Dobama showcases young actors

Director Kelly Elliott.

This July, Dobama presents free performances at its Dobama Emerging Actors Program (DEAP) Showcase, featuring aspiring actors in high school and early college.

DEAP Showcase performances will take place July 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m., and July 28 at 2:30 p.m. The free tickets are available first come, first served.

The black box-style production will present scenes from “Fuenteovejuna,” a classic play by Lope De Vega, showcasing the skills that the students have acquired and refined during Dobama’s summer intensive program. 

Now in its 13th year, the four-week, technique-based, process-centered program provides young actors with a high-quality, college-conservatory curriculum taught by area professionals in an exciting, experimental environment. 

Two of the many successful artists who have graduated from DEAP are Kadijah Wingo, who recently starred in Seat of the Pants’ production of “Bach at Leipzig” by Itamar Moses, and Léo Fernandez, who was assistant director of Dobama’s production of “Significant Other” by Joshua Harmon.

This summer’s DEAP participants are from local schools, including Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights high schools, Laurel School, Cleveland School of the Arts, Kent State University, and the University of Akron.  

The DEAP Showcase director is Northeast Ohio theater artist Kelly Elliott, an early modern English drama specialist. She is also a dramaturge, choreographer, educator, stage manager, playwright, and actor, who previously acted at Dobama Theatre 1999–2001, during which time she also co-ran the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival.

Also working with DEAP students on the production are Dobama’s summer resident associate directors (RADs) Carolina Sutton-Schott (stage manager) and Devin Ty Franklin (assistant director). 

Dobama’s RAD program offers paid, hands-on experience in artistic production and theater administration, in accordance with participants’ interests. Previous interns have progressed on to careers at Dobama and at other theatrical institutions, including the Theatre Communications Group and NYC’s Signature Theatre.

While DEAP is tuition-based, no student is turned away if unable to pay, and personalized financial aid is available, in keeping with Dobama’s continued commitment to serving all members of the community.

For more information about the DEAP Showcase performances, or the program, call the box office at 216-932-3396, visit, or e-mail

For information about Dobama’s RAD internship program, visit or e-mail

Tal Barone

Tal Barone is a summer writing intern at Dobama Theatre and a rising senior at John Carroll University majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing and French.

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 AM, 06.26.2024