moving, relevant stories. For anyone that has yet to experience a show at Dobama, this is the perfect season to give us a try."

Dobama will continue other core programming, including the Young Playwrights' Program (culminating with the 47th Annual Marilyn Bianchi Kids' Playwriting Festival in June 2025), and the Dobama Emerging Artists Program (DEAP) celebrating 15 years in July 2025. The FOCUS Program (Fostering Opportunity for Communities Underserved on the Stage) will enter its second full season as an apprenticeship program for early career theatre designers from underrepresented communities in an effort to provide opportunity, training, mentorship, and networking. Readings of new work in development from writers in The Playwrights' GYM will occur throughout the season.

The theatre will also enter the second season of the groundbreaking Full Circle program. This important initiative centers partnerships with community organizations and individuals from Northeast Ohio who have a mission or lived experience connected to the themes explored in the plays we produce. Through the Full Circle program, these members of our shared community collaborate as consultants during the rehearsal process to ensure authenticity, and participate in expanded audience engagement events during the run of each production to provide real-world context and awareness. Audiences are encouraged to take advantage of these extraordinary offerings to enrich their theatre-going experience.

Dobama also will mount the 4th Annual Heights Halloween Festival. The event will feature costumed character meet-n-greets, music, games, and a candy crawl. The event is scheduled for October 19, 2024 from 4pm-7pm in the Cedar Lee District of Cleveland Heights.

Memberships for the 24/25 Season are on sale now. Memberships are $180 ($150 for Young Professionals under 40) and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 216.932.3396 or by visiting Single tickets range in price from $35-42 and will go on sale on August 13th. Members may reserve seats prior to single tickets going on sale.

Dobama is committed to making live professional theatre accessible to everyone. Dobama's comprehensive, need-based PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN program will continue with the first Sunday and Thursday performances of every show offering seats exclusively at pay-what-you-can prices. For every other performance during the year, anyone who cannot afford a full-price ticket may purchase any available seat for a pay-what-you-can price beginning one hour prior to each performance.

For more information on the full line-up of productions planned for the 24/25 Season, see below:


Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive
By Selena Fillinger
Directed by Carrie Williams
October 4-27, 2024
3x Tony Award Nominee

A riotous comedy about the women in charge of the man in charge of the free world. One four-letter word is about to rock 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. When the President unwittingly spins a PR nightmare into a global crisis, the seven brilliant and beleaguered women he relies upon most risk life, liberty, and the pursuit of sanity to keep the commander-in-chief out of trouble. See the brilliant, all-female farce that took Broadway by storm.

"I am woman, hear me roar - with laughter, at ... playwright Selina Fillinger's delicious feminist farce... There are no secondary characters here, but a tight, fiercely funny ensemble of women... irresistibly funny." - Variety



By Jeremy Bloom
Directed by Nathan Motta
December 6-29, 2024

Think a happy thought. An inventive and heartfelt adaptation that will mesmerize audiences of all ages, this show is a fresh, lyrical, atmospheric interpretation of J.M. Barrie's classic story. When the boy that never grew up flies into Wendy's nursery window one star-filled night, the magical Peter Pan lures her away to the magical world of Neverland. There she joins his adventures with Tinker Bell, Tiger Lily, and the menacing Captain Hook. Experience Neverland like never before this holiday season.

"Engagingly explores the questions of innocence, friendship, family and loss that have made the story a classic for more than a century." - The San Francisco Examiner



By Katori Hall
Directed by Sheffia Dooley
January 24 - February 16, 2025
Winner - Pulitzer Prize (2021)

Cordell knows he has the wings that'll make him a winner at the annual "Hot Wang Festival'' in Memphis, Tennessee. The kitchen is flurry of activity as his boyfriend Dwayne and their close friends Isom and Big Charles are busy marinating, frying, and carrying on in a bid to reclaim the crispy crown. But when Dwayne's troubled nephew shows up at the front door, it becomes a recipe for disaster. Suddenly, a first-place trophy isn't the only thing Cordell risks losing.

"The funny, moving tale of Black gay friends and lovers navigating responsibility and guilt - all while prepping for a hot wing festival - touches on pressing issues such as mental health as well as on the intricacies of Cajun marinade." -Washington Post.



By Sarah DeLappe
Directed by Leighann Delorenzo
March 7-30, 2025
Finalist - Pulitzer Prize (2017)

A girls indoor soccer team warms up. From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. A portrait nine American girls who just want to find their way and score some goals.

CRITIC'S PICK! "The scary, exhilarating brightness of raw adolescence emanates from every scene of this uncannily assured first play by Sarah DeLappe." - The New York Times



a memoir of steel and grit
By George Brant
Adapted from the memoir by Eliese Colette Goldbach
Directed by Laura Kepley
April 25 - May 18, 2025

This is the true story of one woman's experience in steel industry, her struggle to find peace, and the courage to rebuild her life. What she uncovers in the belly of a Cleveland steel mill is much more than molten metal and grueling working conditions. Under the steelyard's orange flame, she finds hope. RUST: A MEMOIR OF STEEL AND GRIT is a World Premiere play by George Brant, commissioned by Dobama Theatre, and based on the acclaimed memoir of the same name by Eliese Colette Goldbach.