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2023/2024 Season

Current and Upcoming Shows

The Price of the Ticket

The Price of the Ticket

by Charles Smith

June 15, 2024

On the cusp of the Civil War, slavecatchers are infiltrating Cleveland, Ohio, trying to kidnap Black individuals escaping to freedom in Canada. Everyone wants local barber John Wheeler to protest these abductions, but he resists becoming an activist. Is he trying to placate his white clientele, or are there deeper reasons for his silence? And how will his reticence affect his romance with a young teacher who wants him to take a stand? With suspense and high stakes, The Price of the Ticket explores the dilemma of when to speak up and when silence has power.

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To Keep and Bear

To Keep and Bear

by Uma Incrocci

June 15, 2024

An idealistic young congresswoman meets her nemesis, a tech billionaire, who blindsides her with a bizarre proposal: to create a town in America that has no guns. Her journey is both a personal story of how loss provokes a search for meaning, and a hilarious examination of the complicated issue of gun control in our country — complete with outlandish personalities, comic reversals, and a gaggle of singing children.

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Standardized Patient

Standardized Patient

by Phillip Christian Smith

June 22, 2024

What leads someone to become a standardized patient, engaging in role play to help doctors develop a compassionate bedside manner? Listening to the humorous and heart-wrenching stories from the actors he’s interviewing, Derrick, a documentary filmmaker, quickly learns about the roots of empathy, how unsympathetic doctors can learn kindness, and what happens when the line between reality and fiction starts to blur. When his subjects start inquiring about his own medical history and trauma, Derrick is forced to reckon with a form of healing that goes beyond the mere physical.

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The Unexpected 3rd

The Unexpected 3rd

by Kathryn Grody

June 22, 2024

Deep into her 3rd (and final) act of being a person, Kathryn Grody investigates an eclectic, devastating, and hilarious potpourri of shocking discoveries as she finds herself — at 75 — becoming not quite old, but elder. Another Boomer that didn’t think the aging process would apply to her, Grody enters elderhood with equal parts empowerment and bewilderment. Marching onward through crumbling democracy, a boiling planet, and an increasingly dead roster of friends and colleagues, she is buoyed by discovering parts of herself she didn’t know were in hiding, waiting for this period to bloom. Mother, artist, wife, grandmother, friend, and accidental social media influencer, Kathryn Grody is astonished with her life, your life, and the stunning, deeply-felt, heart-breaking impermanence of it all.

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Past Shows

Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End

Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End

July 29 - August 20, 2023

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.

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Thurgood

Thurgood

September 9 - October 1, 2023

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.

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The Tempest

CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program

The Tempest

September 20 - 30, 2023

Shakespeare’s final play, The Tempest, reiterates many of his great themes around family strife, conflict and ultimately forgiveness and reconciliation. The exiled Duchess of Milan, Prospera, finds revenge within her grasp with the arrival on her island of those who had banished her. She must ultimately decide whether to move forward or dwell in the anger of the past. An unforgettable collection of characters both human and fantastical gives the graduating Class of 2024 an ideal opportunity by delving into this suspenseful, magical and joyful work.

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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

October 21 - November 12, 2023

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.

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Black Nativity

Black Nativity

December 1 - 16, 2023

Karamu House, the centerpiece of Cleveland’s historic Fairfax neighborhood and the oldest Black theatre in the country, presents the soul-stirring, gospel celebration, Black Nativity. Ease on down to Playhouse Square’s Allen Theatre for the dynamic and electrifying Black Nativity. Written by Langston Hughes, especially for Karamu House, the heartwarming story has been reimagined with new sets, costumes and choreography. If you’ve seen it before, you’ve never seen it like this!

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The Play That Goes Wrong

The Play That Goes Wrong

February 10 - March 10, 2024

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.

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Middletown

CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program

Middletown

February 21 - March 2, 2024

Welcome to Middletown, USA. Population: Stable. Elevation: Same. It’s an ordinary small town. With ordinary people. All living seemingly ordinary lives. And yet, from all this ordinary emerges the extraordinary—the absurd, the comedic, and the beautiful moments of lives being lived. Told with humor and deep compassion, this spiritual successor to Our Town shows us the joy, sadness, small victories and defeats we experience as we go through the ups and downs of being human. This production will introduce the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program’s Class of 2026 to local audiences.

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Amadeus

Amadeus

April 6 - 28, 2024

Why does God grace some individuals with talent and genius, but render others dull and mediocre? This is the question that plagues Italian composer Antonio Salieri as he chases after fame and fortune in 18th and 19th century Vienna. Frustrated by his plight, Salieri becomes obsessed with ruining a young rival composer — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — in a deadly game of deceit and revenge. Musical history is re-orchestrated in Peter Shaffer’s Tony Award-winning tale of music, malice, and madness — Amadeus.

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In The Heights

In The Heights

May 11 - June 9, 2024

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.

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Our Theatres

Allen Theatre

Allen Theatre

Helen Theatre

Helen Theatre

Outcalt Theatre

Outcalt Theatre

The Allen, Helen and Outcalt theatres are located at Playhouse Square
1407 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115

Administrative Offices and Education Center
1901 E. 13th Street, Suite 200 Cleveland, OH 44114 (216) 400-7000

Production Center
7401 Detour Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44103

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