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PlayhouseSquare and BWU collaborate to present ‘Murder Ballad’

PlayhouseSquare and Baldwin Wallace University have combined their resources to present the regional premiere of “Murder Ballad”.
PlayhouseSquare and Baldwin Wallace University have combined their resources to present the regional premiere of “Murder Ballad”.
Mark Horning

PlayhouseSquare and Baldwin Wallace University have combined their resources to present the regional premiere of “Murder Ballad”. The production will be at PlayhouseSquare’s Lab Theatre and will run April 25-27, 2014. The show will be directed by Victoria Bussert, choreographed by Gregory Daniels with music direction by Andrew Cooper. What makes this show unique is that the audience will be taking part in what is known as “immersive musical theatre” which seats the audience in the middle of the action.

“Immersive theatre productions have become more and more popular in New York,” explained Bussert. “It's a very visceral and exciting theatrical experience. Since the audience will be integrated into the scenic design, each performance will have its own unique energy.”

A love triangle has gone wrong for Sara (an uptown girl who seems to have it all but who’s ‘other side of the tracks’ past lingers on to tempt her. The musical explores just how complicated love can be, the sacrifices we are willing to make and the betrayals that will bring the whole mess down on our heads.

The musical was conceived by Jonathan Larson Award winner and two-time Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist, Julia Jordan who wrote the book, music and lyrics. The music is by indie rock singer/songwriter Juliana Nash

This is the seventh year of collaboration between a cast of BWU music theatre majors and PlayhouseSquare. The production is double cast, and features current Baldwin Wallace students Kyra Kennedy and Keri Rene Fuller as Sara, Kyle Jean-Baptise and Zach Adkins as Tom, David Zody and Anthony Sagaria as Michael, and Sara Budnik and Nyla Watson as Narrator.

Performances for “Murder Ballad” will be held Friday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 26 at 5:00 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.; and Sunday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are general admission and priced at just $25 each. Tickets can be purchased by calling 216-241-6000 or online

A special preview performance, featuring cast members performing musical selections from the show, will be held at 8:00 p.m. Sunday, April 13th at Lake City Tavern, an all-ages bar located at 786 Front St. Berea, OH. The preview performance is free and open to the public. In addition, a drawing will be held at the event for a pair of tickets to the April 25 performance of “Murder Ballad” at PlayhousehouseSquare. Tickets to all of the April 25-27 performance dates will also be available for purchase at the event.

For more information, please

About PlayhouseSquare

PlayhouseSquare is a not-for-profit performing arts center whose mission is presenting and producing a wide variety of quality performing arts, advancing arts education and creating a destination that is a superior location for entertainment, business and residential living, thereby strengthening the economic vitality of the region.

About Baldwin Wallace University

Baldwin Wallace University, founded in 1845, was one of the first colleges to admit students without regard to race or gender. An independent, coeducational university of 4,500 students, BW offers coursework in the liberal arts tradition in more than 60 academic areas. Located in Berea, 12 miles from downtown Cleveland, BW offers students the cultural, educational and business advantages of a major metropolitan area.

BW’s internationally respected Conservatory of Music enrolls more than 300 students in 11 academic programs; engages 24 full-time and 36 adjunct faculty who serve as teachers, mentors, and performing professionals in the Cleveland area; and features the oldest collegiate annual Bach Festival. The Conservatory’s Outreach program serves over 3,000 community members who participate in private lessons, group classes, ensembles, and summer music programs.

About the Music Theatre Program

Music theatre performance training, directed by Victoria Bussert, professor and head of the Music Theatre Program, at Baldwin Wallace University is among the finest in the nation with a dynamic curriculum focused on mastering acting, voice, and dance. Workshops by professionals prepare students for the business side of music theatre. BW performance faculty members maintain active professional careers giving BW students a decisive edge in a competitive marketplace. Current students perform professionally in greater Cleveland, nationally, and on Broadway. Graduating students perform a Senior Showcase attended by over 200 industry professionals, and an overwhelming majority of graduates sign with agents shortly afterward.

About the Arts Management Program

The Baldwin Wallace Arts Management program, directed by Bryan Bowser, Assistant Director of the Conservatory for External Affairs, prepares students to integrate the artistic and business elements of a career in the arts. Graduates of this program look to careers in the marketing, public relations, development, operations, fundraising, curatorial, front-of-house and education departments of not-for-profit and for-profit arts organizations including: symphony orchestras, theatre, opera and ballet companies; private dance studios; art museums and galleries; national, state and local arts councils; foundations; presenting organizations; concert venues; broadcast and cable television stations; film companies; and record labels. Students complete requirements in: business, an artistic discipline (music, theatre, dance or visual art) and arts management, including classes and internships. Program faculty includes professionals from the field linking graduates directly to job and internship opportunities.

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