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May 22 - 26, 2021 , A Virtual Event

Blackademics

by Idris Goodwin
directed by Ansley Valentine

Run time: 85 minutes
Advisory: contains strong language and physical violence.

Presented by

KeyBank

A select table reserved at an exclusive café inspires a ravenous appetite from African-American professors Ann and Rachelle. From seed to slaughter, their host has the evening fully planned – down to the last chair. This comedic culinary celebration turns from crudité to cruelty as our scholars banter, debate and battle each other to claim their literal seat at the table.

Watch the FREE Blackademics Panel Conversation: Navigating Race and Gender Roles as Higher Education Professionalsonal, now On Demand!

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Artists

Mariah Burks

Mariah Burks

(Rachelle) is a Cleveland, OH native. She is elated to have collaborated and created such unique work alongside this incredible cast. Cleveland Play House credits include: Clue: A New Comedy (Cook), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre), Marie and Rosetta (understudy for Sister Rosetta Tharpe/Marie Knight), Shakespeare more(Rachelle) is a Cleveland, OH native. She is elated to have collaborated and created such unique work alongside this incredible cast. Cleveland Play House credits include: Clue: A New Comedy (Cook), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre), Marie and Rosetta (understudy for Sister Rosetta Tharpe/Marie Knight), Shakespeare in Love, and New Ground Theatre Festival’s The Nolan Williams Project. An alumna of the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program, Burks appeared in Macbeth, Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses, Clybourne Park, and She Stoops to Conquer. Other credits: Caroline, or Change (Tantrum Theatre), Ragtime (Cain Park), Spring Awakening, Legally Blonde, and Book of Days. Instagram: @magical_mariahb

Colleen Longshaw

Colleen Longshaw

(Ann) is a Cleveland native and holds an MFA from Kent State University. Credits include: Kiss Me, Kate (National Tour), The Groove Factory (New York Musical Theatre Festival), Hairspray (Northshore Music Theatre, Porthouse Theatre), Sister Act (Porthouse Theatre, Karamu House), The Full Monty (Northshore Music Theatre),?Fences (Karamu House), The Piano more(Ann) is a Cleveland native and holds an MFA from Kent State University. Credits include: Kiss Me, Kate (National Tour), The Groove Factory (New York Musical Theatre Festival), Hairspray (Northshore Music Theatre, Porthouse Theatre), Sister Act (Porthouse Theatre, Karamu House), The Full Monty (Northshore Music Theatre),?Fences (Karamu House), The Piano Lesson (Cleveland Play House), Caroline or Change (Tantrum Theatre, Dobama/Karamu, Mercury Theatre), Starmites (Porthouse Theatre), Made in America (Dobama Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Great Lakes Theater), The Color Purple (Karamu House), South Pacific (Porthouse Theatre), Dreamgirls (Cain Park), Once On This Island (Porthouse Theatre), Big River (Porthouse Theatre),?Avenue X (Cain Park), Godspell (Porthouse Theatre), Aida (The Beck Center), The Buddy Holly Story (Carousel Dinner Theater), and Twelfth Night (Ohio Shakespeare Festival).

Lisa Marie Schueller

Lisa Marie Schueller

(Georgia) makes her Cleveland Play House debut. Favorite roles include the regional premiere of Your Mother’s Vagina (Allen Theatre, TX), Heathers: The Musical (Maedgen Theater, TX), Scotland Road (Wayside Theatre, VA), and Oh Coward! (Coach House Theatre), among others. She has been seen onstage with Ohio Shakespeare Festival, Porthouse Theatre, more(Georgia) makes her Cleveland Play House debut. Favorite roles include the regional premiere of Your Mother’s Vagina (Allen Theatre, TX), Heathers: The Musical (Maedgen Theater, TX), Scotland Road (Wayside Theatre, VA), and Oh Coward! (Coach House Theatre), among others. She has been seen onstage with Ohio Shakespeare Festival, Porthouse Theatre, Cleveland Theatre Company, Carousel Dinner Theatre, and Playhouse Square.?Lisa holds a BFA in Acting and a MEd in School Counseling, both from Kent State University, and has been a proud member of AEA since 2005. Love always to husband, and PA, Adam, and little co-stars - Madeline, Guinevere, and Alastair.

Idris Goodwin

(Playwright) has forged an impactful career as a multiple award-winning playwright, breakbeat poet, director, educator, and organizer across two decades. Passionate about cultivating new audiences in the arts, Goodwin is the Director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, the first Black man to hold the position more(Playwright) has forged an impactful career as a multiple award-winning playwright, breakbeat poet, director, educator, and organizer across two decades. Passionate about cultivating new audiences in the arts, Goodwin is the Director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, the first Black man to hold the position in its 100-year history. Prior to this, Goodwin served two seasons as Producing Artistic Director at StageOne Family Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky. He actively serves on both the advisory boards of Theatre for Young Audiences USA and Children's Theatre Foundation Association. Goodwin is the author of over 50 original plays ranging from his hip hop inspired breakbeat series to historical dramas to works for young audiences. CPH produced Goodwin’s breakbeat play How We Got On in 2014 and in 2019 commissioned Goodwin to pen JACKED!, inspired by the classic tale “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Works like And In This Corner: Cassius Clay, How We Got On, Hype Man: A Break Beat Play and the groundbreaking Free Play: open-source scripts for an antiracist tomorrow, are widely produced across the country by a diverse mix of professional theaters, academic environments, and non-traditional spaces alike. Other works include the poetry books: Can I Kick It?, Human Highlight: Ode To Dominique Wilkins, and the play This Is Modern Art. Goodwin has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry, Sesame Street, NPR, BBC Radio, and the Discovery Channel. He is a 2021 United States Artist Fellow, recognized as a culture bearer who celebrates community values and cultivates histories with care. Supported by prestigious institutions like The Kennedy Center, The Eugene O’Neill Conference, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, and The Playwrights’ Center Goodwin uses his full creative powers to galvanize people to the community square to sculpt better tomorrows.

