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Our theatres are located at
1407 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115

Box Office (216) 241 6000

Subscriber Services (216) 400 7096

September 13 - October 6, 2013 , Allen Theatre

Woody Sez

devised by David M. Lutken with Nick Corley and
Darcie Deaville, Helen J. Russell and Andy Teirstein

directed by Nick Corley
musical direction by David M. Lutken

Run time: Act 1: 50 min. Intermission: 15 min. Act 2: 40 min.
Advisory: Appropriate for all ages

Experience the life of America’s greatest folk singer through riveting stories and over 25 of his legendary songs, performed by four versatile actor/musicians. You’ll discover why Woody Guthrie’s music and mission have influenced singers from Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan to John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen.

Photos & Videos Download Hi Res Photos

Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie

David Finch, David M. Lutken, Leenya Ridout and Helen Jean Russell in the Cleveland Play House production of Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, September 13 - October 6, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.

From left: David Finch, Leenya Rideout, Helen Jean Russell and David M. Lutken in the Cleveland Play House production of Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, September 13 - October 6, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.

From left: David Finche, David M. Lutken, Helen Jean Russell and Leenya Rideout in the Cleveland Play House production of Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, September 13 - October 6, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.

Helen Jean Russell in the Cleveland Play House production of Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, September 13 - October 6, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.

From left: Helen Jean Russell and David M. Lutken in the Cleveland Play House production of Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, September 13 - October 6, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.

From left: David Finch, David M. Lutken, Leenya Rideout and Helen Jean Russell in the Cleveland Play House production of Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, September 13 - October 6, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.

From left: David Finch, David M. Lutken, Helen Jean Russell and Leenya Rideout in the Cleveland Play House production of Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, September 13 - October 6, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.

David M. Lutken in the Cleveland Play House production of Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, September 13 - October 6, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.

David M. Lutken in the Cleveland Play House production of Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, September 13 - October 6, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.

Leenya Rideout in the Cleveland Play House production of Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, September 13 - October 6, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.

Leenya Rideout, Helen Jean Russell, and David Finch in the Cleveland Play House production of Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, September 13 - October 6, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.

From left: David M. Lutken, and David Finch in the Cleveland Play House production of Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, September 13 - October 6, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.

From left: David Finch, Leenya Rideout, Helen Jean Russell, and David M. Lutken in the Cleveland Play House production of Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, September 13 - October 6, 2013. Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni.

InsideCPH

Information, activities, tours and talks that take you behind the scenes of your favorite CPH shows.

Artists

Nick Corley

Nick Corley

(Director / Co-Deviser) made his London West End, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C. directing debuts with Woody Sez, which he also co-wrote. (Helen Hayes andEvening Standard “Best Musical” award nominations.) He has directed many world premieres including Woody Sez for Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the New York City productions ofTall more(Director / Co-Deviser) made his London West End, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C. directing debuts with Woody Sez, which he also co-wrote. (Helen Hayes andEvening Standard “Best Musical” award nominations.) He has directed many world premieres including Woody Sez for Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the New York City productions ofTall Grass; Flight (Callaway Award Nomination); About Face(New York Music Theatre Festival nomination, Best Direction);Fables in Slang; Tim and Scrooge; The Overcoat; and Tallboy Walkin.’ Regional premieres include The Civil War (co-directed at Houston’s Alley Theatre); A Young Lady of Fashion (Fulton Opera House — also co-author); and Eliot Ness… in Cleveland(Denver Center Theatre — also a co-author). As former artistic director of Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, he directed Sweeney Todd, The Music Man, The Who’s Tommy, and Steel Magnolias. Other directing credits include The Bomb-itty of Errors (Adirondack Theatre Festival and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis — four Kevin Kline nominations); Mother Russia(Carnegie Hall); The Little Foxes (Fulton Opera House); andThe Robber Bridegroom, Drood, Man of La Mancha, Bat Boy, A Little Night Music and Lucky Stiff, all for The Commons Group in Vermont. He has directed over 100 workshops and readings, many of them for New York University’s graduate musical theatre writing program. His appearances as a performer include The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Mary Poppins, A Christmas Carol and She Loves Me on Broadway; off-Broadway; regional theatre; the film Kissing Jessica Stein;recordings; and television.

