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Cleveland Play House presents ‘Yentl’ at the Allen Theatre

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The production of “Yentl” will take place January 10 through February 2, 2014

Cleveland Play House (CPH) starts out the New Year with the spellbinding production of “Yentl”. The play is based on a short story “Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy” by Isaac Bashevis and was adapted for the stage by Leah Napolin and Singer. It is the story of a young Jewish woman who rebels against the restrictions that are forced on her gender by her society. The production will be directed by Michael Perlman and will run from January 10 through February 2, 2014 in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare.

CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley proclaims: “Young love abounds in this passionate, moving and funny coming of age story. Continuing our commitment to Jewish themed plays that speak to the universal human condition, Yentl compassionately illuminates the need to both respect and challenge traditional ideas of community, gender and sexuality. I have been a fan of this play since rediscovering it 2 1/2 years ago and am thrilled to be producing it with the season's largest cast of actors.”

The story is set in a tiny Jewish village in Poland near the turn of the twentieth century. Yentl is the daughter of a rabbi who is not happy with the only options opened to her, that of being a housewife and mother. She defies tradition by secretly studying the Torah and other holy texts with her father. When he passes away, she disguises herself as a young Jewish boy (who she names Anshel) and enrolls in a yeshiva where only males are enrolled to study Jewish law. It is here that she is at last able to study the Talmud in relative peace.

While living at the yeshiva, Yentl is found to be a excellent student who develops a complicated relationship with her study partner, Avigdor as well as the woman that he had loved then lost. This is a complex production that incorporates comedy, music, intrigue and drama. “Yentl” contains mature themes and nudity.

The cast of “Yentl” is made up of seventeen local and New York based actors and features guest artist Rebecca Gibel in the starring role. Other guest members of the cast include Bonnie Black, Samuel Cohen, Mitch Greenberg, Suzanne Grodner and Ben Mehl. Local actors appearing in this production will be Bob Abelman, Donald Carrier and Marc Moritz. Rounding out the cast are all seven members of the third-year graduate ensemble of the Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House Master of Fine Arts Acting Program. These members include Therese Anderberg, Bernard Bygott, Drew Derek, TJ Gainley, Sarah Kinsey, Christa Meyers, and Stephen Michael Spencer.

“Yentl” Special Events

Script Club: “Yentl” January 05, 2014
2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

RSVP required. Registration opens one month before the event. Contact the Cuyahoga County Public Library, Beachwood Branch at (216) 831-6868 or register online at http://www.cuyahogalibrary.org/Branches/Beachwood.aspx.

Script Club: “Yentl” January 07, 2014
7:00 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.

RSVP required. Registration opens one month before the event. Contact the Cuyahoga County Public Library, Beachwood Branch at (216) 831-6868 or register online at http://www.cuyahogalibrary.org/Branches/Beachwood.aspx. Note: This is a Script Club OUTloud event, for the LGBT community and allies.

Tech Tuesday: “Yentl” January 07, 2014
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Hear from the director, then sit in on a technical rehearsal ("tech") to see how set, lights, sound, costumes and actors all come together as opening night nears! RSVP required InsideCPH@clevelandplayhouse.com.

Script Club: “Yentl” January 08, 2014
7:00 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.

RSVP required. Registration opens one month before the event. Contact the Lakewood Public Library at (216) 226-8275, ext. 127 to register. Note: With special guest, Rabbi Enid C. Lader of Beth Israel The West Temple.

Script Club: “Yentl” January 08, 2014
7:00 p.m. - 8:15 p.m
.
RSVP required. Registration opens one month before the event. Contact the Cleveland Heights - University Heights Main Branch at (216) 932-3600 or register online at http://evanced.info/heights/evanced/eventcalendar.asp?lib=ALL.

Season Extra
Inside “Yentl” at the Maltz Museum January 16, 2014
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Yentl director Michael Perlman and members of the cast share scenes and discuss their work on this unique ensemble production. Registration required at www.maltzmuseum.org

Behind-The-Scenes
Building Ensemble January 18, 2014
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Even when a play isn't set in a Polish shtetl it takes a village to bring it to life. Get on your feet with our CWRU/CPH MFA Graduate Acting Ensemble's students and leaders, and Yentl actors, to discover what it means for a "cast" to become an "ensemble," and how an ensemble becomes more than the sum of its parts. RSVP required InsideCPH@clevelandplayhouse.com.

TalkBack: “Yentl”

January 19, 2014
4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

January 21, 2014
9:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

January 26, 2014
4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Pre-show Conversations - Free for all ticketholders!

These fun and interactive 25-minute conversations happen right before the show in the Allen Theatre Complex. Pull back the curtain early and connect with the play in an engaging and relaxed setting, beginning 45 minutes before every performance of Yentl.

Ticket Information

Yentl will take place Jan. 10 – Feb. 2, 2014 in the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare. Tickets range in price from $45-$72 each. Students under the age of 25 with a valid ID will be offered a special $15 ticket price. Tickets are also just $25 for anyone under age 35, sponsored by Scene Magazine. To order single tickets please call 216-241-6000 or visit www.clevelandplayhouse.com. Groups of 10+ save up to 40% off single ticket prices; call 216-400-7027.

Founded in 1915, Cleveland Play House is America’s first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, Cleveland Play House has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. It has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,300 CPH productions. Cleveland Play House looks toward its centennial while performing in three state-of-the art venues at PlayhouseSquare in downtown Cleveland.

The Ohio Arts Council helped fund Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. We also thank the residents of Cuyahoga County for supporting Cleveland Play House through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

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