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October 21 - November 12, 2023 , Outcalt Theatre

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

written by David Catlin
directed by Michael Barakiva

Run time: Approx. 2 hours and 20 minutes, including intermission
Advisory: Sexual innuendo and banter, stylized physical and sexual intimacy of many varieties; drug usage; gunshots; presentation of blood and corpses; stylized violence; images of horror and death; gunshots and other loud noises; smoke, fog, and strobe effects; discussions of infant death. Recommended for ages 16+

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.

inside-cph

Welcome to Inside CPH for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Click the icons and verbs below for some ideas on how you can engage more deeply with the themes and ideas of the play beyond the performance.

Special THANKS to our Productions Partners for our 2023-24 Season!

Our partners include:

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DISCUSS

  • Can you think of a time in your life when you “overreached” like Victor Frankenstein - when you took on a project or an initiative that was perhaps too big or too audacious, despite your own or others’ misgivings? What were the results and consequences? What did you learn from the experience?

  • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein grew out of some of the challenges or traumas of her own life - the death of an infant, her tumultuous relationship with Percy Shelley, and more. What two or three incidents from your own life might inspire a creative and new story? Would that be a horror story or some other type of tale? What would it be called?

  • Can you think of someone or something that you’ve misunderstood, like The Creature? A person, place, or experience that you initially found scary or terrifying that actually turned out to be different than expected? How did you initially react and respond? What changed that? What did you learn from the experience?

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Rituals of Remembering

If you were able to join us for our talk back with Dr. Brandy Schillace on October 31st, you got to see her speak on Mary Shelley's conveyance of grief as an isolating event. While offering her expertise on a wide range of subjects, Dr. Schillace shared some of her research into grieving rituals. To engage with more of Dr. Brandy Schillace's work, take a look at her website.

A big thank you to Dr. Brandy Schillace for joining us, for entertaining us, and for teaching us - it was a terrific night! Join us for all of our pre and post show programming, noted in the performance calendars on our printed literature and on our website.

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What strikes the heart of those who have watched or read any iteration of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is its potent theme of grief. Mary Shelley aptly cautions against the dangers of excessive grief and isolation - a path that Victor and the Creature endure to ruinous lengths.

As part of our preparation for this production, we did some fascinating research into how different cultures navigate grief, offering a wider global lens onthe subject. Some elements of this research can be seen in our production while others offer alternative and unique insights to the grieving process.

Sky Burial - In Tibet there is the predominantly Buddhist practice that translates to “giving alms to the birds.” In this practice, the remains of the deceased are laid out and scattered at a point of higher elevation for birds to consume and help elevate the soul to the heavens.

Hanging Coffins - In parts of China and Indonesia, another practice of stationing ancestral remains at high altitudes occurs. The practice originated with the Igorot people in the Philippines. The custom calls for an individual to carve their own coffin from hollowed logs and, upon their death, their coffin will be hung from the side of a cliff or cave. The height of the coffin's position reflects the height of their station in life with the goal that it will help secure an elevated position for the person in the afterlife.

Benguet Wake - In the Philippines, particularly in the Benguet region and tradition, deceased loved ones are clothed in familiar or favorite garments and posed sitting in a chair blindfolded. For eight days, loved ones come to visit, and on the eve of the funeral, there is a narration of the deceased’s life story.

Famadihana - In Madagascar the Malagasy people partake in a ritual of “the turning of the bones” or “dancing with the dead." This is a ritual where an ancestor's bones are exhumed from the familial crypt seven years after a body’s burial so that it can be rewrapped in cloth that will be marked with the deceased’s name. This is followed by a sort of parade and carrying of the body by members of the family. This ritual is accompanied by a speech made in the remembrance of the dead. The ritual serves as a reminder of the ancesttor's life story while also contributing to the body’s decomposition for a smoother transition into the afterlife.

