The Cleveland Play House presents its 2002 Next Stage Festival of New Plays. With its long-standing tradition of producing new work for the American Theatre, The Cleveland Play House has premiered the work of a number of respected dramatists during its 86-year history, including William Saroyan, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and Paul Zindel. The Next Stage Festival builds upon this tradition, offering a vehicle for playwrights to workshop their pieces, fine-tuning both character and plot development.
All readings at 7:30 p.m. in The Brooks Theatre.
Forest City by Bridgette A. Wimberly, directed by Seth Gordon
Saturday and Sunday, February 23 & 24
This play focuses on a moral dilemma created when a Cleveland family is about to be displaced to make room for Forest City Hospital?s expansion in 1967. JT and Sandra Mae are struggling to hang onto their house and keep their family together while JT struggles with poor health and poorer spirits. The hospital?s offer on their house will pay off their mortgage ? barely, but then where do they go?
Night Bloomers by Sarah Morton, Directed by Eric Schmiedl
One Reading Only: Saturday, March 2
Lilia Jay Howett is not your ordinary botanist, and Nathan Waverly is not your ordinary drop-out. Together this unlikely pair is willing to travel across the globe to witness the flowering of the Night Blooming Persinnium ? an event that takes place only once in two centuries. But first they must contend with a variety of detractors and rivals for the honor of seeing this incredible sight.
Bright Ideas by Eric Coble, Directed by David Colacci
One Reading Only: Sunday, March 3
How far would you go to put your child on the fast-track to success? For Genevra and Joshua Bradley, the question is hardly rhetoric. Their three-year-old son, Mac, is next on the waiting list to get into Bright Ideas Early Childhood Development Academy. (Everyone knows that once you?re accepted there, your life will unfold with glorious ease.) Josh and Genevra have scrambled all their lives, but now they are one fateful dinner party away from the ultimate parental success: the golden pre-school.
The Blue Cranberry Hour By Ted Esborn, Directed by Andrew May
One Reading Only: Monday, March 4
30-year-old Keith hosts ?The Blue Cranberry Hour? on radio. He?s supposed to talk about cooking, but always gets sidetracked with other subjects and tends to ignore calls about recipes. Keith?s lack of discipline spills over into other areas of his life too. And now he wants to adopt a child. His brother, Jack, works for an 18-year-old computer whiz, and his wife hates the idea of Keith having a child ? or maybe she?s just jealous.
Arts & Anxiety by Seth Greenland
One Reading Only: Saturday, March 9
Seth Greenland, author of Jungle Rot and Jerusalem, both of which enjoyed great popular and critical success as world premieres on The Cleveland Play House mainstage, now brings us his latest comedy about a rookie novelist whose source material may be a little too close to home.
The Planetarian by Julia Jordan, Directed by Seth Gordon
One Reading Only: Sunday, March 10
The Cleveland Play House commissioned this new work in conjunction with the Sloan Foundation for Science and Technology and the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York. The play is about Armand Spitz, an astronomer and planetarium pioneer, who, in Johnny Appleseed-fashion, spread the good word about the wonders of astronomy throughout our land, in a long-ago and much simpler time.
The Magical Red Shoes Book & Lyrics by Joe Miloscia
Music by Ken Kacmar
Wednesday and Thursday, March 13 & 14
This fanciful children?s musical was previously presented by The Cleveland Play House Children?s Theatre, but has been revised to play to adult sensibilities without any loss of fun or irreverence. The result is a wacky and magical take on The Red Shoes, Cinderella, Hamlet, and a host of other familiar stories.
Visit the Next Stage Festival of New Plays website: