Ensemble kicks off 2020 with 'Intimate Apparel'

Cleveland Heights’ Ensemble Theatre begins 2020 with a continuation of its 40th anniversary season, themed ”Making HER Story"—a season dedicated to female playwrights, female directors and female lead roles.

In its first production of the new year, Ensemble will present Lynn Nottage's "Intimate Apparel,” beginning Jan. 24. 

Nottage’s play is set in New York circa 1905—a time and place where rigid social divides exist along the lines of race, religion and class. At the same time, a burgeoning population of immigrants from abroad, and people from across the U.S., have moved to the city to seek their fortunes, bringing diversity, excitement and change. In the play, Esther Mills, a skilled African-American seamstress, navigates this changing, dangerous world with her needle and thread.

Sarah May, the director of Ensemble’s production, said, "It's an honor to bring this beautiful, timely play to life on stage at Ensemble Theatre. Award-winning playwright Lynn Nottage has created a vivid portrait of one African-American woman who followed the great migration to the North. Through her talents as a seamstress, she touches the lives of wealthy clients and struggling immigrants, who, like those who wait at our borders, all landed in America to follow their dreams." 

DC Metro Theater Arts said of the play, “Intimate Apparel is, by turns, beautiful and tragic, hopeful and heartbreaking.” The play won the 2004 Steinberg New Play Award, and the 2004 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play.

Ensemble’s cast of Cleveland-based actors includes Kimberly L. Brown, Zyrece Montgomery, Leilani Barret, Diana Frankhouser, Reva Golden and Craig Joseph.

Ensemble’s production of “Intimate Apparel” runs Jan. 24 through Feb. 16, at the theater, located at the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus, 2843 Washington Blvd.

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. There will be two pay-what-you-can performances: Sunday, Jan. 26, and Sunday, Feb. 2, both at 2 p.m.

For tickets and information, visit www.ensembletheatrecle.org, call 216- 21-2930, or e-mail tickets@ensemble-theatre.org.

Celeste Cosentino

Celeste Cosentino is the executive artistic director of Ensemble Theatre and a member of the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus board.  

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 11:03 AM, 01.03.2020