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March 23 - April 2, 2022 , The Helen

CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program

Passage

written by Christopher Chen
directed by Donald Carrier

Run time: 2 hours, including intermission
Advisory: Gun prop used on stage; sounds of gun firing

Country X is dominated by Country Y. A friendship between two people is challenged in this climate of fear and distrust leading to an explosive accusation. A fantasia inspired by E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India, writer Christopher Chen creates a suspenseful story about the challenges of true connection. Passage marks the Cleveland debut of the Class of 2024!

Photos & Videos Download Hi Res Photos

The CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Class of 2024 and Donald Carrier, director of PASSAGE, and Director of MFA Acting Program. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Madeline Calais as Q and Shunte Lofton as F in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Ellen Grace Diehl as Mosquito in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

AJ Ruiz as R and Madeline Calais as Q in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Josh Bates as H in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

AJ Ruiz as R and Madeline Calais as Q in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Gavin Michaels as B in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Ellen Grace Diehl as J and Victoria Alev Duffy as G in the CWRU/CPH's production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Gavin Michaels as B and Shunté Lofton as F in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Shunté Lofton as F in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Madeline Calais as Q in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Dylan Ireland as M in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Shunté Lofton, Dylan Ireland, an Gavin Michaels in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Ellen Grace Diehl as Gecko in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Victoria Alev Duffy as G (foreground) and Gavin Michaels as B in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Dylan Ireland as M and Josh Bates as H in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Gavin Michaels, Shunté Lofton, and Madeline Calais in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Victoria Alev Duffy as G in the CWRU/CPH's production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

AJ Ruiz as R and Ellen Grace Diehl as J in the CWRU/CPH production of PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

The CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Class of 2024 in Christopher Chen's PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

The cast of Christopher Chen's PASSAGE. Photo by Nathan Henry.

Artists

Josh Bates

Josh Bates

(H) originally hails from the sunny shores of Southern California. He has spent the last four years attaining his BFA in theatre performance at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His most recent educational credits include Urinetown, Ordinary Days, and Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros . His professional credits include The Little more(H) originally hails from the sunny shores of Southern California. He has spent the last four years attaining his BFA in theatre performance at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His most recent educational credits include Urinetown, Ordinary Days, and Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros . His professional credits include The Little Mermaid at Zilker Hillside Theatre and Legally Blonde at the Granbury Theatre Company. In his free time, Josh enjoys sports, writing/playing music, and being outdoors.

Madeline Calais

Madeline Calais

(Q) was born and raised in the smoggy yet mighty metropolis of Houston, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (summa cum laude) in acting from the University of Houston’s School of Theatre & Dance. Following undergrad, Madeline spent two years performing in theatres across the country with more(Q) was born and raised in the smoggy yet mighty metropolis of Houston, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (summa cum laude) in acting from the University of Houston’s School of Theatre & Dance. Following undergrad, Madeline spent two years performing in theatres across the country with the American Shakespeare Center’s national touring troupe based out of Staunton, Virginia. Madeline is thrilled to join Case Western Reserve University’s class of 2024 graduate acting cohort in Cleveland. Other notable companies Madeline has worked with include Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Red Bull Theatre, Mildred’s Umbrella, and The Classical Theatre Company.

Ellen Grace Diehl

Ellen Grace Diehl

(S/D/J/Mosquito/Gecko) is grateful to be making her CPH debut, and is honored to be a part of the class of 2024. Credits include Louise (Gypsy), Sibella (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Sophie (Mamma Mia!), and Sandy (Grease) at Allenberry Playhouse; Gigi (Gigi) more(S/D/J/Mosquito/Gecko) is grateful to be making her CPH debut, and is honored to be a part of the class of 2024. Credits include Louise (Gypsy), Sibella (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Sophie (Mamma Mia!), and Sandy (Grease) at Allenberry Playhouse; Gigi (Gigi) and “Everyone Else” in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (two-actor version) at Washington County Playhouse; and Ariel (The Tempest) and April (Company) at Messiah University. Ellen studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, received her BA in theatre from Messiah University, and trained in classical ballet for over 14 years with Chambersburg Ballet Theatre. Ellen is also a dance teacher and choreographer. www.ellen - gracediehl.com IG: @ellengracediehl

