An exciting and entertaining destination...this is PlayhouseSquare!

An Interview with Kyra Kennedy from Waitress

Published October 23rd, 2017 by | Comments Off on An Interview with Kyra Kennedy from Waitress

By Alicia Hansen

As part of Playhouse Square’s Broadway Buzz program, Buzz Extra writer Alicia Hansen will take you behind the scenes of each KeyBank Broadway Series show in the 2017-18 season and interview a member of the show’s cast, crew or creative team. As Waitress begins its national tour in Cleveland, Alicia spoke with Kyra Kennedy, a member of the show’s ensemble, about her involvement in this new musical.

Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in a very small town in Oklahoma and have parents that were incredible in letting me spread my wings and supported me a million percent in following this dream. They both are heavily involved in the arts and my mother is a fantastic pianist. I grew up in our community theatre rehearsals watching them both and it just made sense to pursue it and I felt so comfortable in my skin there.

When Waitress was auditioning for American Repertory Theater (ART), I was in callbacks and knew immediately that it was a special show. I also knew someday I’d be in it. I just had a feeling. The music, the material, the dream of it all really resonated me since the moment I encountered it.

I hear you are a fellow Baldwin Wallace University alum! Are there any particular aspects of your college experience that prepped you for this opportunity?
YES! YJ4L! (That’s Yellow Jackets for Life for you non-BW grads!) I did not come from a background that knew a lot about Music Theatre schools and going about auditioning for them. I happened to have a voice teacher who was in love with the school and by design, I did as well. BW prepared me so much as a musician – I’m confident learning sides and audition songs because of that training. The connections it allowed me to make have been so incredibly valuable.

This nationwide tour opens at Playhouse Square. What excited you most about starting off in Cleveland?
Oh gosh! I had such a rush of emotions – I was excited to be back in an area I knew and loved. I love Cleveland so much – the memories, the food, the spirit. It’s a really special place. Not to mention the INDIANS ARE AMAZING!

This story is well known to many thanks to the popular 2007 movie starring Keri Russel. As an actor bringing the tale back to the stage, is there something that the stage version provides to (either you as an actor or to the audiences) that the film version did not?
Absolutely – Sara’s music is otherworldly. It adds such a personal and beautiful and heart-wrenching quality to an already poignant and beautiful story. Her music blossoms.

The music and lyrics of Waitress – by popular singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles – drove a lot of publicity towards the musical’s creation and opening on Broadway. Can you speak to how her musical style leads to the theater and this piece?
Sara is able to capture humanity in her songs so well. The lyrics, the music, and even the background vocals are so specific and intentional and really have such a character. I feel so lucky to be able to sing her music. I hope this isn’t her last musical – I think she is such an intelligent writer.

The circumstances around the lead character of this musical creates the opportunity for the audience to take away some interesting life lessons. Which message of Waitress speaks to you the most?
The strength a woman can have when she is empowered. Jenna has 2 amazing friends who love imperfectly and aren’t your typical, archetype of a character. The characters in this show are flawed which helps us as an audience see ourselves in each of them. Especially in this political climate, I think it is so important for audiences across America to see a story of a woman that becomes her own champion.

Out of all the productions you’ve been involved in over the years, how does this production of Waitress stand apart?
There is nothing like it. In my career thus far, this was a turning point. I’m thankful to start this chapter and to be able to say I was a part of this extraordinary diner.

Waitress runs October 17 – November 5, 2017 in the Connor Palace at Playhouse Square. For more information, please visit the show’s page on the Playhouse Square website.

Alicia Hansen is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace’s theatre program, a yoga teacher, an event professional, a local lifestyle blogger and proud Northeast Ohio arts supporter. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

10 Reasons to Attend the International Children’s Theater Festival!

Published May 1st, 2017 by | Comments Off on 10 Reasons to Attend the International Children’s Theater Festival!

