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Cleveland Playwright Eric Coble's Clever Comedy "Fairfield" Makes its World Premiere

Posted April 9, 2015 in Press Releases


Press Opening Night: MAY 6 at 7:30 p.m.

CLEVELAND, OH (April 9, 2015) Cleveland Play House’s 99th season will draw to a close with an equal dose of hilarity and heart with the world premiere production of Fairfield. Fairfield, which is also serving double-duty as the centerpiece of CPH’s 2015 New Ground Theatre Festival, is the brainchild of Cleveland’s own Eric Coble. Coble, an accomplished and critically acclaimed playwright whose play The Velocity of Autumn made its Broadway debut in 2014, is a favorite of CPH audiences who may recall his past CPH productions of Bright Ideas and A Carol for Cleveland. He is also a member of CPH’s prestigious Playwrights’ Unit, which includes a select group of experienced local playwrights. Fairfield will be directed by CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley who notes: “I am thrilled to be working with Eric Coble again on his razor-sharp satire that, like Eric, has a huge heart and a wicked sense of humor.”

Fairfield is set in the fictional Fairfield Elementary, a public school located in a diverse, liberal district whose motto is “Peace. Love. Respect for all.” But when a young teacher’s misguided attempts at celebrating Black History Month take a hilariously dark turn, chaos erupts and it seems it may be impossible to safely reach the ‘CelebrEthnic Potluck.’ This razor-sharp, insightful comedy examines how we each determine what’s appropriate and inappropriate, and whether “We Shall Overcome.” Fairfield will have audiences in stitches and will spark conversations about the meaning of “social taboo.”

Fairfield is a part of the 2015 New Ground Theatre Festival (NGTF), which is CPH’s annual showcase of new theatrical works. Once again made possible by Honorary Producer Roe Green, the NGTF will feature a combination of play readings and fully-staged productions which will take place May 6 – 16. Festival support comes from Presenting Sponsor Ohio Savings Bank and Associate Sponsors Cleveland Clinic and Kemper House. For a complete list of NGTF events, please visit Fairfield, the centerpiece production of NGTF, will run from May 1 – 31 in the Outcalt Theatre at Playhouse Square.

Advisory: Recommended for ages 16+. Play contains strong language including profanity and derogatory terms, mild violence, innuendo, and frank conversations on race.

Fairfield Cast

MARINDA ANDERSON (Vanessa Stubbs) was most recently seen at Cleveland Play House in the reading of Fairfield for New Ground Theatre Festival and also in A Carol for Cleveland by Eric Coble. New York credits include Macbeth, Lincoln Center Theatre; Far From Heaven, Playwrights Horizons; Obama-ology, Juilliard School; and The Devine One: Sassy Swings Tokyo, her solo show about Sarah Vaughan, La MaMa E.T.C. Regionally she has performed at Theatreworks, Chautauqua Theatre, Perseverance Theatre and Playhouse on the Square. Marinda also has a web series, Homegirls, that she co-writes and stars in. Marinda is a graduate of Howard University where she received a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre and NYU’s Graduate Acting Program where she received her M.F.A. in Acting.

BJORN DuPATY (Daniel Stubbs/Charles Clark) New York credits include Carnaval, National Black Theater; Office Hours, The Flea Theater; and Sugarhouse at the Edge of the Wilderness, Ma-Yi Theater. Regional credits include A Raisin in the Sun, Crossroads Theater; Clybourne Park, Pittsburgh Public Theater; and Julius Caesar and The Comedy of Errors, Guthrie Theater.

CRYSTAL FINN (Laurie Kaminski) is thrilled to be back at Cleveland Play House, where she played Claudine in Tory Stewart’s new play Rich Girl. Crystal also performed her own play Becoming Liv Ullmann at the New Ground Theater Festival in 2013. New York credits include Pocatello, Playwrights Horizons; 16 Words or Less, La Brea, Luther and Five Genocides, Clubbed Thumb Theater; Breaking the Spell, Some Women… and Brack's Last Bachelor Party, 59E59; and Bird In the Hand, Fulcrum Theater. Regional credits include Two River Theater, George Street Playhouse, Dorset Theatre Festival and Merrimack Repertory. Crystal’s play The Faire received its world premiere in 2013 with Fault Line Theater in New York. Crystal received her B.A. in English from UC Berkeley and her M.F.A. in acting from Brown/Trinity Rep. She is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb Theater.

NEDRA McCLYDE (Angela Wadley) recently went on as an understudy opposite John Hawkes at Manhattan Theatre Club in David Auburn's two-person play, Lost Lake. Other New York credits include Mr. Burns, Playwrights Horizons; Headstrong, Ensemble Studio Theatre; and Macbeth, Classical Theatre of Harlem. Nedra is a recipient of New Dramatists' Charles Bowden Award, two-time AUDELCO Award nominee, NYIT Best Leading Actress nominee, member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Associate Artist with The Civilians and M.F.A. graduate of The Actors Studio Drama School. Favorite regional theatre includes Good People at The Old Globe. Nedra has made television appearances on Blue Bloods, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, 30 Rock, As the World Turns and One Life to Live. Please visit

LEENYA RIDEOUT (Molly Flemmingsen) Broadway credits include War Horse, Cyrano de Bergerac (with Kevin Kline), Company 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 Theatre. Regional credits include The Secret Garden, Capital Repertory Theater; Woody Sez, Theaterworks, Cleveland Play House and Milwaukee Repertory Theater; The Last of the Red Hot Lovers and Gypsy, Hangar Theatre; Holidays with the Chalks, Alliance Theater; Merrily We Roll Along, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Cardenio, American Repertory Theater; Summer of 42, Mill Mountain Theater; The Canterbury Tales, Guthrie Theater; Guys and Dolls, North Carolina Theatre; and Avenue X, Cincinnati Playhouse. International Tours include My Fair Lady. Film credits include Mona Lisa Smile, Loser and Bittersweet. Television and radio credits include Company, Cyrano de Bergerac and My Favorite Broadway, PBS; Nashville Star, USA Network; Jerry Lewis Telethon and Selected Shorts, NPR. Original songs available at

