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CPH Announces 2023-24 Season

Posted June 2, 2023 in Press Releases


CPH’s 108th season will take audiences on a voyage showcasing a range of both classic and new productions from luminaries such as Mary Shelley, Peter Shaffer, Langston Hughes, and modern-day icon Lin-Manuel Miranda.

(Cleveland, OH) Cleveland Play House proudly announces its 2023-2024 season with seven productions that will examine historical trailblazers, reimagine classics from literary luminaries, take audiences on a hilarious trip across the pond as well as send them to higher heights with a Broadway musical blockbuster from one of today’s great American playwrights, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Audiences can expect to be taken on a voyage with productions examining societal change, human emotions, and genre-bending storylines. Well-known titles and vivid personalities will come to life, with towering performances and signature stage designs, welcoming community and cultural partners to celebrate CPH’s 2023-2024 season in the heart of Playhouse Square.

Cleveland Play House (CPH) will offer the amusing Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End as a summertime treat to whet audiences’ appetites before the official start of the season. This comedy explores the work of syndicated columnist and American humorist Erma Bombeck, featuring modern day syndicated columnist and actor, Pam Sherman. In September, the mainstage season kicks off with the inspiring biographical play, Thurgood, sharing pivotal moments from the life and career of the first African American Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, featuring film, TV, and regional theatre veteran Lester Purry. David Catlin’s sensual and poetic reimagining of the classic tale Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, staged in the round, is sure to thrill audiences. In time for the holidays, the historic Karamu House presents Black Nativity, a heartwarming, soul-stirring, gospel celebration conceived by legendary playwright and acclaimed poet Langston Hughes. Audiences are sure to be doubled over with laughter from the mishaps and madcap mania in the international hit, The Play That Goes Wrong. A tale of envy, revenge, and musical history is enlivened and re-imagined – featuring musical selections from The Cleveland Orchestra – with Peter Shaffer’s award-winning play, Amadeus. The season will conclude on an energetic high note with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway hit In the Heights, a story of community, hope, heritage, and healing love.

KeyBank is the official sponsor of the Cleveland Play House 2023-2024 season.

To learn more about Cleveland Play House’s captivating 2023-24 mainstage season, please



Suburban Outlaw Productions presents
Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End
By Allison Engel and Margaret Engel
July 29 – August 20, 2023
Outcalt Theatre

Erma Bombeck, one of America’s most beloved humorists, captured the frustrations of her generation by asking, “If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing in the pits?” Equal parts wife, mother, daughter, and “domestic demigoddess,” she gave voice to the everyday joys and struggles faced by women of all ages. Starring nationally-syndicated columnist Suburban Outlaw Pam Sherman, Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End, celebrates a remarkable woman who reminded us all how to embrace whatever life throws at us with grace, grit, and good humor.

“…Pam Sherman portrays the humorist with a plucky, one-two punch delivery.” — Democrat and Chronicle

Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.


By George Stevens, Jr.
Directed by Lou Bellamy
September 9 – October 1, 2023
Allen Theatre

The Story of “Mr. Civil Rights.” Armed with the US Constitution, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall devoted his life to championing justice and equality for all people. This biographical play spans his remarkable 58-year career while highlighting his warmth and sharp wit. A powerful tour-de-force about Marshall’s transformative journey from his early days as a young lawyer upending the landmark “separate but equal” decision to his time serving on the highest court in the nation. Starring film, TV, and regional theatre veteran Lester Purry, Thurgood is an inspiring tribute to a real American hero who embodied courage, integrity, and determination.

“A story rich in history, humanity and humor.” — New York Daily News


Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
By David Catlin
Directed by Michael Barakiva
October 21 – November 12, 2023
Outcalt Theatre

1816. Switzerland. A vicious storm rages outside an old villa. But inside, the real nightmare is just beginning. A teenage Mary Shelley accepts the challenge to tell a terrifying tale. Casting her friends as characters, she soon gives life to one of literature’s greatest creations. And as the story travels from the North Pole to Victor Frankenstein’s infamous lab, the line between fact and fiction begins to blur. This sensual, poetic, and surprisingly adventurous adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein illuminates the real-life “monsters” that haunted her greatest work. A gritty yet highly theatrical tale that brings what’s buried back to life.

