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CSU Summer Stages opens with The Elephant Man

BY SHANETTE D. BUFORD
JULY 12, 2010


Live professional theater during the hot and humid summer in Cleveland is a major attraction. Downtown Cleveland has its own professional summer theater company, the Cleveland State University’s Summer Stages kicked off their fourth season.

Summer Stages had an award winning season last year [2009], this summer it returns with three shows in rotating during a five-week run from July 8 through August 8.

“Summer Stages is a resident theater company of CSU, most of the cast members are composed of CSU Dramatic Arts students, local professional actors, and CSU alumni,” said Dr. Michael Mauldin, director of theater program at CSU.

“The theater program gives CSU undergraduate and potential actors great experience.”

Elephant ManSummer Stages will present the following shows The Elephant Man directed by New York Legend Everett Quinton; Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feeling So Sad, directed by Scott Spence of The Beck Center and finishing with Curtains, directed by Rupert Holmes.

With the fourth season opening of The Elephant Man production on July 8, the Factory Theater the venue location of all Summer Stages productions was sold out. Attendees included students, theater lovers in the city, and CSU’s faculty and staff.

Some who have been involved with Summer Stages in the past and still help now also were present in the audience.

“The Dramatic Arts Program or should I say the Department of Theater and Dance here at CSU welcomes you to another season of Summer Stages,” said Michael Mauldin, director of the Theater Program on opening night.

The Dramatic Arts Program was recently scaled up and renamed as the Department of Theater and Dance. The department is now apart of CSU’s Engage learning summer research grant. This allows more opportunities for “creative” activity as a valid addition to traditional research on the CSU campus.

“With the promotion of the ‘Dramatic Arts Program’ to the ‘Department of Theatre and Dance’, coupled with the anticipated move to the Allen Theatre, we can’t help but feel we are poised to become an education and entertainment powerhouse in Northeast Ohio,” explained Mauldin.

The Elephant Man in its opening night succeeds in getting the audience involved and engaged from the beginning. From the characters of Johnny “John” Merrick to the Pinhead/Duchess character, the live theatrical aspect of adapting and being a character was seen as if the actor themselves were the actual person.

The performance had excellent comedian punch lines that had the audience spilling with laughter, and the Victorian costumes and textures that eye popping can be compared to the movie Titanic.

All three production shows will be in rotating repertory during the five weeks. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for seniors and $10 for groups of 10 or more. The Smarty Pants Pass is $30 to see all three shows. Curtain times for all production shows are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays.

For tickets or more information on Summer Stages, call the box office at 216. 687. 2109 or visit www.csu.ticketleap.com. The Factory Theater is located on East 24th Street between Chester and Payne Avenues.