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"By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” Taps Into 1930s Glitz, Glamour

1930s movie glamour with Lynn Nottage’s comedy “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” at Playhouse SquareLynn Nottage’s stage comedy starts April 20, introducing two vibrant women of the silver screen at Playhouse Square

CLEVELAND, OH (April 3, 2023) – The Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance opens the final show of the 2022-2023 season in the Helen Theatre with the opulence of Hollywood. Directed by Sheffia Randall-Nickerson.

Running April 20 through April 30, 2023, BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK is a seventy-year journey through the life of Vera Stark, an African American maid and budding actress, and her tangled relationship with her boss, a white Hollywood star desperately grasping to hold on to her career. When circumstances collide and both women land roles in the same Southern epic, the story behind the cameras leaves Vera with a surprising and controversial legacy scholars will debate for years to come.

“Set in the 1930s, 1970s, and the 00's this play was produced Off-Broadway in 2011 and then again in 2019. The story continues to challenge us now. I am thrilled to work with the very talented CSU cast and crew in bringing this incredibly relevant production to life. ’Stay awake. And tomorrow we’ll face a new day.’ The character of Vera Stark urges us to see the possibilities. She commands us to stay present and stay open, stay ready to act, and be ready to receive. She calls us all together and points us toward hope,” says Randall-Nickerson.

In this new comedy from the Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright of Ruined, Lynn Nottage draws upon the screwball films of the 1930s to take a funny and irreverent look at racial stereotypes in Hollywood.

American Sign Language (ASL) Supported Performances

Thursday, April 27, 2023, is a designated performance that will be presented with American Sign Language (ASL) support, with ASL interpreters signing in tandem alongside the live production. $5 tickets for this show are also available using Promo Code “ASL” when ordering.


Show times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 PM, and Sundays at 2:00 PM. $5-$15 tickets are available by calling 216.241.6000, visiting, or in person 60 minutes before performances at the Allen Theatre Complex. Visit our website at for more information.

About Cleveland State University

Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution that provides a dynamic setting for Engaged Learning. With 17,000-plus students, ten colleges and schools, and more than 175 academic programs, CSU was again chosen for 2019 as one of America’s best universities by U.S. News & World Report. Find more information at