The 5th Annual Cleveland Playwrights Festival

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Creative Space at Waterloo Arts
397 East 156th Street |  Cleveland, OH 44110

All Sessions are Free | Recommended for Adults & Teens

Tickets or Reservations Not Required

12:00 PM   |  Workshop
“Just the Facts, Man”: A Docudrama Playwriting Workshop
With instructor Christopher Johnston
Presented with Literary Cleveland & The Dramatists Guild - Ohio Region 

As playwrights, we usually draw from real-life stories to create narrative plays. However, we can also do extensive research and interviews with people on which to build purely documentary theater pieces about dynamic individuals or particular groups of people, say veterans or victims of domestic violence. We have the option to create characters based on those interviewees or use a subject’s exact words from an interview transcript verbatim. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the techniques necessary to research a topic and get comprehensive interviews from which to draw material or language for a play. We’ll also develop a short piece that can stand on its own or be developed into a one-act or full-length play.

2:00 PM   |  Craft Talk
"Getting Off on the Right Foot: Strategies on Beginnings"
With George Brant, hosted by Les Hunter
Presented with Literary Cleveland & The Dramatists Guild - Ohio Region

George Brant’s Grounded was a NY Times Critic's Pick for its production at The Public Theater, which was directed by Julie Taymor and performed by Anne Hathaway. Join this acclaimed playwright as he discusses some basic tips and strategies picked directly from his own toolbox. A Q-and-A with Les Hunter, the Dramatist Guild’s Regional Rep for Ohio, will follow. 

3:30 PM  |  Young Playwrights Collective Showcase
Riot and Dishonor
Written and directed by Luke Brett
Presented with Young Playwrights Collective

Embark on a journey of self-debauchery as Jack Falstaff (age 15) slams into adolescence. After being expelled from his studies at the abbey, young Jack brags and bluffs his way into accidentally inspiring a rebellion in England. Drinking, fights, mistaken identity and the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 rage across a backdrop of wayward wenches and reprobates!

5:00 PM  |  Special Session
NEOMFA Writing Program Showcase
New short works from playwrights in the NEOMFA writing program, including Justin Lazor, Oana Leuca, and Ralph Myers.
Presented with NEOMFA Writing Program

6:30 PM   | Live Radio Play
Every Play is a Radio Play When You’re Blind
Written by Meghan Louise Wagner
Directed by Constance Thackaberry
Presented with Radio on the Lake Theatre

Layers of privilege collide when a naïve bridesmaid meets a semi-famous blind artist on a public bus. It’s Julia’s first time on the RTA and Jason offers to guide her across town. On the way, the unlikely pair discovers an unusual connection that is central to Jason’s art and career, making Julia the perfect subject for his next book.

7:30 PM   |  Staged Reading
Written by Adam Benjamin
Directed by Tyson Douglas Rand
Presented with The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival

Three complete strangers arrive on a remote island. Survival is secondhand to Maddox, an idealistic young photographer; Delhi is contented with a continuous inundation of social interaction; Robin is only seeking respite from his bombastic family life. Issues--hunger, shelter, food, a mysteriously languid passage of time--are pushed aside as these three strangers strive to live in islandic harmony.

9:00 PM   |  Staged Readings
Newcomers’ Session: Six 10-Minute Plays by Writers New to Playwrights Local

Playwrights Local maintains an annual Open Call for Submissions that is free for all playwrights in the wider region of Northeast Ohio. That provides a steady flow of great talent that is either outright new or just new to us. Tonight’s pieces are among those that leapt out of this year’s submissions!

  • Newbodies: Written by Carol Dolan and directed by Julia Rosa Sosa
  • That’s It: Written by Charles Ellenbogen and directed by Savanna Higginbottom
  • The Last God of Viola Wilmington: Written by Cat Kenney and directed by Chris D'Amico
  • The Inside Story: Written by Michael S. Merritt and directed by Colin Anderson
  • The Modern Theatre Critic: Written by Robert Thomas Noll & Pamela V. Noll and directed by Chris Courtenay
  • Seven Veils: Written by Elias Richard Stimac and directed by Christopher Johnston


Creative Space at Waterloo Arts
397 East 156th Street
Cleveland, OH 44110


Street parking on Waterloo Road and surrounding side streets.


Funding for The 5th Annual Cleveland Playwrights Festival is provided by:

Funding for Playwrights Local is provided by our valued patrons and the following organizations:


Jennifer Coleman and Cindy Gasparro at The George Gund Foundation

Amy Callahan and Waterloo Arts

All of our patrons and contributors

All of our partners and guest presenters

All of the playwrights, directors, actors, teachers, and other collaborators who made this event possible