Ensemble presents Ohio premiere of 'East of Eden'

A cynical Cathy, played by Jill Levin, listens to pleas from her husband Adam (Dana Hart) in "East of Eden." [photo courtesy Aimee Lambes Photography]

John Steinbeck's masterpiece "East of Eden" is making its Ohio stage premiere at Ensemble Theatre in Cleveland Heights. Shows continue through Nov. 11.

Adapted by Chicago theater legend Frank Galati and directed by Ensemble artist and board member Ian Wolfgang Hinz, the epic play tells the story of the attempts of the Trask family to set roots in Salinas Valley, Calif.

“’East of Eden’ is widely accepted as John Steinbeck's greatest work, and American classics have always been a part of Ensemble's core mission. With past productions like ‘The Great Gatsby’ and now ‘East of Eden,’ we have been able to build a bridge to classic literature through theatrical adaptations,” Hinz said.

A biblical allegory and family epic, the play offers up themes of good vs. evil, love and loss, and the human quest to emerge from past sins. Hinz sees the production as offering a unique experience for audiences: “There is nothing like live theatre when it comes to audience experience, and to be able to experience this great story in an immediate visceral setting opens up audiences for conversations as a shared experience.”

The show stars Cleveland-based actors Dana Hart (Sam Hamilton), Scott Miller (Adam Trask), Jill Levin (Kate), Joy Cayabyab (Lee), Kyle Huff (Caleb), August Scarpelli (Aron), Leah Smith (Abra Bacon), Greg White (Mr. Bacon), Val Young (Mrs. Bacon), Whit Lowell (Will Hamilton), Sarah Blubaugh (Eva), and Mia Radabaugh (Nurse). Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. on Ensemble’s Mainstage at 2843 Washington Blvd. in the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus.

After “East of Eden,” Ensemble will co-produce Shahrazad Theatre Company’s new adaptation of “Around the World in 80 Days.” running Nov. 30 through Dec. 16.

For tickets and more information, visit www.ensembletheatrecle.org, call  216-321-2930, or e-mail info@ensemble-theatre.org.


Ensemble Theatre

Tyler Whidden is a playwright and associate artistic director at Ensemble Theatre. He also co-hosts "The Cleveland Stage Podcast."

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 7:25 PM, 10.31.2018