WHO ARE WE
Our Mission: Ensemble Theatre is dedicated to the responsible production of works that celebrate the human spirit drawn from the rich canon of modern American classics as well as other significant contemporary plays. Ensemble serves greater Cleveland and the Midwest region by reintroducing the classics, examining them with new eyes, and supporting the development of new works for the American theater.
The theater is committed to non-traditional casting and to providing culturally diverse programming that speaks to issues of contemporary life. Educational and outreach activities impact youth and under served populations through resident and touring performances.
Ensemble Theatre believes that the arts are an essential and meaningful part of life. The theatre offers an important forum for stimulating and provoking thought about the issues of contemporary life, and it is a place for communal experience.
Introducing future generations to the arts will enlighten them about the human condition and provide them with a resource to nourish them throughout their lives. All art, including theatre, should be a celebration of diversity and human dignity.
Ensemble adheres to a credo with a policy of non-traditional, casting. This is the use of actors of any race, sex, ethnicity or degree of disabilities in roles for which such factors are not germane to the development of stage characters or the play.
The theatre provides the highest possible level of professionalism in all areas to nurture new talent, and to be ever mindful of the power of art to entertain and move the audience.
ENSEMBLE THEATRE STAFF
Celeste Cosentino (Executive Artistic Director) has served as an artistic associate and operations manager or in some "role" for Ensemble Theatre since she could walk. She has served in one capacity or another for local Cleveland theater's her entire life, spending many formative years "in the house" while her mother, Lucia Colombi, was interim artistic director for Karamu in the early to mid 80's, the same years her mother spent founding Ensemble Theatre. She is well known and respected in the Cleveland Theatre Community having worked with The Cleveland Play House, Dobama Theatre, Clague Play House, Cain Park, Bang & Clatter, Willoughby Fine Arts and Weathervane Playhouse. She is a graduate of the Ohio University School of Theatre and returned to Cleveland in 2008, after living and working in New York City. Some of her favorite acting credits are Marela in Anna in the Tropics, Alice in Closer, Desdemona in Othello, and Kayleen in Gruesome Playgound Injuries. Favorite directing credits include The Gospel According to James, Death of a Salesman, Lower Ninth, Animals out of Paper, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, The North Pool and most recently both parts of Tony Kushner's epic Angels in America! Celeste also spent some time in the corporate/business management world and worked for the Cleveland Museum of Art in their groundbreaking ARTLENS technology gallery for almost a decade. Celeste is the daughter of Ensemble Founder, Lucia Colombi and has returned home to support her mother's mission by providing a fresh perspective as the next Artistic Director. She was raised by Ensemble Theatre and has a special dedication to its continuation for many years to come.
Sarah Blubaugh (Assistant to the Executive Artistic Director) grew up in Lexington, Ohio with a heart for performance and a whole lot of enthusiasm to do something about it. She moved up to Cleveland in 2014 and received a degree in Theatre Arts from Cleveland State University in 2017 with a focus in acting and a whole new excitement for all parts of the collaborative process. Throughout college she found herself with many hats; her favorites including Assistant Director for A Streetcar Named Desire, backstage run crew for Angels in America, Teaching Assistant during several Audition Tech classes, and performing numerous times on stage in the Allen Theatre complex. She is excited to use and expand the mixture of skills she has collected over the past 5 years with Ensemble Theatre as we begin the ’19-’20 Season. She can be seen this summer performing with Cleveland Shakespeare Festival as Margaret in Much Ado About Nothing and this fall with Ensemble in The Penelopiad. Favorite acting credits include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Kate Monster in Avenue Q, Jill in Equus, and Dani in The Way I Danced With You.
