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"Are We All Met?"

-A Midsummer Night's Dream III, i

Keep up with all things Great Lakes Theater. Our blog is a great way to learn about the very latest Great Lakes Theater news/notes and enjoy extraordinary "behind-the-scenes" access to the creative process of our artistic company.

November 19, 2015 - 1 comment(s)

Christmas Carol Writing Contest: See How They Grow!

This year, we have TWO previous grand prize winners in Great Lakes Theater’s annual “A Christmas Carol” Writing Contest!

The Christmas Carol Writing Contest is a literacy program open to all Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) students in grades six, seven and eight. Every year since 1989 students participate by writing original stories, songs and poems inspired by the timeless themes in Dickens classic tale.

Donovan Reed (Whitney M. Young Talented & Gift Academy, 7th Grade) was a 2014 winner. Donovan’s  entry this year, The Misbehaved Christmas, introduces an intolerable boy named Jack, who has never known the consequences of his selfish actions.

Brenda Gomez (Douglas MacArthur Girl’s Leadership Academy, 8th Grade) was a 2013 winner. With this year’s entry, The Winter Storm, Brenda spins a fantastic story where Ebenezer Scrooge is haunted by a girl with burning green eyes.

These two and the other four of this year’s grand prize winning stories will be read by GLT’s “A Christmas Carol” acting company members for broadcast on WCPN’s “Sound of Applause” hosted by Dee Perry on Monday, December 7 at 2:00 PM and 10:00 PM. Listen in to 90.3 FM ideastream or!

Please join Great Lakes Theater in congratulating all six grand prize winning entries of Great Lakes Theater's 27th annual A Christmas Carol Writing Contest:
Eighth Grade:
Nayeli Cruz (Scranton K-8 School)
Brenda Gomez (Douglas MacArthur Girls' Leadership Academy)
Seventh Grade:
Alana Johns (Douglas MacArthur Girls' Leadership Academy)
Donovan Reed (Whitney M. Young Gifted & Talented Leadership Academy)
Sixth Grade:
Shakee-Ra Durham (Newton D. Baker School of Arts)
Dean Iannaggi (Riverside K-8 School)

May 06, 2015 - leave a comment

Lorain County Community College Playwriting Contest (2015)

On Tuesday, April 28, two award-winning Lorain County Community College student playwrights, their peers and members of their family gathered in the Cirigliano Stocker Arts Center Studio Theatre for a script-in-hand performance of their ten-minute plays.

Actors from the Great Lakes Theater school residency program and outreach tours performed The Party Guest by Billy Hopp and The Sisters Mourn by KHR Capizzi, which were the Second and First Place winners (respectively) for the 2015 Lorain County Community College Playwriting Contest.

This event was the culmination of Dr. Daniel Cleary’s ENGL/THTR 168: Playwriting for Stage and Screen Course, incorporating themes from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

In The Party Guest, several close friends reveal deeply held secrets and celebrate new freedom after the arrival of an unannounced stranger. The Sisters Mourn details the effect their mother's death has on three sisters, and how their sorrow affects each differently. Each piece reflected themes of deception and loss present in Shakespeare’s timeless work.

GLT performers included Luke Brett, Chelsea Cannon, Roderick Cardwell, Katelyn Cornelius, Chenelle Bryant-Harris, Tim Keo, Shaun O'Neill, and Michael Silverstein, and the event was staged by David Hansen, GLT Education Outreach Associate. Special thanks to Jeremy K. Benjamin, LCCC Director of Theatre and to Professor Dave Cotton.

The LCCC Playwriting Contest is part of GLT’s Surroundseries of free events presented across Northeast Ohio. On Thursday, April 16, six ten-minute plays were read by student actors from Professor Dave Cotton’s Acting for Theater classes, and evaluated by Northeast Ohio playwrights Christopher Johnston, Margaret Lynch, Eric Schmiedl, Michael Oatman and GLT Educational Outreach Associate David Hansen.

December 21, 2014 - leave a comment

Photo Shoot: Outreach Tour 2015

Recently, Great Lakes Theater joined forces (once again!) with those amazing, magical visual artists at TRG Reality to create the promotional image for our 2015 Outreach Touring Production - The Great Globe Itself, written by GLT Education Outreach Associate, David Hansen.

The play presents three historic Globe Theatres - two in London, one in Cleveland - and the artists who shaped those theaters - successfully utilzing them to present, re-imagine and profit from the works of William Shakespeare.

The challenge was to create a unifying image which suggested these three moments in place and history - with an exciting, imaginative and original graphic that would communicate the overall concept of the production rather than a scene from the show.

We began with a rough concept mockup created from images that we gathered via the internet - printing, cutting and pasting them - literally, using scissors and tape (that old school!)

After meeting, discussing and refining this concept with the photographic wizards at TRG, we set a date for the shoot. At the shoot we will assemble the three actors who compose the touring company this year - Kyle Carthens, Arthur Chu, and James Rankin - to pose for the poster image.

Our Costume Shop Manager, (and designer for this year's outreach tour) Esther Haberlen, worked with GLT Director of Marketing and Strategic Advancement, Todd Krispinsky, to identify appropriate costume pieces from our stock - representing London in 1613, Cleveland in 1936 and London of the last decade, circa 2005.