Victoria Alev Duffy

Victoria Alev Duffy

(G) (she/her) is a proud New Jersey native. She spent all her childhood summers studying theatre (because it was "cheaper than soccer camp") at the Paper Mill Playhouse and New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Those summers spent performing informed her decision to pursue a career in the arts. Prior more(G) (she/her) is a proud New Jersey native. She spent all her childhood summers studying theatre (because it was "cheaper than soccer camp") at the Paper Mill Playhouse and New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Those summers spent performing informed her decision to pursue a career in the arts. Prior to attending Case, Victoria received her BA in theatre performance from Fordham University in New York. Victoria has a passion for exploring theatre through a non-American lens, and has spent her summers intensively studying devising techniques and experimental theatre at Bard College in Berlin and Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts in London. She is excited to continue her graduate school journey! Instagram: @vickduf

Girard Ireland

Girard Ireland

(M) is a 23 year old from High Point, North Carolina. Ireland is excited to dive into his second year of graduate school headfirst to continue honing his craft. Ireland has a plethora of experience from a melting pot of different acting disciplines. Shakespeare, Commedia dell’arte, contemporary drama, and more(M) is a 23 year old from High Point, North Carolina. Ireland is excited to dive into his second year of graduate school headfirst to continue honing his craft. Ireland has a plethora of experience from a melting pot of different acting disciplines. Shakespeare, Commedia dell’arte, contemporary drama, and Laban are just a few styles Ireland has had practice with. Before acting, Ireland was a musician and athlete. These communities instilled foundational qualities of self improvement and discipline that blend seamlessly with his new journey as an actor. A space where he can be himself, where he can express, where he can just be. Ireland has plans to continue his acting career in the hopes of becoming the best he can be, to show the world who he is, and the stories that he wants to tell. In his spare time, Ireland is a proficient saxophonist and avid comic reader. He dabbles in other artistic endeavors such as drawing and is currently self teaching the piano. “This journey is a marathon. Not a sprint.” Instagram: @irelanddylan__

Shunté Lofton

Shunté Lofton

(F) is a graduate of the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance and is thrilled to be on this next journey! She’s had the privilege of growing up all over the world and comes to Cleveland from Houston. She is thankful to God and to her family more(F) is a graduate of the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance and is thrilled to be on this next journey! She’s had the privilege of growing up all over the world and comes to Cleveland from Houston. She is thankful to God and to her family for their continued support. A lover of the classics, she has performed her way through half of Shakespeare’s canon. Some of her favorite credits include Ophelia (Hamlet) and Princess of France (Love’s Labour’s Lost) with the American Shakespeare Center, and Constance ( King John ) with Colorado Shakespeare Festival. In her free time, she enjoys playing the bass.

Gavin Michaels

Gavin Michaels

(B) is from wonderfully rainy Seattle. His stage credits include Romeo in Romeo and Juliet , Orlando in As You Like It (Bainbridge Performing Arts); The Prince in the musical The Light Princess (Dacha Theatre); Rolly in Mae West’s The Drag (Play Your Part Theatre); Ferdinand in The Tempest more(B) is from wonderfully rainy Seattle. His stage credits include Romeo in Romeo and Juliet , Orlando in As You Like It (Bainbridge Performing Arts); The Prince in the musical The Light Princess (Dacha Theatre); Rolly in Mae West’s The Drag (Play Your Part Theatre); Ferdinand in The Tempest and Hamlet in Hamlet (Kentwood Players). He earned his undergraduate degree in political communication and rhetoric from the University of Washington.

Alfredo Ruiz

Alfredo Ruiz

(R) was born and raised in Miami, FL. After graduating with his BFA in Acting from Florida International University in 2018, he worked as a teaching artist while creating manic works of indie film. He spent the rest of his time acting in immersive regional theatre and releasing his more(R) was born and raised in Miami, FL. After graduating with his BFA in Acting from Florida International University in 2018, he worked as a teaching artist while creating manic works of indie film. He spent the rest of his time acting in immersive regional theatre and releasing his own music under the moniker Adult Programming. Recent credits include: Passage (CPH/CWRU), 7 Deadly Sins (Miami New Drama/Winner of the Drama League Award), and Wynwood Stories (Juggerknot Theatre Co.) alfredojruiz.com

Christopher Chen

(Playwright) is an international award-winning playwright whose works have been produced across the United States and abroad. His play Caught was a New York Times critics’ pick, and enjoyed a sold-out run at The Play Company. Honors include the 2017 Lanford Wilson Award (co-winner); the 2015-2016 Sundance Institute/Time Warner more(Playwright) is an international award-winning playwright whose works have been produced across the United States and abroad. His play Caught was a New York Times critics’ pick, and enjoyed a sold-out run at The Play Company. Honors include the 2017 Lanford Wilson Award (co-winner); the 2015-2016 Sundance Institute/Time Warner Foundation Fellowship for theater; the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, through which he was 2013-2014 playwright-in-residence at Vineyard Theatre; the Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play; Phindie Critics’ Award; the Glickman Award; the Rella Lossy Playwriting Award; shortlist for the James Tait Black Award; nomination for the Steinberg Award; second place in the Belarus Free Theatre International Competition of Modern Dramaturgy; a MAP Fund Grant; a Ford Foundation Emerging Writer of Color Grant; and finalist for the PoNY and Jerome Fellowships. His works have been produced and developed at companies such as American Conservatory Theater, Arcola Theatre, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Beijing Fringe, Berkeley Repertory Theatre/Ground Floor, Crowded Fire, Cutting Ball, Edinburgh Fringe, hotINK Festival, Impact Theatre, InterAct Theatre, Lark Play Development Center, Magic Theatre, Playwrights Foundation, San Francisco Playhouse, Seattle Public Theater, Shotgun Players, Sideshow Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Sundance Theatre Lab, Mu Performing Arts, U.C. Berkeley/ Zellerbach Playhouse, and the Vineyard. Publications include Dramatists Play Service, American Theatre Magazine, Theatre Bay Area, and Theater Magazine (Yale). A San Francisco native, Chris is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting from S.F. State.

Donald Carrier

Donald Carrier

(Director) is the director of the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program. He most recently directed Middletown for the MFA Program, Othello at Texas Shakespeare Festival, and As You Like It for the CWRU Department of Theater. For the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program, he has also directed Fifth of July, Clybourne more(Director) is the director of the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program. He most recently directed Middletown for the MFA Program, Othello at Texas Shakespeare Festival, and As You Like It for the CWRU Department of Theater. For the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program, he has also directed Fifth of July, Clybourne Park, The Misanthrope, Too True to Be Good, and The Violins of Hope. Other directing includes Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Seminar, and Really Really (Beck Center for the Arts); and Becky Shaw (Dobama Theatre). Other selected directing credits include The Crucible, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Alms, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Habeas Corpus, The Pirates of Penzance, and Oh! What a Lovely War. He has appeared at Cleveland Play House in Shakespeare in Love; All the Way; Luna Gale; The Crucible; The Little Foxes; Yentl; In the Next Room, or the vibrator play; Ten Chimneys; Noises Off; and Lincolnesque. Regional credits include The National Arts Center, Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, Great Lakes Theater, The Studio Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre, The Wilma Theater, The Huntington Theatre, The Intiman Theatre, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. He spent nine seasons at the Stratford Festival, three seasons at the Old Globe, and two seasons at the Shaw Festival. Television/Film includes Guns, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Passion of Ayn Rand, and Dead by Monday. Don is a proud Lunt/Fontanne Fellow.

