Playwrights Local

Cleveland's home for dramatic writers.

“O/R” Among Land of Cleve’s Top Plays of 2016

Land of Cleve has given Objectively/Reasonable an Achievement Award for being among the Top Plays of 2016!

Thanks to Rich Stimac and Land of Cleve for this great honor. And thanks to everyone on our amazing creative team for making this production happen.

See the full list of awards at

3 Questions with Playwright Edward J. Walsh

Edward J. Walsh is the author of Stranded, the latest release in Playwrights Local’s PodPlay Series. The Cleveland-based playwright has had his work performed at Dobama Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Cuyahoga Community College, and Chagrin Valley Little Theatre here in Northeast Ohio, along with several productions Off-Off- Broadway.

Stranded features Agnes Herrmann along with direction narration by Tim Tavcar and sound design by Angie Hayes. It’s available as a free download on the PL website and SoundCloud.

We’re thrilled to share Ed’s reactions to the following 3 Questions.

Where did the idea for Stranded come from, and what were you hoping to achieve with the play?

When growing up, like any kid, I had some obsessions. One of these was to someday see an honest-to-God whale. A really big one. But a vast body of fresh water like Lake Erie, near where I lived, couldn’t provide whale-watching. So it was years before I saw my first whale, off the coast of New England. That whale was a humpback. From that moment on, anytime I came within sniffing distance of salt water, I tried to go whale-watching. And, of course, I began to learn how we had decimated whale populations. Worse, how we are still doing so. Efforts to ban the hunting of whales are simply ignored by some nations for crackpot reasons. Even greater depredations occur because we are turning our oceans into virtual garbage dumps. It is enough to get a person pissed off — even to write a play about the plight of these colossal creatures. So I decided I wanted to do just that.


The character in this one-person play, Vickie Schultz, finds herself at important turning points in her career and life. What do you think is compelling about her story?

What I hope is compelling is that Vickie comes to understand the value of the life that has been lived — and is now about to end — by one of the most magnificent mammals in the world. Vickie is dealing with her own life of trials and tribulations. The whale initially adds to these. As she sees it, Moby Dick is just another pain in the ass. But in time, Vickie sees the whale not as a burden, but as a living, breathing, perhaps sentient creature she admires and wants to help. Her transformation is a gift, almost, that makes her want to fully live the life that she has, while she has it.


Environmentalism is a recurring theme in the play. Can you explain where that comes from for you and how it connects to Vickie’s story?

I probably addressed a lot of that in answering the first question. But consider a few facts about our oceans. Reliable sources tell us that the ocean is already filled with 165 million tons of plastic. Massive “garbage patches,” consisting of untold numbers of microplastics, are continually swept across all levels of our oceans by swirling currents. And ponder this prediction:  The World Economic Forum estimates that by mid-century, plastics in the ocean will outweigh all the fish in the ocean. And Vickie is a witness to what the appalling mess we’ve made of things can do to one of the mightiest of this planet’s creatures.

Free Direct Download:  MP3 (38MB)

Free Streaming & Download at SoundCloud

2017 Awards & Recognitions!

The Cleveland-area 2017 theater awards are in, and Playwrights Local is proud to be featured among them.
Our deepest thanks to the critics for recognizing our work!
Congrats to all of our amazing collaborators on these projects!

The Cleveland Critics Circle 2017 Theater Awards
Awards Committee: Bob Abelman, Roy Berko, Kerry Clawson, Howard Gollop, Mark Horning, Christine Howey, and Andrea Simakis

Best Full-Production Premiere of a Script by a Local Writer

Superior Achievement: Things as They Are by David Todd

Best Projection Design

T. Paul Lowry, Things as They Are

The Best of Cleveland Theater in 2017
Christine Howey, Scene Magazine

Best Risks: Because It’s Vital for Risks to be Taken in Theater

Things As They Are

This is NOT About My Dead Dog

Best Portrayal of Real-Life Geniuses

Robert Hawkes, Things as They Are

2017 Broadway World-Cleveland Regional Professional Theater Tributes
Roy Berko

Outstanding Electronic Media in a Non-musical or Musical (Projection Design)

T. Paul Lowry, Things as They Are 

10 Most Memorable Moments in Cleveland Theater, 2017 Edition
Bob Abelman, Cleveland Jewish News

This Is NOT About My Dead Dog by Amy Schwabauer


Announcing Playwrights Welcome Membership

Playwrights Local is proud to be the first theater in Ohio to join the national Playwrights Welcome program, serving members of the Dramatists Guild of America. This initiative provides free access to theater for working playwrights, composers, and lyricists around the country. In short, members of the Dramatists Guild may receive unsold tickets on the day of a performance, free of charge.

