Ensemble Theatre 2018-2019 Season:

Ohio Premiere
by Kenneth Jones | Sept 7-30

A gentle children’s book with an apparent hidden message — a black rabbit marries a white rabbit! — stirs the passions of a segregationist State Senator and a no-nonsense State Librarian in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama, just as the civil rights movement is flowering. Another story of childhood friends — an African-American man and a white woman, reunited in adulthood in Montgomery that same year — provides private counterpoint to the public events of the play. Directed by Tyler Whidden.

“Alabama Story,”… is theater at its finest displaying excellent acting, an enveloping script and a technically complementing design. This is an absolutely, must see production! -CoolCleveland.com

The play is set in 1959, and it’s both heartening and horrifying to me that everything old is new again. Inspired by true events, I ended up writing a play about how we treat each other in times of social crisis. I’m excited that Alabama Story is getting its Ohio Premiere by Ensemble Theatre in a time when conversations about the quality of American character are so highly charged.”-Kenneth Jones


*North East Ohio Premiere* | Adapted by Frank Galati 
Oct 19-Nov 11, 2018  

Escaping a turbulent past, Adam Trask is determined to make a new start in California’s Salinas Valley. Adam and his wife, Cathy, settle on a beautiful farm, and soon Cathy gives birth to twins Caleb and Aron. But family history, sibling rivalry, and the impending danger of World War I will threaten their little piece of paradise. EAST OF EDEN is an American epic, grand in scope yet deeply personal, that asks if it is possible to escape the mistakes of previous generations.
*Frank Galati is a member of Steppenwolf Theatre Company where the production had it's world premiere.
Directed by Ian Wolfgang Hinz. Assistant Director Becca Moseley.


*World Premiere* | Nov 30-Dec 16

Adapted from the classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, published in 1873, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager: New friends, strange acquaintances, and careful planning could be the only way...Though this was only possible if nothing would hinder his success? Did we mention that there is a warrant out for his arrest?

WORLD PREMIERE adapted by Shahrazad Theatre Company
produced in association with Ensemble Theatre
Directed by August Scarpelli | PlayGroundTheater
”A new interactive adaptation of this Classic for the whole family!”


*Special-One Weekend Only!
Dec 20-23, 2018 | MainStageTheatre.

*This production was NOT part of our MainStage Season.


*Ensemble Premiere | Jan 25-Feb 17

A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway, as well as the first with a black director, Mr. Lloyd Richards. Set on Chicago’s South Side, the plot revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis, and matriarch Lena. When her deceased husband’s insurance money comes through, Mama Lena dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama. The Younger family’s heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration.
Directed by Celeste Cosentino. Assistant Director Keith Benford.


by Eugene O'NeillMarch 14 - 31

Following the events of O’Neill’s classic Long Day’s Journey into Night, Moon brings James “Jamie” Tyrone, Jr. to the home of his tenant farmer, Phil Hogan, a salty Irish geezer. There he encounters, after years, Hogan’s voluptuous, Amazon-like daughter, Josie. During one moonlit night, as the lovestruck Josie seems to claim him as her own, the truculent, drunken Jamie drowns in a wave of self-pity and remorse. When dawn comes, the moon is gone and so is the man, leaving
Josie with a new challenge to her dauntless spirit.
Directed by Ian Wolfgang Hinz. Assistant Director Cassey Fye.

“…Ian Hinz’s delicate direction of this Ensemble production and his accomplished cast’s superbly woven, fastidiously nuanced performances.” -Cleveland Jewish News


2019Colombi New PlaysFestival
World Premiere
21-April 7

As high school lovers, Dani and Charles' courtship dances around the truth. As they move into adulthood, the steps become ever more intricate and emotionally dangerous. Over the span of ten years, "The Way I Danced With You" traces the mysterious choreography of romance and illusion.
By David Hansen | Directed by Tyler Whidden


*North East Ohio Premiere*  
By Quiara Alegría Hudes
April 26-May 19

Somewhere in Philadelphia, Elliot has returned from Iraq and is struggling to find his place in the world. Somewhere in a chat room, recovering addicts keep each other alive, hour by hour, day by day. The boundaries of family and community are stretched across continents and cyberspace as birth families splinter and online families collide. Water by the Spoonful is a heartfelt meditation on lives on the brink of redemption. *Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Directed by Celeste Cosentino

“This is an important Latinix story, beautifully wrought, and worth seeing”
-Beth McGee, Cleveland Plain Dealer.