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Box Office (216) 241 6000

Subscriber Services (216) 400 7096


Cleveland Play House Annouces 2018 Roe Green Award Winners

Posted April 17, 2018 in Press Releases

CLEVELAND, OH (April 17, 2018) Cleveland Play House (CPH) is proud to name Nick Gandiello and Chelsea Marcantel as the recipients of the 2018 Roe Green Award, in conjunction with the 7th Annual New Ground Theatre Festival (NGTF). Each year, the Roe Green Award is given for outstanding achievement in playwriting. Mr. Gandiello’s play Cicada will be presented in a reading on Sunday, May 13th at 7:30 p.m., and Ms. Marcantel’s production of Tiny Houses will be offered on Saturday May 19th at 2:00 p.m. As previously announced, Tiny Houses will have a full production run in the Outcalt Theatre March 23rd –April 14th, 2019 as part of the 2018-2019 CPH Season. CPH Artistic Director, Laura Kepley, will direct both presentations of Marcantel’s play.

The New Ground Theatre Festival is made possible through the generous support of Honorary Producer Roe Green. Ms. Green is an arts patron, community activist and chief executive officer of the Roe Green Foundation. She is the first recipient of the CPH Super Nova Award (2015) in recognition of her leadership and generosity which has been instrumental in elevating CPH’s presentation of new works through the New Ground Theatre Festival. Winners receive a cash prize; a week-long residency with Cleveland Play House, including rehearsals, and a public reading of a new play. NGTF is sponsored in part by Ohio Savings Bank, a Division of New York Community Bank.

Nick Gandiello is an NYC based playwright and teaching artist whose work has been developed at various theatres and festivals including Manhattan Theatre Club, Keen Company, Samuel French’s Off Off Broadway Festival, among others. In addition to holding an M.F.A. from The New School for Drama and teaching Playwrighting at Marymount Manhattan College, Nick has worked as a teaching artist with the New School for Drama, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Naked Angels, Young Playwrights Inc., and Dorset Theatre Festival, along with several more. His featured NGTF work, Cicada, follows Benedetta, who is trying to ride a wave of political optimism into the seat of her northern New Jersey district’s County Executive. At the same time, she has to prepare for her daughter’s wedding and balance out her volatile son. When a long past family trauma is used to smear her campaign, she and her family must decide how they will present themselves on the public stage.

Chelsea Marcantel is an LA based writer, director and collaborator. Her production of Tiny Houses received its first public reading at the Chautauqua Theatre Company’s New Play Workshop, July 14-16, 2016. Her growing repertoire, including Everything is Wonderful, Airness, Ladyish, and Devour has been produced around the United States and Canada. In addition to writing, Chelsea is an avid self-producer, a member of The Writers Guild of America and The Dramatists Guild, a recipient of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Fellowship at The Juilliard School, and teaches at Virginia Intermont College, Emory University, and Henry College. In Tiny Houses, very small homes are all the rage! Bohdi is a hypnotherapist. Jevne is a YouTube artist. Ollie sells haunted dolls online. Cath just left her job to move to Oregon with her new boyfriend. And they are all building a tiny house together in the back yard. As the dwelling comes together onstage, tensions swell, discoveries are made, and long-buried feelings rise to the surface. In a world where bigger is always better, can tiny really equal happy? Or is this a recipe for disaster? A comedy about what happens when the world shrinks. Following the NGTF reading, Tiny Homes will make its debut as a World Premiere production during the 2018-2019 CPH Season on the Outcalt Theatre stage.

2018 New Ground Theatre Festival Productions/Readings

Cleveland Play House’s New Ground Theatre Festival provides the opportunity for playwrights to develop and showcase their work, while offering Cleveland audiences the opportunity to see these remarkable new plays come to life. The Festival will run from May 11th– May 19th. This year’s Festival will feature Hi, Are You Single?, about the highs and lows of navigating the gay dating scene with cerebral palsy, written and performed by Parma, OH native Ryan Haddad. NGTF will also include The Nolan Williams Project, where the incredible 100-year history of a family owned soul food establishment is uncovered when a real estate developer attempts to buy them out. The Nolan Williams Project is written and composed by Nolan Williams, Jr.—an acclaimed voice in music, with a libretto by Pulitzer Prize nominated playwright Nikkole Salter.

2018 New Ground Theatre Festival Productions/Readings

Hi, Are You Single?