Fantasy Coffins - In celebration of the life and death of loved ones, the southern Ghana tradition of fantasy coffins turns the grieving process into an artform. The custom transforms coffins into all sorts of sculptural shapes (animals, modes of transportation, foods, and more) to honor the profession and life of those who will be buried in them. In Ghana, fantasy coffin construction is more than a business and more than a burial; the burying of the deceased is a celebration of the life that was lived, complete with dancing, delicious food, and good wishes.

Other Cross Cultural Practices - A wide range of cultures and rituals endorse practices of hiding reflective surfaces and putting away pictures or photographs of people. The purposes vary slightly, but in a broad sense, these practices seek to ensure the soul or spirit of the deceased does not seek a new host or vessel and is stewarded smoothly to the afterlife. To some, it may sound like superstition, but for others, it is a final act of respect and generosity one can pay to those who are transitioning to the afterlife.

What these rituals share is their connection to the community - grieving the loss of life is a shared burden, and in more cases than not, a shared opportunity for celebration for the life well-lived. The commemoration and ritual of these communal practices prevent a sense of isolation that so often comes with mourning and grief.

Today, isolation has become more and more prominent in the wake of the Covid epidemic. It has historically been during times of plague and social isolation that practices and rituals such as these die out. What are the ways we can build and foster community in times of grief, heeding the warning of Mary Shelley? How can we avoid the pitfalls of Victor Frankenstein, spiraling into his necromantic obsession, so that we can find healthier paths in stewarding our grief and the memories of those who pass?

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Steven King outlines that there are three levels to the Horror genre, the greatest of which is Terror: the manipulation of one’s imagination to such a degree that that which is unseen, unnamed, and unknown can cause the greatest sense of fear.

Well, the best weapon to conquer that terror and that fear is to illuminate that which is unknown. Right here in Cleveland is a unique museum that seeks to do just that. Behold the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick. Buckland is the very first museum of its kind in this country, and one that seeks to offer an anthropological lens to folklore and the supernatural.

“When every major city seems to have a storefront with shrunken heads and serial killer art, the Buckland Museum stands out for its creditable collection and bona-fide novelty.” -Roadside America

In this season of haunts and hallows, check out the folklore, the culture, and the histories of witchcraft and magick; learn more about these subjects that have terrified and fascinated for centuries.

As partners with CPH, Buckland has graciously offered our patrons a discount to the ticketed admission price. Use this code (FrankCPH23) to get your discount at www.bucklandmuseum.org.

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Victor Frankenstein’s Creature is one of the all-time favorite ghoulish characters invoked during the Halloween season. This October, we’d love to see your favorite! Share a picture of your favorite Halloween character/costume get-up from seasons past. What was the costume that earned you legendary status (or maybe an affirming chuckle) from family, friends, and colleagues?

Tag #CPHFrankenstein and #CPHMaryShelley to see the other favorite ghoulish creations from our community.

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Are you more of a Mary or a Victor?

For the Poets and Writers:

You too can dive fiercely into the world of story-telling just like Mary Shelley and her compatriots at the Villa Diodati. In fact, you scarcely need more than a few words. Challenge yourself and see if you can compose a story in just three words. Here are a few we came up with around the office:

Grandma has escaped!

My reflection winked-

The crib’s empty…

Count the shadows...

Sale: fresh bones

Huddle indoors with your own group and see who can tell the most terrifying tale.

For the Monster Makers and Drawers:

Maybe you’ve got an inkling more like Victor - let your imagination and your hands do the work and explore this craft of monster creation. Construct and create your very own monster with friends or family members. This is an activity devised in the 1920s by the surrealist art/performance movement (originally called the “exquisite corpse”) and was designed to foster collaborative creation and intuitive expression. Here’s how it works:

  • Take a piece of paper and fold it into four equal parts in the same direction. (ie. Make four hot dog folds OR four hamburger folds, don’t rotate or swap the orientation of the folds.)

