To eliminate financial and geographic barriers of attending our theatres, CPH brings theatre education programs directly to schools. Classroom Matinee actors are vital to exposing chirldren to the arts. Below is an interview with two CPH touring actors, Ebony Antoine and Brandon Mitchell:
Q. What is your favorite part about performing these plays for young audiences?
A. Brandon – The Play House really wants the kids to be interactive and audible. I didn’t know if this was going to work with so many kids and if this arrangement would get out of control. But giving them the trust to know when they can be loud and when they can be quiet is working! They are engaged in the entire process. If they are audible, it has to do with the play and that makes it exciting for me. It makes live theatre worth it. The interaction between the actors and the audience. That’s my favorite part.
A. Ebony – I love it! The children are so empowering. I remember we were rehearsing and when we were in front of the audience, the kids would yell out “Don’t eat that egg!” and you’re just like wow. It gives us so much energy as a performer. And I find myself in the back smiling so hard. It’s so fun having them interact with you. That’s my favorite part.
Brandon – It’s so cool to help kids believe in themselves more.
Ebony – Right! And it’s great when you can plant seeds of creativity.
Q. Why do you think it is important to bring theater/stories that matter to young people?
A. Brandon – It’s important because not everybody can go see theater. There are a lot of kids who will never get the chance to go to a theater because, first of all, theater costs a lot of money to see. And if your parents are more worried about feeding you, when will they have time to take you to a theater performance? Even though you are being denied that experience for a good reason, you are still being denied. But I think it’s important that kids understand that they can be and do anything in life. What’s really cool about bringing theatre to schools specifically, we can still be creative with them with just a couple of props. You don’t have to have the bright lights to make something magical.
A. Ebony – I honestly feel like it’s so important for kids to know that they have someone who can relate to them and hold their hand during these difficult chapters of their lives. I want to aid them to speak their truth. Stories are meant to help guide them and help them grow.
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