Cleveland Play House announces 2017-18 season: Laura Kepley

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CLEVELAND, OH (Feb. 19, 2017) Cleveland Play House’s newly announced 2017-18 Season contains a wide range of work certain to captivate, enlighten, excite and engage Cleveland audiences. Bursting with action, adventure, romance, and suspense, audiences will find joy in unexpected places in each production this Season.  The Season will include a swashbuckling romantic comedy, an urgent revival of an international classic, soul-shaking gospel performances, a political thriller from a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, a Tony Award-winning musical, and an electrifying athletic drama that packs a punch. With characters ranging from rebels and outsiders, to misfits, revolutionaries and geniuses, audiences will be swept up into the stories of one and all, and will be reminded that the most efficient way to resolve conflict whether on the stage or in life, is through collaboration. 

CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley states: “As we began building our 2017-18 Season, we were determined to find plays that would inspire all of us to be the very best version of ourselves.  Plays that offer hope and demonstrate courage, bravery, and generosity.  Plays that remind us that diversity, pluralism and multiculturalism are some of our societies’ greatest strengths and they must be seen and protected.  We will wrestle with the issues facing our country while keeping our eyes, ears, hearts and imaginations open to everyone around the globe.  The result is a season full of light, hope and grit with exciting productions that will bring our audiences to the edges of their seats.”

The 2017-18 Season Includes:

Shakespeare in Love

Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall
Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard

Sept 9-Oct 1, 2017 • Allen Theatre

The Academy Award-winning romantic comedy Shakespeare in Love comes to the stage, complete with swordfights, secret trysts, and backstage drama.  Young playwright Will Shakespeare is short on inspiration until he encounters the beguiling Viola, and their star-crossed love inspires a masterpiece.  Filled with action-packed adventure, fiery romance and wit, get ready to fall head over heels for CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley’s lush, lavish, and lusty production that celebrates the power of live theatre. 

 

The Diary of Anne Frank

Written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett

Adapted by Wendy Kesselman

Oct 21-Nov 12, 2017 • Outcalt Theatre

Staged in CPH’s intimate Outcalt Theatre, this must-see adaptation brings us into the secret annex where thirteen-year-old Anne and seven other Jews evade Nazi deportation. For over two years, all that will stand between them and the concentration camps is their trust in one another and the bravery of those harboring them. Anne’s compelling words come alive and urge us to stand up for one another in the face of intolerance, fear, and hate.

 

Marie and Rosetta

Written by George Brant

Jan 20-Feb 11, 2018 • Allen Theatre

Get your front row seat to music history in the making. Sister Rosetta Tharpe, “The Godmother of Rock n’ Roll” who influenced performers from Elvis to Hendrix, plucks prim and proper Marie Knight from a rival gospel show, and the two challenge one another on music, life, and The Almighty. This story of letting loose, finding your voice, and freeing your soul is a soaring music-theatre experience chock full of roof-raising performances.

 

The Invisible Hand

Written by Ayad Akhtar

Feb 17-Mar 11, 2018 • Outcalt Theatre

American investment banker Nick Bright will risk everything to return to his family. Held hostage in Pakistan by Islamic revolutionaries, his last chance for freedom depends on his ability to play the stock market to benefit his captors. This sharp geopolitical thriller from Pulitzer Prize-winner Ayad Akhtar takes us to the treacherous intersection of terrorism and capitalism, where greed and deceit prevail and no one escapes without blood on their hands.

 

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Music and Lyrics by William Finn

Book by Rachel Sheinkin

Conceived by Rebecca Feldman

Additional Material by Jay Reiss

April 14-May 6, 2018 • Allen Theatre

Six middle-school misfits are thrown into a cutthroat, high-stakes competition and

P-A-N-D-E-M-O-N-I-U-M takes first place. Welcome to the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, where eccentric adolescents (all played by adults!) get their chance to shine as they vie to prove they are the worthy of a shot at “Nationals”. A touching and irreverent coming-of-age comedy with a high-spirited, improvised spelling bee, this Tony Award-winning musical is a laugh-out-loud winner for all ages.

 

The Royale

Written by Marco Ramirez

Anchor production of the 2018 New Ground Theatre Festival

May 5-27, 2018 • Outcalt Theatre

It’s 1910, and Negro Heavyweight Champion Jay “The Sport” Jackson is determined to prove he is equal to his white counterpart – in the ring and in life. Challenging his rival to “The Fight of the Century,” Jay knows that even if he wins the bout, the battle for acceptance won’t end. Inspired by groundbreaking sports legend Jack Johnson, The Royale is an electrifying adrenaline rush that packs an unforgettable punch as it takes you inside Jim Crow America, inside the ring, and inside the head of this remarkable fighter.

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