  • Draw on the top section of the paper to create the head of an imaginary character or creature.

  • Extend the neck (or whatever it has for a neck) down just below to the top of the next section on the paper.

  • Fold your image back to conceal it.

  • Pass the paper on to a friend or family member. Keep your image hidden and have them draw a body to the neck that extends into their section.

  • Extend the body just to the very top edge of the next section.

  • Now repeat! Pass the paper to a third person, concealing the first two sections of the page, and have them add the legs.

  • Repeat! Then hide that section and pass to a fourth person to add the feet. Remember to draw lines over the fold into each new section so the following person knows where to start.

  • Unfold the page and reveal your very own monster creation!

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Artists

Josh Bates

Josh Bates

(Dr. John Polidori, Henry Clerval, and Others) is a Southern California native who received his BFA in Acting from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Sic ‘Em Bears. 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 more(Dr. John Polidori, Henry Clerval, and Others) is a Southern California native who received his BFA in Acting from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Sic ‘Em Bears. 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. He’d like to thank his family and friends for putting up with this ridiculous life of his. All glory to God! Instagram: @joshbaetes

Madeline Calais-King

Madeline Calais-King

(Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, Elizabeth Lavenza) received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (summa cum laude) in Acting from the University of Houston's School of Theatre & Dance. Madeline had the immense pleasure of appearing in two world premieres this past summer which include 10CHILDREN’s Watching Butterflies (written by Eric more(Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, Elizabeth Lavenza) received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (summa cum laude) in Acting from the University of Houston's School of Theatre & Dance. Madeline had the immense pleasure of appearing in two world premieres this past summer which include 10CHILDREN’s Watching Butterflies (written by Eric Schmiedl) and Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival’s Hamlet 50/50 (adapted by Vanessa Morosco & Peter Simon Hilton). Other notable companies Madeline has worked with include the American Shakespeare Center, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival and Red Bull Theater in New York City

Ellen Grace Diehl

Ellen Grace Diehl

(Claire Clairmont, Mother, and Others) is a proud member of the MFA Acting class of 2024 and is delighted to be a part of this production. Previous CPH credits include: Claire Clairmont, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; Ariel, The Tempest; Cliton, The Liar. Other credits include Oklahoma! (Ado Annie) and Carousel more(Claire Clairmont, Mother, and Others) is a proud member of the MFA Acting class of 2024 and is delighted to be a part of this production. Previous CPH credits include: 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. Ellen has over a decade of experience teaching and choreographing and over 20 years of dance training. She is passionate about inspiring and teaching the next generation of artists with compassion and excellence. For Bill and Peg Etter, always. IG: @ellengracediehl www.ellengracediehl.com

Victoria Alev Duffy

Victoria Alev Duffy

(U/S Madeline Calais-King, Ellen Grace Diehl ) (she/her) is elated to be a part of The Play That Goes Wrong at the Cleveland Play House. Past CPH credits: The Tempest, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Watching Butterflies, The Liar, Everybody and Passage. Fordham Theatre credits include The Most Massive Woman more(U/S Madeline Calais-King, Ellen Grace Diehl ) (she/her) is elated to be a part of The Play That Goes Wrong at the Cleveland Play House. Past CPH credits: The Tempest, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Watching Butterflies, The Liar, Everybody and Passage. Fordham Theatre credits include The Most Massive Woman Wins, Machinal, DIMES: A New Musical, and more. Victoria has a passion for exploring theatre through a non-American lens, and has spent her past summers intensively studying devising techniques and experimental theatre in Berlin and Shakespeare in London. She is forever thankful for her time in Cleveland and looks forward to returning to New York this coming May. Thank you to everyone involved with The Play That Goes Wrong. @vickduff www.victoriaalevduffy.com

