Cleveland's Classic Company at the Hanna Theatre

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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.

December 21, 2014 - 5 comment(s)

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!

February 08, 2013 - leave a comment

Rehearsal Snapshot

Noel Coward's advice to actors in his plays was: "Just say the lines and don't trip over the furniture."

When we stopped by our Blithe Spirit rehearsal this afternoon, we confirmed that our artistic company was complying with Coward's directives. Production assistant Kristen Boehnlein ("on book") was ensuring that Sir Noel's lines were spoken accurately while our amazing actors floated nimbly through the space gracefully (avoiding all furniture btw, Noel) like...well, like blithe spirits. ; )

January 29, 2013 - leave a comment

BLITHE SPIRIT: Meet & Greet / First Rehearsal


Today was the Meet & Greet and first rehearsal for our upcoming production of "Blithe Spirit." The cast, crew, designers and GLT's administrative staff gathered in one of the PlayhouseSquare rehearsal halls to welcome one another and launch the rehearsal process in good spirits.

After introductions and a warm welcome, designers and staff departed for scene/prop/costume shops and offices to enable the cast to embark upon a first read through of the script together at tables as a company.

Actors will be on their feet soon...bringing the play to stage management has already taped out the scaled dimensions of the set on the floor of the hall to provide a spacially realistic environment for their work. The company will rehearse in the rehearsal hall for approximately 2.5 weeks before moving over to the Hanna for the homestretch. Only 25 days until opening! We can't wait.

December 19, 2011 - leave a comment

The Twelve Days of (a) Christmas (carol) - Secret Santa

On the tenth day of (a) Christmas (carol)....
Secret Santa!!!
Every year the cast and crew participate in a week-long game of Secret Santa! For one week during the run, presents are hidden all over the backstage of the Ohio Theatre (dressing rooms, green room, hallways... you name it!) This GLT tradition really brings a sense of holiday excitement to the theatre!

After 5 days of small gifts - everyone brings in one special final present for the reveal of Secret Santa! This year out of 33 participants, only 4 people guessed their Secret Santa correctly! Our cast and crew are pretty sneaky....

December 18, 2011 - 2 comment(s)

The Twelve Days of (a) Christmas (carol) - Q&A with Laura Perrotta

On the ninth day of (a) Christmas (carol)…
Q&A with Actress, Laura Perrotta:

Q: What is your favorite part about being in Great Lakes Theater's production of A Christmas Carol
A: A Christmas Carol brings a sense of family more than anything else at Great Lakes. It always feels like a homecoming. I love the sense of tradition and how people are connected through the production.

Q: After performing the same role of “Mother Cleaveland” for 11 years, how do you keep it fresh and new?
A: It’s always a challenge as an actress to keep things new. But, every year there is something new and different about the show. With different stagers and new cast members each season, there is a different angle and a different way to look at the same story. I love the story A Christmas Carol and the adaptation by Gerald Freedman.

I also love that so many students get to see the show during the student matinee performances. The Great Lakes Theater education program is so important and especially with A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens has a very direct impact on our world. I love telling the story during every show and communicating its message...that transformation is always a possibility.  It is never too late to change or for doors to open. A Christmas Carol has a timeless message.   

Q: What is your favorite family tradition during the Christmas Season?
A: My husband, Donald, and I open our gifts to each other on Christmas Eve. Christmas day is all about our kids. That’s the way it has been for 25 years.

Q:  What plays are on your “wish list” to perform in?
A:  Royal Family, Anthony and Cleopatra, Sunset Boulevard...and anything by Noel Coward.

Q:  What is your favorite thing about living in Cleveland?
A:  I have lived in Cleveland for 17 years. My husband is from Cleveland and it’s nice to be close to family. I love all the great restaurants, the traffic...and I feel very connected to the community. One of my favorite places this time of year is the Holden Arboretum!

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