News & Announcements

CSU Theatre and Dance Presents “VIOLET”

Musical is a story of strength, compassion and joy


Tickets are now on sale for the Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance’s production of VIOLET. The musical will run November 8 to 18 in the intimate Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre in the Allen Theatre Complex at Playhouse Square.

The moving production features show-stopping anthems, ranging from American-roots to folk to gospel. As a girl, the protagonist, Violet, was struck by a wayward axe blade when her father was chopping wood, leaving her with a visible scar across her face. With enough money finally saved she's traveling across the Deep South in 1964 towards a miracle – the healing touch of a TV evangelist who will make her beautiful. Although she may not succeed in having the scar on her face healed, Violet is able to repair those scars that are lying deeper than her skin.

Cleveland State’s Department of Theatre and Dance is a resident company of Playhouse Square. VIOLET is based on “The Ugliest Pilgrim” by Doris Betts and directed by CSU Associate Professor Holly Holsinger, with music direction by Maria DiDonato. Music is by Jeanine Tesori, with lyrics and book by Brian Crawley.

“It’s a story about the fact that everyone has wounds, and that we’re all searching for healing. We all do that in our own way,” Holsinger says. “I hope people gain compassion from the show, but more importantly I hope people see themselves on their own journey.”

Holsinger says her cast is performing wonderful group numbers with intriguing and powerful harmonies. “The cast is drawing me in, making me want to rise up out of my seat,” she says.


Show times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. $5 to $15 tickets are available by calling 216.241.6000, visiting, or at the State Theatre ticket office located at 1519 Euclid Ave. Tickets are also available 60 minutes prior to the performances at the Allen Theatre Complex.


A $25 dinner and show night is available on Friday, November 9. The package includes dinner at Elements Bistro between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m., and a ticket to the 7:30 p.m. showing of VIOLET that evening. Tickets are pre-reservation only, at least 48 hours prior to the show. They must be purchased as a dinner and show package through Playhouse Square.

An American Sign Language (ASL) performance will be held on Sunday, November 11. Patrons can get a $5 discount off the general ticket price with code “ASL.”