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CPH and DANCECleveland to Present Performance by Lucky Plush Productions in New Ground Theatre Festi

Posted March 21, 2013 in Press Releases

CLEVELAND, OH (March 21, 2013) – From May 2-11, 2013, Cleveland Play House (CPH) will showcase a variety of new work from nationally recognized artists in its annual New Ground Theatre Festival. The centerpiece of this showcase of new work by America’s most exciting playwrights is the world premiere production of Rich Girl, written by Victoria Stewart and directed by CPH Artistic Director Michael Bloom, featuring Tony Award-nominated actresses Dee Hoty and Liz Larsen. A festival highlight this year is an interdisciplinary presentation in partnership DANCECleveland of three performances ofThe Better Half by Chicago-based Lucky Plush Productions, with the help of funding from Arts Midwest Touring Fund with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts. For the second consecutive year, the Roe Green Award brings a leading American playwright to Cleveland to develop a new project. The 2013 winner is Jordan Harrison, who will be developing his script Marjorie Prime, culminating in a public reading starring Cleveland’s own Dorothy Silver. This award is made possible by the generous support of New Ground Theatre Festival Honorary Producer Roe Green.

Past Festival interdisciplinary collaborators have included The Cleveland Orchestra, GroundWorks DanceTheatre, and Verb Ballet. CPH’s partnership with DANCECleveland is the first between these two arts organizations. For the 2013 New Ground Theatre Festival, they join together to present the Cleveland debut of Lucky Plush Productions, an interdisciplinary company that is rooted in theatre. Founded in Chicago in 1999, Lucky Plush Productions has become known for its playful and witty commentary on contemporary culture and its artful integration of dance, theatre and visual design.

Adding a theatrical element to modern dance, this acclaimed dance theater company will perform The Better Half, a lively and witty spin on the noir film classic Gaslight with elements of The Bourne Identity and Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage tossed in for good measure. Created by company Founder and Artistic Director Julia Rhoads with Leslie Burbaum Danzig of 500 Clown, The Better Half is a playful look at contemporary relationships, combining dance and theater in a work that is emotionally rich, funny and full of revealing surprises.

In addition to Rich Girl and The Better Half, the New Ground Theatre Festival lineup includes a public reading of a new play by Jordan Harrison, the 2013 winner of the annual Roe Green Award awarded to a nationally recognized playwright. The award includes a $7,500 cash prize; a week-long residency including rehearsals; a Master Class with CPH Playwrights’ Unit, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University students; and a public reading of a new play. Harrison was selected for his script Marjorie Prime, and the reading will star Cleveland’s own Dorothy Silver in the title role.

New Ground will also feature the reading of a play that is being considered as a fully-staged production for the 2014 Festival -- Informed Consent by Deborah Zoe Laufer. Rounding out the Festival are performances of Becoming Liv Ullmann, a hilarious new play by and featuring the star of Rich Girl, Crystal Finn; and Margie and Mike, CPH’s Classroom Matinee show for children written by CPH Director of Education Pamela DiPasquale.

Tickets to New Ground Theatre Festival events go on sale March 22. Discounts are available when seeing more than one New Ground Theatre Festival event, for CPH subscribers, and for anyone under age 30. For tickets and more information, call (216) 241-6000 or go online at www.clevelandplayhouse.com.


NEW GROUND THEATRE FESTIVAL 2013 EVENTS

Rich Girl by Victoria Stewart
April 19 – May 12 19*, 2013 ~ Second Stage
*Now through May 19! Due to advance audience demand, Cleveland Play House has extended the run of Rich Girl for an additional week
Featuring Tony Award-nominated actresses Dee Hoty and Liz Larsen
Directed by Michael Bloom
Tickets Available NOW: $15 to $69; call 216-241-6000 or online

When sheltered Claudine meets starving artist Henry, she falls head over heels. But her mother, a celebrated tough-talking financial guru, has her doubts: Is Henry everything her daughter deserves or is he only after her money? Rich Girl, a modern day take on the Henry James novella Washington Square and the classic play and film The Heiress, is a clever new comedy about women and their relationships with men, mothers and money.

Lucky Plush Productions performing The Better Half
Co-presented by Cleveland Play House and DANCECleveland
May 2 - 4, 2013; Thu, Fri & Sat @ 8:00pm ~ Allen Theatre
Tickets Available NOW: $20 to $45; call 216-241-6000 or online

Adding a theatrical element to modern dance, The Better Half is a lively spin on the noir film classic Gaslight with elements of The Bourne Identity and Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage tossed in for good measure. Created by company Founder and Artistic Director Julia Rhoads with Leslie Burbaum Danzig of 500 Clown, The Better Half mixes comedy with dance and has been hailed by The Chicago Tribune as “one of the most accessible exercises in modern dance you’ll ever see.”

Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison, 2013 Roe Green Award Winner
New Play Reading by Cleveland Play House
Starring Cleveland’s own Dorothy Silver
Directed by Laura Kepley
May 4, 2013 @ 5:00pm ~ Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre
Tickets Available starting March 22: $10 to $20; call 216-241-6000 or online

What’s the difference between a life lived and a life remembered? “Gone but not forgotten” takes on new meaning in this speculative drama about the desire to keep our dearly departed with us.

Becoming Liv Ullmann, written and performed by Crystal Finn
Workshop of New Work by Cleveland Play House
May 5, 2013 @ 5:30pm; May 10, 2013 @ 10:00pm ~ Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre
Tickets Available starting March 22: $7.50 to $15.00; call 216-241-6000 or online

The only way a young woman can think to get her boyfriend back is to pretend to be a Swedish movie star. This hilarious new comedy, a hit in last year’s New York Fringe Festival, is written and performed by the star of Rich Girl, Crystal Finn.

Informed Consent by Deborah Zoe Laufer
New Play Reading by Cleveland Play House
May 11, 2013 @ 5:00pm ~ Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre
Tickets Available starting March 22: $7.50 to $15.00; call 216-241-6000 or online

With genomic breakthroughs happening at breakneck speed, we can learn more about what our futures may hold than ever before. But how much should we know? And who gets to decide? Based on a true story, Deb Laufer takes us into the personal and national debate about science vs. belief.

Margie and Mike by Pamela DiPasquale
University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Classroom Matinee: A Touring Program
May 11, 2013 @ 11:00am ~ Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre
Tickets Available starting March 22: $7.50 to $15.00; call 216-241-6000 or online

Though her Pop works two jobs, eight-year-old Margie and her family still struggle to make ends meet. When an affluent African-American family moves in across the street, the prejudices Margie learned from her neighbors are challenged as she develops a fast friendship with the family’s son, Mike. A new play for ages 5-up, written by Pamela DiPasquale and based on the themes from CPH’s production of Good People, it is perfect for families to experience together.

Roe Green, Honorary Producer, is an arts patron, community activist, and chief executive officer of the Roe Green Foundation. With a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Communications from University of Colorado and a master’s degree in Theatre from Kent State University, her experience in stage and business management includes Cain Park, Cleveland Opera, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Today she is president emeritus of CAVORT, Inc., the Conference About Volunteers of Regional Theatres; serves on the Kent State University School of Theatre and Dance advisory board; the foundation board of Kent State University; the board of Porthouse Theatre; the board of Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, Florida; and the board of Cleveland Play House. She is responsible for the Roe Green Visiting Director Series for the School of Theatre and Dance at Kent State and the University of Colorado; and the Green Arts Fund, which supports Mandel Jewish Community Center arts and culture programs. Green received the 2009 State of Ohio Governor’s Award for Arts Patron. On May 2, 2013 she will receive the CPH Centennial Star Award that recognizes select individuals who have made special and important contributions to CPH’s rich legacy of artistic and educational programming.

Founded in 1915, Cleveland Play House is America’s first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, Cleveland Play House has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. It has produced more than 100 American and/or World Premieres, and over the 95+ years more than 11 million people have attended approximately 1,300 productions. Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Bloom and Managing Director Kevin Moore, Cleveland Play House looks toward its centennial while performing in three state-of-the-art venues at PlayhouseSquare in downtown Cleveland.

Cleveland Play House is funded through the generosity of Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and The Ohio Arts Council helps to fund Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

DANCECleveland, a Cleveland, Ohio based non-profit, is one of a handful of presenters nationally that is dedicated solely to the presentation of modern and contemporary dance. The centerpiece of the organization’s programming is its annual performance series. The performances are surrounded by an array of educational outreach events including artist-run master classes, residency programs, student matinees, pre-performance lectures and post-performance Q&A sessions, designed both to break artistic boundaries and provide community access to the dance aesthetic and dance luminaries that DANCECleveland brings to Northeast Ohio.

The presentation of Lucky Plush is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, which is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the Ohio Arts Council. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest is one of six nonprofit regional arts organizations in the United States. Its mission is to promote creativity, nurture cultural leadership, and engage people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives. Since its establishment more than 25 years ago, Arts Midwest has been serving audiences, arts organizations, and artists throughout the nine states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and beyond.

The presentation of Lucky Plush was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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