Dylan Ireland

Dylan Ireland

(U/S Kayodè Soyemi) is entering his third and final year of his MFA Acting program for the CWRU/CPH Program. Ireland 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 more(U/S Kayodè Soyemi) is entering his third and final year of his MFA Acting program for the CWRU/CPH Program. Ireland 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 roles include: 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). This year, Ireland was nominated for “Best Performer in a Play” for his work in CWRU’s The Tempest where he played Stephano, and Sebastian. Upon graduation in the spring, Ireland has plans to move to New York City to pursue a professional career in stage acting. Ireland gives glory to God, and his family for their eternal support. Instagram: dylan.ireland_

Gavin Michaels

Gavin Michaels

(Percy Bysshe Shelley, Victor Frankenstein, and Oth) 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, Hamlet in Hamlet (Kentwood Players), Dorante in The Liar and Caliban in The Tempest (CWRU). more(Percy Bysshe Shelley, Victor Frankenstein, and Oth) 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, Hamlet in Hamlet (Kentwood Players), Dorante in The Liar and Caliban in The Tempest (CWRU). 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 in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Cleveland Playhouse). His film credits include the school-shooter Derek in the short film Diabolos, Carl in the sci-fi drama The House (Tubi), and Danny in the quirky comedy Danny Doom (Amazon Prime). He earned his undergraduate degree in Political Communication and Rhetoric from the University of Washington. When he’s not on stage you can listen to him playing his signature flavor of pop-punk/emo at local music venues or on your favorite music streaming platform. @_gavinmichaels / gavinmichaels.com

Alfredo Ruiz

Alfredo Ruiz

(U/S Josh Bates, Gavin Michaels) is currently a third year graduate actor at the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program. You may have seen his pants rip in one of his three performances as understudy for Victor Frankenstein in CPH’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein directed by Michael Barakiva. While pursuing his MFA, more(U/S Josh Bates, Gavin Michaels) is currently a third year graduate actor at the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program. You may have seen his pants rip in one of his three performances as 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. Upon graduation Alfredo will be based in NYC but his heart, and hopefully several equity contracts, will always be in Miami. You’ll be able to catch Alfredo again in CPH’s Amadeus later this season! Regional credits include: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (Cleveland Play House), Watching Butterflies (Cleveland Play House), 7 Deadly Sins (Miami New Drama), Wynwood Stories (Juggerknot Theatre Co.). alfredojruiz.com

Kayodè Soyemi

Kayodè Soyemi

(Lord Byron, Creature, and Others) is making his CPH premiere. A first-generation Nigerian-American actor, writer and producer that calls Atlanta, GA his home away from home. He’s a graduate of the MFA Acting program at Yale where in addition to performing, he served as Producing Artistic Director at Yale more(Lord Byron, Creature, and Others) is making his CPH premiere. A first-generation Nigerian-American actor, writer and producer that calls Atlanta, GA his home away from home. He’s a graduate of the MFA Acting program at Yale where in addition to performing, he served as Producing Artistic Director at Yale Cabaret, the student run dine-in theatre, was a Jerome L. Greene and a Connecticut Artist Fellow. Kayodè is known for playing characters that require extraordinary emotional and physical dexterity, and is so glad to be bringing Mary Shelley’s iconic creature to life through his own cultural lens. Regional Credits: The Light, Pass Over (Chester Theatre Co.) A Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center) Father Comes Home from the Wars (Actor’s Express) Everybody Black, We’ve Come to Believe (Humana Festival) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Actors Theatre) TV/FILM: Run the World (Lionsgate/Starz), Lizardians, Dr. Birds Advice for Sad Poets, Blackface. IG: fkaseun, www.kayodesoyemi.com

