Program will include productions of Avenue Q, Romeo and Juliet and A Streetcar Named Desire
Cleveland State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, a Resident Company of Playhouse Square, will open its 2016-17 season Oct. 14, its fifth full season in the Allen Theatre complex. The works chosen reflect the breadth of talent and diversity of subject matter represented by the Department.
Dance begins the season with a performance by GroundWorks DanceTheater, running October 14 and 15 on the Allen Theatre Mainstage. As the resident professional dance company of the CSU Department of Theatre and Dance, GroundWorks returns under the artistic direction of David Shimotakahara. The production will showcase the company’s extensive ties to the Great Lakes/Midwest region, featuring original work by award-winning choreographers Robyn Mineko Williams of Chicago, Beth Corning of Pittsburgh and GWDT’s own David Shimotakahara.
The theatre season opens with the zany, irreverent musical, Avenue Q, directed by CSU Associate Professor Russ Borski. The production was conceived by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, who together wrote the music and lyrics, with book by Jeff Whitty. Avenue Q is set for October 27 - November 6 in the Allen Theatre. Winner of the Tony "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. Filled with gut-busting humor and a delightfully catchy score, Avenue Q is a truly unique show that has quickly become a favorite for audiences everywhere. Warning: mature themes explored through poly-foam puppetry!
The second theatre offering is the classic William Shakespeare drama, Romeo and Juliet, presented March 2 – 12 in the Outcalt Theatre. Directed by CSU Associate Professor Dr. Michael Mauldin, Romeo and Juliet is one of William Shakespeare’s most recognized and beloved romantic tragedies. Romeo of the Montagues and Juliet of the Capulets fall in love, but their families are embroiled in an age-old feud, so they marry in secret. When Juliet’s parents betroth her to another, and Romeo gets caught up in the death of a Capulet, these star-crossed lovers are tossed into a whirlwind of wretched fate that leaves both sides shocked and changed for all time.
Dance returns to the Allen Theatre Mainstage with its popular annual CSU Spring Dance Concert, March 31 and April 1. Featuring CSU Dance Company, faculty, staff, musicians and guest artists, this repertory concert, under the direction of Theatre and Dance Department Chair Lynn Deering, includes an eclectic evening of contemporary and traditional choreography.
Running April 20 - 30 in The Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre, the final theatre production of the season is the Tennessee Williams drama A Streetcar Named Desire. Directed by Nathan Motta, it is considered one of the greatest plays written for the American Theatre. A Streetcar Named Desire is a timeless classic about delusion, reality, madness, love, and loss. Set in a small garden apartment in 1940’s New Orleans, Stanley Kowalski's primitive desires violently clash with Blanch Dubois' longing for a past which may or may not have ever existed. Immortalized by the film starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh, this iconic play blends grittiness and lyricism to create some of the most memorable and heart-wrenching characters ever created.
Most regular shows run Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 216.241.6000, visiting playhousesquare.org, or at the State Theatre Ticket Office, located at 1519 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115. Tickets are also available 60-minutes prior to performances at the Allen Theatre Complex.