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Cleveland Play House Tackles Topical Social Issues With Riveting Production of Luna Gale

Posted February 12, 2016 in Press Releases


Media contact:

Kelly Luecke

(216) 712-6292

Cleveland Play House Tackles Topical Social Issues

With Riveting, Suspenseful Production of

Luna Gale

Feb. 27 – March 20 in the Allen Theatre

Press Opening Night: Fri., March 4th 7:30 p.m.

CLEVELAND, OH (February 11, 2016) – Cleveland Play House’s (CPH) monumental 100th Season continues with the regional premiere of Luna Gale. CPH welcomes back film and stage legend Austin Pendleton to direct this contemporary drama that begs the question “To whom do you belong?” Written by Rebecca Gilman, recipient of the 2015 Roe Green Award, Luna Gale runs February 27 – March 20 in the intimate Allen Theatre. Cleveland Play House’s generous sponsors include Centennial Season Sponsor Key Bank and Community Outreach Sponsor Dominion, as well as Dorsky + Yue International Architecture LLC, and c.c. hodgson Architectural Group.

“Rebecca Gilman’s strategic, smart and humorous play Luna Gale is a wonderful addition to our Centennial season,” CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley commented. “The play touches on a variety of topical issues that are polarizing and divisive, and we expect that it will spark conversation and respectful debate among our audience, and within the community. We are also eager to welcome back director Austin Pendleton, and are delighted that he will be at the helm of this incredible production.”

About the Play

How do we make the right decision when there is no clear “right?” It’s a quandary seasoned social worker Caroline faces every day. But her newest case is proving to be her toughest yet. Luna Gale takes an honest look at an interfamily custody dispute over the fate of baby Luna Gale. Luna’s parents have issues, but Caroline must decide if those issues warrant taking a child away from loving parents. This riveting, suspenseful, and topical play from Pulitzer Prize finalist Rebecca Gilman plunges us headfirst into the turbulent waters of parenthood, faith and love.

Luna Gale Cast
DONALD CARRIER (Pastor Jay) has appeared at Cleveland Play House in The Crucible, The Little Foxes, Yentl, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, Ten Chimneys, Noises Off, and Lincolnesque. Regional credits include The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, and The Tempest (The Old Globe); Twelfth Night, Hamlet (Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival); A Christmas Carol (Great Lakes Theater); Shining City (Studio Theatre); Noises Off (Maltz Jupiter Theatre); The Duchess of Malfi and Richard III (Shakespeare Theatre); Arcadia (The Wilma Theater), Gross Indecency (Huntington Theatre Company and Intiman Theatre); Shakespeare in Hollywood (TheatreWorks); The School for Scandal (Chicago Shakespeare Theater). Highlights of nine Stratford Festival seasons include As You Like It, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night. He recently directed The Violins of Hope education concert MFA collaboration with the CSO, Seminar at the Beck Center for the Arts and Becky Shaw at Dobama Theatre. Television/film: Guns, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Passion of Ayn Rand, and Dead by Monday. Don is the Associate Director of the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program.

Jeremiah Clapp (Peter) has appeared in Cleveland Play House's production of The Crucible and the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program production of Two Gentlemen of Verona earlier this season. Other credits include The Philadelphia Story, The Three Sisters and Too True To Be Good (CWRU/CPH MFA); Clybourne Park (Cleveland Play House – understudy performances); Much Ado About Nothing and Henry V (Ohio Shakespeare Festival); Orlando (New World Performance Lab). A native of Houston Texas with a B.A. from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, he's an alumnus of New York City's Stella Adler Studio of Acting Anton Chekhov Summer Intensive. He also studied in Italy with New World Performance Laboratory, as well as the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards. Happy 100th Season, Cleveland Play House!