We have a million reasons why you should attend the International Children’s Theater Festival on May 6-7, and we were able to narrow it down to 10 to get you started. Enjoy!

1. It is first and foremost family friendly

This festival is a place for BOTH you and your children to dance, play and have fun, so stop by and unleash your inner child! What better way to introduce your children to the world of theater than through the International Children’s Theater Festival at Playhouse Square?

2. Pedal Punk


This show is featuring a 20-foot-high, pedal-powered mechanical masterpiece, where the performers will leave you amazed with a heart-pounding pole drop, awesome aerial acts and high-flying tricks (on a trampoline!).

3. The Moon’s a Balloon

A balloon can be a friend to play with or a maker of friendships. The Moon’s a Balloon visual theater production is inspired by a poem by e.e. cummings which suggests all sorts of possibilities reside in the simplest of things.

4. Balloons, face painting & magicians

Need we say more? These free actives and stations will be taking place throughout the weekend. Click here to see our complete schedule of shows and activities.

5. Grug and the Rainbow


Meet Grug, as he begins his life on the top of a Burrawang tree that fell to the ground. Resembling a small, striped haystack with feet and a nose, Grug is fascinated by the world around him and solves everyday problems creatively and without fuss.

6. Morgan’s Journey


You will embark on a journey of discovery, in Morgan’s Journey, when Morgan the clown, delighted in the presents he receives, finds a wise sock puppet who becomes his companion.

7. Visit the passport stations and get a taco! 

There will be passport stations, sponsored by Talespinner Children’s Theatre, containing incredible masks, beautiful costumes & more. And upon finishing your journey at each station your little ones can enjoy a FREE taco at Puente Viejo, located at 1220 Huron Rd! (*Tacos will be only be awarded to children with completed passports.)

8. The Junkyard & Truck


Enter an immersive experience in a world of re-imagined recyclables, where travelers will create and personalize crafts to be used as they travel through The Junkyard. Then, through Bridgman Packer’s signature integration of live performance and video technology, an ordinary 17- foot U-Haul box truck will evolve from the utilitarian into a re-imagined space, a micro-world of visions and transformation in Truck.

9. Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players

The two-time Grammy nominee, Justin Roberts is truly one of the “all-stars” of the indie family music scene. See his free performances on the U.S. Bank Plaza!

10 .Your favorite downtown destination

Enjoy your time in our historic theaters, delicious restaurants and don’t forget to take your photo underneath the GE chandelier!

 

For more information about the International Children’s Theater Festival, click here.

Until then we’ll see you May 6-7!

Get to Know: Pedal Punk

Published April 24th, 2017 by | Comments Off on Get to Know: Pedal Punk

Pedal Punk  is one of the shows featured in the International Children’s Theater Festival, on Saturday, May 6 at 1:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 7 at 1:30 p.m. Learn more about this rowdy circus on wheel and purchase tickets, for only $10-15,  here!

 

Enter the world of Pedal Punk, a Steampunk inspired place where cycling is the way to escape the technology obsessed society. This production, featuring a 20-foot-high, pedal-powered mechanical masterpiece, the performers amaze with a heart-pounding pole drop, awesome aerial acts, and high-flying tricks (on a trampoline!). In Pedal Punk we experience the excitement, artistry and thrill that occurs when a wacky bike shop mechanic interacts with cyclists and bikes, he repairs more than broken pieces.  He creates wondrous machines and inspires the cyclist in all of us to become a Pedal Punk. With every spin of a sprocket and rattle of a wrench, the quirky cast of characters transforms a bevy of bikes into an astounding assortment or acrobatic apparatus in this adrenaline-fueled circus for the whole family. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

The 8th Annual International Children’s Theater Festival, May 6-7, 2017, and will give your children and grandchildren an unique enriching live theater experience with performances from around the world, free fun activities and so much more. Click here to learn more about the International Children’s Theater Festival.

