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August 24, 2012

2012-13 Season Commences with a Shakespearean Epic and A 60s-Inspired, Music-Infused Moliere Comedy

THE WINTER’S TALE and THE IMAGINARY INVALID kick off Great Lakes Theater’s 51st season in rotating repertory at the Hanna Theatre.

CLEVELAND, OH (August 28, 2012) - Great Lakes Theater (GLT) will commence its 2012-13 season at the Hanna Theatre, PlayhouseSquare, with a Fall Repertory that features William Shakespeare’s epic of romance and renewal, The Winter’s Tale and a 60s-inspired, music -infused adaptation of Molière’s comic classic, The Imaginary Invalid. The productions will be performed in rotating repertory September 28 – November 4, 2012. The Fall Repertory features GLT’s resident company of actors performing the two alternating plays on the same stage over six weeks. Jesse Berger will direct The Winter’s Tale. Tracy Young will direct The Imaginary Invalid, reprising her role with the production that was originally produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival prior to its run this summer at Idaho Shakespeare Festival.

Great Lakes Theater is generously funded by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. In addition, the company’s 2012-13 season is presented with support from The Cleveland Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council. Media sponsors for GLT’s 51st season are Cleveland Scene, The FORM Group, The Plain Dealer, WCLV 104.9 FM, WCPN 90.3 FM ideastream and WKSU 89.7 FM.

"Building on the success of our golden anniversary season’s 17% increase in attendance – a third consecutive year of significant growth – and inspired by the outpouring of support from our loyal and adventurous audience members, we are thrilled to begin our 2012-13 season in as strong a position as we have ever been – both financially and artistically,” said Charles Fee, GLT’s Producing Artistic Director. “I can’t wait to kick off our 51st year and continue the momentum with two extraordinary productions in the Hanna Theatre this fall.”

The Fall Repertory begins with William Shakespeare’s epic of romance and renewal, The Winter’s Tale.A royal family is ripped apart when King Leontes imprisons Queen Hermione on suspicions of infidelity and exiles his newborn daughter. But callous hearts are redeemed, and broken ones mended, when the king’s abandoned orphan falls in love with a Bohemian prince. In a surprising Shakespearean twist, this beautiful and bittersweet tale transcends wrath and regret to achieve romance and renewal in a miraculously cathartic conclusion.

“Jesse Berger makes his Great Lakes Theater debut as director of The Winter’s Tale with a sublimely beautiful production of Shakespeare’s late romance,” said Charles Fee about GLT’s season opener. “As Artistic Director of Red Bull Theatre in New York City, a company with a unique focus on the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, Jesse brings deep insight to this rarely performed masterpiece.”

A madcap, music-infused adaptation of a Molière comic masterpiece, Great Lakes Theater’s production of The Imaginary Invalid completes the classic theater company’s Fall Repertory pairing. “If you saw last season’s smash-hit at GLT, The Taming of the Shrew, you know that director Tracy Young brings a bold, fresh, and wildly comic touch to the classics,” lauded Charles Fee. “Working with playwright Oded Gross and composer Paul James Prendergast, Tracy has created a truly mad, mod, new adaptation of The Imaginary Invalid, Molière’s final play, re-set in 1960’s Paris, filled with retro-inspired music and dance, all working to underscore Molière’s timeless satire of the medical community.”

In The Imaginary Invalid, the wealthy Argan is a housebound hypochondriac who fears he’s contracted every disease imaginable. Unfortunately, a pack of quacks is more than happy to (mis)treat him. Can Argan find the cure for what ails him, and bankroll his medical bills by marrying his daughter to a doctor? The answer will leave audiences…in stitches. Infused with 60s pop culture and original music, this madcap makeover of Molière’s comic classic is just what the doctor ordered.

Great Lakes Theater’s award-winning home at the Hanna Theatre features a visionary “Great Room” inspired design that integrates the artist and audience experience into a single unified environment. Hanna patrons select from a variety of seating opportunities including traditional theater seats, club chairs, lounge/bar seats, banquette couches and private box seating. Arranged in an intimate 550-seat thrust configuration where the audience surrounds the stage, no seat is further than 12 rows from the performance

Great Lakes Theater offers patrons a robust series of Experience Enhancement Programming that is organized by day of week. The series highlights the Hanna’s unique amenities and affords access to artists.
-----Salon Thursdays”feature an engaging pre-show discussion/presentation beginning one hour before curtain with a Great Lakes Theater artist. (Offered:  Oct. 11, 18, 25 & Nov. 1) 
----“Happy Hour Fridays”afford audience members the opportunity to gather, socialize and enjoy appetizers or beverages for sale in the Hanna’s bar and lounge beginning ninety minutes before the performance. (Offered:  Sept. 28 & Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26) 
----“Nightcap Night Saturdays”are designed to encourage audience members to stay after the evening performance and mingle with the GLT artistic company in the Hanna’s lounge. The Hanna’s bar is open ninety minutes after Nightcap Night Saturday performances. (Offered:  Oct. 13, 20, 27 & Nov. 3)
----“Ice Cream Social Sundays” offer patrons the opportunity to enjoy a London theatre tradition brought state-side. Audience members are invited to purchase a cool, personal ice cream treat before the show or at intermission. Ice cream will be offered at every performance in GLT’s Fall Repertory, but on “Ice Cream Social Sundays,” the treat is half price. (Offered: Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30)
----“Director’s Nights” offer audiences the opportunity to take part in a lively pre-show discussion with GLT’s Producing Artistic Director, Charles Fee, and the director of each production before Friday preview performances. (Offered: Sept. 28 & Oct. 5)
----“Playnotes Pre-Show Discussions” inform patrons with illuminating introductions to the content and history of each play in GLT’s season presented by a guest scholar before Saturday matinee performances. (Offered:  Oct. 13, 20, 27 & Nov. 3)
Great Lakes Theater will continue to afford patrons extraordinary access to its artists and production process at every Hanna Theatre performance this fall. The Hanna always opens its doors ninety minutes before each performance allowing patrons to observe the complete pre-show preparation process of GLT’s actors and technical staff. Elements traditionally hidden from audiences such as stage combat rehearsals, dance calls, prop/scenic pre-sets, technical cue rehearsals and actor warm-ups will be conducted in full view of patrons, offering GLT audiences an unprecedented glimpse into the theatrical process.

Great Lakes Theater will also renew its New Deal pricing initiative this fall - designed to increase accessibility for audiences.
As part of the program, adult tickets begin at $15 and student tickets for any seat at any performance are $13 - making GLT one of the most affordable entertainment options in the region.

Opening Night (also Press Night) performances of The Winter’s Tale (September 29th) and The Imaginary Invalid (October 6th) have been scheduled for Saturday evenings with preview performances of both productions scheduled for the preceding Friday nights. Curtain times for all evening performances will remain at 7:30 p.m., with a 1:30 p.m. curtain time for Saturday matinees and a 3:00 p.m. curtain time for Sunday matinees. All GLT productions will continue to offer sign-interpreted and audio-described performances.

Single performance tickets range in price from $15-$70 (Student tickets are $13)
and are available by calling (216) 241-6000, by ordering online at or by visiting the PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office. Groups of ten or more receive discounts of up to 40% by calling (216) 241-5490 x302.

Great Lakes Theater, the first resident company of PlayhouseSquare, has brought the pleasure, power and relevance of classic theater to the widest possible audience since 1962. GLT programming positively impacts 85,000 adults and students annually.

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