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Cleveland Play House Launches 101st Season with Tony Award®-Winning ALL THE WAY

Posted August 30, 2016 in Press Releases


Media contact:
Kelly Luecke
(216) 712-6292

Cleveland Play House Launches 101st Season with Powerful Production of the Tony Award®-Winning Political Drama
All the Way

Sept. 17 – Oct. 9 in the Allen Theatre
Media night is Friday, Sept. 23 at 8:00 p.m.

CLEVELAND, OH (August 30, 2016) The riveting political drama All the Way will open Cleveland Play House’s 101st season this September in the Allen Theatre. Written by Robert Schenkkan, All the Way takes its name from Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1964 campaign slogan “All the Way with LBJ” and is set during the first year of Johnson’s presidency. The play premiered on Broadway in 2014 and was praised by audiences and critics alike, going on to earn the 2013 Drama Desk Award, Drama League Award, Outer Critics Circle, and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play, and the 2014 Tony Award for Best Play. Directed by Giovanna Sardelli, Cleveland Play House’s production will feature veteran stage and screen actor Steve Vinovich in the pivotal role of LBJ. A large cast of actors—many of whom will play multiple roles—will round out the list of historical figures on stage. CPH’s generous sponsors for this production include the John P. Murphy Foundation, Bob and Sally Gries and Westlake Reed Leskosky.

CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley adds: “All the Way makes history come alive by offering a fascinating portrait of LBJ and how he shaped American history. No matter what your political persuasion, All the Way offers us a chance to reflect on what it is to be an American. It demonstrates how necessary and hard-won the achievements of the Civil Rights Act were, and how important it is for us to take those victories forward and to keep fighting the fight.” All the Way opens shortly after the assassination of JFK in 1963 and depicts LBJ’s efforts to maneuver members of Congress to enact the Civil Rights Act of 1964. LBJ also meets with various civil rights leaders including Martin Luther King, Jr. to gain their support for the Act, which he hopes will result in momentous social change. Through backroom deals and showdowns between the infamous and influential, the events of this turbulent time in American history make for a thrilling real-life drama that will forever change our nation’s history. All the Way reflects the power of one person and one vote to transform our country.

All the Way Cast

For complete cast bios, please visit

STEVE VINOVICH (President Lyndon Baines Johnson) has been doing this acting thing for a while. Broadway: All The Way, Loose Ends, Lost in Yonkers, The Magic Show, The Robber Bridegroom, The Grand Tour and The Secret Rapture. Off-Broadway: Old Jews Telling Jokes. National Tour: The Dinner Party. Recent Regional: A Funny Thing Happened… Forum (American Shakespeare Festival), Diary of Anne Frank (Westport Playhouse), Ben Franklin in 1776 (Pittsburgh Public). Other Regional: The Foreigner, The Little Foxes (Pasadena Playhouse); Art, The Price (Laguna Playhouse); Kiss Me Kate, Strike up the Band, Babes in Arms (Reprise Theatre Co.); Awake and Sing, Golden Boy, All My Sons (Pacific Resident Theater); Twelfth Night with Lynn Redgrave (Stratford Festival) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Public Theatre). Film: The Intern, The Santa Clause, Awakenings, Mannequin and Puffin in The Swan Princess. TV credits include such iconic shows as: Three’s Company, L.A. Law, Hill Street Blues, Roseanne, Star Trek, ER, Everybody Loves Raymond, Law & Order, Matlock, Touched by an Angel, and Malcom in the Middle. Training: Juilliard Acting School under John Houseman, Strasberg Institute, Charles Nelson Reilly, and Larry Moss. Awards: three LA Drama-Logue Awards.

