Ensemble Theatre's 2014-15 season: the cult of personality

In choosing plays for its upcoming seasons, Ensemble Theatre makes its selections based on a theme. The 2014–15 season is no exception and the theme is the “Cult of Personality.” Past themes have included “All You Need Is Love” (2013–14) and “Discover the Human Element” (2012–13). If thought-provoking drama about strong characters appeals to you, a subscription to Ensemble’s upcoming season may be just the ticket.

Ensemble opens its 35th main stage season with “Anna Christie,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Eugene O’Neill. The play examines the problematic relationship between a sailor and the daughter he has not seen for almost 20 years. The play runs from Sept. 26 through Oct. 19.

In anticipation of the new year, one of the most famous party hosts takes the stage. Based on the classic American novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby” runs from Nov. 14 through Dec. 14.

There’s more to come as Ensemble celebrates Black History Month with “Thurgood,” dramatizing the life of civil rights giant Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice. “Thurgood” runs from Jan. 30 through Feb. 22.

Concluding an extraordinary main stage season is the Cleveland premiere of “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” by Cleveland Heights native Rajiv Joseph. “Bengal Tiger” runs from April 24 through May 17.

The season continues. After a successful first year in its new Playground space, Ensemble will also continue its TheatreCLE offerings. When asked to describe the Playground, Celeste Cosentino, Ensemble’s artistic director, said, “It’s the new 40–seat black box we created last season. So now we have a main stage and a ‘little box,’ which we dubbed ‘the playground,’ where you come to play around. Kind of a research and development wing where we can do shows on a smaller scale, broaden audiences and test new technologies.”

TheatreCLE opens with “The Mercy Seat” by Neil LaBute; following up with Conor McPherson’s “St. Nicholas; Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” adapted for the stage by Oakley Hall; and concluding with William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”

And now for something completely new—Ensemble introduces its educational wing in January 2015 with the presentation of “The Neverending Story,” based on the classic children’s novel by Michael Ende.

Ensemble Theatre is located at 2843 Washington Blvd., in Cleveland Heights. For more information, a complete schedule of performances, and to order tickets or subscriptions, call the Ensemble box office at 216-321-2930.

Jewel Moulthrop

Jewel Moulthrop is a Cleveland Heights resident and member of the Heights Observer's Advisory Committee.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 2:28 PM, 07.31.2014