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CPH Unleashes Mystery, Mishaps, and Mischief in THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG

Posted February 9, 2024 in Press Releases

Award-winning international hit comedy, The Play That Goes Wrong, a riotous play-within-a-play about non-stop theatrical catastrophes makes its regional premiere at Cleveland Play House.

(Cleveland, OH) Cleveland Play House presents the regional premiere of the international hit comedy, The Play That Goes Wrong, written by core members of London’s Mischief Theatre, Henry Lewis, Henry Shields, and Jonathan Sayer. Running February 10 through March 3 in the Allen Theatre, the play is directed by Melissa Rain Anderson, with fight and stunt direction by Jason Paul Tate, and features Jeffrey Marc Alkins*, Josh Bates, Michael Doherty*, Farah El-Ashram, Victoria Alev Duffy, Blake Henri*, Dylan Ireland, Ben Liebert*, Alfredo Ruiz, and Joz Vammer*. Tickets can be purchased at

The Play That Goes Wrong follows the misadventures of the Cornley Drama Society’s newest presentation, “The Murder at Haversham Manor.” It’s the opening night of the troupe’s ambitious 1920s whodunit and right from the start things have quickly gone from bad to utterly disastrous. Everything that can go wrong – literally – does go wrong. Falling props, collapsing scenery, an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything, including their lines, results in an outrageous production. The accident-prone thespians battle against all odds to make it through to their final curtain call. With non-stop slapstick unleashed, this side-splitting comedy is a hilarious, catastrophic masterclass in theatrical chaos.

CPH Artistic Director Michael Barakiva says, “We can’t wait to welcome audiences to this love letter to theater. It might be The Play That Goes Wrong, but at CPH, we know it'll be ‘The Production That Goes Right’.”

Director Melissa Rain Anderson says, “I love directing this play.” Anderson says, “The joy of the piece is keeping it within the realm of the comedy that keeps the play going but doesn’t stop the play from happening.”

The Olivier Award-winning theatre company, Mischief Theatre, was founded in 2008 and began as an improvisational comedy troupe led by a group of graduates from The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. The Play That Goes Wrong was first presented in 2012 under the title, The Murder Before Christmas. Mischief’s artistic director Henry Lewis, the company director Jonathan Sayer, and core member Henry Shields wrote the highly theatrical play and starred in the original run at the Old Red Lion Theatre in London. Boasting a remarkable “rags-to-riches story,” the play premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with an audience of only four paid theatregoers at the first performance.

A decade later, the play has been seen worldwide by millions. The West End production received the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, becoming the longest running play on the West End, and received five UK tours playing on six continents—excluding Antarctica due to volatile weather and low temperatures. In 2017, the Broadway production opened at the Lyceum Theatre playing 745 performances before closing in early 2019. It received the 2017 Tony Award for Best Set Design, the 2017 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Scenic Design of a Play, and a 2017 Drama Desk Nomination for Best Play. The celebrated production transferred to Off-Broadway in February 2019, where it is still running at New World Stages.

At the helm of CPH’s regional premiere production is Melissa Rain Anderson, who directed The Play That Goes Wrong at The Repertory Theater of St. Louis in 2019, the very first professional production of the play outside of the UK, Broadway, and US national touring productions. Anderson says, “In 2019, there was no roadmap [for directing this play] …there still isn’t a roadmap. It’s really a nice mixture of farce, but the set itself attacks that! I don’t know of another play that does what this play does – as far as how far the hijinks go. It’s pretty shocking. They have to literally hope for a happy ending! That’s my favorite type of comedy!”

Anderson reunites with scenic designer Czerton Lim to bring this story to life in the same way they were able to do for The Rep production in 2019. Lim says, “The chance to revisit this [play] allows for new discoveries. I enjoy the puzzle, and this is one of those plays where timing has everything to do with scenic pieces.” For the CPH production, the director has also layered interactive moments for the cast and audience during the precurtain and intermission periods. Lim says, “The audience is already primed that this isn’t the usual production. Things fall off the wall… off the window… the grandfather clock… the second-floor platform… and that’s within the first hour of the show!”