Athena Colon (Lourdes) is delighted to make her Ohio theatrical debut with Cleveland Play House! Off-Broadway credits include: Lonely Soldier, Mommas Boyz and Oresteia. She recently appeared in HBO’s Vinyl and Netflix’s Jessica Jones. Other TV credits include: Law & Order: SVU, Happyish and The Bodega. Thanks to the Luna Gale team, Kathy Olsen/Encompass Arts, Irene Cabrera/DDO Artist Agency, Johnny and Family Life Theatre! Mom this is for you!

Megan King (Karlie) made her professional debut in Cleveland Play House’s production of The Little Foxes. More recently, she was in Cleveland Play House's production of The Crucible and understudied in A Christmas Story. CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program credits include The Philadelphia Story, The Three Sisters, Too True to Be Good and Two Gentlemen of Verona. Undergraduate credits include Dromnium, a devised movement piece, which won seven national awards from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as well as God of Carnage and The Three Sisters. Megan is a class of 2013 graduate from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith with her B.A. in Theatre Performance. She also holds an Associates of Fine Arts Degree from Arkansas State University Beebe.

Kenneth Lee (Cliff) is honored and thrilled to be making his Cleveland Play House debut! Kenneth originated the role of Dr Hsu in Donmar Warehouse’s production of The Machine, at the Manchester International Festival and Park Avenue Armory in NYC. Most recently: Chimerica (US Premier) at Studio Theatre in DC. Off Broadway: Ethel Sings (Theatre Row), Hamlet (The Pearl Theatre Company); Regional: Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, Hamlet (Shakespeare Theatre Company) Snow Falling on Cedars, Poe (Centerstage), M. Butterfly (Arena Stage), Hamlet (Arkansas Repertory Theatre), The Suitcase Trilogy (Ma-Yi Theater Company), 30 Fest (People’s Light and Theatre Company), Leonce & Lena, The Beaux’ Strategem (Magic Theatre), Pericles (The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey), Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hamlet, The Tempest (American Players Theatre), Death of a Salesman, The Cherry Orchard (Singapore Repertory Theatre) and Allegiance, a musical workshop with George Takei. Film/TV: Mr Robot, Madam Secretary, Unforgettable, The Following, Delocated, Deception, Children of Invention, Across the Universe, Law & Order: CI, One Life to Live, Love & Adventure in NY. BFA: NYU Tisch School of the Arts; MFA: American Conservatory Theatre.

Angela Pierce (Cindy) Angela is honored to be working with Austin Pendleton and the Tony Award - winning Cleveland Play House! Broadway & Off-Broadway credits include: American Airlines Theatre, Studio 54, Circle in the Square Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, 2econd Stage Theatre, The Public, The Mint and Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Regional theatre credits include: Bucks County Playhouse, CATF/Barrington Stage Company, Guthrie Theater, The Old Globe, Intiman Theatre Festival, RSC/Shakespeare Theatre Company DC, Arizona Theatre Co, TheaterWorks (Best Actress nomination for Proof), Shakespeare Theatre of NJ and The Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Film & TV credits include: Delinquent, When The Moon Was Twice As Big, You Don't Know Jack, Unburden, Blue Bloods, Forever, 30 Rock, Lie To Me, Private Practice, Medium, Criminal Minds and Law & Order (CI and SVU). Juilliard grad, Acting Company alum and board member. Special thank you to Paul Fouquet.

Lee Roy Rogers (Caroline) was nominated for a Drama Desk award for her portrayal of Vivien Leigh in the off-broadway premiere of Orson's Shadow by Austin Pendelton. Other off-Broadway credits include Tribes also at Barrow Street, Fix Me Jesus (The Abingdon); When The Rain Stops Falling (Lincoln Center Theater); Children of a Lesser God (Keen Company). Lee Roy has worked regionally at Mark Taper Forum, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company, and The Barbican Centre in London, to name a few. Festivals include The Public, Williamstown, Contemporary American Theater Festival, West Port Country Playhouse, and New York Fringe. TV credits include Law and Order: CI, Show Me a Hero, Nurse Jackie, Black Box, Book of Daniel and Canterbury’s Law. This Spring Lee Roy will understudy Jessica Lange in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Broadway production of Long Day’s Journey into Night.

