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CSU Summer Stages hits the ground running
BY EMILY OUZTS
Three plays, 20 performances, six weeks: it’s going to be a busy summer for the Cleveland State University Summer Stages.
The third season of the professional/student theater collaboration kicks off this Thursday night at the CSU Factory Theater with a performance of “The Shadow Box,” a Pulitzer-prize winning play written by Michael Cristofer and directed by theater legend Everett Quinton.
Top photo: Tom Woodward (left), Charles Hargrave (center) and Ursula Cataan star in “The Shadow Box,” a 1977 Pulitzer-prize winning drama written by Michael Cristofer about three families with terminally ill members in separate cabins at an unconventional hospice. Directed by Everett Quinton.
Bottom photo: In the farsical comedy “Checkhov in Yalta,” Greg Violand (left) and Doug Miller explore three days at dramatist Anton Chekhov’s villa in Yalta, his relationship with the Moscow Art Theatre and his romantic interest in actress Olga Knipper (Tracee Patterson).
Also on stage this summer are “Return to the Forbidden Planet,” a space-age musical written by Bob Carlson and directed by Summer Stages Artistic Director Dr. Michael L. Mauldin, and the comedy “Chekhov in Yalta,” written by by John Driver and Jeffrey Haddow and directed by Cathy Hartenstein, education director at the Cleveland Play House
The Play House is also lending its sound designer, Jim Swonger, to the Summer Stages this year.
The 2009 season marks the third straight year that Quinton, a veteran of New York City’s Ridiculous Theater Company, will join the Summer Stages.
Famous for his uncanny cross-dressing stage skills, Quinton is one of several high-profile professionals that Mauldin has attracted to CSU’s Dramatic Arts Program since becoming director in 2006.
Mauldin, along with former CSU President Michael Schwartz, is credited with reviving the university’s theater program after a particularly rough stretch of seasons in the late 1990s.
Schwartz, who ended his eight-year run as president in June, was a famed advocate of CSU’s arts and theater programs.
General admission tickets are $15 each, $10 for seniors.
In “Return to the Forbidden Planet,” Captain Tempest, played by Lew Wallace (center), finds his spaceship stranded on the planet D’Illyria, inhabited by the mysterious Dr. Prospero (Greg Violand, upper left) and his daughter Miranda (Melissa Crum). Based on the 1956 science fiction film “Forbidden Planet” starring Leslie Nielsen, which was inspired by William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” the play features characters using partial Shakespearian dialogue and classic 50’s and 60’s songs like “Young Girl,” “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” “Wipe Out” and “Great Balls of Fire.” It was written by Bob Carlton, and is directed by Dr. Michael L. Mauldin.
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