David Finch

David Finch

(Ensemble) is an actor/musician based in Brooklyn, New York. He has performed with Alan Cumming, Serj Tankian, Tony Bennett, Amanda Palmer and Dee Snider, among others, in venues ranging from Lincoln Center to San Francisco’s Castro Theatre. A cast member of the Tony Award-winning revival of Cabaret, he performed on more(Ensemble) is an actor/musician based in Brooklyn, New York. He has performed with Alan Cumming, Serj Tankian, Tony Bennett, Amanda Palmer and Dee Snider, among others, in venues ranging from Lincoln Center to San Francisco’s Castro Theatre. A cast member of the Tony Award-winning revival of Cabaret, he performed on Broadway at Studio 54 and toured the U.S., Canada and Japan. He made his London West End debut with Evening Standard Best Musical nominee Woody Sez. Off- Broadway credits include Fame on 42nd Street and the New York premiere of Tennessee Williams’Spring Storm. He toured Europe, the U.S. and Canada with Fame the Musical and regionally has performed in most of the U.S. Finch was an associate producer at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in New York from 2004 to 2006. His CD the fiddle made me do it is on iTunes. He is also co-creator and musical supervisor of Careless Love: A Down Home Musical.

David M. Lutken

David M. Lutken

(Deviser / Music Director / Original Cast) studied at London’s Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He has performed in Europe and the United Kingdom, at Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y and Carnegie Hall. He made his West End debut with Woody Sez (2011 London Evening Standardnominee, Best Musical). more(Deviser / Music Director / Original Cast) studied at London’s Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He has performed in Europe and the United Kingdom, at Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y and Carnegie Hall. He made his West End debut with Woody Sez (2011 London Evening Standardnominee, Best Musical). Broadway credits include Inherit the Wind, Ring of Fire, The Civil War and The Will Rogers Follies.At New York City Opera, he played the Balladeer in Benjamin Britten's Paul Bunyan. Off-Broadway includes Southern Comfort, Stars in Your Eyes, The Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show, Woody Guthrie’s American Song and Winter Man. In the U.K., Dark of the Moon, Bonnie and Clyde and A Month in the Country. Selected U.S. regional credits are Man of La Mancha, Elmer Gantry, Finian’s Rainbow, Big River, Pump Boys and Dinettes, The Love List, Death in England, On Golden Pond, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Fire on the Mountain, Stand by Your Man, and In the Deep Heart’s Core. 2013 Helen Hayes Award, Best Lead Actor.

Leenya Rideout

Leenya Rideout

(Ensemble) appeared on Broadway in War Horse, Cyrano de Bergerac with Kevin Kline, Company (Jenny), and Cabaret. Off-Broadway credits include Yiddle with a Fiddle, American Jewish Theatre; The Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show, Melting Pot Theatre Company; and Cowgirls, Minetta Lane. Regional theatre includes The Last of the Red Hot more(Ensemble) appeared on Broadway in War Horse, Cyrano de Bergerac with Kevin Kline, Company (Jenny), and Cabaret. Off-Broadway credits include Yiddle with a Fiddle, American Jewish Theatre; The Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show, Melting Pot Theatre Company; and Cowgirls, Minetta Lane. Regional theatre includes The Last of the Red Hot Loversand Gypsy, Hangar Theatre; Holidays with the Chalks, Alliance Theatre; Merrily We Roll Along (Gussie) and Avenue X, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Man of La Mancha (Aldonza), ACCC; Cardenio, A.R.T.; Summer of 42, Mill Mountain Theatre;Canterbury Tales, Guthrie Theater; and Guys and Dolls, North Carolina Theatre. She toured internationally as Eliza in My Fair Lady. Films include Mona Lisa Smile, Loser, and Bittersweet. Television and radio includes Company and My Favorite Broadway (PBS) as well as Nashville Star, the Jerry Lewis Telethon, and Selected Shorts (NPR). She appeared in concert in Wall to Wall Broadway at Symphony Space and Bringing Broadway Back Home with Fort Collins Symphony. Original songs available at her website.