The design team includes fight and stunt director by Jason Paul Tate, costume design by Lauren T. Roark, lighting design by Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz, original music and sound design by Lindsay Jones, wig design by J. Jared Janas, and stage management by John Godbout*.

Running February 10 through March 3 in Playhouse Square’s Allen Theatre, evening performances of The Play That Goes Wrong are held Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. Matinee performances are held on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Additionally, an evening performance will be held on Sunday, February 11 at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets start at $25. Student tickets are $15 (valid student ID required). Ohio Direction/EBT cardholders receive $5 admission to any performance (up to eight tickets). Military personnel and their immediate families receive 50% off tickets. Seniors may receive $10 off tickets. Groups of 20+ can save up to 30% on their purchase. Tickets can be purchased by calling 216.241.6000 or by visiting

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

Additional support has been generously provided by The John P. Murphy Foundation.

Cleveland Play House’s 2023-2024 season line up also includes Middletown (Feb. 21 – Mar. 2, 2024), Amadeus (Apr. 6 – 28, 2024), and In the Heights (May 11 – Jun. 9, 2024).

* denotes members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.


“…an unexpected, gut-busting hit…one of those breakneck exercises in idiocy that make you laugh till you cry…It starts off punch-drunk and just keeps getting drunker.” – The New York Times

“…hilarious…nonstop pandemonium… a ridiculously entertaining disaster.” – Entertainment Weekly

“…a riotous explosion of comedy.” – The Guardian

“…tremendously silly, and brilliant…a two-hour explosion of knockabout satire.” – The Daily Beast



JEFFREY MARC ALKINS (Jonathan, Charles Haversham) is thrilled to make his CPH Debut! Broadway: Mr. Saturday Night, starring Billy Crystal (Associate Choreographer, Antonyo Award Nom.). Off-Broadway: The Three Musketeers (Classical Theatre of Harlem); The Land of Cheesecake and Ice Cream (Theatre Row); Richard III as Richard (The Flea). Regional: The Play That Goes Wrong (Jonathan) and A Raisin in the Sun (George) at Utah Shakespeare Festival; A Midwinter Night's Dream (Quince), Comedy of Errors (Antipholi), Much Ado About Nothing (Don John), Julius Caesar (Cassius), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck/Philostrate 2020,Oberon/Theseus 2021), Aria De Capo (Cothurnus), Love Doctor (Sagnarelle), Twelfth Night (Sebastian), and Romeo and Juliet, all at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; as well as Babes in Arms, directed by Douglas Carter Beane. @jeffrey_marc

JOSH BATES (Stage Crew/Ensemble, U/S Max) is a Southern California native who received his BFA in Acting from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He has performed in venues all over the country and was most recently seen in Cleveland Play House’s Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, CWRU/CPH's The Tempest, and as a musician in the Nashville bar/restaurant scene. Other credits include The Liar, Everybody, Passage, Legally Blonde, and The Little Mermaid. He is also the recipient of the Best Actor Award at the Black Glasses Film Festival for his performance in Disaster Survivor. @joshbaetes

ELLEN GRACE DIEHL (U/S Sandra, Annie) is a proud member of the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting class of 2024 and is delighted to be a part of this production. CPH credits: Claire Clairmont, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; Ariel, The Tempest; Cliton, The Liar. Other credits include Oklahoma! (Ado Annie) and Carousel (Louise) at the Round Barn Theatre and A Gentleman's Guide... (Sibella), Mamma Mia! (Sophie), Gypsy (Louise), and The Little Mermaid (Ariel) at the Allenberry Playhouse.

MICHAEL DOHERTY (Chris/Inspector Carter) is an east coast-based actor and writer. He previously appeared at CPH as Ollie in Chelsea Marcantel’s Tiny Houses. He has appeared in over 50 theatrical productions across the country, including at 59E59, Guthrie Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Theater Bay Area Award), Utah Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Denver Center, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Connecticut Repertory Theatre (Connecticut Critics’ Circle nomination), Wilma Theater, People’s Light, Theatre Horizon (Barrymore Award), and Gulfshore Playhouse. TV: Wu Tang: An American Saga (Hulu) and Take My Muffin (Toonbox Studios). His television pilot, Los Jarochos, won Best Writing at the 2013 Independent TV Festival. He is a co-creator of Mythic Thunderlute: A D&D Podcast Musical on the Broadway Podcast Network. Upcoming: Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville at Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

VICTORIA ALEV DUFFY (Sandra/Florence Colleymore) is a member of the CWRU/CPH MFA Class of 2024. Her CPH credits include: The Tempest, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Watching Butterflies, The Liar, Everybody, and Passage. Fordham Theatre: The Most Massive Woman Wins, Machinal, DIMES: A New Musical, and more.