“… entertainment is highly immersive.” – Chicago Tribune


Karamu House presents
Black Nativity
By Langston Hughes
Directed by Tony F. Sias and Errin Weaver
December 1 – 16, 2023
Allen Theatre

Karamu House, the centerpiece of Cleveland’s historic Fairfax neighborhood and the oldest Black producing theatre in the country, presents the soul-stirring, gospel celebration Black Nativity in the Allen Theatre. Black Nativity is the joyous retelling of the traditional New Testament account of the Nativity story, using gospel music, dramatic dance, and a biblical narrative. Written and conceived by legendary playwright and poet Langston Hughes, this soulful, heartwarming story is a Karamu House classic!


The Play That Goes Wrong
By Henry Lewis, Henry Shields and Jonathan Sayer
Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson
February 10 – March 3, 2024
Allen Theatre

Get ready for a night of mishaps, mischief, and madcap mania! It’s the opening night of the Cornley Drama Society’s newest production, “The Murder at Haversham Manor,” and things have quickly gone from bad…to utterly disastrous. The troupe’s ambitious 1920s whodunit has everything you never want in a show: falling props, collapsing scenery, an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything…including their lines. How will this eager ensemble battle against all of the disastrous odds? Will they make it to the final curtain call? An international hit that’s equal parts Monty Python and Sherlock Holmes – The Play That Goes Wrong is full of hilarious perfection.

“This is low-brow comedy of the highest caliber.” — Houston Press


By Peter Shaffer
Directed by Laura Gordon
April 6 – 28, 2024
Outcalt Theatre

It’s 1823, and a cacophony of scandalous whispers echo through the streets of Vienna. Renowned Italian composer Antonio Salieri flees from claims of murder but has nowhere to hide. While chasing fame and fortune, we learn how Salieri becomes obsessed with the rowdy young prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A deadly game of envy, deceit, and revenge ensues. Who will prevail? The villainous veteran or the worshipped wunderkind? Musical history is enlivened and re-imagined in Peter Shaffer’s award-winning parable about malice, madness, and the love of music. Featuring musical recordings by cultural partner, The Cleveland Orchestra.

“…’s a scintillating performance that asks whether seeking revenge and retribution at any price is really worth it in the long run.” — London Theatre 1

Amadeus is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.


In the Heights
Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes
May 11 - June 9, 2024
Allen Theatre

The unbearable July heat has the denizens of NYC’s Washington Heights neighborhood in the streets shouting, “¡Que calor!” Several established businesses have closed. Housing costs – and racial tensions – are on the rise. And the once vibrant, now dwindling community must rally together to preserve their culture and their way of life. Lin Manuel-Miranda’s music-filled love letter to the community of his youth, In the Heights, tells the story of the corner bodega where the coffee is hot, light, and sweet, the apartment windows that are always open, and the cool breeze that carries the percussive rhythm of the bustling city and three generations of dreams. And for this community on the brink of change, it tells a story of hope, heritage, and healing love.

“…a tuneful score enlivened by the dancing rhythms of salsa and Latin pop, sounds that are an ear-tickling novelty on Broadway.” — The New York Times

In The Heights is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals.



Performances for Cleveland Play House’s 2023-2024 mainstage season run Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 pm, and Tuesdays at 7:00 pm. (Titles, dates, and times are subject to change.)

Accessibility programing will include ASL-interpreted performances, open captioned performances, audio described performances, and more.

To guarantee seats for all productions, audiences are encouraged to join CPH’s Membership Program and become a season ticket holder. Members save up to 30% off individual ticket prices and receive benefits, discounts, incentives, and perks throughout the season. Membership packages begin at $200 and are on sale now.

For more information about CPH’s membership plan or to receive more information about CPH’s accessibility programming, please visit


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:


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