Ben Needham

(Production Editor) is the Owner and Principal Designer of Digital Squirrel Studio, a full-service animation, design and architectural illustration studio. Film and television projects include set designer for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, Kill the Irishman, Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Reagan, ABC’s The Kingmakers, Meg Ryan's Ithaca, Amazon’s Original Series Point more(Production Editor) is the Owner and Principal Designer of Digital Squirrel Studio, a full-service animation, design and architectural illustration studio. Film and television projects include set designer for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, Kill the Irishman, Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Reagan, ABC’s The Kingmakers, Meg Ryan's Ithaca, Amazon’s Original Series Point of Honor, PBS’s Mercy Street and of AMC’s TURN – Washington’s Spies. Ben was most recently a set designer on the upcoming films The Outpost and Son of the South. In addition to his editing and television work he has designed over 850 Theatre productions including locally for Porthouse Theatre, Beck Center for the Arts, Dobama, the Fine Arts Association, Signstage on Tour, Karamu Theatre and many others. In addition to running his design studio, Ben also is the Academy for the Performing Arts resident set and lighting designer and oversees the design/technical theatre instruction for high school juniors and seniors who are pursuing future careers in the performing arts.

Aaron Needham

(Composer) is a sound designer, composer and performer based out of Cleveland and NY. Past design experiences include sound design on the immersive design productions Shadow of the Run’s Wanderlust and Railroaded, as well as various projects with The Academy for the Performing Arts in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Aaron also more(Composer) is a sound designer, composer and performer based out of Cleveland and NY. Past design experiences include sound design on the immersive design productions Shadow of the Run’s Wanderlust and Railroaded, as well as various projects with The Academy for the Performing Arts in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Aaron also is an associate artist and designer for Digital Squirrel Studio. His past performances include LaFou in Beauty And The Beast, Ryan in High School Musical, the Scarecrow in Wizard Of Oz, and Ren in Footloose.

Olivia Louise Tree Plath

(Stage Manager) is delighted to be working with Cleveland Play House community again. At the top of the pandemic, Olivia joined her classmate Josh Wilder as Co-Pilot (producer/casting director) for The Playwrights Workshop. With the addition of classmate Christina Fontana, this trio led work with more than 50 playwrights and more(Stage Manager) is delighted to be working with Cleveland Play House community again. At the top of the pandemic, Olivia joined her classmate Josh Wilder as Co-Pilot (producer/casting director) for The Playwrights Workshop. With the addition of classmate Christina Fontana, this trio led work with more than 50 playwrights and 80 actors over the course of last year. Olivia’s last few projects have been with the Guthrie Theatre, the International Arts & Ideas Festival, and Yale Repertory Theater.

Ashley Raymer-Brown

(Production Assistant) is an award-winning independent filmmaker from Northern Kentucky. Her first film, No Lost Cause is currently internationally distributed and was recently featured on TBN. Her second, semi-autobiographical film The Hepburn Girls is available on Amazon. In the spring of 2014, Ashley helped found and became the vice-president of more(Production Assistant) is an award-winning independent filmmaker from Northern Kentucky. Her first film, No Lost Cause is currently internationally distributed and was recently featured on TBN. Her second, semi-autobiographical film The Hepburn Girls is available on Amazon. In the spring of 2014, Ashley helped found and became the vice-president of the brand new theatre company based in rural Henry County, The Theatre Downstream. As of 2021, she is currently serving as president. Of the nineteen plays the company performed before COVID-19, Ashley was fortunate to be able to serve in some capacity (actor, director, assistant director, co-director, playwright, media, public relations, whatever was needed) for all 19 shows. After the pause, she was part of the team that created The Lemonade Jamboree, a twelve-part internet television show featuring all original works, or works from the public domain, and featuring alumni from the theatre. No matter what the project, Ashley is happiest when she is able to bring talented people and their art together for the consumption and appreciation of the public. While her taste remains vintage, she is grateful for the technology of the modern world and the opportunity to share her thoughts, aspirations, and adventures. Her lofty dreams are to create things that people remember, finally finish her long-worked on novel, and to one day own an alpaca. Above all, she loves God, her family, her friends, and being a fur-Mom to her beloved cats.

Ansley Valentine

(Director) is a professional director for the theatre and musical theatre and an educator with experience teaching professionally at the collegiate level and in both public and private performing arts high schools. Ansley holds an M.F.A. in Directing from Indiana University. He is currently a proud member of the Stage more(Director) is a professional director for the theatre and musical theatre and an educator with experience teaching professionally at the collegiate level and in both public and private performing arts high schools. Ansley holds an M.F.A. in Directing from Indiana University. He is currently a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and Actors' Equity Association (AEA). Some of his favorite productions include Les Misérables, The Colored Museum, Twelfth Night, and many new plays. Ansley is also a graduate of the Arts Midwest Minorities in Arts Administration Fellowship, a program funded by the Ford Foundation to increase minority representation in leadership roles at American not-for-profit organizations. His many awards include a Kennedy Center Gold Medallion. He is excited to be working with Cleveland Play House again, where he completed a fellowship in 1994 and served as assistant director for Forest City in 2003.

Sponsors

KeyBankDLR Group|Westlake Reed Leskosky
CPH announces the Roe Green Fund for New American Plays

CPH announces the Roe Green Fund for New American Plays

CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley is proud to announce the Roe Green Fund for New American Plays. The Roe Green Fund for New American Plays is made ...

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