Get to Know: The Moon’s a Balloon

Published April 17th, 2017 by | Comments Off on Get to Know: The Moon’s a Balloon

Experience a world of live performance as Playhouse Square presents its 8th Annual International Children’s Theater Festival, May 6-7, 2017. The festival will give your children and grandchildren an unique enriching live theater experience with performances from around the world, free fun activities and so much more. Click here to learn more about the International Children’s Theater Festival!

The Moon’s a Balloon is one of the innovative shows that is part of the International Children’s Theater Festival this year. It’s the perfect family show!

A balloon can be a friend to play with or a maker of friendships. It can hold its breath for days and disappear in an instant. It can make your hair stand on end and fill you with laughter. A balloon can be something loved or something lost; something shared or something broken. A balloon can be anything you need it to be. Inspired by a poem by e.e. cummings, The Moon’s a Balloon suggests that all sorts of possibilities reside in the simplest of things.

Exploration, play and invention are at the heart of the way children make friends. The Moon’s a Balloon is a visual-theater production that celebrates the possibilities of play, the making of friendships, and the wonder of creation. Simple white balloons, two performers, and a musician can, through exploration, play and search for meaning, give rise to a rich variety of composition, beauty, laughter, wonder, joy, and story, and delight and inspire the hearts and minds of the audience.

The Moon’s a Balloon will be featured in the Ohio Theatre on Saturday, May 6 at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and on Sunday, May 7 at 2:00 p.m. 

Ticket are only $10-15 and can be purchased here.

THANK YOU RedCoat Volunteers!

Published April 11th, 2017 by | Comments Off on THANK YOU RedCoat Volunteers!

In honor of April being National Volunteer Month, we want to take the time to celebrate the work that our RedCoat volunteers do year-round, and share some fun facts about our program. Enjoy!

1. The Playhouse Square RedCoat volunteer program officially began in 1980.

2. RedCoats wear many hats here! They serve as greeters, ticket scanners, tour guides, ushers, wheelchair escorts AND provide assistance in the Playhouse Square administrative offices.

3. They are the face the of Playhouse Square to nearly one million guests who annually attend more than one thousand curtains!

4. Some RedCoats, known as the “Bright Spots,” clean and polish the beautiful chandeliers. And others play the 1928 Kimball Organ in the Connor Palace prior to Cinema at the Square screenings and on other special occasions.

5. High school students serve as volunteer ushers, as well, in a special program known as STARS – Students Take A Role at the Square. (for more information about this program click here.)

6. More than 1300 RedCoats annually provide MORE THAN 100,000 hours of service to Playhouse Square!

We are proud to say that our RedCoats show their passion and support of our not-for-profit mission, in addition to the performing arts, every time they enter the door, and we are beyond grateful for the time and talents they are willing to pledge to us. RedCoats, you rock!

We are always welcoming new RedCoats! Interested in becoming a volunteer? Find out more HERE.

 

Get to Know: Morgan’s Journey

Published April 10th, 2017 by | Comments Off on Get to Know: Morgan’s Journey

Morgan’s Journey  is one of the shows featured at the International Children’s Theater Festival this May. The show will be in the Gund Dance Studio on Saturday, May 6 at 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and on Sunday, May 7 at 3:00 p.m. 

Ticket are only $15 and can be purchase here.

Morgan’s Journey, originally created by Robert Morgan and director David Craig, is a captivating exploration of joyous yet challenging childhood experiences that offers audiences a unique opportunity for active participation. From the moment of his birth, audiences follow Morgan the Clown on a journey of discovery, delighting in the presents he receives, especially his last one, a wise sock puppet who becomes his companion. Encountering inevitable growing pains, Morgan learns a valuable and moving lesson about love and the true meaning of friendship. This production, with a creative drama post-play experience is the perfect show to transition your child into the world of theater.

Experience a world of live performance as Playhouse Square presents its 8th Annual International Children’s Theater Festival, May 6-7, 2017. The festival will give your children and grandchildren an unique enriching live theater experience with performances from around the world, free fun activities and so much more.
Click here to learn more about the International Children’s Theater Festival!

