Regional Theater of the Week: Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland, Ohio

By: Feb. 27, 2013, the largest theatre site on the Internet, is excited to announce a new feature to its comprehensive regional coverage - the Featured Regional Theater of the Week! Each week, BWW will introduce its readers to a regional theater located in one of our (over 130!) coverage cities. By exploring these different venues, their history and showcasing the production seasons, BWW continues its commitment to expand our presence in communities and cities across the United States.

This Week's Featured Regional Theater: Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland, Ohio

Great Lakes Theater (GLT), northeast Ohio's professional classic theater since 1962, is one of the nation's pre-eminent regional theater companies. GLT, which features a resident company of artists, brings the world's greatest plays to life each season from September through May in its revolutionary home at the re-imagined Hanna Theatre, PlayhouseSquare. The company also presents the region's annual production of A Christmas Carol at PlayhouseSquare's Ohio Theatre.

Under the leadership of current Producing Artistic Director Charles Fee, GLT has pioneered a unique and nationally recognized producing partnership with the Idaho and Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festivals featuring entirely shared seasons with a single resident artistic company. Over the past eight seasons, the companies have shared thirty productions.

In 2008, GLT opened its revolutionary new home at the re-imagined 1921 Hanna Theatre facilitated by a successful $19.2M capital campaign - ensuring the legacy of the classics in Cleveland for generations to come. GLT's efforts infused the historic theater with bold contemporary design sensibilities and state-of-the-art technologies making it one of the most innovative theater spaces in the country.

Great Lakes Theater's impressive, re-imagined home is an ideal metaphor for this great classical theater company Ð a symbol of its commitment to community, to creating world-class theater and to thinking creatively while working collaboratively.

On its main stage and through its extensive educational outreach initiatives, Great Lakes Theater programming reaches over 75,000 adults and students each season. The mission of the Great Lakes Theater is to bring the pleasure, power and relevance of classic theater to the widest possible audience.

Charles Fee, Producing Artistic Director of Great Lakes Theater (GLT), unveiled an ambitious, five-production array of classics to headline the company's 2013-14 season. Great Lakes Theater's fifty-second year is scheduled to run from September 2013 through April 2014 at PlayhouseSquare's Hanna and Ohio Theatres.

GLT will commence its 2013-14 season with Shakespeare's royal epic, Richard III, presented in rotating repertory with Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award-winning musical, Sweeney Todd (September 27 - November 4, 2013). The company's annual production of Dickens' holiday classic, A Christmas Carol (November 30 - December 22, 2013) will celebrate its 25th anniversary and bisect the season. In the spring, GLT will present Broadway's longest running comic thriller, Deathtrap by Ira Levin (February 21 - March 17, 2014) followed by Shakespeare's enchanting romantic comedy, As You Like It (April 4 - 19, 2014).

Joseph Hanreddy, an acclaimed artist and the former artistic director of Milwaukee Repertory Theater and Madison Repertory Theatre, will make his Great Lakes Theater debut in 2013 when he directs GLT's season-opening production of Richard III. Conversely, a decorated Great Lakes Theater veteran and resident artist, Victoria Bussert will celebrate her 27th year at GLT when she helms the company's production of Sweeney Todd. During the holiday season, longtime artistic company member Sara Bruner will return to stage GLT's annual production of A Christmas Carol. The directors of Deathtrap and As You Like It will be named at a later date.

Great Lakes Theater's 2013-14 season is generously funded by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. GLT receives additional season support from The Cleveland Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council.

Four of the company's 2013-14 season offerings (Richard III, Sweeney Todd, Deathtrap and As You Like It), will take place in GLT's revolutionary, audience-friendly home at the Hanna Theatre, PlayhouseSquare, while A Christmas Carol will remain in its traditional Ohio Theatre setting.

Great Lakes Theater's award-winning home at the Hanna Theatre features a unique thrust stage configuration where the audience surrounds the performance - affording attendees a uniquely intimate theater experience in which no seat is further than 12 rows from the stage.At the Hanna, patrons select from a variety of seating opportunities that include traditional seats, club chairs, lounge/bar seats, banquette couches and private box seating. Boasting a fully flexible hydraulic stage, state-of-the-art theatrical systems and a visionary "Great Room" inspired design concept that integrates the artist and audience into a single unified environment, Great Lakes Theater's Hanna home is one of the most innovative theaters in the country.

Great Lakes Theater will continue to afford patrons extraordinary access to its production process at every Hanna Theatre performance in 2013-14. The Hanna's doors always open ninety minutes before each show allowing patrons to observe the complete pre-show preparation process of GLT's actors and technical staff. Elements such as stage combat rehearsals, dance calls, prop/scenic pre-sets, technical cue rehearsals and actor warm-ups will be conducted in full view of patrons, offering GLT audiences an unprecedented glimpse into the theatrical process. A complete list of pre-/post-show enhancement programming is available at

Subscriptions to Great Lakes Theater's 2013-14 season are on sale now. An adult subscription to Great Lakes Theater starts as low as $132. Student subscriptions begin at $39. For complete information, patrons should call (216) 664-6064 or visit

Single tickets will go on sale in August. Regular priced adult single tickets will range from $15 - $70. Regular priced student/youth tickets for the Hanna Theatre are $13 ($26 for A Christmas Carol in the Ohio Theatre) and will be available for all performances. Further details and pricing specifics for single performance tickets will be announced in August.

Great Lakes Theater, Cleveland's classic company, has brought the pleasure, power and relevance of classic theater to the widest possible audience since 1962. The first resident company of PlayhouseSquare, GLT will celebrate its 32nd year in downtown Cleveland this season. On its main stage and through its extensive education programming, Great Lakes Theater positively impacts 100,000 adults and students annually.

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