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CPH Rings in the New Year with Stories and Songs of Determination, Resiliency, and Change

Posted January 11, 2021 in Press Releases

(Cleveland, OH) Cleveland Play House rings in the new year with the next installment of Theatre Thursday: Inspiring Resolutions on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 7:00 pm. Hosted by Artistic Director Laura Kepley, the January edition features performances by Peter Hargrave, Eric Lockley, Laura Perrotta, and Mariama Whyte. Additionally, life coach Bjorn DuPaty of Bjorn DuPaty Coaching shares helpful tips for making New Year’s resolutions stick. Tickets to Theatre Thursday are Pay What You Can starting at $5 and are available at www.clevelandplayhouse.com.

Artistic Director Laura Kepley states, “For January’s Theatre Thursday, we wanted to start the new year in conversation with artists around the ideas of growth, change, and charting a new course.” Kepley says, “At CPH, we have been trying to provide as many opportunities to as many artists as possible. During the pandemic, we learned from our communities of artists that a project with a deadline can be a lifeline. We have put together projects for artists that will spark creativity, provide some financial support, and encourage them to try something new that will stretch them in surprising ways. For this event, CPH provided a virtual stage, and our artists have filled it with beautifully crafted, spell-binding, and inspiring performances.”

With Theatre Thursday: Inspiring Resolutions, CPH welcomes back four incredible artists: Peter Hargrave (Tiny Houses, Shakespeare in Love), Eric Lockley (How We Got On), Laura Perrotta (A Christmas Story, The Diary of Anne Frank), and Mariama Whyte (The Amen Corner, The Nolan Williams Project).

The event includes an eclectic offering of performances, including: excerpts from the plays The Belle of Amherst by William Luce, The Amen Corner by James Baldwin, and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange; poems by Maya Angelou and Emily Dickinson; as well as covers of classic songs by Tom Paxton and Nina Simone; and original writings and songs. The event also features a special segment with life coach and professional actor Bjorn DuPaty (CPH’s Pipeline and Fairfield), who will discuss techniques for keeping resolutions and other wellness tips for the new year.

KeyBank is Presenting Sponsor of the 2020-21 Theatre Season at Cleveland Play House.

Additional funding for Theatre Thursday: Inspiring Resolutions is provided by Bank of America and the John P. Murphy Foundation.

THE PERFORMANCES

This event includes a mix of live and pre-recorded performances by Peter Hargrave, Eric Lockley, Laura Perrotta, and Mariama Whyte. Each performance will be followed by or introduced with a live conversation with Artistic Director Laura Kepley and CPH Staff members: Colleen Jackson and Rachel Lerner-Ley.

THE ARTISTS

PETER HARGRAVE is a proud graduate of the Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program and considers Cleveland his second home. At CPH, he appeared in the world premiere ofTiny Houses, Shakespeare in Love, The Diary of Anne Frank, and The Good Peaches (world premiere). TV credits: Law & Order: SVU and Madam Secretary. Off-Broadway: The First Annual Trump Family Special. Other Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Gateway Playhouse, Musical Theatre West, and Disney Cruise Line.

ERIC LOCKLEY is an OBIE award-winning actor, comedian, writer, producer. Stage: #DateMe, Choir Boy. Screen: First Reformed, Luke Cage. Eric’s comedic web series Blacker is featured on “Best Web Series” lists and his short film, The Jump is available on Amazon. Eric’s plays including Blacken the Bubble and Without Trace have been seen on stages in DC, NY and Chicago. Lockley’s solo shows Last Laugh and Asking for More reached audiences at LaMaMa, The Apollo, and students around NYC. Lockley does sketch comedy and musical improv and is a featured cast member of The Homemade Sketch Show (on TubiTV). He was head writer for the inaugural awards ceremony, the Antonyos, celebrating Black Theater. Eric’s inspirational podcast, “The 180” is out now featuring guests of many industries discussing a moment when they turned their lives around. Lockley also produces with Harlem-based orgs, The Movement Theatre Company & Harlem9 creating opportunities for artists of color.

LAURA PERROTTA is a native New Yorker who has called Cleveland home for the last 21 years. She has appeared on television, Off-Broadway, toured nationally, and worked regionally. She has appeared at Cleveland Play House as Mrs. van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank, and as Miss Shields in A Christmas Story. Last fall, she was Emma Arkadina in Stupid F-ing Bird at Dobama Theater, and Kindertransport as Evelyn at Ensemble Theater. laura-perrotta.com

MARIAMA WHYTE is a versatile performer, songwriter and recording artist from Cleveland, OH. She previously appeared in CPH’s production of The Amen Corner, The Nolan Williams Project (New Ground Theatre Festival) and In The Groove and Over The Top (Fusion Fest). She has performed in the Broadway National Tours of The Color Purple (Nettie; Celie u/s) and Disney’s The Lion King (Shenzi and Rafiki u/s). Mariama was recently seen in Karamu House’s virtual production of Freedom on Juneteenth and Dance Nation at Dobama Theatre. Another highlight was performing in Simply Simone: The Music of Nina Simone at Karamu House. Mariama has shared the stage with famed music producer David Foster and has opened for renowned artists such as Stephanie Mills and Jeff Bradshaw. A 2019 recipient of The Verge Fellowship by Cleveland Arts Prize, she has released multiple music projects and is set to release her full-length album, “Hey You It’s Me,” in 2021. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. mariamawhyte.com

GUEST EXPERT

BJORN DUPATY is a Leadership and Life Coach who works with clients in making personal shifts in the realms of career transitions, health/wellness, work-life balance and creating fulfilling relationships throughout his client’s lives. Through a co-creative partnership, clients are able to move beyond their perceived limitations to achieve what they once deemed as impossible. Thereby creating a life that isn’t based on surviving but from envisioning astonishing possibilities. 

 Bjorn was inspired to go into this work of Life Coaching out of a desire to serve. Bjorn has spent the last 12 years dedicated to telling stories as an actor and now along with his coaching practice, he has set out to create a space where he can serve others in a direct way.  www.bjorncoaching.com

TICKETING INFORMATION

Registration for Theatre Thursday is required in advance. Viewing access is Pay What You Can starting at $5 per household. The event will be broadcast on ZOOM and can be viewed on a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Patrons can purchase viewing tickets exclusively by visiting www.clevelandplayhouse.com.

Theatre Thursday is a monthly interactive virtual event which allows audiences to experience the artistry of CPH, connect directly with the makers of our work, and converse with staff and other audience members about the impact of our artistic work in our beloved community. Events take place on the third Thursday of each month through April 2021. All events at 7:00 pm. For more information, please visit www.clevelandplayhouse.com.

CPH Digital Pass Subscriptions are available starting at $75. Subscribers receive premium access to artistic programming and special events throughout the virtual season. Passes are available exclusively by visiting www.clevelandplayhouse.com/subscribe.

ABOUT CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE

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. To learn more, visit: www.clevelandplayhouse.com.

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