Playwrights Welcome is a national ticketing initiative created by Samuel French along with Dramatists Play Service, Dramatic Publishing, Music Theatre International, Playscripts, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. It has been adopted by theaters in New York City including the Atlantic Theater Company, Roundabout Theatre Company, and Urban Stages; in California by Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, and La Jolla Playhouse; in Chicago by the Goodman Theater, Paramount Theatre, and Victory Gardens Theater; and by many more companies throughout the U.S.

Playwrights: Take advantage of this offer, contact on the day of a performance and ask if tickets are available. If they are, arrive at the show with your Dramatists Guild membership card as well as your ID. (Click here to learn more about becoming a Dramatists Guild member.) Note that this program is for Dramatists Guild members only, and does not cover a plus-one or any additional attendees.

Information on the program is available at:

Coverage of the program in The New York Times can be found at:

Playwrights Local is thrilled to be a part of this great resource for practicing dramatists!

Staged Reading: “Adulteryhood” by Greg A. Smith

Playwrights Local Presents

A Staged Reading of



A new play by Greg A. Smith
Directed by Anne McEvoy


Monday, July 24, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Creative Space at Waterloo Arts

397 E. 156th Street, Cleveland, OH 44110





“I like kissing you. You don’t taste bitter and resentful.”

Megan is married to Louis. Louis is having an affair with Gemma. Gemma is married to Hugh. Hugh is having an affair with Megan. And they’re all celebrating New Year’s together.

Adulteryhood is a new work-in-progress comedy about love, happiness, and that nagging itch that maybe, just maybe, there’s something better out there.



Tania Benites

Nicholas Chokan

James Rankin

Tiffany Trapnell

The Paul M. Angell Family Foundation – Grant

Playwrights Local is pleased to announce that it has received an operating support grant from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

This generous grant from the the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation  will allow Playwrights Local to continue to develop and offer support for dramatic writers in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Playwrights Local is the only theater in Cleveland that uses 100% of its funds to support the development and production of Northeast Ohio playwrights.

The mission of the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation is to advance society through the performing arts, conservation of the world’s oceans, and alleviation of poverty. The foundation was created in 2011 to honor Paul M. Angell, and strives to embody the legacy of his compassion, ingenuity and industriousness.

Learn more about the Foundation at

“Things as They Are” Livestream May 26

A live performance of our new play Things as They Are will be simulcast online via HowlRound TV at 7:30 pm on Friday, May 26.

Direct access to the livestream will be available at Following the performance, an archival video of the show will be posted at

HowlRound TV is a global, open source livestreaming network & commons for arts & culture. Stewarded . For more information, call Vijay Mathew at +(1) 917.686.3185 or email HowlRound TV is a component of HowlRound, an online knowledge commons by and for the theatre community. Much thanks to Vijay, Thea Rodgers, and everyone else on their staff!

Things as They Are is a meditation on American poet Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), combining dramatic scenes, original compositions, and licensed works by Stevens himself with movement, commedia dell’arte, and projections. It was written by David Todd with music by Ben Chasny and direction by Anjanette Hall. For more info on the cast and creative team, see our show page at

Scene’s “Best of Cleveland 2017”

Congratulations to our collaborators for their recognition in Scene magazine’s  “Best of Cleveland 2017.” Find links for two talents we’re proud to have worked with this year!

Best Actress: Amy Schwabauer

For her performance in our production of This is NOT About My Dead Dog.

Best Director: Terrence Spivey

For works including our original production of Objectively/Reasonable.

The Cleveland Foundation — Grant

Playwrights Local is happy to announce that it has received an operating support grant from the Cleveland Foundation.

This generous grant from the Cleveland Foundation will allow Playwrights Local to continue to develop and offer support for dramatic writers in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Playwrights Local is the only theater in Cleveland that uses 100% of its funds to support the development and production of Northeast Ohio playwrights.