JASON BOWEN (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
STEPHEN BRADBURY (Sen. Richard Russell/ensemble)
DONALD CARRIER (Sen. Hubert Humphrey/ensemble)
TIMOTHY CROWE (Sen. Everett Dirksen/ensemble)
BIKO EISEN-MARTIN (Stokely Carmichael/ensemble)
JEFFREY GROVER (Stanley Levison/ensemble)
EDDIE RAY JACKSON (Bob Moses/David Dennis/ensemble)
GREG JACKSON (Gov. George Wallace/ensemble)
RACHEL LESLIE (Coretta Scott King/ensemble)
WILLIAM PARRY (J. Edgar Hoover/ensemble)
TRACEE PATTERSON (Muriel Humphrey/Lurleen Wallace/ensemble)
CHRIS RICHARDS (Walter Jenkins/ensemble)
JOSHUA DAVID ROBINSON (Rev. Ralph Abernathy/ensemble)
LAURA STARNIK (Lady Bird Johnson/ensemble)
LOU SUMRALL (Sec. Robert McNamara/ensemble)
CHARLES E. WALLACE (Roy Wilkins/ensemble)

All the Way Creative Team

ROBERT SCHENKKAN (Playwright) received a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.F.A. from Cornell University. He has worked as an actor/writer on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in film, television, and at regional theatres across the country. Portions of The Kentucky Cycle were developed at the Mark Taper Forum’s ’88 and ’89 New Works Festivals, New Dramatists, the Ensemble Studio Theatre (New York and Los Angeles), the Long Wharf Theatre, and Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute. The complete Cycle was awarded the largest grant ever given by The Fund for New American Plays and premiered in 1991 at the Intiman Theatre in Seattle. Robert's play Heaven on Earth won the 1989 Julie Harris/Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Award, participated in the 1989 Eugene O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference, and premiered Off-Broadway at the WPA Theatre. It is published by Dramatists Play Service. Final Passages premiered at the Studio Arena Theatre under the direction of A.J. Antoon and was published both in TCG’s Plays in Process and by Dramatists Play Service. Tachinoki premiered at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in Los Angeles and was designated a Critic’s Choice by the L.A. Weekly. He is also the author of numerous one-acts. Prominent among them is The Survivalist, which premiered at ATL’s Humana Festival, went on to the EST Marathon in New York, Canada’s DuMaurier Festival, and won the Best of the Fringe Award at the Edinburgh Festival. Robert has written a film for Disney (Tall Tales) and a play (MAGIC) for the NBC series Plays for Television. He is a recipient of grants from the California Arts Council, New York State, the Vogelstein, and the Arthur foundations. Robert is a New Dramatists alumnus and a member of both the Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Antaeus Project. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Mary Anne, and their daughter, Sarah.

GIOVANNA SARDELLI (Director) is happy to return to CPH where she directed the critically acclaimed productions of Mr. Wolf by Rajiv Joseph and The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez. Sardelli is an award-winning director who has worked on numerous plays by Rajiv Joseph (over 10 productions) including the recent West Coast Premiere of his play Guards at the Taj which was selected by TheatreMania as one of its Favorite Regional Productions of 2015. Sardelli has also directed world premieres of plays by Theresa Rebeck, Lynn Rosen, Joe Gilford, Jeff Augustine, Lauren Yee and Zoe Kazan among others. She has worked Off-Broadway at Cherry Lane Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, Vineyard Theatre, The Playwrights Realm, Women’s Project Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre and Roundabout Theatre Company. She has directed numerous productions for Dorset Theatre Festival, where she is the Resident Director, as well as Barrington Stage Company, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, The Old Globe, Hartford Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Hudson Stage Company, San Francisco Playhouse and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Sardelli works extensively with new plays and has been part of The Lark Play Development Center since it was first formed. She has also developed plays at the Sundance Theatre Lab, The O’Neill Theater Center, Playwrights’ Center, New York Stage & Film, Ensemble Studio Theatre and many other places. Giovanna spent several years on the faculty of the Dance Department and the Graduate Acting Program of NYU, the program from which she received her MFA. She is also a graduate of their Director’s Lab. Though she is based in NYC, Sardelli is the Director of New Works for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley.