The day of the photo shoot, TRG photographer Thomas Cook staged a mock shoot utilizing other members of TRG's staff as stand-ins for our actor-models - to fine tune lighting and general composition. Thomas used a green screen as a background, which would later be filled in with an imaginary skyline of both cities in all three time frames. TRG wanted to consider where each man would stand in relation to each other, and how best to create an imaginary object which Arthur, the modern man in the forefront, would hold in his outstretched hand.

Each of our actors looked great in their costumes (James was particularly happy with the “Clark Gable” style mustache stylist Kylee Cook had drawn on him, and he wanted to wear it home.) We tried several set-ups, with each performer attempting a variety of facial expressions, informed by Todd, looking directly at the camera/viewer.

Following the shoot, with fantastic photgraphic raw materials now arranged/lit/captured by Thomas Cook, the magical process of assembling all of the pieces into a cohesive final image began. Enter TRG's  Retoucher Extraordinaire, Bruce Andrew Jamieson! After a lot of tender loving care (along with a heap of artistic talent served up by Bruce) and a few of electronic back-and-forths of drafts between the TRG staff and Great Lakes, a final image was born!

You may be receiving a copy of this remarkable photo in your mailbox soon as it will grace the cover of our new Surround brochure - announcing Great Lakes Theater' s 2015 outreach tour - The Great Globe Itself!

December 08, 2014 - leave a comment

A Christmas Carol Writing Contest (2014)

Every year since 1989, Great Lakes Theater has partnered with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District in producing our annual “A Christmas Carol” Writing Contest. Over eighteen-hundred CMSD students in grades six, seven, and eight compose original stories inspired by the universal themes in Charles Dickens’ timeless classic. Then, each school selects one winner per grade level to submit to Great Lakes Theater for judging. Of these submissions, a panel of judges vote for the top six grand prize winning entries.
This year there were 1,818 participants in this year’s A Christmas Carol Writing Contest. 25 schools participated, choosing 54 school winners who were recognized at special matinee performances of A Christmas Carol.
Congratulations to the six grand prize winning entries of Great Lakes Theater's 26th annual A Christmas Carol Writing Contest:
Eighth Grade:
Laurie J. Bocachica (Douglas MacArthur Girls’ Leadership Academy)
Emily Pikturna, McKenna Jablonske & Xavier Rivera (Newton D. Baker School of Arts)
Seventh Grade:
Emily Gorman (Douglas MacArthur Girls' Leadership Academy)
Yamaiya Jackson (Whitney M. Young Gifted & Talented Leadership Academy)
Sixth Grade:
Franny Marshall (Riverside Pre K-8 School)
Donovan Reed (Whitney M. Young Gifted & Talented Leadership Academy)
Great Lakes Theater’s “Matinee Idols” hosted a private reception last Saturday night in Kennedy's Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, honoring these grand prize winners of Great Lakes Theater’s “A Christmas Carol” Writing Contest. It was a great honor to introduce these very talented CMSD students, and to award them with prizes and special items – including a letter of recognition from by Mr. Eric Gordon, CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District - which these students earned through their imaginations and excellence in writing.
Also, for a second year, Great Lakes Theater has collaborated with our friends at ideastream to produce a special edition of WCPN’s award-winning arts & entertainment program Sound of Applause, featuring interviews with all grand prize winning writers and their stories read by Great Lakes company members. The program first aired this past Monday, and will be re-broadcast on Christmas Eve Day, Wednesday, December 24 at 2 PM at 90.3 FM. and is now available for streaming.

June 15, 2014 - leave a comment

Camp Theater! (Week One)

Summer is here, and the time is right for CAMP THEATER! For five years now, GLT has partnered with Berea-Midpark High School to produce a two-week theater camp for kids ages 4-to-18. This year was the first year we offered day-long sessions for students aged 9 and up, and the results have been remarkable - and fun!

Morning sessions for the very young children featured inventive craft-making, the telling of classic stories, and shaping those stories into performances that were shared with family members during the final class of the week.

Our Jesters and Fools company (ages 9 - 11) created masks and costume pieces, and played theater games during the morning session, while the Upstart Crows (12 - 14) and Rude Mechanicals (15 - 18) worked together during the first half of the day discovering more advanced vocal and physical training, played theater games and used imaginative exercises to devise new ways of performing theatrically.

After lunch period, the Fools, Crows and Mechanicals, worked individually to discover classic texts and to rehearse scenes with an emphasis on speech and character. There were also classes in stage combat choreography, make-up for the stage, and basic backstage technical elements.

Friday afternoon families came together to enjoy an hour-long program of their amazing work. The Jesters and Fools, led by GLT actor teachers Tim Keo and Khaki Hermann, performed a hilarious, four-scene version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Upstart Crows, led by Education Outreach Associate David Hansen and GLT actor-teacher Katelyn Cornelius, adapted and performed works from a set of ghost stories for children.

The Rude Mechanicals, led by Director of Educational Programming Lisa Ortenzi and GLT actor-teacher Brett Radke, performed a fifteen-minute adaptation of Hamlet.

Many of our campers from the first week will be returning for the second and final week, and we are all looking forward to meeting the new kids who will be joining us for more exciting theater discovery!