David Catlin

David Catlin

(Playwright) is a founding member of Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company. Other adaptations include Lookingglass Alice, Moby Dick, Midsummer Night’s Daydream, Icarus, and the idiot. David’s regional writing and/or directing credits include Indianapolis Repertory, Northlight Theatre, Alliance Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Arena Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, more(Playwright) is a founding member of Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company. Other adaptations include Lookingglass Alice, Moby Dick, Midsummer Night’s Daydream, Icarus, and the idiot. David’s regional writing and/or directing credits include Indianapolis Repertory, Northlight Theatre, Alliance Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Arena Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Denver Center for The Performing Arts, Arden Theatre Company, Syracuse Stage, Getty Villa, and Adrienne Arsht Center. He will direct Moby Dick at St Louis Rep (February 2024). David is also an Artistic Associate with Actors Gymnasium and serves as Head of Undergraduate Acting at Northwestern University

Michael Barakiva

Michael Barakiva

(Director) is thrilled to return to CPH after co-directing last year's Moriarty: A New Sherlock Holmes Adventure by Ken Ludwig. An Armenian/Israeli-American director and writer based in New York City, Michael's third YA novel, Keepers of the Stones and Stars, will be on bookshelves in May 2024 (Macmillan, FSG). more(Director) is thrilled to return to CPH after co-directing last year's Moriarty: A New Sherlock Holmes Adventure by Ken Ludwig. An Armenian/Israeli-American director and writer based in New York City, Michael's third YA novel, Keepers of the Stones and Stars, will be on bookshelves in May 2024 (Macmillan, FSG). As a director, Michael’s work has been seen at Primary Stages, Ensemble Studio Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Syracuse Stage, and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, as well as the Hangar Theatre, where he served as Artistic Director. As a writer, Michael's novels One Man Guy and its stand-alone sequel Hold My Hand, have received numerous accolades and awards. He has spoken at the Iowa Governor’s Conference for LGBTQ Youth, Brooklyn Book Fair, Spring Writes! Literary Festival, Pennsylvania Library Leadership Conference, Unbound Book Festival, the McNally Jackson Books LGBTQ YA Series and New York Book Expo. Michael serves as the Founding Artistic Director of The Upstart Creatures, a NYC-based company which creates community through theatre, food, and social justice and the Leadership Initiative Project, which equips historically excluded artists with the tools to succeed in leadership positions (www.upstartcreatures.com). He has presented at the International University Theatre Festival at UNAM, Mexico City and led workshops at the International Puppet Theatre Sofia, Bulgaria. He is the recipient of three Drama League Fellowships, the Killian Directing Fellowship at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Granada Artist-in-Residence at UC Davis and was the primary coach on an episode of MTV’s Made. Education: The Juilliard School, Vassar College. www.michaelbarakiva.com

Lex Liang

(Scenic & Costume Designer) is delighted to be back at CPH where he previously designed Shakespeare in Love (SD/CD), Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville (CD), The Three Musketeers (CD), The Little Foxes (SD/CD) and many others. Int’l/Nat’l Tours/NYC/Off-B’way: 100+ productions, including Judy Gold’s Yes, I Can Say That! currently playing at more(Scenic & Costume Designer) is delighted to be back at CPH where he previously designed Shakespeare in Love (SD/CD), Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville (CD), The Three Musketeers (CD), The Little Foxes (SD/CD) and many others. Int’l/Nat’l Tours/NYC/Off-B’way: 100+ productions, including Judy Gold’s Yes, I Can Say That! currently playing at Primary Stages, directed by BD Wong. Other recent work includes the world premieres of Emma, Mr. Holland’s Opus, The Tattooed Lady, and May We All. Other Regional: Actor’s Theatre Louisville, Alliance Theatre, Asolo, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Dallas Theatre Center, Denver Center, Geva, Guthrie, La Jolla, Long Wharf, Paper Mill Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Playmaker’s Rep, Portland Center Stage, St. Louis Rep, Syracuse Stage, Woolly Mammoth, ... Lex is the founder and principal of LDC Design Associates, the experiential event design and production company in NYC. Recent projects/clients include Absolut Vodka, Operation Smile, Johnson & Johnson, Ubuntu Pathways, Invesco, The Tony Awards Gala, NYFW, NYWFF, William Hill, and others. www.LexLiang.com @Lex92

