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Oct. 27, 2014

Allen Theatre kicks off fall season with ‘The Dybbuk’: dedicates the production to memory of Reuben Silver

By Jaychelle Willis

The DybbukCleveland State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance kicks off the fall season with the production of The Dybbuk — from Thursday, Nov. 6 through Sunday, Nov. 16 — on the Allen Theatre Mainstage at PlayhouseSquare
Directed by Professor Michael Mauldin, The Dybbuk tells the story of a young man named Hannan, who is promised to Leah’le — the daughter of a rich merchant — in an arranged marriage.

However, Hannan ends up heartbroken when Leah’le’s father finds a wealthier man to wed his daughter. Mysteriously, Hannan dies and returns to life to possess Leah’le’s body.

The play is based off anthropologist S. Ansky’s play from 1914 that tells the terrifying tale of a Jewish legend about a young bride possessed by a dybbuk — a malicious, possessing spirit believed to be the dislocated soul of a person taken before their time — on the eve of her wedding.

“It’s a horror-love story,” Mauldin said.

The idea for the show came from the late Cleveland theater legend and one of the founders of the Cleveland State Dramatic Arts program, Reuben Silver

Silver and his wife, Dorothy, donated their theater library to the Theatre and Dance Department. This is where Mauldin found many versions of the musical.

“I started reading it and just fell in love with it,” Mauldin said.

With this production being dedicated to the memory of Silver, who died earlier this year, Mauldin said the love that the Silvers shared is his main reason for dedicating The Dybbuk to the Silver.

“It’s about the kind of love that transcends, and that’s how I feel about Dorothy and Reuben” Mauldin said
Most shows run Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre and Dance productions by calling the PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office at 216-241-6000, visiting online at or buying in person at the State Theatre Ticket Office — located at 1519 Euclid Ave.