Luna Gale Creative Team

Austin Pendleton (Director) appeared at Cleveland Play House in 1984, as Mozart, in Amadeus, but has most recently been represented as a director in New York, by the premiere production of Between Riverside and Crazy (Atlantic Theatre Company and Second Stage Theatre), the play by Stephen Adly Guirgis that went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. Mr. Pendleton's other recent productions in New York have included Hamlet, starring Peter Sarsgaard, at Classic Stage Company, where he also, in recent years, directed Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya, and Ivanov (starring Ethan Hawke). As an actor, Mr. Pendleton appeared most recently in Straight White Men, written and directed by Young Jean Lee, at The Public Theatre and City Girls and Desperadoes, by Pamela Enz, at The Secret Theatre. He has appeared in about 200 movies (most recently The Mend and She's Funny That Way) and has had recurring roles on Oz, Homicide, and Law and Order. Mr. Pendleton has written three plays (Orson's Shadow, Uncle Bob, and Booth), all of which have been published and produced in New York and around the country (and in the case of Uncle Bob, internationally). He also wrote the libretto for the musical A Minister's Wife, which was produced at Lincoln Center in 2011. He teaches acting in New York at HB Studio, where he trained as an actor with the school's founders, Herbert Berghof and Uta Hagen.

Rebecca Gilman (Playwright) Rebecca Gilman is an Artistic Associate at Goodman Theatre. Ms. Gilman’s plays include Luna Gale, A True History of the Johnstown Flood, Dollhouse, Boy Gets Girl, Spinning Into Butter, Blue Surge (all of which were commissioned and originally produced by the Goodman), The Glory of Living, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and The Crowd You’re in With. Ms. Gilman is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Harper Lee Award, The Scott McPherson Award, The Prince Prize for Commissioning New Work, The Roger L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, The Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright, The George Devine Award, The Theatre Masters Visionary Award, The Great Plains Playwright Award and an Illinois Arts Council playwriting fellowship. Boy Gets Girl received an Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play and she was named a finalist for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for her play, The Glory of Living. She is a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America and a board member of the ACLU of Illinois. She received her MFA in playwriting from the University of Iowa. Ms. Gilman is an associate professor of playwriting and screenwriting at Northwestern University as part of its MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage program. She is the recipient of a Global Connections Grant by Theatre Communications Group and an American Scandinavian Foundation Creative Writing Grant for the development of a new play in conjunction with Göteborgs Dramatiska Teater in Gothenburg, Sweden: Rödvinsvänster (Red-Wine Leftists): 1977.

Luna Gale Design Team

Michael Schweikardt (Scenic Designer) Recent Cleveland Play House credits include Devil’s Music, Lost in Yonkers and Ella. Mr. Schweikardt has created sets for the world premieres of Nobody Loves You, Duncan Sheik’s Whisper House at The Old Globe. He has also designed several musicals by Joe Iconis, including Bloodsong of Love at Ars Nova, ReWrite at Urban Stages, The Black Suits at The Public Theater and Things To Ruin at The Zipper Factory and Second Stage Theatre. Other recent credits include the critically acclaimed productions of Carousel, Showboat, Annie Get Your Gun, 1776, Big River and Camelot for Goodspeed Musicals; Ella, appearing in cities all across the country; Barnum for Asolo Repertory Theatre’s 50th anniversary season; Oklahoma! starring Kelli O’Hara and Will Chase for the Oklahoma State Centennial; the American premieres of Frank McGuinness’ Gates of Gold and The Bird Sanctuary, as well as national and international tours of James Taylor’s One Man Band. Mr. Schweikardt’s online portfolio can be seen at