FARAH EL-ASHRAM (Stage Crew/Ensemble) is a newcomer in the professional theatre scene. She was previously an actor, crew member, or stage manager in high school, community theatre, college, or Shakespearean fundraising productions with Great Lakes Theater. You may have last seen her in a dark corner, running the lights and sound as stage manager for Dr. Joe Garry’s Broadway Buzz productions at Playhouse Square.

BLAKE HENRI (Robert, Thomas Colleymoore) is an actor/writer/director who holds a BFA from The University of Oklahoma. Credits include: Miss Evers' Boys (The National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa); The Play That Goes Wrong, A Raisin In The Sun (Utah Shakespeare Festival); Clue (Dallas Theatre Center); An lliad (Oklahoma Shakespeare Festival); King John, Macbeth, As You Like It, Cymbeline, Julius Caesar (Great River Shakespeare Festival); Sense and Sensibility, Twelfth Night, Othello (Island Shakespeare Festival); The Crucible (Arkansas Repertory Theatre); The Odd Couple, Manic Monologues, Chaplin (WaterTower Theatre); All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 (Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts). Film: American Underdog, Eyewitness Bible Series, Great Plains. TV: HBO’s Love and Death, Walker, The Chosen, Into The Wild Frontier. @igothenridbyablake

DYLAN IRELAND (Trevor) is entering his third and final year of his MFA Acting program for the CWRU/CPH Program. He recently made his CPH debut as Lord Byron and The Creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Coming from North Carolina, Ireland received a BA in theater performance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Previous credits: Cory (Fences), Caesar (Julius Caesar), Tinman (The Wiz), Cousin (Everybody), Guy Jacobs (Blues for an Alabama Sky), Truffaldino (The Servant of Two Masters), M (Passage), Toby Belch (Twelfth Night), and Geronte (The Liar). @dylan.ireland_

ANDY KNODE (U/S for Chris and Jonathan) (he/him) is excited to be making his “day-boo” with CPH. Recent work includes Trouble in Mind, When We Were Young and Unafraid, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Sleepy Hollow as Ichabod Crane. Working for three seasons with Oberlin Summer Theater Festival appeared in Measure for Measure, The Winter's Tale, Romeo & Juliet, and Little Women. He spent six seasons as the host of the award winning TV show Entertainment Pix, Additional Film/TV Credits include, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, White Noise, and the upcoming film Alto Knights with Robert De Niro. All his love and thanks to his lovely wife, MaryBeth and amazing daughter, Marlo.

DAVID LENAHAN (U/S Robert and Trevor) (he/him) is delighted to be a part of his first show at Cleveland Play House! Having lived in New York City through 2020, he appeared on Lincoln Center’s NYPL stage in SONGBOOK: Songs of Braver and Dean. While in NYC, he also won Best Actor at The Player’s Theatre SPF: NYC for his portrayal of Zander in The Flying Dutchman Boards the Staten Island Ferry and delighted audiences aboard The Polar Express. Around Northeast Ohio, you may have seen David on stage at Convergence-Continuum (Wonderland Wives, Angry Fags, and In the Closet), None Too Fragile (Boy), and Shakespeare at the Castle (Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Twelfth Night). David is a proud member of MorrisonDance–a Cleveland-based modern dance company and The Greenhouse, a collective of artists committed to learning and growing together as artists and people.

