Shaker Theatre Arts presents "Nevermore: The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, a spring Ensemble Show" on April 21-22 at 7 pm, in the Large Auditorium at 15911 Aldersyde Drive, Shaker Heights, OH 44120. Admission by donation at the door or at

All three ensembles, Junior Ensemble, Advanced Ensemble, and Senior Ensemble, under the direction of Ensemble Program Director, Scott J. Sumerak, have created an evening of theatre featuring the writing of American writer, Edgar Allan Poe.

Sumerak, with Junior Ensemble co-teacher, Christine McBurney, present the Junior Ensemble piece, which features the poem, "The Bells," with original music composed by Junior Ensemble member, Gabe Griswold.

The Advanced Ensemble piece features poems, "Annabel Lee," and "The Tell-Tale Heart."

The Senior Ensemble piece features "Masque of the Red Death," and Poe's most famous work, "The Raven."

Junior Ensemble member Sophia Honig serves as dramaturge.

Performances of Nevermore are Friday, April 21st and Saturday, April 22nd at 7 p.m. at Shaker Heights High School Large Auditorium at 15911 Aldersyde Drive. Admission by donation at the door or at Patrons at the Associate level receive two complimentary tickets to our four main stage productions. Tickets must be redeemed by calling the box office at 216.295.4287.

A 2016 Race Anthology: Dispatches and Artifacts from a Segregated City includes the piece, "What it's Like," written by Shaker Theatre Arts Department's Advanced Ensemble and members of the Student Group on Race Relations (SGORR). The book, edited by RA Washington (of Guide to Kulchur) and Dan Moulthrop (CEO of The City Club of Cleveland), includes a variety of perspectives on the issue of race in the Cleveland area.

In 2012, then-Ensemble Director Erik Johnson '98 (2005-15) initiated a piece for the annual Spring Ensemble Show to celebrate Shaker's ongoing efforts at integration. Johnson is currently on a leave of absence perusing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Oregon.

Poet Katie Daley, an Associate Guest Artist in the program collaborated with ensemble students and SGORR members to talk and write about their experience of integration, race and racism at Shaker. Their freestyle language was then performed in the 2013 Spring Ensemble Show, The Golden World.

Shaker Theatre Guest Artist Program:

The program has a long history of hosting Guest Artists. Recent visits and workshops have included:

Jamie Babbit '89, Film & TV Director

George Brant, Playwright

Josh Brown, Inlet Dance Theatre

Max Chernin, '08, Broadway actor

Eric Coble, Playwright

Harold Crawford, Costume Designer

Kary Dornetto, Writer/Producer

JudyAnn Elder '66, Actor/Director & Founding Member of Negro Ensemble

Jennifer Estlin, '83 namesake of the annual Shaker Foundation Award, Owner and President of the Annoyance Theatre Company, Chicago

Melissa Freilich '09, Fight Choreographer

Jose Antonio Garcia, Suzuki Movement Coach

Jason Kaufmann, Actor/Director

Magpie, musicians

Michael McElroy '85, Tony-nominated Actor

Halle Morse '05, Broadway Actor

Mick Napier, Founder and Artistic Director of the Annoyance Theatre & a director and artistic consultant for The Second City

Annika Sheaff, Pilobolus Dance Theatre

Andrew Staton, Stunt Coordinator

and Associate Guest Artists

Wendy Kriss, Movement Specialist & Director

Katie Daley, Poet

Shaker Heights High School Theatre Arts Department Faculty & Staff

Scott J. Sumerak, Theatre Arts Department Chair and Ensemble Program Director who teaches Stagecraft, Junior, Advanced, and Senior Ensembles.

Christine McBurney, Playwriting Program and Shakespeare Learning Program Director who teaches Dramatic Literature & Writing, Theatre Management, Junior Ensemble, Theatre Exploration, and ESL, and has also taught Film as Art, No Fear Shakespeare, Improvisation, Shakescenes, Acting, and IB Theatre Arts. Department Chair 2005-2013.

Chuck Tisdale, Technical Designer and Auditorium Manager.

Barrie Sandman, Box Office Manager & Shaker Theatre Alum parent.

Elaine Bayless-Marr and Deborle Richardson-Bouie, Shaker Theatre Support Co-Presidents.

Shaker Theatre includes 8 daily classes and a production season including multiple main stage performances and four "showcase" performances/events. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, & peruse production photos at Zenfolio.

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