Photo Flash: Cleveland Playhouse Presents Lynn Nottage's SWEAT

Cleveland Play House (CPH) brings to life Lynn Nottage's complex story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Rust Belt drama Sweat. Set in Reading, PA, this relevant story offers audience members suspense through its intricate portrayal of characters battling to survive in a city crippled by economic stagnation. CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley will direct. Previews begin on October 13th, with press opening on October 19th at the Outcalt Theatre in Playhouse Square. This production is sponsored by Great Lakes Brewing Company.

The American Dream has its back up against the wall. In Reading, PA, there's talk of union lock-outs, massive lay-offs, and jobs going overseas. As rumors quickly become reality, a group of life-long friends gather at their local bar to joke and blow off steam while struggling to stand together as everything else falls apart. Inspired by true stories, Sweat is a compelling portrait of pride and survival in the Rust Belt.

Sweat was first performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2015 before playing at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.. The play opened Off-Broadway at The Public Theater, before transferring to Broadway. Sweat received three 2017 Tony Award nominations: Best Play and Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play for both Johanna Day and Michelle Wilson.

Sweat is a gut punch of a play," says CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley. "Lynn Nottagecrafts a story that humanizes the most pertinent issues of today - the loss of manufacturing jobs, the erosion of the middle class, race, and the opioid crisis- in a way that is immediate and deeply relatable to the audience. I am proud to be leading an extraordinary cast comprised of top local and national actors in telling this heart-wrenching story of grit, friendship and survival."

"I want the audience, when they leave, to think of the characters on the stage in three dimensions," said playwright Lynn Nottage to journalist Emma Brown in Interview Magazine. "I want them to have empathy. I also want them to think about engaging more with where we are culturally."

Photo Credit: Roger Mastroianni

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