BRIAN SILLS (Scott Flemmingsen/Mr. Snyder) is returning to Cleveland Play House where past credits include Around The World In 80 Days. New York credits include The Machine, Park Avenue Armory (which he also performed with the Donmar Warehouse in the UK); and Himself And Nora, New York Musical Theatre Festival. Brian is an original cast member of the National Tour of The Lion King. Select regional credits include The Taming of the Shrew, Cymbeline (Joseph Jefferson Award nomination), The Three Musketeers, The Two Noble Kinsmen and How Can You Run With A Shell On Your Back?, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; SantaLand Diaries and Cabaret, Kansas City Repertory Theatre;The Heidi Chronicles, Asolo Repertory Theater; Assassins, Milwaukee Repertory; Amadeus, Clarence Brown Theater; How Water Behaves, Capital Repertory Theatre; My Life Is A Musical, Bay Street Theatre; and Shear Madness, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Television credits include Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Film credits include Baby On Board, Nothing Like The Holidays and Rocky Marciano. More at

Fairfield Creative Team

ERIC COBLE (Playwright) plays include The Velocity of Autumn (Broadway premiere at the Booth Theatre in 2014, starring Estelle Parsons and Stephen Spinella, directed by Molly Smith), Bright Ideas, The Dead Guy, My Barking Dog, A Girl’s Guide to Coffee, and The Giver, and have been produced Off-Broadway, in all fifty states of the U.S., and on several continents, including productions at Manhattan Class Company, The Kennedy Center, Playwrights Horizons, Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival, Denver Center Theatre Company, Arena Stage, New York and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, Alliance Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, Asolo Repertory, Indiana Repertory, Coterie Theatre, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Stages Repertory, Geva Theatre, and The Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Awards include the AATE Distinguished Play Award for Best Adaptation, an Emmy nomination, the Chorpenning Playwriting Award for Body of Work, the AT&T Onstage Award, National Theatre Conference Playwriting Award, an NEA Playwright in Residence Grant, a TCG Extended Collaboration Grant, the Cleveland Arts Prize, two Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Fellowships, and four Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Grants.

LAURA KEPLEY (Director) is the ninth Cleveland Play House artistic director and has directed Cleveland Play House mainstage productions of The Little Foxes, Venus in Fur, Good People (also at Syracuse Stage), A Carol for Cleveland (world premiere), In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, My Name is Asher Lev and CPH readings of Roe Green Award-winning plays Marjorie Prime and Daphne’s Dive. She joined CPH in 2010 as Associate Artistic Director, having arrived from Trinity Repertory Company in Providence,Rhode Island where she was Resident Director and Artistic Associate for four seasons and Interim Director of the Brown/Trinity Rep M.F.A. in Directing Program for one. She has also directed for The Alliance Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Contemporary American Theatre Festival, among others. A native Ohioan, Laura received her undergraduate degree from NorthwesternUniversity and her Master of Fine Arts from Brown University/Trinity Rep. She is a Drama League Fellow and a recipient of the 2009—2011 National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Career Development Program for Directors.

The Design Team for Fairfield includes: TIMOTHY R. MACKABEE (Set Design), JENNIFER CAPRIO (Costume Designer), BRIAN J. LILIENTHAL (Lighting Designer) and BROKEN CHORD (Sound Design). The Stage Manager for this production is JENNIFER MATHESON COLLINS.

Fairfield Special Events – All FREE

Behind-the-Scenes: Stirring the Pot

April 11, 2015 @ 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Join Fairfield Director Eric Coble, CPH Director of Education Pamela DiPasquale and special guests as we jump into the melting pot for fun and surprising activities—and multi-cultural cuisine—that let us break bread, and misconceptions, about diversity in our city.

Tech Night: Fairfield
April 28, 2015 @ 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Hear from the director and designers, then sit in on a technical rehearsal (“tech”) to see how set, lights, sound, costumes and actors all come together as opening night nears.

Behind-the-Scenes: New Ground Theatre Festival

From Idea to Opening: Eric Coble and Ken Ludwig on New Play Development

May 9, 2015, 12:30 - 1:30pm

The road from a playwright’s idea to opening night is full of twists, turns and fascinating sights—and you’re invited along on the ride! Join New Ground writers Eric Coble (Fairfield) and Ken Ludwig (A Comedy of Tenors) for a revealing conversation about a play’s path from pen to page to CPH stage. RSVP required.

TalkBacks: Fairfield

Stay after the show to continue the conversation our plays start! TalkBacks offer the chance to interact with the cast and CPH Artistic Staff in an open and lively Q&A about the play and the questions it raises. TalkBacks will be held after every performance. For a complete list of TalkBacks, please visit

Pre-Show Conversations begin 45 minutes prior to the start of each performance.

Ticket Information

Fairfield will take place in the Outcalt Theatre from May 1-31. Tickets range in price from $29-$59 each. Students under the age of 24 with a valid ID will be offered a special $15 ticket price. Tickets are also just $25 for anyone under age 35, sponsored by Scene Magazine. To order single tickets please call 216-241-6000 or visit Groups of 10+ save up to 40% off single ticket prices; call 216-400-7027.

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 inNortheast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. It has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,600 CPH productions. Cleveland Play House looks toward its centennial while performing in three state-of-the art venues at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.

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

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