The George Gund Foundation — Grant

Playwrights Local is pleased to announce that it has received a generous grant from The George Gund Foundation to support several projects for our 2017-2018 season.

This grant will enable Playwrights Local to cover expenses related to our revival production of Objectively/Reasonable and the Mac Wellman Homecoming Festival; Support the World Premiere of Things As They Are; Curate the performing arts programming for the 2017 Waterloo Arts Fest, and to present the 2017 3rd Annual Cleveland Playwrights Festival.

We at Playwrights Local wish to express our gratitude for this support. We thank the George Gund Foundation for their investment in us!

The George Gund Foundation was established in 1952 as a private, nonprofit institution with the sole purpose of contributing to human well-being and the progress of society. Find more information on the Foundation at

3 Questions with Playwright/Performer Amy Schwabauer

Amy Schwabauer
is a Cleveland-based playwright and actor.  Her writing credits include Fluff Pup (Playwrights Local), the character of “Coach” in Positive Reinforcements (Theater Ninjas), and The Accounts of the Warren County Fair as Observed by a Young Astronaut, a tabletop adventure currently on tour with collaborator Mike Geither. Recent performing credits include Snake Oil (Ohio City Theatre Project), Tingle Tangle (Theater Ninjas), and Left in Ink (Cleveland Public Theatre).

Amy’s new one-person show This is Not About my Dead Dog was originally workshopped in Playwrights Local’s 2016 Play Lab. A full production of this hilarious-but-heartwrenching work opens on January 13 with direction by Dale Heinen.

Find more information on This is NOT About My Dead Dog at

What inspired the writing of this play?

So many things inspired this play. I’ve written five variations of this story, and they were plays with multiple cast members, realistic drama, or cabaret acts, and then I realized that I was most interested in creating a one-woman piece that I could perform. And it suddenly all came together–all the plays I had written in this vein prior, the story that I wanted to tell, suddenly had clarity in this form. But I had to write those other plays first to get to this one, so they all played a role in the creation of this piece.

A lot of stuff about “my dead dog” came from something I wrote when I was dealing with her death, a piece of writing that I swore I would never read and kept locked up in the back of a drawer somewhere. And then one day I found it—that mysterious lost writing—and I was like, “This is it.”

Another big inspiration was working on the show Tingle Tangle with Theater Ninjas, conceived by Ray Caspio and directed by Jeremy Paul. That was the first show I had done in a long time that made me feel like an artist. I wrote a monologue about sex and alcohol that was the basis of Dead Dog when I was originally writing it. Jeremy gave me the freedom to be a writer and an actor and Ray helped me discover how to fearlessly tell my truth. That experience gave me a lot of courage to pursue the creation of my own show.

Rehearsal Photo (Credit: Dale Heinen)

What is like being both the writer and performer for this production? 

Well…it is the most challenging artistic endeavor I have ever undertaken in my entire life. Doing a one-person show uses every muscle, brain cell, and tool an actor has to give on stage, and then some. Doing one-person performance is mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting—and on top of that, I wrote it, so sometimes the emotions can be overwhelming or I can have some painful moments of doubt.

Thank god for my director Dale Heinen! She has been amazing at helping me tell this story and guiding the story to always move forward. She has also helped me get through those moments of doubt and insecurity; she helps me keep my head in the right place. I’m really fortunate to have a director I can trust on every artistic level. I can’t imagine doing this piece without her.

The best advantage to being the writer is that I am performing the work I want to perform. I’m not agreeing to do a piece of theater that’s been done, or that I’m not 100% interested in or committed to. This piece is me, and this piece is raw and it’s a story that I want to tell. So that’s a really long way of saying, despite the struggle it is the most gratifying work I’ve ever done.

Rehearsal Photo (Credit: Dale Heinen)

What kind of experience do you hope audiences will have at this show?

A good one! Hah! I don’t know. The only thing I can really ask from the audience is to be present in the room with me. I’m really proud of this work, I’m proud of my artistic team, so I hope the audience sees the artistry that went into it all. I hope that audiences laugh. I hope they experience something that gives them pause, better yet a moment that they remember and think about a week or a month later—that would be cool.

I guess on a more serious note, I hope that they leave with a sense of compassion for all those awkward moments we have in life. And that when they experience their own awkward or scary moments they know they can survive—and laugh.

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