Jakyung C. Seo

(Lighting Designer) (she/her) has designed more than 100 productions. Seo has presented work at Steppenwolf, Congo Square Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Contemporary American Theatre Company in Ohio (CATCO), HEAR theatre, and Lodestone Theatre. Her international credits include Face at Edinburgh, BINARI at Avignon Off Festival, Theatre Laboratory Elizabeth Czerczuk, more(Lighting Designer) (she/her) has designed more than 100 productions. Seo has presented work at Steppenwolf, Congo Square Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Contemporary American Theatre Company in Ohio (CATCO), HEAR theatre, and Lodestone Theatre. Her international credits include Face at Edinburgh, BINARI at Avignon Off Festival, Theatre Laboratory Elizabeth Czerczuk, Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Busan International Performing Arts Festival, and What We Want Is for Thrust Dance Company, which she was awarded for at the International Dance Festival in Saitama, Japan. Seo is co-artistic director of Global Women Performing Arts Festival, which focuses on female artists and their voices. She has taught lighting design workshops in Thailand, Singapore, and South Korea. Seo is a Professor of Lighting Design and a Coordinator of BFA and MFA design, Technology and Production at Kent State University. Seo has presented more than 23 sessions at PQ Scenofest in Prague, United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) since 2004.

Sharath Patel

(Sound Designer & Soundscape Creator) (he/him) is an Oregon based designer who works internationally focusing on experimental, commercial, academic, political and socially conscious theatre. Recent designs: The Alley Theatre, Alliance Theatre, A.C.T., Dallas Theater Center, Portland Center Stage, TheatreWorks of Silicon Valley, Indiana Rep, Asolo Rep, American Rep, Seattle more(Sound Designer & Soundscape Creator) (he/him) is an Oregon based designer who works internationally focusing on experimental, commercial, academic, political and socially conscious theatre. Recent designs: The Alley Theatre, Alliance Theatre, A.C.T., Dallas Theater Center, Portland Center Stage, TheatreWorks of Silicon Valley, Indiana Rep, Asolo Rep, American Rep, Seattle Rep, Artists Rep, Milwaukee Rep, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cal Shakes, Alabama Shakes, Theatrical Outfit, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Tantrum Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, The Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Arena Stage, Hypokrit Theatre Company, Geffen Playhouse, East West Players, Theatrical Outfit. Additional work in New York City, San Francisco, L.A., D.C., Boston, Norfolk, Raleigh, Aspen, India, France, England, Germany, Romania, Vietnam. Affiliations: USA829 IATSE, Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association, Arts Envoy for the U.S. Department of State, National Respondent for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, Resident Artists at Artists Rep. BFA: Ohio University. MFA: Yale School of Drama. sharathpatel.com

Derek A. Graham

(Composer) is pleased to be collaborating with Cleveland Play House for the first time. Composer credits include: Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Asolo Repertory Theatre); In Every Generation (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley); Toni Stone (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre/Alliance Theatre); Protocol (Portland Center Stage); The Chinese Lady (Artists Repertory Theatre). more(Composer) is pleased to be collaborating with Cleveland Play House for the first time. Composer credits include: Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Asolo Repertory Theatre); In Every Generation (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley); Toni Stone (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre/Alliance Theatre); Protocol (Portland Center Stage); The Chinese Lady (Artists Repertory Theatre). Derek is no stranger to the magic of Cleveland theatre, as his previous Cleveland-based credits, as a sound designer, come from Dobama Theatre: What We Look Like; Kill Move Paradise; Skeleton Crew; Wakey, Wakey; An Octaroon. He holds a MFA in Sound Design from Ohio University and a BA in Music with an emphasis in Sound Recording Technology from Elizabeth City State University.