Helen Jean Russell

Helen Jean Russell

(Co-Deviser / Original Cast) grew up making music. After relocating from a small town in Maryland to New York City, she switched her focus to acting, which led to producing variety shows featuring The City Singers, an a cappella choir that she cofounded and directed. Russell was part of Woody more(Co-Deviser / Original Cast) grew up making music. After relocating from a small town in Maryland to New York City, she switched her focus to acting, which led to producing variety shows featuring The City Singers, an a cappella choir that she cofounded and directed. Russell was part of Woody Sez’s 2007 debut in Edinburgh, as well as subsequent tours throughout the U.K. and Europe, the American debut at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, the Arts Theatre in London's West End, and at American Repertory Theater in Boston. At home in Manhattan, she works as an actor, musical director and publishing technology consultant. In 2012 she was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award, Best Lead Actress for her work in Woody Sez. Her debut CD, Holly Days, was released in 2008, and she is at work on a second. “Her voice, pure and supple, handed down through generations, recalls the rich and rolling piedmont of her native home.”

Michael Boll

(Lighting Designer) Cleveland Play House productions include: These Mortal Hosts, The Good Peaches; A Christmas Story; The Little Foxes; Venus in Fur; Every Good Boy Deserves Favor; In the Next Room, or the vibrator play and Stew and the Negro Problem. CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program credits include: Metamorphoses, Too True more(Lighting Designer) Cleveland Play House productions include: These Mortal Hosts, The Good Peaches; A Christmas Story; The Little Foxes; Venus in Fur; Every Good Boy Deserves Favor; In the Next Room, or the vibrator play and Stew and the Negro Problem. CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program credits include: Metamorphoses, Too True To Be Good, Identity Theft, The Winter's Tale, In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, An Orchard, Cloud 9 and Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. Cleveland lighting design work includes Cleveland Public Theatre, Cain Park, Cleveland Museum of Art, Karamu House, Dobama Theatre and Beck Center for the Arts. Off-Broadway credits include The Moliere Cycle (Classic Stage Company), Songs for a New World (George Street Playhouse), Dog Sees God (SoHo Playhouse) and The Moonlight Room (Associate Lighting Designer, Beckett Theatre). His work has also been seen at the N.Y. Fringe Festival, La MaMa E.T.C., HERE Arts Center, and Yale Cabaret.

Jennifer Matheson Collins

(Stage Manager) stage managed Cleveland Play House productions of The Good Peaches, Luna Gale, Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors, Fairfield, Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life, Informed Consent, Breath and Imagination, A Christmas Story, Woody Sez, Rich Girl, The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, A more(Stage Manager) stage managed Cleveland Play House productions of The Good Peaches, Luna Gale, Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors, Fairfield, Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life, Informed Consent, Breath and Imagination, A Christmas Story, Woody Sez, Rich Girl, The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, A Carol for Cleveland, A Night With Janis Joplin (at both CPH and Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.), The Trip to Bountiful and This Wonderful Life. Other recent credits include: Angels in America (Millennium Approaches and Perestroika), A Christmas Carol, The Santaland Diaries, and The Who and the What (Kansas City Repertory Theatre). Previously, she was a full-time faculty member at Northwestern University, overseeing the stage management program. From 2000 to 2007, she was a resident stage manager at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, where selected credits include Passion, Marionette Macbeth, Hamlet, Seussical the Musical, A Flea in Her Ear, Kabuki Lady Macbeth, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George and Pacific Overtures. Other Chicago credits include Death of a Salesman, Waiting for Godot, Floyd Collins, Jitney, The Odyssey and A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre). She earned a Bachelor of Science, Theatre and a Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology from Kansas State University and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Luke Hegel-Cantarella