BEN LIEBERT (Dennis, Perkins) is thrilled to be making his CPH debut. He recently appeared as Motl in the Off-Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, directed by Joel Grey. Favorite credits: Wicked (Boq) on Broadway and the National Tour, Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Lucas), Pride and Prejudice (Mary Bennet/Mr. Bingley), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), Into the Woods (Baker), Ragtime (Tateh), Chicago (Amos, Henry Award Nom.), Young Frankenstein (Igor), Rock of Ages (Dennis), Grease (Eugene, Int'l Tour), Avenue Q (Nicky/Trekkie), as well as Spamalot (Patsy) and The Little Mermaid (Scuttle), both directed by Melissa Rain Anderson. Ben is the co-creator and puppeteer behind Cam and Ben Sing Songs, a social-emotional learning webseries for kids and families, and the creator of the Portable Number Line, a spacing tool for theater and dance. Proud member of AEA.

GAVIN MICHAELS (U/S Dennis) is from wonderfully rainy Seattle, Washington. His stage credits include Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Orlando in As You Like It (BPA), Ferdinand in The Tempest (CWRU/CPH), Hamlet in Hamlet (Kentwood Players), Dorante in The Liar (CWRU/CPH), and Caliban in The Tempest (CWRU/CPH). He has also worked with John Leguizamo at the Guthrie Theatre to workshop his new play, Our Hood, as well as play Borrachio in a workshop of Tanta Bulla, y pa que? a bilingual adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. Most recently he appeared as Victor Frankenstein/Percy Shelley inCPH’s Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Film Diabolos, The House (Tubi), Danny Doom (Amazon Prime). He earned his undergraduate degree in Political Communication and Rhetoric from the University of Washington.

ALFREDO RUIZ (Max/Cecil Haversham/Arthur the Gardener) is currently a third-year graduate student at the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program. Alfredo was understudy for Victor Frankenstein in CPH’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein directed by Michael Barakiva. While pursuing his MFA, Alfredo has returned to Miami several times to work on a variety of award-winning indie films. Regional: Watching Butterflies (Cleveland Play House), 7 Deadly Sins (Miami New Drama), Wynwood Stories (Juggerknot Theatre Co.).

JOZ VAMMER (Annie) CPH debut! Off Broadway: Bernie and Mikey’s Trip to the Moon (Strangemen/59E59), Regional: Gardens of Anuncia, Little Women, Thinking Shakespeare LOVE!, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night, Knots (The Old Globe), Romeo and Juliet (Opera Western Reserve), The School for Wives (Extant Arts), The Snow Queen (Theatre 86), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (The Onomatopoeia Theatre Company), The Merchant of Venice, Fiddler on the Roof (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre), Cyrano (Saratoga Shakespeare Company), Into the Woods (Hope Summer Repertory Theatre). Film/TV: Who Invited Charlie?, Body Image, Bird Nerds. Podcast: “The Film Reroll.” Education: MFA: Old Globe/USD Shiley Program.


HENRY LEWIS, HENRY SHIELDS, and JONATHAN SAYER (Playwrights) met while training at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). All core members of Mischief Theatre, they had already worked in comedy together for several years before they started out as a writing team. The three’s first piece was The Play That Goes Wrong (Olivier Award for Best New Comedy). Henry, Henry, and Jonathan recently adapted the script of Peter Pan Goes Wrong for the BBC, which was filmed with the original West End cast and broadcast to rave reviews on New Year’s Eve. They were invited back to wreak more havoc at the BBC in 2017 with Christmas Carol Goes Wrong. Their third writing project, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, earned them another Olivier

MELISSA RAIN ANDERSON (Director) is happy to be making her Cleveland Play House debut. Select credits: the Regional Premiere of The Play That Goes Wrong and The Wolves at The Repertory Theater of St. Louis; Macbeth, Big River and The Cocoanuts at Utah Shakespeare Festival; A Christmas Carol at Denver Center Theatre Company; Murder on the Orient Express at Pioneer Theatre Company, The Wolves, The Little Mermaid, and A Christmas Carol at Syracuse Stage; In the Heights, HAIR, La Cage Aux Folles, A Funny Thing…Forum, Spamalot and Spelling Bee at Geva Theatre; Dial M for Murder at Theatresquared; All is Calm at Alabama Shakespeare Festival; RII at Santa Cruz Shakespeare; The Book of Will at Phoenix Theatre Company and Romeo and Juliet at Rehouse Arts Center. Upcoming: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Alabama Shakes. Proud member of SDC, SAG-AFTRA, and

