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New Ground Theatre Festival

New Ground Theatre Festival

Saturday, May 15 from 4:00pm - 7:30pm

New Ground Theatre Festival
Saturday, May 15, 2021 @ 4:00 PM & 7:30 PM ET

Mapping New Ground premieres 4:00 PM ET on YouTube
Introducing five brand-new plays…all inspired by Cleveland! CPH has commissioned five playwrights to delve into Cleveland’s past and present to create new stories for our future. Over the past year, these five talented artists have been crafting stories that allow us to see our beloved city with new perspective. The event includes play excerpts from Crooked River Burning, The Ghost Tour, and Liébling and features guest artists: Bjorn DuPaty, Jessica Dickey, Phyllis Kay, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jon Norman Schneider, and Rick D. Wasserman.

Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Mapping New Ground: A Live Conversation premieres @ 7:30 PM ET on Zoom
Take a look into the playwright’s process! Join the 2020/21 Roe Green Fund for New American Plays-commissioned writers George Brant, Vichet Chum, Jessica Dickey, Chelsea Marcantel, and Charly Evon Simpson for an evening of free-flowing, off-the-cuff, LIVE conversation. See the playwrights dialogue with special guests and instrumental collaborators from Cleveland and beyond. This event offers a deeper look into the worlds of five newly-commissioned plays as well as the stories and people that inspired them.

The Plays in Progress:

  • Crooked River Burning, by George Brant, based on the novel by Mark Winegardner

    Cleveland Heights resident George Brant will discuss and introduce excerpts from his new play, Crooked River Burning based on the Mark Winegardner novel, which includes stories about Alan Freed, Dorothy Fuldheim, and Carl Stokes. Excerpts directed by Laura Kepley, featuring Bjorn DuPaty (Stokes), Phyllis Kay (Fuldheim), and Rick D. Wasserman (Freed). CPH has produced many plays by Brant, including Grounded (2014 NGTF), Marie and Rosetta (2018), and Into the Breeches! (2019).

    Play Synopsis & Artist Info

  • The Ghost Tour, by Jessica Dickey

    Jessica Dickey will perform an excerpt from her new play, The Ghost Tour, inspired in part by the Variety Theatre on Lorain Avenue. CPH audiences may have seen Dickey in the 2016 production of Mr. Wolf and in the 2014 NGTF reading of Fairfield.

    Play Synopsis & Artist Info

  • I'm Back Now, by Charly Evon Simpson

    Charly Evon Simpson will share the inspiration for her new play, I’m Back Now, based on Clevelander Sara Lucy Bagby, the last person in the United States prosecuted under the Fugitive Slave Act. While Bagby’s final resting place is in Cleveland’s historic Woodland Cemetery, Charly reflects on this fascinating saga in African American history through a walking tour of Greenwood Cemetery near her Brooklyn, NY home.

    Play Synopsis & Artist Info

  • Lake Erie Oubliette, by Chelsea Marcantel

    Chelsea Marcantel will present her research on spiritualism and its ties to Cleveland, while guest artist Kate Eastman (Cath in Tiny Houses) gives Chelsea a three-card tarot reading. Marcantel is the recipient of the 2018 Roe Green Award for Tiny Houses, which received its world premiere production at CPH in 2019.

    Play Synopsis & Artist Info

  • Liébling, by Vichet Chum

    Vichet Chum will share two excerpts from his new play-in-progress, Liébling. We catch up with protagonist Sovanna in Cleveland as he encounters the ghost of his partner’s Cambodian/German/Hungarian grandmother and later we see Sovanna as he mentors a Gen-Z visual artist. Excerpts directed by Jesca Prudencio, featuring Francesca Fernandez McKenzie and Jon Norman Schneider.

    Play Synopsis & Artist Info

“In spite of all the challenges from the global pandemic, Cleveland Play House never stopped creating. Five new plays centered on Cleveland have been commissioned and developed over this year thanks to the Roe Green Fund for New American Plays. These five brilliant writers, working at the height of their creativity and talent, are deploying their vivid imaginations to tell stories inspired by the people, events, and spirit of our city. The name ‘New Ground’ takes on added resonances as we present this year’s festival in a virtual format allowing people all over the world to experience these Cleveland stories.”- Laura Kepley, CPH Artistic Director

Important Viewing Details:

  • These events will be available on demand after they have aired. If you're unavailable for the 4:00 PM and/or 7:30 PM ET event(s) and plan on watching at a later time, please register so we can send you on demand information when it is ready.
  • The events can be streamed through your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone via YouTube at 4:00 PM ET, and Zoom at 7:30 PM ET.
  • Registration is required. Viewing access begins at $5 per household, per event.
  • After registering below, you will receive a Cleveland Play House Order Receipt sent to the email you provide in the Shipping portion on the next page. Please review the receipt as it contains viewing information for the event.
  • Interactive Map: Explore Cleveland’s past and present from the comfort of your home! Select a location on the map to learn more about it and how it’s related to the New Ground Theatre Festival’s plays.
  • In-Person Activities: Explore Cleveland and step into its stories through a series of curated routes and activities. This fun, self-guided experience is part scavenger hunt and part history tour! Whether you have a day, an hour, or only five minutes, there’s an exciting adventure just waiting for you.

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Mapping New Ground @ 4:00 PM ET
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Mapping New Ground: A Live Conversation @ 7:30 PM ET
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The Allen, Helen and Outcalt theatres are located at Playhouse Square
1407 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115

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