ROBERT MARK MORGAN (Scenic Designer) designed A Christmas Story, The Whipping Man, The Glass Menagerie, Emma and Bill W. and Dr. Bob for Cleveland Play House. Other credits include Les Misérables, West Side Story, Billy Elliot and Seussical The Musical (The Muny in St. Louis); exhibit designer for Avatar the Exhibition (Experience Music Project in Seattle); Fallen Angels (Asolo Repertory Theatre); Joshua's Boots (Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Amarillo Opera); The Rainmaker, A Moon for the Misbegotten (2007 Prague Design Quadrennial) and The Dazzle (A.C.T. San Francisco); The Giver, The Diary of Anne Frank, Jesus Hates Me and House of the Spirits (Denver Center for the Performing Arts); Saint Joan, Jekyll & Hyde, Ordinary Nation, Rabbit Hole, Fall of Heaven and 4000 Miles, (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); The Subject Tonight is Love (Alliance Theatre Company); Just Stopped by to See the Man and The Whipping Man (The Old Globe); and numerous Utah Shakespeare Festival productions in the 2012-13 season. Robert teaches Design and Creativity at Washington University in St. Louis.

DAVID KAY MICKELSEN (Costume Designer) returns for his 22nd production at Cleveland Play House, having recently designed costumes for A Christmas Story; Bell, Book and Candle and In the Next Room, or the vibrator play. He has designed more than 300 productions at regional theatres across the country including Guthrie Theater, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Arizona Theatre Company, Geffen Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Portland Center Stage, Geva Theatre Center, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Pioneer Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis; Seattle, Tennessee, Missouri, San Diego and New Mexico Repertory Theatres, Sundance Theatre Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre; Oregon, Utah, Colorado and Illinois Shakespeare Festivals, Pennsylvania Center Stage, Hampton Playhouse and Timber Lake Playhouse. Originally from Canby, Oregon, David now makes his home in Long Beach, California. David is a member of United Scenic Artists 829.

The Design Team for All the Way also includes: MICHAEL LINCOLN (Lighting Designer), JANE SHAW (Sound Designer), DAN SCULLY (Projections Designer), PAMELA PRATHER (Dialect Coach), and WIGS AND WHISKERS (Wig Design). The Stage Manager for this production is JOHN GODBOUT and the Assistant Stage Manager is TOM HUMES.

All the Way Special Events – All FREE

Behind-the-Scenes: The Accidental President
September 12, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Lyndon Baines Johnson was one of the most astute, effective, and perplexing politicians in modern American history. Determined to "out Kennedy the Kennedys,” LBJ pushed through historic social legislation on a scale that rivaled FDR's New Deal. Join Cleveland-based author and presidential historian Jim Robenalt to explore the Civil Rights Movement, Cleveland, and the unrest that eventually drove LBJ from his office.

Behind-the-Scenes: Speak the Speech
October 1, 2016 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Making a speech can be a daunting task for even the most talented politicians. Though his civil rights speeches rank among the best in American history, Lyndon B. Johnson still grappled with his Texan accent and ability to connect with his audience every time he approached the podium. All the Way features a fantastic ensemble of actors who will share the essentials of delivering a great speech. So, whether you are invited to make a toast at a wedding, deliver a report at an upcoming meeting, or speak in front of a large crowd, don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the best.

September 25, 2016 from 10:30 p.m. – 11 p.m
September 27, 2016 from 10:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
October 2, 2016 from 10:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
TalkBacks are regularly scheduled for patrons as an opportunity to delve deeper into the experience with the artists.

Tech Nights
September 14, 2016 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Join Associate Artistic Director Robert Barry Fleming in a conversation with the director and designers of All the Way. Then sit in on a technical rehearsal to see how the set, light, sounds, costumes, and actors all come together as opening night nears.

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

Ticket Information

All the Way will take place in the Allen Theatre from September 17 – October 9. Tickets range in price from $25 – $100 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 the beginning of its second century of service 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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