Becca Moseley (General Manager / Res. Prod. Stage Manager) is excited to be involved continually with Ensemble Theatre. Most recently, Becca stage managed Beyond The Horizon, The Chairs, Prelude To A Kiss & Animals Out of Paper. She played the various roles in Ensembles recent production of Frankenstein as well as understudied Pearl for the Ensemble production of The Iceman Cometh, where she also served as the rehearsal stage manager and crew. Other stage managing and technical credits include Camelot, The Nutcracker Ballet, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds, and Green Grow the Lilacs. She has treaded the boards as Rosalind (As You Like It), Maggie (A Chorus Line,) Fabiana Cunningham (The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,) Dorine (Tartuffe,) Becca (Rabbit Hole,) Antonia (Man of La Mancha) Gwendolen (The Importance of Being Ernest,) and various others.
James Rankin (Technical Director /Heights Performing Arts Camp Coordinator & Instructor) has worked for various education programs throughout northeast Ohio, including Tri-C West for their performing art summer camp, Great Lakes Theatre on their Outreach Tours for 7 plus years, Cleveland Playhouse in their Outreach tour, and a few others. James has taught in multiple capacities from workshops to teaching in a classroom capacity. He primarily teaches acting and theater. He spends most of his time on stage throughout northeast Ohio. This is is second year with Heights Performing Arts camp and he is excited to be back! He has also worked at Technical Director and Carpenter with the Tri C Theatre Department as well as Assistant Technical Director on many Ensemble shows, one of his past season favorites being Thurgood.
Antonio Harper (Heights Performing Arts Camp Instructor/Video Marketing) doesn't look like a filmmaker. He's 6-foot-8 and was destined to be a basketball star - until he picked up a camera and started filming his family vacations. His father is who first introduced him to film at a young age, from that point what started as homemade comic strips being acted out by action figures turned into shaky, goofy videos where he and his two sisters played three characters each in his grandparents basement turned into his high school his Cleveland Heights High School teacher Mr. Glass pushing him to keep telling stories, so he chose film over sports - a decision that confused some people. He enrolled in Cleveland State University where he met his partner Abby Burton and they began making comedy shorts such as Unconventional Larry, Gesundheit and The Orientation. They also made a web series mockumentary called Credit Hours, two documentaries Through Their Eyes and The Miracle Foundation and plenty of other shorts all while being full-time students with jobs. Recently, Antonio was the assistant to the production coordinator at the Greater Cleveland Film Commission and in 2017 he worked as Casting Coordination on the feature film White Boy Rick starring Matthew McConaughey. He's also working on a feature-length social issues film as well as a set of short films set for a 2019 release. At 23 years old, Antonio has made over 30 award-winning short films, documentaries, music videos and more. And he's just getting started.
Sarah May (Artistic Associate/Advisor) is thrilled to come home to Ensemble Theatre to support Lucia Colombi's talented daughter Celeste as Artistic Director. In the past Sarah served as Education Director for Ensemble and directed such memorable productions as The Normal Heart (winner of of the Cleveland Critics Circle awards for Best Non-Musical Production, Best Actor and Best Director 2012), Dividing the Estate, Having Our Say, The Delany Sister's First 100 Years; Athol Fugard's Valley Song; Paul Robeson (featuring Tony Sias); Little Tommy Parker's Celebrated Minstrel Show, and Anton in Show Business! She will direct Thurgood for the 2014-2015 Season. Sarah is a well known director whose work has been seen on most area stages. Sarah spent 10 years in New York City performing, directing, and developing educational programs for Playwrights Horizons, Henry Street Settlement, and The Roundabout Theatre. She returned to Cleveland to serve as Director of Education for Great Lakes Theatre Festival, where she developed their Shakespeare School Residency Program, and as Director of Karamu Theatre from 1990 to 1997. She has taught acting for The Cleveland Play House and Tri-C Metro and been a guest artist at Baldwin-Wallace College.
Bios and Headshots to come:
Henry Gulick (Business Manager/Bookkeeper)
Christopher Bizub (Artistic Associate)
Hannah Hilty (Artistic Assocaite/Box Office Attendant)
Amy Strumbly (Box Office Attendant)
Emma Hubbard (Box Office Attendant)