ENSEMBLE THEATRE 2017 | 2018 SEASON:
A powerful story of a convict returning from a brief prison stay to resume his position as the neighborhood kingpin. In the New York Times, Stephen Holden wrote “Jelly Belly offers an unremittingly bleak portrait of inner-city life and the enormous pressure on working-class black men to be gangsters.” The Chicago Defender wrote “Employing gritty poetry of the streets, Smith introduces us to Jelly Belly, who attempts to regain the service of Kenny, a former drug runner who has gone straight. Kenny is torn between the hope of prosperity through hard work shared with his friend Mike, or the opportunistic life of a drug pusher Jelly Belly offers.”
Directed by Ian Wolfgang Hinz.
February 9th | February 25th.
“Jelly Belly offers an unremittingly bleak portrait of inner-city life and the enormous pressure on working-class black men to be gangsters.”
-The New York Times.
Show Run Time: Approximately 90min. No Intermission.
This Production contains STRONG LANGUAGE and THEMES and may not be suitable for younger audiences.
The Sunday February 11th performance will be the
Ebony Bobcat Network - Cleveland Annual Theater Scholarship Fundraiser.
Curtain is at 3pm with a pre-show reception from 1-2:30. Profits will go to the EBN Urban Scholars Scholarship Endowment Fund. For more information/tickets Click HERE.
2018 COLOMBI NEW PLAY FESTIVAL PRODUCTION
MAMA / MOON
By Tom Frattare Directed by Ian Wolfgang Hinz
A play about the unlikely friendship between “Mama" Cass Elliot — of the Mamas and the Papas - and Keith Moon, original drummer of The Who. The sweetest, heavyset singer of all time and the wildest, womanizing, party animal in Rock 'n Roll. Together. For one night. What could possibly go wrong?
Staged readings & workshops will take place throughout March & April in the Playground Theatre.
Check our website (or click HERE) for a complete schedule of readings.
In the second part, the plague of AIDS worsens, relationships fall apart as new ones form, and unexpected friendships take form. America in the mid-1980s. In the midst of the AIDS crisis and a conservative Reagan administration, New Yorkers grapple with life and death, love and sex, heaven and hell.
“Playful and profound, extravagantly theatrical and deeply spiritual, witty and compassionate, furious and incredibly smart … It’s impossible to imagine anyone captivated by the beginning not wanting — needing — to go back for the end.”
-Linda Winer, Newsday
April 27th | May 20th.
Click HERE for a link to special events surrounding this production!
We look forward to seeing you in our audience!
PREVIOUSLY THIS SEASON:
"This play is not about my mother and me," begins the character of Lisa. But, of course, it is about her mother, and her mother's extraordinary ability to heal a changing neighborhood despite her inability to heal herself. In this "solo show with people in it," Kron asks the provocative question: "Do we create our own illness?" The answers she gets are much more complicated than she bargained for as the play spins dangerously out of control into riotously funny and unexpected territory. Directed by Ensemble Executive Artistic Director Celeste Cosentino.
September 29th | October 22nd
"Ensemble offers infectiously endearing WELL"
-Bob Abelman, Cleveland Jewish News
Written in 1921 by Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill, this iconic piece of expressionist drama is a searing social commentary on the divide between the rich and poor. Yank, an unthinking laborer, embarks on a search for a sense of belonging in a world controlled by the wealthy. His journey from the bowels of a transatlantic ocean liner to the wealthy neighborhoods of New York society serve as a metaphor for the struggle between the working man and the industrial complex found at the heart of the play. Directed by the award winning Ian Wolfgang Hinz.
"The subject here is the same ancient one that always was and always will be the one subject for drama, and that is man and his struggle with his own fate. The struggle used to be with the GODS, but is now with himself, his own past, his attempt to 'belong'. "
November 17th | December 10th
This play (with music) tells the story of a world-weary and disenchanted Aviator whose sputtering plane strands him in the Sahara Desert and a mysterious, regal "little man" who appears and asks him to "Please, sir, draw me a sheep." During their two weeks together in the desert, the Little Prince tells the Aviator about his adventures through the galaxy, how he met the Lamplighter and the Businessman and the Geographer, and about his strained relationship with a very special flower on his own tiny planet. The Little Prince talks to everyone he meets: a garden of roses, the Snake and a Fox who wishes to be tamed. From each he gains a unique insight which he shares with the Aviator: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly." "What is essential is invisible to the eye." At length, both the "little man" and the Aviator must go home—each with a new understanding of how to laugh, cry, and love again. Directed by Brittni Shambaugh Addison.
"A multilayered tale that awakens the child tucked insideall of us."
-Cape Cod Times
December 1st | December 17th.
In the first part of Tony Kushner's epic, set in 1980's New York City, a gay man is abandoned by his lover when he contracts the AIDS virus, and a closeted Mormon lawyer's marriage to his pill-popping wife stalls. America in the mid-1980s. In the midst of the AIDS crisis and a conservative Reagan administration, New Yorkers grapple with life and death, love and sex, heaven and hell. Directed by Celeste Cosentino.
*Winner of The Pulitzer Prize in Drama
January 5th | January 28th.