Dobama's summer season begins June 1

[Illustration by Kate Atherton]

Kicking off the summer season at Dobama Theatre is the 40th anniversary of the Marilyn Bianchi Kids’ Playwriting Festival. Dedicated to the memory of Dobama co-founder Marilyn Bianchi, the festival was the first of its kind in the country, giving young playwrights in grades 1–12 the opportunity to express themselves by writing and submitting original work.

The festival culminates in three days of innovative storytelling and performances, June 1–3, at Dobama Theatre. This year, eight plays will be performed, selected from the more than 230 submitted. Ten additional plays were given Awards of Meritorious Distinction.

Eight local directors will direct the plays, which will feature actors ages 7 to 68.

Tickets are $25 for the Opening Night Benefit Performance on June 1 at 7:30 p.m. All other performances—June 2 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and June 3 at 2:30 p.m.—are free and open to the public.

Later in June, Dobama is proud to produce the American premiere of “On the Grill,” by Israeli playwright and actor Dror Keren, featuring Dorothy Silver in an ensemble cast.

This special summer event will include discussions by Keren, who will be visiting during the first weekend of performances. Dobama’s production is in partnership with the Cleveland Israel Arts Connection, a program of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.

“On the Grill” takes place on Israeli Independence Day at the home of Rochale and her husband, Zvika. The lawn has seen better days and so has the family. Their son is home from Berlin and he’s brought an unexpected guest; Grandmother is frail and attended to by her newly hired Sri Lankan caretaker. As neighbors arrive, news broadcasts on the television keep everyone on edge. Smoke from the barbecue circles the air, fighter jets circle the sky and, as food is passed and drinks are poured, conflicts are reignited that cannot be ignored.

In its review of “On the Grill,” The Jerusalem Post called it “An important play . . . so good that it seems we're eavesdropping, not sitting in a theater.”

In addition to Silver, “On the Grill” also features performances by David Vegh, Juliette Regnier, Andrew Gombas, Arif Silverman, Emily Viancourt, Rocky Encalada, Nicholas Chokan, Michael Regnier and Olivia Scicolone.

“On the Grill” runs Thursdays through Sundays, June 21 through July 8, at Dobama Theatre. The preview is Wednesday, June 20. Ticket prices range from $29 to $32, with senior, student, military, Dobama member and Jewish Federation discounts available. Tickets are available online at, or by phone (216-932-3396).

Anne Bakan

Anne Bakan is the assistant managing director of Dobama Theatre.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 12:20 PM, 05.29.2018