Q & A with CJO’s special guest Michael Philip Mossman

Published April 5th, 2017 by | Comments Off on Q & A with CJO’s special guest Michael Philip Mossman

Cleveland Jazz Orchestra: Afro-Cuban Explosion will be in the Ohio Theatre on Saturday, April 8 at 8:00 p.m. The show features New York trumpeter, composer and Oberlin graduate Michael Philip Mossman who joins CJO in a dynamic exploration of the intersection of music from Africa, Cuba and the rest of the Caribbean. Experience the rhythmic sounds of “Night in Tunisia”, Mambo, Mantuno, Salsa, Samba and more!

In anticipation of his upcoming performance, we had the pleasure of asking the talented Michael Philip Mossman some questions about his life and career.

When and how did you start playing?

I started playing at the age of 8 and promptly quit lessons (but stayed in the band!) because I didn’t like the music in the books and hated they way we were taught to read music. I learned to play by imitating songs I heard on the radio, which I taped on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. I searched for any music with a trumpet in it and happened on WRTI, a college station that played jazz. I just imitated what I heard and could do the same in band practice. But importantly, the sound I developed was based on hearing great music played by fine musicians. I learned to improvise just by trial and error.

Then when I was 15 I attended a jazz clinic in Wilmington, DE and met some great musicians from NY. Of these Roland Hanna became my colleague at Queens College until he passed away. Another, Don Sebesky, became my arranging teacher when I moved to NY. Later, I did learn to read music, of course, and attended Oberlin Conservatory and studied orchestral trumpet there as well as jazz composition with Wendell Logan. I moved to Chicago after school and studied with Vincent Cichowicz, a really great orchestral trumpet player and teacher. I soon moved to New York and learned a ton of things working with some wonderful (and generous) musicians who were very welcoming, like Lew Soloff, Kamau Adilifu, and Jon Faddis.

What musicians do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from anything beautiful, no matter what kind of music. Because I am an arranger I am constantly exposed to different kinds of music from many cultures, with which I’m tasked with arranging for big band, orchestra, film, etc. In this way I get to hear and intensely study details of music composition, performance and the cultures they come from. Sometimes technique is amazing, sometimes the feeling a musician expresses, sometime the compositions and arrangements are innovative or just very well-done.

Another thing that inspires me is the mentorship I have received from others, including Mario Bauza, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis, Horace Silver, Michel Camilo and my teachers, Wendell Logan, Bill Fielder, Vince Cichowicz and other great teachers I have observed.

Mossman leading the WDR (Europe’s best big band, based out of Cologne) doing one of his arrangements.

Do you play any other instruments besides the trumpet?

I play “arrangers” piano and still practice the trombone. Sometimes I play valve trombone with Paquito D’Rivera. I spent time practicing both drum set and guitar to help me understand how to orchestrate for them. Click here to listen to Michael Philip Mossman play Springdance (feat. K. Drew Jr., D. Sanchez, M. “Smitty” Smith, & J. Genus).

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to run, swim and spend time with my family and friends. I like getting very dirty in the garden and doing very bad carpentry.

Do any other members of your family play music?

My father, Howard Mossman plays the theremin! His playing is heard in the award-winning movie, “The Bothersome Man.” He has never been a professional player, but is very knowledgeable about this instrument.

Who is one artist you listen to that might surprise your fans?

I don’t know if it would surprise anyone but I do enjoy African Jazz artists, such as Mohktar Samba and Richard Bona. I am just finishing charts for a West Indian Jazz group called Sakesho. Not bebop or Afro-Cuban Jazz as we are playing with the CJO but very challenging and beautiful. I also like great Bluegrass and Flamenco guitar playing as well as Arabian Oud. (I recently did a chart for Oud player Charbel Rouhana.)

How do you balance being Director of Jazz Studies at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College/CUNY, your performance career and family?

