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THE KITE RUNNER Comes To The Cleveland Playhouse 10/15-11/7

Based on the acclaimed novel that spent over five years on The New York Times bestseller list, this topical and touching story of friendship, family, and redemption is now brought to the stage. Making its Midwest premiere, The Kite Runner begins in the Bolton Theatre at The Cleveland Play House on Friday, October 15 and runs through Sunday, November 7, 2010. Tickets are available at The Cleveland Play House box office by calling 216.795.7000 ext 4 or online at The Kite Runner is co-produced with Actors Theatre of Louisville and is presented with support from Ulmer & Berne LLP, ADAMHS (Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County), General Electric, Continental Airlines, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and the Ohio Arts Council.

Director Marc Masterson describes The Kite Runner as an accessible and wide-reaching story. "To see this story is to understand on a more human level the nature of the country of Afghanistan and the people locked in conflict. But at its core, this play is Amir's search - for the truth about himself, and how to come to terms with who he is and what he did as a boy. This journey traverses space, time and culture."

"This production is one of the most exciting and important shows we'll do this season," states Michael Bloom, Artistic Director. "The Kite Runner opens a window onto a world that has rarely, if ever, been seen on stage. It's a great adventure story with an exotic locale, lots of interesting action, and some terrific relationships between characters. I think audiences will find that the play is even more accessible and gripping on stage than it was in the novel."

Spanning nearly thirty years of Afghanistan's turbulent history, The Kite Runner soars over some of the country's most significant milestones revealing the rich culture and beauty of a country that once was, but is now destroyed by war. At its heart, this is a universal story that follows the bond between two boys growing up in the same household who, despite their starkly different class and religious backgrounds (Amir, a Pushtan and the son of a wealthy business man and Hassan, a Hazzara, the son of Amir's servant's father) enjoy an inseparable childhood roaming the streets of Kabul. An indescribable event throws their friendship into turmoil when Amir betrays Hassan's loyalty. As Amir and his father leave Afghanistan for America during civil unrest, the friends are torn apart, leaving Amir harboring a lifetime of guilt. It is not until years later that Amir looks to return to his country of birth and face his youthful cowardice as he seeks redemption for his failings. Set against a backdrop of global politics and historic tragedy this international best-selling novel now promises to pack an emotional punch with audiences and make a fascinating evening of theatre.

The show brings together a multi-cultural cast from across the States, many of whom will play several characters as the play sweeps between countries and time periods. Cast includes: Jos Viramontes (Picasso At The Lapin Agile, Arizona Theatre Company; Measure for Measure, Initman) as Amir, the main protagonist and narrator of the story; Amir's father, Baba will be played by Nasser Farisas (The Cleaner, TV; American East, Film); James Saba (The Kite Runner, San Jose Rep/Arizona Rep; Widows, Off-Broadway) as Baba's loyal servant Ali, and Matt Pascua (Paradiddle, Theater for the New City; Good Seeds, 45th Street Theatre) as Amri's childhood friend, Hassan.

In addition, the production engages the talents of internationally renowned tabla player, Salar Nader, who will compliment the cast on-stage, providing a rhythmical backdrop for the story to unfold against.

For complete cast listing and bios, click here

THE KITE RUNNER Creative Team:
Khaled Hosseini (Author) was born in Afghanistan in 1965. In 1980, the Hosseinis sought and were granted political asylum in the United States, and they moved to San Jose, California. Hosseini earned his medical degree in 1993 and began writing his first novel in March 2001 while practicing medicine. The Kite Runner was published in 2003 and has since become an international bestseller. In 2006, he was named a Goodwill Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees by the UN Refugee Agency. His second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, was published in May of 2007. Mr. Hosseini has been working to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan through The Khaled Hosseini Foundation,

Matthew Spangler (Playwright) Regional Theatre: The Kite Runner at Actors Theatre of Louisville, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and Arizona Theatre Company. Other Theatre: Paradise It Seems, based on John Cheever's short stories (Edinburgh, Scotland); Mozart! A musical theatre adaptation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's letters (Avignon, France); and a one-man show of James Joyce's Dubliners performed throughout the U.S., U.K., and Ireland. Mr. Spangler is currently writing a play based on T. C. Boyle's novel Tortilla Curtain. Additional Credits: Bay Area Theatre Critics' Circle Award for Best Original Script. Mr. Spangler holds degrees from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Trinity College Dublin and Northwestern University. He teaches performance studies at San Jose State University.

Marc Masterson (Director) In eleven years of leadership as artistic director of Actors Theatre of Louisville, Masterson has produced more than 200 plays in Louisville, expanded and deepened arts education programs and spearheaded community-based projects, including commissions and site-specific productions of regional stories and artists. He is an award-winning director who enjoys working on new plays as well as innovative productions of the classics. ATL seasonal directing credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Tempest, Mary's Wedding, The Crucible, Greater Tuna, Betrayal, As You Like It, The Importance of Being Earnest and Macbeth. World premieres directed in the Humana Festival of New American Plays include Ground, Wild Blessings: A Celebration of Wendell Berry (co-adapted with Adrien-Alice Hansel), The Unseen, Natural Selection, The Shaker Chair, After Ashley, Tallgrass Gothic, The Second Death of Priscilla, Limonade Tous les Jours and Wonderful World. Of the more than 100 plays premiered during his tenure, 86% have moved on to subsequent productions around the country. As a producer, he has brought new artists to Louisville audiences and has diversified and energized the repertoire. With more than 100 professional productions as a director to his credit, other favorites include The Mystery of Irma Vep by Charles Ludlam (2000), Compleat Female Stage Beauty by Jeffrey Hatcher (American Theatre Critics citation 1999) and Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde by Moisés Kaufman (1999). Masterson earned his Master of Fine Arts from University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University. He subsequently taught at both universities. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of Theatre Communications Group. He served as Producing Director of City Theatre in Pittsburgh for 20 years, was founder and chairman of Greater Pittsburgh Arts Alliance, and has served as a panel member for Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts and other national foundations. Masterson won the Lifetime Achievement Award from Pittsburgh New Works Festival.

Faced with the challenge of transporting the audience through a plethora of physical locations from the back streets of Kabul to a flea market in California, director Marc Masterson has assembled a talented and diverse team of designers to bring Spangler's stage adaptation to life. The design team for The Kite Runner includes Michael B. Raiford (Scenic Designer), Lorraine Venberg (Costume Designer), Brian J. Lilienthal (Lighting Designer), Matt Callahan (Sound Designer), Mark Walston (Properties Designer), Heather Fleming (Wig Designer), Salar Nader (Musical Supervisor), Shannon habenicht (Stage Manager), Carrie Hughes (Dramaturg), Humaira Ghilzai (Cultural Consultant), Rocco Dal Vera (Dialect Coach), and k. Jenny Jones (Fight Director).

Tickets for The Kite Runner range from $46 to $66, with discounts available for groups of ten or more, for senior citizens aged 60 and over, and for military reservists and their families. Tickets are $10 for all students under the age of 25. A limited number of $10 rush tickets go on sale 90 minutes before curtain and remain on sale until 30 minutes before curtain, based on availability. The Cleveland Play House is located at 85th and Euclid Ave. next door to the Cleveland Clinic near University Circle.

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