Written and Performed by Ryan J. Haddad

Directed by Laura Savia
May 17-May 19, 2018 • 7:30 p.m. The Helen

Do you have a high sex drive? Ryan does. He also has cerebral palsy. No, those things are not mutually exclusive. Join writer/performer and Parma, OH native Ryan J. Haddad on a roller coaster through New York’s gay dating scene, where the highs are high and the lows are lonely. For Mature Audiences

The Nolan Williams Project

Book by Nikkole Salter, Original Story, Lyrics and Music by Nolan Williams, Jr.

Directed by Robert Barry Fleming
Saturday May 19, 2018 • 5:00 p.m. • Allen Theatre

An up-and-coming Philadelphia real estate developer attempts to buy out a beloved family-owned soul food establishment. But as he’s taken through the restaurant’s incredible 100-year history, past and present entwine, and the tale emerges of the escaped southern migrants who risked everything to build and celebrate their new life up north through cooking.

2018 Roe Green Award Winner Readings

Tiny Houses

By Chelsea Marcantel

Directed by Laura Kepley

Saturday May 19, 2018 • 2:00 p.m. • Helen Theatre

Cath and her boyfriend Bohdi have moved to Oregon to build a tiny house. But, in a world where bigger is always better, can tiny really equal happy? A comedy about what happens when the world shrinks.


By Nick Gandiello

Directed by Katie Lupica

Saturday May 13, 2018 • 7:30 p.m. • Helen Theatre

When a long past family trauma is used to smear her campaign, Benedetta and her family must decide how they will present themselves on the public stage.

CPH Theatre Academy Commissioned Performance

Also debuting during the festival will be the world premiere of The Starkweather-South High School Physics Club First Annual End-of-Year-Lock-In, or Ghost Party by Diana Grisanti. The piece was commissioned by CPH and will be performed by members of the inaugural CPH Theatre Academy Teen Performance Ensemble, ages 13-17.

The Starkweather-South High School Physics Club First Annual End-of-Year-Lock-In, or Ghost Party

By Diana Grisanti

Directed by Brittni Shambaugh Addison

May 12 - 13, 2018 • Allen Theatre

Featuring CPH Theatre Academy Teen Performance Ensemble

World Premiere commissioned by Cleveland Play House; “Phones off; friends on!” When their annual end-of-year trip to Cedar Point is cancelled for mysterious reasons, the six teens of the Starkweather-South High School Physics Club settle for an overnight lock-in at their school. But, this seemingly lame sleepover soon morphs into a night to remember! Friendships are tested. Secrets are revealed. Spontaneous dance parties emerge. And, the school’s resident ghost roams the halls. A brand new comedic-drama about the bonds of friendship and having the courage to be yourself.

New Ground Theatre Festival Schedule

Friday, May 11th

7:30 p.m. The Royale

Saturday, May 12th

2:30p.m. The Royale

7:30p.m. The Starkweather-South High School Physics Club First Annual End-of-Year-Lock-In, or Ghost Party

7:30p.m. The Royale

Sunday, May 13th

2:00p.m. The Starkweather-South High School Physics Club First Annual End-of-Year-Lock-In, or Ghost Party

2:30p.m. The Royale with Talkback

7:30PM Cicada

Tuesday, May 15th

7:00p.m. The Royale with Talkback

Wednesday, May 16th

7:30p.m. The Royale

Thursday, May 17th

7:30 p.m. The Royale

7:30 p.m. Hi, Are You Single? with Talkback

Friday, May 18th

7:30 p.m. The Royale

7:30 p.m. Hi, Are You Single? with Talkback

Saturday, May 19th

2:00 p.m. Tiny Houses with Post Show Conversation

2:30 p.m. The Royale

5:00 p.m. The Nolan Williams Project

7:30 p.m. The Royale

7:30 p.m. Hi, Are You Single? with Talkback

FREE InsideCPH Events for New Ground Theatre Festival accompanying this schedule will be announced shortly.

Ticket Information

CPH’s New Ground Theatre Festival will be performed in the Cleveland Play House’s home theatres at Playhouse Square. Ticket prices start at $20 and are available at or 216-241-6000 for purchase. Roe Green Readings are available BOGO, or $20 each. Festival packages including the Roe Green readings include: 2 shows for $30, 3 shows for $40, or 4 shows for $55 (not valid on The Royale).


CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE, founded in 1915 and recipient of the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award, 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 across 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.

Cleveland Play House is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.

Cleveland Play House is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.


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