We are thrilled to welcome acclaimed theatre-maker Stori Ayers to Cleveland Play House as the 2020-21 Artistic Directing Fellow!
Stori Ayers is a New York-based actress, director, and co-founder of [RARE] Lotus Productions. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity, holds a B.A. from Mary Baldwin University, an MFA in Acting from Penn State University, and is the former Executive Assistant to playwrights Dominique Morisseau and Katori Hall. She is currently a writing assistant to Dominique Morisseau and Adjunct Professor of Theater at Penn State University. Originally from Washington, DC., Stori is an original cast member and producer of Morisseau’s Blood at the Root, winner of the Graham F. Smith Peace Foundation Prize for its promotion of human rights. She recently played Regina, childhood best friend of Tiffany Haddish, on the TBS hit series The Last O.G., starring Tracey Morgan.
Stori Ayers shares, “I feel called to action. We are in the midst of a double pandemic where we’re simultaneously confronting the appalling swell of racism and trauma that has gripped our country, while also grappling with the ongoing loss and anxiety related to COVID-19.” Stori says, “The double pandemic has created a unique opportunity where I can work with an institution as it serves its communities needs and aids in the healing process of the city. I also get to be on the ground and participate in the visioning and rebuilding of a more equitable and just organization.”
CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley says, “I have been a fan and admirer of Stori for the past two years, ever since I met her at Chautauqua Theatre Company. She wears many artistic hats very well and leadership is definitely one of them. As CPH and Cleveland navigate the twin pandemics of racism and COVID-19, it is very meaningful to welcome a true future leader who will be part of the rebuilding of our organization, the community we serve, and the larger theatrical field.”
CPH’s Artistic Directing Fellowship for Women was created in 2017 to provide mentorship, insight, and meaningful experience to established female-identifying theatre-makers with leadership ambitions. Currently, over 75% of artistic directors of regional theatres across the country are men. This fellowship seeks to address the current and historical gender inequities in institutional executive leadership in the regional theatre industry.
As part of the fellowship, Stori will be partnering with Laura Kepley to plan and produce CPH’s new digital season as well as the 2021-22 theatrical season. She will co-host CPH’s Theatre Thursday, an interactive digital series featuring performance and conversation. CPH audiences will get the opportunity to see Stori’s directing work throughout the season. Part of her fellowship will include supporting the visioning and implementation of more equitable artistic practices as CPH moves forward on its journey to becoming an anti-racist organization.
The Allen, Helen and Outcalt theatres are located at Playhouse Square
1407 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115
Administrative Offices and Education Center
1901 E. 13th Street, Suite 200 Cleveland, OH 44114 (216) 400-7000
7401 Detour Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44103