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August 17, 2015

THE SECRET GARDEN & KING LEAR Launch Great Lakes Theater's 2015-16 Season

CLEVELAND, OH (August 18, 2015) - Great Lakes Theater (GLT) will commence its 2015-16 season at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square with a Fall Repertory that features a Tony Award-winning musical for the whole family, The Secret Garden and a towering Shakespearean tragedy, King Lear. The productions will be performed in rotating repertory September 25 – November 1, 2015. Victoria Bussert will direct The Secret Garden. Joseph Hanreddy will direct King Lear. (The Secret Garden is presented through special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.)

Generous support for The Secret Garden was provided by the Kulas Foundation. The production is part of the Kulas Musical Theater Series at Great Lakes Theater. GLT’s production of King Lear is part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Great Lakes Theater is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. Season support is also provided by The Cleveland Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council. Media sponsors for GLT’s 54th season are The FORM Group, Ideastream (WCLV 104.9 FM and WCPN 90.3 FM) and WKSU 89.7 FM.

“Our fall repertory season is a study in contrasts, in which the natural environment plays a central role both metaphorically and literally,” said Charles Fee, GLT’s Producing Artistic Director. “Nature’s healing powers in The Secret Garden, and destructive powers in King Lear, constantly underscore the action of these two plays; just as the tragedy of an aging king’s disintegration, descent into madness and death are contrasted by a child’s experience of awakening, healing, and growth in The Secret Garden. Setting the plays against each other in ‘rep’ creates an exceptionally profound experience of the human condition. Seeing the acting company move effortlessly between these productions, under the brilliant direction of Victoria Bussert and Joe Hanreddy, is a reminder of the incredible talent that has become the hallmark of Great Lakes Theater.”

The Fall Repertory begins with a Tony Award-winning musical for the whole family, The Secret Garden. An enchanting adaptation of a classic children’s novel, this acclaimed musical will inspire “the child” within audience members of all ages. After being orphaned in India, 10 year-old Mary is returned to England to live with her melancholy uncle at his neglected estate. Haunted by the ghosts of her past and the secrets of her uncle, she innocently unlocks the forgotten gate to an untended garden on the estate grounds. From its soil, fertile with memory and “magic,” springs hope and healing for them both.

A towering Shakespearean tragedy, Great Lakes Theater’s production of King Lear completes the classic theater company’s Fall Repertory pairing. A classic tale of love, loss and legacy, King Lear’s royal epic reigns supreme. When an aging monarch resolves to retire and divide his kingdom among three daughters, his sense of reason is suddenly shattered by the surprising emotional storm that ensues. Stoked by fierce winds of treachery, the tragic tempest plunges both king and kingdom into chaos. As his life hangs in the balance, a once proud monarch is forced to wrestle with morality as he confronts his own mortality.

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. 8, 15, 22, 29) 

---“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. 25 & Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30) 

---“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. 10, 17, 24, 31)
---“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. 4, 11, 18, 25 & Nov. 1)

---“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. 25 & Oct. 2)

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 Secret Garden (September 26th) and King Lear (October 3rd) 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 or by visiting the Playhouse Square Ticket Office. Groups of ten or more receive discounts by calling (216) 241-5490 x302.

Great Lakes Theater, the first resident company of Playhouse Square, has brought the pleasure, power and relevance of classic theater to the widest possible audience since 1962. GLT programming positively impacts 100,000 adults and students annually.

Related Shows:
The Secret Garden
King Lear

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