In the course of its 55 year history, Dobama Theatre has always been the champion of fresh, edgy, character-driven plays. This up-coming season will be no different and perhaps in some instances will be more so.
Take for example Dobama’s holiday offering “A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration” the calls for 12 to 13 actors to fill more than 60 roles including those icons of the musical theater Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln, General Ulysses S. Grant and General Robert E. Lee.
Also in the line-up will be a homage to the spirits of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne who championed the less venerable characters that include a gallery of neurotics and damaged souls that include in their fractured groups an overly polite hit man, a mean girl and a reefer smoking hippie who owns a do-nut shop…and this list barely scratches the surface.
Dobama's 2014-2015 Season
Friday, September 5 through
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Written by Amy Herzog
Young Americans Zack and Abby don't just have the perfect millennial names, they also have an idyllic life in the funky Paris neighborhood of Belleville. That is, until Abby discovers Zack at home one afternoon when he's supposed to be at work fighting pediatric AIDS . . . In addition to the rich character development and dialogue for which Herzog is known, Dobama's artistic director Nathan Motta chose the play for its suspenseful, almost "Hitchcockian style."
Friday, October 24 through
Sunday, November 16, 2014
(and Thursday, Nov. 20-Saturday, Nov. 22,
at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland)
Written by C. Denby Swanson
Two women meet at a Minnesota bar. What sounds like the opening line of a dirty joke is a "Fargo-esque" comedy about women scorned and the polite killers – the Norwegians of the title – they hire to ice their lousy ex-boyfriends. "The thing that makes it so funny is that Norwegians, stereotypically, are very nice," says Motta. Oh, yah. You betcha.
Friday, December 5, 2014 through
Saturday, January 4, 2015
"A Civil War Christmas."
Written by Paula Vogel
Directed by Motta
Written in a pageant-like structure with more than 60 "scene-lets" in two acts, the play is filled with period music including carols, folk songs and spirituals. Vogel wrote the piece, explains Motta, after seeing a production of "A Christmas Carol" and thinking, "Why doesn't America have a Christmas or holiday-themed show that I can bring my kids to but that does not take place in Victorian England?"
Friday, January 23 through
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Written by Greg Pierce
Dobama has had lots of luck with two-handers, most recently last season's "4,000 Miles," by "Belleville" author Amy Herzog. In this one, mean girl Becky is sent to live with her Uncle Sterling in Costa Rica to escape the media scrutiny following her part in a tragic accident that seriously injures the high school's "slow girl." Once in the jungle, Becky finds she's not the only one in her family who is hiding. "It's a beautiful, intimate play that got stellar reviews in New York and Chicago," Motta says.
Friday, March 6 through
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Written by Gina Gionfriddo
Directed by Don Carrier
A Pulitzer Prize finalist, this 2009 off-Broadway smash won raves from critics who appreciated the scabrous dark comedy for what The New York Times called "the way the moral ground keeps shifting underneath your feet." "Basically, it's kind of like the blind date from hell," says Motta. "It really crackles, the dialogue is killer, and the characters are beautifully drawn. It's one of those plays in the past two seasons where I go, 'I can't believe no one has done it in the region.' "
Friday, April 24 through
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Written by Tracy Letts
Directed by Motta
Written by the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "August: Osage County," Broadway's "Superior Donuts" is "very funny, very moving and very well written," says Motta. "Tracy Letts is probably my favorite modern playwright." The plot: An old ganja-loving hippie is letting his doughnut shop go to pot. His only employee, a young black college student, wants to help turn the failing Chicago business around. "As indelible as 'A:OC'?" asked Joe Dziemianowicz in the New York Daily News. "No. But 'Donuts' is tasty, warm and fulfilling."
Unless otherwise noted, all shows are at Dobama, 2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights. Subscriptions are $96-$246. Single tickets are $10-$28. Preview performances are $10. The first Sunday of the run is a "pay as you can" performance. To purchase tickets, go to dobama.org or call 216-932-3396.