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Cleveland Public’s Theatre’s ‘Left In Ink’ helps the healing begin

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Left In Ink


Cleveland Public Theatre
6415 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44102
“Left In Ink”
Conceived and Directed by Caitlin Lewins
Through May 31, 2014

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Dealing with death is never easy. There is a cycle that one must go through in order to be free from the grief, remorse and anger. It is especially hard when dealing with suicide because another factor gets tossed into the emotional roller-coaster, and that is “What more could I have done?”

“Left in Ink” takes us into the lives of the survivors…those left behind; the wife, son, niece, mother and friend who after years are still trying to cope with the loss and are still asking “why?” The set is very simplistic with a variety of ornate lanterns hanging from the ceiling with flickering lights giving the scene a feel of reverence. As the various characters take the stage they bring items that help them to remember the deceased…a pair of shoes…an obsolete film camera…a can of red bull…common ordinary items that have been elevated to the status of precious keepsakes.

The ancient Greeks and Romans had statues built of themselves in the belief that as long as they were remembered they would still exist. In the back of our minds we probably still think along those lines. As I sat there smug in the thought that no one close to me had ever committed suicide I was suddenly struck with the thought (like a bolt out of the blue) that I still could not admit to the fact that my own brother had committed suicide twelve years ago (and not died from an accidental drug overdose as I have been deluding myself all these years). Perhaps it was part of my coping mechanism.

As I watched the characters in the play honor the life of the person they missed it became clear to me that a major part of the healing process is dealing with truth and by doing that you can honor the person in an appropriate way such as drinking a can of red bull on their birthday, passing out beer candles at their favorite bar, not moving a prized pair of sneakers or taking film photos with the camera that was a father’s pride and joy…or you can get a small intimate tattoo of their initials or their favorite animals or something that represents their favorite hobby…or not. While not quite a marble statue, it is still a way to make them exist.

Over the years I have distributed my brother’s ashes at some of his favorite places, in particular the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He rests at the strip of bricks, in a sand trap of the track’s golf course and at the base of a huge Sycamore tree. This year I plan to distribute the rest at the exit of the camp ground parking lot so that his spirit will be taken all across this country and perhaps the world. I think Paul would have liked that.

Prude Alert: There is some strong language as well as dramatic scenes that some may find disturbing. There is brief mention of a same sex relationship. There is also quite a bit of intensity as the characters lose control of themselves. Lastly, if the subject of suicide makes you squeamish then you may wish to pass on this one.

Beefs and Flubs: This was a very well presented play. Although there was a couple of tongue ties for the most part it was flawless. Some of the shouting was a bit much considering the small size of the Store Front Theater. You have five really good actors who totally immerse themselves into their roles.

Shooting From The Lip (In My Opinion): “Left In Ink” gives a vivid and detailed look into the process of healing for those “left behind” after a suicide. For those suffering from a loss (recent or distant), it might be just the thing to help in your healing process. It certainly opened my eyes.

The Cast

The cast is made up of Megan Brautigam, Jeanne Madison, Brett Radke, Amy Schwabauer and Jerry Tucker.

The Crew

The creative crew is made up of Creators Caitlin Lewins, Amy Schwabauer, and Ensemble, with additional text provided by Jane Lewins with Music Composition and Sound Design by Patrick Stoops, 2014 Kulas Composer Fellow.

The complete production team includes Caitlin Lewins (Director), Alison Garrigan (Costume Designer), Cassie Goldbach and Val Kozlenko (Co-Lighting and Set Designers), Patrick Stoops (Composition and Sound Design) and Dan Kilbane (Stage Manager).

Ticket & Show Information

Left in Ink runs through May 31. Performances are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday at 7:00pm in CPT’s Storefront Studio Theatre, 6415 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44102.

Tickets are $12 – $18.

All Thursday and Monday shows are just $12! Student and Senior discounts ($3 off) are available for Friday and Saturday performances.

Every Friday is FREE BEER FRIDAY at CPT. Audience members are invited to mingle with the artists after the show and enjoy a drink or two on CPT.

Tickets are available for purchase at or by phone at (216) 631-2727 x 501.