Cameron Caley Michalak

(Scenic Designer) is thrilled to be back with CWRU MFA Program! Regional Theatrical design credits include: Cleveland Play House productions of These Mortal Hosts, Venus in Fur, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and A Soldier’s Tale with Catch and Release. CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program’s design credits include She Stoops more(Scenic Designer) is thrilled to be back with CWRU MFA Program! Regional Theatrical design credits include: Cleveland Play House productions of These Mortal Hosts, Venus in Fur, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and A Soldier’s Tale with Catch and Release. CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program’s design credits include She Stoops to Conquer, A Philadelphia Story, The Three Sisters, The Misanthrope and The Winter›s Tale. Cleveland Ballet’s The Nutcracker Suite, Alice, Provocativo. Selected local credits include When Farah Cries (Borderlight International Theatre Festival); Dance Nation, John, Appropriate, The Effect, The Night Alive, Becky Shaw (Dobama); Les Misérables, Mary Poppins, The Wiz, Assassins, (Near West Theatre); Really Really, Young Frankenstein and Seminar (Beck Center); and Aida, Sweeney Todd and Hairspray, among many others (M.A.D. Factory). Cameron is currently an MFA candidate at Goddard College, and acts as Technical Director and Instructor for Cleveland State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

Esther M. Haberlen

(Costume Designer) has credits with the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program that include The Misanthrope, Too True to Be Good, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Her more than 50 theater and opera design credits range with companies as diverse as Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare more(Costume Designer) has credits with the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program that include The Misanthrope, Too True to Be Good, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Her more than 50 theater and opera design credits range with companies as diverse as Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Dobama Theatre, Cleveland Opera Theater, Cleveland Institute of Music, Chagrin Valley Performing Arts Academy, Willoughby Fine Arts Association, Cleveland Public Theatre, and the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music. Esther holds a BFA in theater production and design from the State University of New York (Fredonia), and also worked as a costume technician at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Public Theater, and The Chautauqua Conservatory. Esther is costume shop director for GLT and its sister theatres, Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. A native of Syracuse, New York, she has proudly called Cleveland home since 2003.

Jaemin Park

(Lighting Designer) has been working as a lighting designer in South Korea for about 15 years. He has designed more than 100 productions in various genres such as plays, musicals, operas, and dances. While he was in South Korea, he worked as a full-time lighting supervisor and resident designer more(Lighting Designer) has been working as a lighting designer in South Korea for about 15 years. He has designed more than 100 productions in various genres such as plays, musicals, operas, and dances. While he was in South Korea, he worked as a full-time lighting supervisor and resident designer in a national theatre with about 1,200 seats in Daegu, South Korea. His unique background in studying vocal music during his undergraduate courses has given him a keen ear for analyzing and expressing music. He has been directing in opera and loves musical works. Based on his experience in South Korea, he is in his last semester MFA in lighting design at Kent State University. In June 2022, he will be designing the musical Little Shop of Horrors at Porthouse Theatre. He has enjoyed working with the Passage creative team.

Richard B. Ingraham

(Sound Designer) is an AV Systems designer for About The Stage and has worked at numerous theatres, schools and attractions in the Cleveland area and throughout the U.S. as both a designer and educator, including: Baldwin Wallace University, Beck Center for the Arts, Cain Park, Carnegie Mellon University, Chagrin more(Sound Designer) is an AV Systems designer for About The Stage and has worked at numerous theatres, schools and attractions in the Cleveland area and throughout the U.S. as both a designer and educator, including: Baldwin Wallace University, Beck Center for the Arts, Cain Park, Carnegie Mellon University, Chagrin Falls Performing Arts Academy, Cleveland Public Theatre, Dobama Theatre, The University of Evansville, Great Lakes Theater, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Karamu House, Playhouse Square and Oberlin College. Richard was the Resident Sound Designer at Cleveland Play House from 1999-2001 and has worked as a consultant on award-winning software applications for the entertainment industry with Stage Research and Richmond Sound Design.