(Scenic Designer) designed Woody Sez for many theatres, including Arts Theatre in London’s West End. New York credits include Atlantic Theater Company, Lucille Lortel, HERE, The Lambs, and the 2004 Whitney Biennial. He designed Blue Shade at Amsterdam’s Rozentheater and Redwood Curtain for The American University in Cairo. Regional credits more(Scenic Designer) designed Woody Sez for many theatres, including Arts Theatre in London’s West End. New York credits include Atlantic Theater Company, Lucille Lortel, HERE, The Lambs, and the 2004 Whitney Biennial. He designed Blue Shade at Amsterdam’s Rozentheater and Redwood Curtain for The American University in Cairo. Regional credits include Yale Repertory, Pittsburgh Public Theater, City Theatre, Two Rivers Theater Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, TheaterWorks, Barrington Stage Company, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Adirondack Theatre Festival, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma and Prince Music Theater. Opera includes La Clemenza di Titio, Wolf Trap; Cosi fan Tutte, Curtis Institute of Music; and La Traviata, Peabody Opera House. He was art director for the second season of Damages (starring Glenn Close) and worked as a set designer on films Julie & Julia, Pink Panther 2, State of Play, Synecdoche New York and The Accidental Husband. Hegel-Cantarella heads the design program at Pace University in New York City. He is a graduate of Yale School of Drama.

Tom Humes

(Assistant Stage Manager) returns to Cleveland Play House where previous stage management work includes These Mortal Hosts, Between Riverside and Crazy, The Mountaintop, The Little Foxes, and Grounded. Assistant stage management work at CPH includes Shakespeare in Love, How I Learned to Drive, All the Way, Steel Magnolias, Ken Ludwig’s more(Assistant Stage Manager) returns to Cleveland Play House where previous stage management work includes These Mortal Hosts, Between Riverside and Crazy, The Mountaintop, The Little Foxes, and Grounded. Assistant stage management work at CPH includes Shakespeare in Love, How I Learned to Drive, All the Way, Steel Magnolias, Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Maurice Hines Is Tappin Thru Life, Clybourne Park, Breath and Imagination, A Christmas Story, Woody Sez, Lombardi, and A Night With Janis Joplin. Selected area stage management credits include Rock of Ages, Godspell, The Frogs, Smokey Joe's Café, Avenue Q, Pippin, and Oliver! (Cain Park); Le Nozze di Figaro and Cosi Fan Tutte (The Cleveland Orchestra); Tosca, La Boheme, and Lucia Di Lammermoor (Opera Cleveland); Caroline, or Change (Dobama Theatre and Karamu House); and History Boys (Beck Center for the Arts). He is a proud member of both Actors' Equity Association and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with a minor in Mathematics from Bowling Green State University.

Jeffery Meek

(Costume Designer) is in his thirteenth season as resident costume designer with Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. For ten years, he served as principal costumer for The Ohio Light Opera. He has worked with such companies as The Point Theatre, Jewel Box Theatre, Carpenter Square, Eastman School of Music, and Colossal more(Costume Designer) is in his thirteenth season as resident costume designer with Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. For ten years, he served as principal costumer for The Ohio Light Opera. He has worked with such companies as The Point Theatre, Jewel Box Theatre, Carpenter Square, Eastman School of Music, and Colossal Studios. Meek designed Romeo and Juliet for Oklahoma City’s Reduxion Theatre Company and A Christmas Carol: The Musical, Annie, and Disney’s High School Musical for Casa Mañana. He served as costumer for Tulsa Opera and designed Wichita productions ofSwing!; I Do, I Do; and the world premiere of Are We There Yet? with Stage One. For the past seven years he has designed A Very Merry Pops for Oklahoma City’s Philharmonic. Most recently he has branched into the world of film, designing wardrobe for Pearl Carter Scott with Media 13 and Fingerprints. Meek is a proud graduate of Oklahoma City University.

Learning From the Best: The CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program

Learning From the Best: The CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program

In 1996, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Play House launched a jointly administered Master of Fine Arts in Acting program. This three-ye...

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