JASON PAUL TATE (Fight and Stunt Director) is a bicoastal director, choreographer, and performer. NYC: Watch Night at PACNYC and Il Tabarro at Onsite Opera Company; as well as productions at NYC Public Theatre, Met Opera, BAM, Are Nova, Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre, and Classic Stage Company. Regional: The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Tuacahn and we swim, we talk, we go to war at Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse; and productions at A.R.T., Old Globe, Ordway, Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakes, Lake Tahoe Shakes, Havoc Movement, Blackbird Dance Theatre, Opera Western Reserve, and The Lost Colony. He is Vice President of the SAFD as well as a recognized fight director and certified teacher; and is the co-founder of Neutral Chaos in NYC. Proud member of SDC and

CZERTON LIM (Scenic Designer) is excited to work with Cleveland Play House for the first time and revisit The Play That Goes Wrong. A freelance set designer, his work has been regionally in New York state, New York City, Washington, DC, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Washington, Melbourne, AUS and Abu Dhabi, UAE. Originally from the Philippines, he is associate professor for the Theatrical Production & Design BFA Program with the Department of Theatre and Dance and holds the position of Managing Producer for the Walter Gloor Mainstage Series at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Proud member of USA local

LAUREN T. ROARK (Costume Designer) is thrilled to be making her debut with Cleveland Play House. Regional credits: Utah Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Great Lakes Theater, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Lauren holds an MFA in Costume Design and Technology from the University of Missouri–Kansas City. She is currently the head of graduate costume design in the Department of Theatre at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the resident costume designer for the Clarence Brown Theatre. Proud member of United Scenic Artists, Local

LONNIE RAFAEK ALCARAZ (Lightning Designer) is a professor at the University of California, Irvine, where he leads the lighting program. Regional: South Coast Repertory, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Oregon Shakes, Portland Center Stage, and Syracuse Stage. Recent: A Raisin in the Sun, American Mariachi and La Havana Madrid for South Coast Rep; Anatomy of a Home and Interview the Dead for Transversal Theatre Company (Amsterdam); A Christmas Carol at Syracuse Stage; and Mojada at Oregon Shakes and Portland Center Stage. He is Resident Lighting Designer at Great River Shakespeare Festival and Ballet Repertory Theatre, and Associate Artistic Director at Great River Shakespeare Festival. Member of the USA,

LINDSAY JONES (Original Music & Sound Design) Broadway: Slave Play (Tony noms. for Best Score and Best Sound Design of a Play), The Nap, Bronx Bombers, and A Time to Kill. Off-Broadway: Privacy (Public), Bootycandy (Playwrights Horizons), Feeding the Dragon (Primary Stages), Top Secret (NYTW). Regional/International: Guthrie, Center Stage, A.C.T., Hartford Stage, Alliance Theatre, Goodman, Arena Stage, Old Globe, Chicago Shakes, Steppenwolf, Stratford Festival, Royal Shakespeare Company. Film/TV: HBO Films’ A Note of Triumph (2006 Academy Award for Best Documentary, Short Subject), and over 30 films. Jones is co-chair of Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association and teaches Composition for Theatre and Music History at UNC School Of The

J. JARED JANAS (Wig & Hair Designer) returns to CPH where they previously designed wig and hair for Clue: A New Comedy. Broadway: Prayer for the French Republic, Appropriate, Purlie Victorious, Good Night, Oscar, Sweeney Todd…, Ohio State Murders, & Juliet, Kimberly Akimbo, Topdog/Underdog, How I Learned to Drive, American Buffalo, Jagged Little Pill, Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, Gettin' the Band Back Together, Bandstand, Indecent, Sunset Boulevard, The Visit, The Real Thing, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Motown, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, All about Me. Recent Off-Broadway: Buena Vista Social Club, I Can Get It for You Wholesale, Sabbath’s Theater, The Refuge Plays. TV: And Just Like That and The Gilded Age.