Kenya Woods

(Choreographer) is a native of Cleveland, Ohio with more than 30 years of experience in dance performance, choreography, teaching, and leadership. She holds a degree in Dance from Tennessee State University and is certified in Lester Horton Pedagogy, the official technique taught at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. more(Choreographer) is a native of Cleveland, Ohio with more than 30 years of experience in dance performance, choreography, teaching, and leadership. She holds a degree in Dance from Tennessee State University and is certified in Lester Horton Pedagogy, the official technique taught at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. Her additional dance credits include Dance New Amsterdam and North Coast Ballet Theater. Madame Darvash, Dr. Diane McIntyre and Lynn Simonson have influenced her teaching style as well. She has worked nationally and internationally at regional dance companies, universities and school systems as an educator, performer, and choreographer. Kenya is currently a Hildegarde and Elbert Baker Visiting Scholar in the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University focusing on Jazz and Modern Dance for students in the MFA Theater Program. She continues to teach dance to students of all ages and lead programs that help cultivate technique, artistry, body awareness and empowerment and appreciation for dance.

Beth McGee

(Vocal Coach) is a co-founder of Shadow of the Run productions and the playwright of WanderLust, and DreamWalkers, Cleveland’s first fully immersive theater experience, produced in July 2019. She was the on-set dialect coach for Cinemax’s 2016 television series Quarry, directed by Greg Yaitanes. She has been the vocal more(Vocal Coach) is a co-founder of Shadow of the Run productions and the playwright of WanderLust, and DreamWalkers, Cleveland’s first fully immersive theater experience, produced in July 2019. She was the on-set dialect coach for Cinemax’s 2016 television series Quarry, directed by Greg Yaitanes. She has been the vocal coach for CWRU/ CPH MFA Acting Program productions of The Seagull, Fifth of July, Macbeth, Claybourne Park, She Stoops to Conquer, The Philadelphia Story, The Misanthrope, and An Orchard. Additional CPH main stage voice coaching credits include A Christmas Story, The Grapes of Wrath, A Kiss for Cinderella, The Imaginary Invalid, The African Company Presents Richard III, Lady from the Sea, Antigone, and Dracula. She dialect-coached the 2002 film Welcome to Collinwood directed by the Russo Brothers and starring George Clooney. She has coached and/or acted in productions at numerous Cleveland area theatres. She is a professor of voice and acting at CWRU. Devotees of folk music can find her 1980 Folkways album Love is Teasing housed in the archives of the Smithsonian Institution. McGee is an active member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Catherine L. Albers

(Acting Coach) is a Cleveland-based actor and teacher. During the pandemic, she kept busy with a reading with Rattlestick Theater in New York City and another for a Canadian playwright with an international cast. She also offered online workshops in the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique through the Great Lakes more(Acting Coach) is a Cleveland-based actor and teacher. During the pandemic, she kept busy with a reading with Rattlestick Theater in New York City and another for a Canadian playwright with an international cast. She also offered online workshops in the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique through the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium, where she is the president and lead administrator, and saw a film she recently worked on appear at the Cleveland Film Festival. She is thrilled to be back as the acting coach for this MFA production. Despite all this work, she adamantly says she is retired!

Jeffrey Ullom

(Dramaturg) is an associate professor of theatre at Case Western Reserve University, where he teaches theatre history and dramaturgy. He is the author of several books and articles focusing on regional theatre, including his most recent book on Cleveland Play House, America’s First Regional Theatre. As a dramaturg, he more(Dramaturg) is an associate professor of theatre at Case Western Reserve University, where he teaches theatre history and dramaturgy. He is the author of several books and articles focusing on regional theatre, including his most recent book on Cleveland Play House, America’s First Regional Theatre. As a dramaturg, he worked with notable playwrights including Tony Kushner, David Henry Hwang, John Patrick Shanley, and others at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, and has served as a dramaturg for several Cleveland Play House productions. He is currently working on two books — a broad history of regional theatre and a murder mystery involving theatre history.

Tyree Franklin

(Stage Manager) is a Cleveland-based stage manager with his BFA in Stage Management from Wright State University. His recent stage management credits include CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program solo shows, Greenwood: An American Dream Destroyed (Karamu House), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Karamu House). He would like to thank his family more(Stage Manager) is a Cleveland-based stage manager with his BFA in Stage Management from Wright State University. His recent stage management credits include CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program solo shows, Greenwood: An American Dream Destroyed (Karamu House), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Karamu House). He would like to thank his family and friends for their continued support!

Meet The Playwrights: Chelsea Marcantel

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