I try as much as possible to bring everyone into everything else I do. My daughters have attended many concerts and at times travel with me, as does my “acting” wife, Nancy (who plays the
trumpet!). My first daughter, Anayvelyse had her own ”Latin Jazz” radio show at Columbia and my younger daughter writes her own songs. I always discuss my current work in classes at QC and this keeps my teaching current and relevant. When possible, I include students in rehearsals and recording sessions so they feel a part of the scene. Many are!

You’ve toured and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, McKoy Tyner, Gerry Mulligan, Joe Zawinul, Slide Hampton, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra and more.

What artists or groups are on your wish list for future collaborations?

I really enjoyed scoring the film, Chico and Rita (Academy Award finalist in 2012, directed by Fernando Trueba) using songs by Bebo Valdez. That and composing ballets, Beneath the Mask and The Legend of King Cintolo were a lot of fun and challenging as the music was part of a larger picture. I think visually of music and use a lot of analogies from other art forms (especially cooking and architecture) and nature when I teach. That keeps me from getting too lost in the weeds, musically and writing only for jazz nerds like myself.

Looking ahead, what is up next for you in your career?


Lately I’ve been focused on increasing my focus on the intersection between music composition, live performance studio music production. Many students either focus only on playing and find they have no audience or only on production and have no musical depth. To maintain the valuable techniques and knowledge we build on takes a lot of study. But digital production is the way we communicate now and cannot be ignored by “traditionalists.”

I also have been on an 18 year quest to teach artists about business thinking for the sake of the sustainability of their careers as well as unlocking for them the vast store of creativity found in the business world. Its all about allowing them to make a living creating their music and sharing it.

Is there anything else that you want our audience to know about you?

I’m very happy to have chosen music as a life, even with the many, many ups and downs a life in the arts can present. I believe that the finest thing about music is that people from every different place, economically, ethnically, politically, etc can find not only common ground but common passion. In music we literally synchronize with each other to achieve common goals. We learn respect for others’ achievements and recognize their contributions to our success even if we don’t agree on everything else they do. We also learn humility and gratitude. We explore history and our present world for ideas and are both caretakers of our cultures as well as ambassadors of them.

Enjoy this night of music and rhythm. Click here to get your tickets now!

LIZZIE: The American Rock Musical Returns!

Published April 4th, 2017 by | Comments Off on LIZZIE: The American Rock Musical Returns!

Recall the famous nursery rhyme, “Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.” But did she really?

On April 28 – 30, in partnership with Baldwin Wallace University’s musical theatre program, LIZZIE, the American rock musical and crowd favorite, returns to the Cleveland stage. This year marks the 10 year anniversary of this collaboration with Baldwin Wallace, and the first time the student perform the same show twice! For one weekend only, experience the exhilarating story of Lizzie Borden and decide for yourself whether she is innocent, or if she is the axe-wielding murderer that everyone suspects her to be.

The chilling tale of Lizzie Borden:

125 years later, the mystery surrounding Lizzie Borden and whether or not she murdered her father and stepmother is still one of the most controversial cold cases in American history. Born July 19, 1860, in Fall River, Massachusetts, Lizzie Borden grew up in an unusual home. Sarah Borden, her mother, died when she was only two years old. After their mother’s death, Lizzie’s older sister, Emma, promised she would care for her. It didn’t take long however for Andrew Borden, Lizzie’s father,  to remarry a woman named Abby, whom Lizzie would come to resent. Mr. Andrew Borden a wealthy businessman was frugal with his money, to a fault, and often left his family to go without electricity or indoor plumbing.

Growing up, Lizzie struggled to live a normal life. Her father gave her a minimal allowance and the only social activities she could participate in were church-related. Eventually, she dropped out of high school and became a well-known shoplifter. Lizzie wished to be free to live an extravagant, wealthy lifestyle but never could. She came into conflict with her stepmother, in large part, due to her father choosing to treat his wife better than his children, like buying her a house. By Lizzie’s early 30s, she was even more unhappy as an unmarried woman living with her father and stepmother.