Alexis Forte (Costume Designer) is a New York City based Costume Designer for stage and screen. Recent works include, Between Riverside and Crazy (Atlantic Theatre Company and 2econd Stage Theatre); The Rise and Fall of a Teenage Cyberqueen (Access Theater); Contigo (Signature Theatre); Spirits of Exit Eleven (The Lion-Theater Row); Civil Unrest ( The Old Vic Tunnels); Romeo and Juliet (St. Paul’s Covent Garden in London); Costume Coordinator credits for TV, Show Me a Hero, The Leftovers (HBO); House of Cards (Netflix). Assistant Design Credits for film and TV include Gold (Weinstein Productions; currently in post-production). Looking (HBO); Saturday Night Live (NBC); Alexis is a graduate of Central Saint Martins, in London and a member of United Scenic Artists union 829. This is her first time in Cleveland.

Keith Parham (Lighting Designer) Broadway: Therese Raquin (Roundabout Theatre Company and Studio 54). Off-Broadway: Between Riverside and Crazy (2econd Stage Theatre and Atlantic Theater Company); The Model Apartment (Primary Stages); Tribes, Mistakes Were Made, Red Light Winter (Barrow Street Theatre); Karen O’s Stop the Virgens (St. Ann’s Warehouse); Ivanov, The Three Sisters (Classic Stage Company); A Minister’s Wife (Lincoln Center Theatre); The Adding Machine (Minetta Lane Theatre). International: Stop the Virgens (Sydney Opera House); Homebody/Kabul (National Theatre in Belgrade). Regional: Music Hall, The Anyway Cabaret and The Jewels (TUTA Theatre Chicago); Stop. Reset., Venus in Fur, Red and The Seagull (Goodman Theatre); The Flick, The Night Alive, Tribes, The Birthday Party, Time Stands Still, Sunset Limited and Red Light Winter (Steppenwolf Theatre Company). His work has also appeared in productions for The Mark Taper Forum, Arena Stage, and Alley Theatre among others. Keith’s awards include an Obie, and a Lucille Lortel.

Joshua Schmidt (Sound Designer and Composer) is thrilled to return to Cleveland Play House after previously composing for Heaven's My Destination. Broadway: Therese Raquin (Roundabout Theatre Company), House of Blue Leaves (Walter Kerr Theatre), Brighton Beach Memoirs (Nederlander Theatre). Off-Broadway: A Minister’s Wife (Lincoln Center), ADD1NG MACH1N3 (Minetta Lane Theatre), Whida Peru (59E59 Theaters), Dinner With Friends (Roundabout Theatre Company and Laura Pels Theatre) Water By the Spoonful (Second Stage Theatre), Her Requiem (LCT3), When the Rain Stops Falling (Lincoln Center - Mitzi Newhouse), Dying for it, 3 Kinds of Exile (Atlantic Theatre Company), Model Apartment (Primary Stages). Chicago: The Herd, Tribes, The Birthday Party, The March and Time Stands Still (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Sweet Bird of Youth (Goodman Theatre), designs at Writers’ Theatre (Associate Artist) and Northlight Theatre. Regional: Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Ontario, Canada), The Kennedy Center, 14 Seasons at American Players Theatre, Alley Theatre (Associate Artist). Commissions: RKO, Crane Kahn, Metropolitan Opera, Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theatre. Recordings: ADD1NG MACH1N3, A Minister’s Wife – both available on iTunes and Amazon. Awards/recognition: Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Jeff, ASCAP, NEA/TCG, Prague Quadrennial 2007, Sundance Theatre Lab UCross 2012, American Musical Theatre Voices – Honorary Grant (Signature Theatre).

WIGS AND WHISKERS (Wig Design), founded in 1998, is a small family business owned by Mary Schilling-Martin and Caitie Martin providing wigs, hair and specialty makeup services for performing arts organizations, entertainment companies and educational institutions. Local credits include Cleveland Play House, Great Lakes Theater, Dobama Theatre, Porthouse Theatre, Cain Park, Case Western Reserve University, Baldwin Wallace University, Carousel Dinner Theatre, Lyric Opera Cleveland and Opera Cleveland. Regional credits include The Goodman Theatre, The Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Arizona Theatre Company, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens, Theatre at the Center, American Theatre Company, Chicago Theatre for Young Audiences, Light Opera Works, Northwestern University, Roosevelt University in Chicago, University of California at San Diego, San Diego State University and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Mary also built wigs for Denver Center Theatre Company, Opera Colorado and Arizona Opera Company.

