Ensemble announces its 38th consecutive season
Ensemble Theatre announces its 38th consecutive season, the theme of which is “We the People.” The company will present five main stage productions of plays that focus on the power of the individuals within their communities. Celeste Cosentino, Ensemble’s artistic director, will direct the season opener, "Well," and Tony Kushner’s epic contemporary classics "Angels in America, Parts One and Two."
"Well," written by Lisa Kron, explores a woman’s relationship with her invalid mother and her mother's extraordinary ability to heal a changing neighborhood, despite her inability to heal herself. One of the questions the play asks is whether we create our own illness. The answers are complicated, surprising, and sometimes funny.
Cosentino believes that the play, which opens on Sept. 29, speaks to today’s political climate regarding both community tensions and access to health care. “There’s been a national focus on health care,” she said, “and with the current climate in our country, the humor and heart in 'Well' is more timely now than ever.”
In November, Ian Wolfgang Hinz will direct Eugene O’Neill’s "he Hairy Ape." Hinz finds that the themes of O’Neill’s play—about a brutish man finding his place in a society ruled by the rich—transcend time and remain relevant today. “O’Neill is asking the questions many of us, in our polarized society, are asking,” Hinz said. “Mainly, ‘Where do we belong?’”
Cosentino returns to the director’s chair in January to guide the cast through "Angels in America, Part One: Millenium Approaches." “Directing both parts of "Angels in America," with the same cast and in the same season, in this political climate, is profoundly important,” Cosentino said of her turn directing this seminal American play focusing on the AIDS epidemic. "Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika" will open in April.
Hinz will also direct "Jelly Belly," an early play by Charles Smith. Ensemble has produced several of Smith’s plays in recent years, including "A Free Man of Color," "Knock Me a Kiss," and "The Gospel According to James."
In addition to these main stage productions, Ensemble will also hold its annual Colombi New Plays Festival during the month of March, and offer smaller productions in its second space, the PlayGround, including "The Little Prince," the company’s annual children’s show.
For more information on Ensemble Theatre Company’s entire 2017–18 season, and to purchase tickets, call the box office at 216-321-2930 or go to www.ensembletheatrecle.org.
Tyler Whidden serves as Ensemble's associate artistic director and director of education. He recently received an M.F.A. in playwriting from Ohio University.