Then on August 4, 1892, tragedy struck the Borden home. Sometime between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m., Lizzie’s stepmother Abby was brutally murdered with an axe in the upstairs bedroom. Lizzie claimed to be unaware of the murder, stating she was in the kitchen downstairs. Lizzie then claimed she went outside to the barn to get some equipment for an upcoming fishing trip. During all of this, Bridget Sullivan, the family’s maid, was outside washing windows. When she finished, Bridget came back inside the house, acquainting with Mr. Borden before she went to lie down for a nap in a second upstairs bedroom. Then, around 11:00 a.m., Mr. Borden was also brutally murdered in the downstairs living room, to which Lizzie came into the house and shouted to Bridget upstairs, “Come quick! Father’s dead. Somebody came in and killed him.” When it came to the trial, even amidst some incriminating evidence, Lizzie was found to be not guilty.

It’s time for you to see the show and choose your own verdict. Get tickets to see LIZZIE here.

Get to Know: Grug and The Rainbow

Published March 29th, 2017 by | Comments Off on Get to Know: Grug and The Rainbow

Experience a world of live performance as Playhouse Square presents its 8th Annual International Children’s Theater Festival, May 6-7, 2017. The festival will give your children and grandchildren an unique enriching live theater experience with performances from around the world, free fun activities and so much more. Click here to learn more about the International Children’s Theater Festival!

One of these amazing shows featured at this year’s festival is, Grug and the Rainbow. Based on the much loved picture book character created by Ted Prior, and brought to you by the Windmill Theatre company from Australia, Grug is perfect for ages 3-6, and fun for the whole family!

Ted Prior’s hugely popular character, Grug, is brought to life for our very young theatre lovers as he begins his life on the top of a Burrawang tree that fell to the ground. Resembling a small, striped haystack with feet and a nose, Grug is fascinated by the world around him and solves everyday problems creatively and without fuss.

When dancing instructions are too difficult to understand, he invents his own dance and calls it ‘The Grug’, and when snails eat his cabbages, Grug plants more cabbages so there will be enough for both him and the snails. This beloved production is a must see!

Grug and the Rainbow will be featured in the Westfield Insurance Studio Theatre on Saturday, May 6 at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and on Sunday, May 7 at 1:30 p.m. 

Ticket are only $15 and can be purchased here.

An Interview with Bunny Christie

Published March 22nd, 2017 by | Comments Off on An Interview with Bunny Christie

By Alicia Hansen

As part of our Broadway Buzz program, Buzz Extra writer Alicia Hansen will take you behind the scenes of each KeyBank Broadway Series show and interview a member of the show’s cast, crew or creative team. Alicia recently interviewed Bunny Christie, the Scenic & Costume Designer of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, about her experience in designing this Tony Award winning play.

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Scotland and was involved in my school drama group although performing, not designing. We would sometimes go to Glasgow to an amazing theatre called The Glasgow Citizens Theatre. They produced incredibly visual, decadent pieces of theatre and employed very beautiful actors. I then went to Art School in London and found that the Theatre Design students were having much more fun than the painters or sculptors.

I first heard about The National Theatre doing a version of Curious Incident when Marianne Elliott rang me asking if I knew the book and if I would like to have a go at designing the show. I absolutely loved the book. I had read it along with the rest of the UK when it first came out. I love working with Marianne so it was a very decision to say YES!!!

In taking a book to the stage, how did the novel of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time inspire or influence your designs?

It was really lovely to have the book and the script to work with. The book is beautiful and has lovely pictures, maps and equations in it. I really wanted to use some of the illustrations in the book in our production. Also, the book is very playful. The chapters aren’t numbered 1, 2, 3. They are numbered as prime numbers 2, 3, 5, 7, so I wanted to keep some of that playful, irreverent feeling. There are also nice descriptions of the people in the book that I used in the costume designs. Christopher often notices the shoes that people wear or their t-shirts because he doesn’t do eye contact.