Jason Hayes

(Wig Designer) JASON HAYES (Wig Designer) is a 2016 & 17’ Drama Desk Award Nominee for Outstanding Wig & Hair Design for his work on THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA McBRIDE & THE VIEW UPSTAIRS. Hayes was the Hair Supervisor for THE PRESENT starring Cate Blanchett. His Broadway Theatrical design more(Wig Designer) JASON HAYES (Wig Designer) is a 2016 & 17’ Drama Desk Award Nominee for Outstanding Wig & Hair Design for his work on THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA McBRIDE & THE VIEW UPSTAIRS. Hayes was the Hair Supervisor for THE PRESENT starring Cate Blanchett. His Broadway Theatrical design credits include CASA VALENTINA, THE REALISTIC JONES'S, SPRING AWAKENING, BLITHE SPIRIT, 13 THE MUSICAL & RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR for 10 years. His Film & TV credits include IMORDECAI, THE RISE OF HOLOLYWOOD, THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA, SMASH, HOSTAGES, 30 ROCK, MERCY, GOSSIP GIRL, SNL and his film credits include TRANSAMERICA, CAMP, THE SAVAGES, & PARTY MONSTER to name only a few. His Celebrity clients include Cate Blanchett, RuPaul, Angelica Huston, Debra Messing, Toni Colette, Dylan McDermott, Felicity Huffman, Jennifer Hudson, Liza Minelli, Sean Hayes, Megan Fox, Mary Stuart Masterson, Cherry Jones, Angela Lansbury, Laura Linney, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Macauley Culkin, Marilyn Manson.

José Pérez IV

(Fight Director) is a Pittsburgh-based fight & intimacy director, playwright, and actor. Resident Fight & Intimacy Director of Pittsburgh Public Theater (recent credits: Billy Strayhorn: Something to Live For produced by Billy Porter, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Harlem, Robin Hood). He recently designed the fights and intimacy for more(Fight Director) is a Pittsburgh-based fight & intimacy director, playwright, and actor. Resident Fight & Intimacy Director of Pittsburgh Public Theater (recent credits: Billy Strayhorn: Something to Live For produced by Billy Porter, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Harlem, Robin Hood). He recently designed the fights and intimacy for Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy at Actors Theatre of Louisville. His play Very Berry Dead (Semifinalist 46th Bay Area Playwrights Festival) received its world premiere at Saginaw Valley State University in February. His work has been seen at New York City venues including Times Square Arts Center, HERE Arts Center, Joe’s Pub, The Ohio Theater, and Theater for the New City. He is a graduate of NYU Tisch’s Experimental Theatre Wing, the University of Pittsburgh’s MFA Performance Pedagogy program, and member of the Society of American Fight Directors since 2009. JosePerezIV.com

Casey Venema

(Intimacy Director) (she/her) is a freelance intimacy director and theatre artist focused on creating environments of consent and crafting impactful moments of staged intimacy. She is an alumna of Bucknell University- where she graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Theatre and Film and Media Studies- and more(Intimacy Director) (she/her) is a freelance intimacy director and theatre artist focused on creating environments of consent and crafting impactful moments of staged intimacy. She is an alumna of Bucknell University- where she graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Theatre and Film and Media Studies- and a student of Theatrical Intimacy Education (TIE) and Intimacy Directors and Coordinators (IDC).Casey is the resident intimacy choreographer for Dobama Theatre in Cleveland Heights and has also worked as an intimacy professional for several other theatres in Northeast Ohio, including Cain Park, Karamu House, and Seat of the Pants Theatre. She is thrilled to be working with Cleveland Play House for the first time!When she isn't engaged in intimacy work, you can usually find Casey performing or directing. For more information about her artistic adventures, you can follow Casey on Instagram @caseyvenem8 and on her website: www.caseyvenema.com