The Stage Manager for this production is JENNIFER MATHESON COLLINS and the Assistant Stage Manager is JESSICA B. LUCAS. Casting for this production was done by ELISSA MYERS CASTING, PAUL FOUQUET, CSA

Luna Gale Special events – All Free

CPH Script Club: Medina Public Library

February 24 @ 7:00pm - 8:15pm

Everything you love about a book club – but with a play in the spotlight! Check out a copy of the script from one of our partner libraries and read it at home. Then join CPH Education Staff at the library for a free-flowing exploration of the story and characters, with special insight on how CPH artists take a play from page to stage!

RSVP to Medina Library required at (330) 725-0588.

Tech Night: Luna Gale

February 24 @ 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! All Tech Night events run from 6:30-8:30pm.

RSVP online at

CPH Script Club: Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library

March 2 @ 7:00pm - 8:15pm

Everything you love about a book club – but with a play in the spotlight! Check out a copy of the script from one of our partner libraries and read it at home. Then join CPH Education Staff at the library for a free-flowing exploration of the story and characters, with special insight on how CPH artists take a play from page to stage!

RSVP to Cleveland Heights-University Heights Library required at (216) 932-3600

CPH Script Club: Cleveland Play House

March 6 @ 1:30pm - 2:15pm

Everything you love about a book club – but with a play in the spotlight! Join CPH Education Staff in the Allen Theatre Complex for a free-flowing exploration of the story and characters, with special insight on how CPH artists take a play from page to stage!

This event will be held in the Tomsich Lobby in the Allen Theatre-not a partner library.

RSVP online at

CPH Script Club: Beachwood Public Library

March 9 @ 7:00pm - 8:15pm

Everything you love about a book club – but with a play in the spotlight! Check out a copy of the script from one of our partner libraries and read it at home. Then join CPH Education Staff at the library for a free-flowing exploration of the story and characters, with special insight on how CPH artists take a play from page to stage!

RSVP to Beachwood Library required at (216) 831-6868

CPH Script Club: Rocky River Public Library

March 10 @ 7:00pm - 8:15pm

Everything you love about a book club – but with a play in the spotlight! Check out a copy of the script from one of our partner libraries and read it at home. Then join CPH Education Staff at the library for a free-flowing exploration of the story and characters, with special insight on how CPH artists take a play from page to stage!

RSVP to Rocky River Library required at (440) 895-3766.

Behind-the-Scenes: On the Precipice

March 12 @ 11:00am - 12:30pm

Now celebrating its twentieth year, the CWRU/CPH MFA program has helped to launch the careers of some today’s finest young actors: Rich Sommer (Mad Men; Harvey, Broadway ), Elizabeth Davis (Tony nominee for Broadway’s Once) and Stephen Michael Spencer (Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto). The third year of the program culminates in a showcase for the actors in Cleveland and New York as well as an opportunity to appear in at least one Equity production at CPH. Join Associate Director of the program and CPH favorite Don Carrier and his fellow Luna Gale cast members Megan King and Jeremiah Clapp (both third-year members of the 2016 MFA class), for an insightful discussion about the program and the challenges and joys of embarking on a career as an actor.

RSVP online at

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

Ticket Information

Luna Gale will take place in the Allen Theatre from February 27 – March 20. Tickets range in price from $20-$90 each. 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.

Cleveland Play House, recipient of the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award and founded in 1915, is America's first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, CPH has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. CPH 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 productions. Today, Cleveland Play House celebrates 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 ofCuyahogaCountyfor supporting Cleveland Play House through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

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