The most striking aspect of the scenic design is the electronic panels that provide the flexibility to tell this tale. Can you describe your process in developing that important feature?

It felt to me that we should be in a space that is Christopher’s domain, almost inside his head, and that would be a world of technology, science and math. I also really wanted the space of the stage to feel exciting and vibrant, and celebrate the world of computers and technology.  I was looking at lots of computer gaming rooms and club interiors for inspiration, and talking to Paule Constable, the lighting designer, about how to make the space feel like a computer game and fizz with energy and light.  The space needed to become so many different locations, and be very fluid and fast moving.

What were some of the most important aspects on your mind when creating the costume designs for Curious Incident?

I wanted the colors on the clothes to really glow – as though when Christopher sees a color, it is super bright and almost vibrates. I also use Christopher’s favorite colors on his clothes and the colors he hates on the characters he doesn’t like. Anyone wearing something yellow or brown is not a good person. The characters need to be able to change very quickly, sometimes onstage.

The company who become all the characters in the story and also sometimes act almost as neurons in Christopher’s brain have a monochrome ‘skin’ of clothes that sort of match the black and white set.  They can then add character elements to quickly become an individual person, or melt into the set when the focus is really on Christopher and we need to see only him clearly. Siobhan, his favorite teacher, is dressed in white, so she glows in the space a little. I always felt like she is a guardian angel for Christopher.

As I said, I used particular details from descriptions in the book of how people looked: Mrs. Shears in her pajamas and pink toe-nails; Mrs. Alexander, the neighbor who wears New Balance trainers with red laces; the neighbor, Mr. Thompson, who wears a T-shirt with “Beer. Helping ugly people have sex for 2,000 years”!

Was there any one character you especially enjoyed crafting costumes for in this production?

I do really like Mrs. Alexander the older lady neighbor. She’s a really nice person and I love the look of her wearing her trainers to do work in the garden. The policemen were actually really fun to do. London and Swindon police have quite particular kit and the actors always love dressing up and trying on the London Bobby helmets.

What scenes in the show leave the audience with the strongest visual impacts thanks to the work you created?

I love the moments when all the visual and aural elements work together. The section when Christopher is searching the house for evidence is really fun.  All the pixel lighting is firing, the actors are moving through the space and its fun and playful.

I also love the bit we call Astro-boy when Christopher imagines himself in space. Again the projection, sound, light, music and movement are all working together and we spent a lot of time orchestrating this section to make it feel magical.

The journey on the train to London is lovely. I can really clearly remember coming up with this idea way back at the beginning of the design process with Marianne. It’s still exactly as we imagined – that’s very satisfying.

What makes Curious Incident stand out to you from the other productions you’ve worked on over the years?

Definitely the teamwork.  Although Marianne and I worked alone on the design and feel of the production for many weeks, once the rest of the team got involved, we all bounced off each other and they added layers of ideas. It’s a large team of people all working together – this includes the actors and all the backstage teams.  It’s a very precise piece of work.  We all became very particular about the detail of each moment.  Although the show is very visual and loud at times, it is also quiet, moving and delicate with beautiful acting and writing. I always love watching it. The story gets me every time.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time runs March 21 – April 9, 2017 in the Connor Palace at Playhouse Square. For more information, please visit the show’s page on the Playhouse Square website.

Alicia Hansen is the writer behind Poise in Parma, a healthy balance blog for Clevelanders. A graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College’s theatre program, Alicia is a local yoga teacher, event professional, marketer and proud Northeast Ohio arts supporter. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

About Us

A not-for-profit performing arts center that presents and produces a wide variety of performing arts, advances arts education and creates a destination that is a superior location for entertainment business and residential living, thereby strengthening the economic vitality of the region.

Authors

'