Kenya Woods

(Movement Coach and Choreographer) a native of Cleveland, Ohio holds 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 more(Movement Coach and Choreographer) a native of Cleveland, Ohio holds 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. 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. Ms. Woods is the recipient of the Hildegarde and Elbert Baker Visiting Scholar in the Humanities at CWRU where she is also currently serving as faculty teaching dance in the MFA Theater of Arts Program

Matt Koenig

(Dialect Coach) (he/him) is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Baldwin-Wallace University. He has dialect coached at Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Florida Studio Theatre, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, La Mirada/McCoy Rigby Entertainment, and others. He coaches students of all levels and professionals in audition preparation, accent modification, and more(Dialect Coach) (he/him) is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Baldwin-Wallace University. He has dialect coached at Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Florida Studio Theatre, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, La Mirada/McCoy Rigby Entertainment, and others. He coaches students of all levels and professionals in audition preparation, accent modification, and public speaking. He is certified in Knight-Thompson Speechwork and is currently pursuing his certification in Fitzmaurice Voicework. MFA: UC. Irvine. Contact: Mkoenig@bw.edu

Craig Joseph

(Production Dramaturg) (he/him) joined the CPH staff in September 2021 as the Artistic Associate, and became Literary Director in September 2022. In addition to his daily work in the office, he served as the dramaturg for CPH’s The Three Musketeers. Outside these walls, Craig is the Artistic Director of more(Production Dramaturg) (he/him) joined the CPH staff in September 2021 as the Artistic Associate, and became Literary Director in September 2022. In addition to his daily work in the office, he served as the dramaturg for CPH’s The Three Musketeers. Outside these walls, Craig is the Artistic Director of Seat of the Pants (seatofthepants.org), an ensemble-based, process-driven theatre company that performs throughout Northeast Ohio. He also freelance acts and directs throughout the Midwest with credits at Writers Theatre, TimeLine Theatre, Resonance Works, Dobama, Karamu House, Ensemble Theatre, Canton Symphony, and Akron Symphony, among others. Craig is a Certified Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique through the Great Lakes Michael Consortium and a proud founding member of The Greenhouse, a cohort of Ohio-based theatre makers who come together regularly to encourage and provoke one another’s evolution as humans, artists, collaborators, and citizens

Shunté Lofton

Shunté Lofton

(Assistant Director) is a graduate of the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance and is thrilled to be on this next journey. Her previous Cleveland credits include: F (Passage), Death (Everybody), Lucrece (The Liar), and Prospera (The Tempest). She’s had the privilege of growing up all over more(Assistant Director) is a graduate of the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance and is thrilled to be on this next journey. Her previous Cleveland credits include: F (Passage), Death (Everybody), Lucrece (The Liar), and Prospera (The Tempest). 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 over 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. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

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. John has also stage managed at North Shore Music Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre, The more(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. John 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) is grateful to be return with Cleveland Play House. CPH credits included Teddy Bear Mountain(SM), The Great Leap(ASM)and Becoming Dr. Ruth(ASM), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein(PA). Previous stage management credits include Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Cain Park, Karamu House, Cleveland Public Theatre, Ohio City Theatre Project, Baldwin Wallace, Independence Theatre, more(Production Assistant) is grateful to be return with Cleveland Play House. CPH credits included Teddy Bear Mountain(SM), The Great Leap(ASM)and Becoming Dr. Ruth(ASM), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein(PA). Previous stage management credits include Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Cain Park, Karamu House, Cleveland Public Theatre, Ohio City Theatre Project, Baldwin Wallace, Independence Theatre, and Cassidy Theatre, among others. She previously completed her Disney College Program and Dobama Theatre Internship and graduated with a BA from Baldwin Wallace University.

Eight Scenic Designs in Two Minutes

Eight Scenic Designs in Two Minutes

Our friend Robert Mark Morgan, Scenic Designer (Into the Breeches!, Diary of Anne Frank, The Whipping Man) created a fun video showing all of the uniq...

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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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