JOHN GODBOUT (Stage Manager) was Cleveland Play House’s resident stage manager from 2001 to 2008 and returned to CPH in the fall of 2011. Most recently, John stage managed A New Brain at Barrington Stage Company. He has also stage managed at North Shore Music Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre, The Weston Playhouse, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Northern Stage, Seaside Music Theatre, and Porthouse Theatre.

KITTY WEN (Production Assistant) returns to Cleveland Play House where she worked on Teddy Bear Mountain (Stage Manager), The Great Leap (Assistant Stage Manager), Theatre J’s Becoming Dr. Ruth (Assistant Stage Manager), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Production Assistant). Other credits: Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Cain Park, Karamu House, Cleveland Public Theatre, Ohio City Theatre Project, Baldwin Wallace, Independence Theatre, and Cassidy Theatre, Disney College Program, and an internship with Dobama Theatre. BA from Baldwin Wallace University.


MICHAEL BARAKIVA (Artistic Director) is an Armenian-Israeli American director and writer who has staged new plays, revivals, and classics in New York City and around the country. Michael was appointed Artistic Director of Cleveland Play House in December 2023, where he served as director of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as well as co-director of CPH’s world premiere production of Ken Ludwig’s Moriarty: A New Sherlock Holmes Adventure. Barakiva’s work has been seen at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Primary Stages, Syracuse Stage, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and the Hangar Theatre, where he served as Artistic Director. He founded The Upstart Creatures, a theatre company that creates community through performance and food, as well as the Leadership Initiative Project, which equips historically excluded artists with the tools to succeed in leadership positions. Barakiva has received three Drama League directing fellowships, the Phil Killian Directing Fellowship (OSF), the David Merrick Prize in Drama, and was a Granada Artist-in-Residence at UC Davis. He led a week-long workshop on musical theatre at the International Puppet Theater in Sofia, Bulgaria, and was a presenter at the International University Theatre Festival at UNAM in Mexico City. He served as producer of Summer Camp 6 (Soho Rep) and as the Readings and Workshops Coordinator at New York Stage and Film, as well as a Primary Coach on Season 2 of MTV’s Made. As a writer, Barakiva is the recipient of a Red Bull Commission for his adaptation of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, an EST/Sloan Project Commission, and a co-author of String Theory (Connotation Press). His young adult novels have been named to the Rainbow List, Equality Family Council Reading List, The Barnes and Noble’s Perfect Valentine’s Day YA Novels list, spending over a year as Goodreads #1 LGBTQ YA Novel. Education: Vassar College, The Juilliard School.

RACHEL L. FINK (Managing Director) is thrilled to be returning home to Northeast Ohio after 25 years. Her childhood was filled with fundamental and rich Cleveland arts experiences — and it was at Heights High (Go Tigers!) that Fink’s passion for arts access, social justice, and inclusive, equitable practices was ignited. She carried those values with her as she enrolled at Case Western Reserve University, where an astute professor introduced her to the field of arts administration, and she hasn’t turned back since. The experience at CWRU led to an internship at Cleveland Play House, followed by earning an MFA in theater management at the Yale School of Drama (now the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale). After graduate school, Fink ventured west to Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, California, where she founded and grew the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre into a nationally-recognized learning hub which centered theatre as an essential education and engagement tool for all ages, providing direct service and support to more than 300 theatres and 2,000 artists across the San Francisco Bay Area. Most recently, Fink served as the executive director of the Tony Award-winning Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago, Illinois. Producing highlights include Plantation! by Kevin Douglas and directed by David Schwimmer; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, written and directed by David Catlin; Her Honor Jane Byrne, written and directed by J. Nicole Brooks (holiday radio broadcast in partnership with local NPR affiliate, WBEZ); Steadfast Tin Soldier, written and directed by Mary Zimmerman; and Lookingglass Alice, written and directed by David Catlin. Fink has held professional distinctions including co-leading the Professional Association of Chicago Theatres; and serving as a Fellow at the Civic Leadership Academy at the University of Chicago/Harris School of Public Policy; as the US delegate for the British Council’s Cultural Leadership International Programme; as a member of the American Express/Aspen Institute Fellowship for Emerging Nonprofit Leaders inaugural class; and as a 2016 artEquity facilitator cohort member.


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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