Returning by Popular Demand

The “Most Socially Significant Local Play” of 2016
The Cleveland Critics Circle

A Community Response to the Shooting of Tamir Rice, 11/22/14

by Playwrights Local
Conceived and edited by David Todd
Directed by Terrence Spivey

February 17 – March 11, 2017
Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 pm & Sunday at 2:30 pm

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

With special post-show discussions:
February 17: Hosted by Mansfield Frazier
February 19: Hosted by Ayesha Bell Hardaway
February 26: Hosted by Daniel Gray-Kontar
March 5: Hosted by Kwanza Brewer
March 10: Hosted by A. Harris Brown

Playwrights Local proudly announces the return of Objectively/Reasonable, the critically acclaimed documentary play that premiered to sold-out houses in August 2016. Presented as a community response to the 2014 shooting of Tamir Rice, this powerful new work is based on original interviews with legal experts, social critics, police officers, parents, and other Greater Clevelanders. Featuring contributions from an ensemble of writers—Mike Geither, Tom Hayes, Lisa Langford, Michael Oatman, and David Todd—the play considers the impact and aftermath of this tragedy as captured through a diverse set of unheard voices. Objectively/Reasonable was conceived and edited by David Todd and is directed by Terrence Spivey, former artistic director of Karamu House.

Run Time: Approximately 90 minutes, without intermission.


Mike Geither is a playwright and solo performer whose works have been staged in San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, New York, and London. He is a four-time Ohio Arts Council fellow and has served as a resident artist at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito. Recent works include Creation Myth (Convergence Continuum), how small, how far away (Zuppa Theatre, Halifax), Flame Puppy (Playwrights Local), Tear It Off (convergence-continuum), and Loki and Lucy (Talespinner). He is currently an Associate Professor of English at Cleveland State University where he teaches in the Northeast Ohio MFA in creative writing.

Tom Hayes is an award-winning playwright who received his MFA from Cleveland State University and the Northeast Ohio Masters of Fine Arts (NEOMFA) program. His play Lord of the Burgeoning Lumber was staged at convergence-continuum and was awarded Best Original Script by a Local Playwright — 2008 by Rave and Pan. Tom’s play Patterns was staged at Cleveland Public Theatre in 2011. Other plays have appeared at the Manhattan Project and Playwrights Local.

Lisa Langford recently received her M.F.A. in creative writing. Several of her plays have been seen locally, including InCogNegro, The Bomb, and The Split Show.

Michael Oatman is the Playwright-In-Residence at Karamu Theater, the oldest African American theater in the country. He is only the second person to hold this honor in the storied history of Karamu; the first being Langston Hughes. In 2011, he won the CPAC Workforce Fellowship; he also won the Cleveland Arts Prize in 2010 for Best Emerging Artist and the 2010 Lantern Award for Best Play. In 2011, three of his full-length plays were produced: Breaking the Chains, You Got Nerve, and Sometime Hope Is Enough. In 2010, seven of his plays were produced in various venues: Black Nativity (Adaption), War Paint, Eclipse: The War Between Pac and B.I.G., Course of Action, My Africa, A Solitary Voice, Not a Uterus in Sight, Hitler and Gandhi. He earned an English Degree from Cleveland State University in 2004 and completed his MFA in theater from the Northeastern Ohio Master of Fine Arts Consortium in 2008.

David Todd (Conceiver/Editor): David Todd’s plays have been presented or developed in NYC at theaters including 59E59, Dixon Place, the Little Theater, HERE, and NY Theatre Workshop, regionally in DC, Portland, and Chicago, and internationally at the LaMaMa Spoleto Open in Italy. His playwriting residencies include Hangar Theater (Ithaca, NY), Classic Studio (NYC), and Chicago Dramatists. He earned his MFA in Dramatic Writing at NYU (Goldberg Award; Harry Kondoleon Award) and his PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a faculty member, he has taught writing, literature, and film at NYU, SUNY Stony Brook, and Otterbein University, and is currently teaching at Cleveland State University. He is a Usual Suspect at NY Theater Workshop and a collaborator with the NYC-based Monk Parrots. His nonfiction book Feeding Back was published in 2012 by Chicago Review Press, and his play Joy in Repetition was published in January 2014 by Connotation Press. He is the Regional Representative for the Dramatists Guild, and he was awarded an Individual Excellence Award by the Ohio Arts Council for 2016.


Terrence Spivey is a native Texan with a B.A. in Theatre from Prairie View A&M University. His was Artistic Director of Karamu House for over twelve years. During his artistic administration, Spivey programmed over seventy productions and directed over twenty five, winning numerous awards for the historical institution. Among his directed works were Permanent Collection, for colored girls..., Cut Flowers, The Color Purple, Joe Turners’s Come and Gone, God’s Trombones,The Blacks, and The Wiz, just to name a few. During his stay, Karamu collaborated with numerous theaters and festivals throughout Northeast Ohio. He served as Director in Residence for Kent State Pan African Studies during the 2013-2014 season. Spivey has appeared in Black Mask, Back Stage, Ebony, Artist and Influences, and American Theatre. He served as board member for Community Partnership for Arts and Culture and the Cleveland Arts Prize, and currently serves on the national AUDELCO. He is a member of Black Theatre Network and an elected member of National Theatre Conference. In 2011, he was given a proclamation by the Mayor and the City of Cleveland for his artistic contributions and, under his leadership, Karamu was honored with the 2013 AUDELCO Award for Repertory Company of the Year in New York City. As freelance director, he directed one of The Plain Dealer‘s Top 10 plays of 2016, Bootycandy, at convergence-continuum, the world premiere of Peter Lawson Jones’ The Bloodless Jungle at Ensemble Theatre, and Kia Corthron’s Breathe, Boom at John Carroll University. His most recent production is August Wilson’s Radio Golf, running through February 26th at Ensemble Theatre. His next project is Neighbors by Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins (An Octoroon) at convergence-continuum (July 7 – 26).


Samone Cummings

Kali Hatten

Christina Johnson

LaShawn Little

Joshua McElroy

Mary-Francis Renee Miller


Corin B. Self

Nathan Tolliver


Ludie Cummings……….Board Operator

Geraldine Harris……….Stage Manager

Tom Hayes……….Carpenter

Cory Molner……….Electrician

Margaret Peebles……….Lighting Designer

Terrence Spivey……….Set Designer

David Todd……..Sound Designer

Nathan Tolliver……….Assistant Director



Publicity Images (Credit: Tom Kondilas)


“This is a well-deserved ‘revival’, since it is a powerful and resonant piece of theater…See it. Absorb it. Be changed by it.”
Scene Magazine,  20 February 2017

“The powerful [original] performances were virtually sold out, so the company is re-staging it. If you did not see it the first time, you need to see it now.”
Cool Cleveland (Anastasia Pantsios), February 2017

“This work is raw; it serves it up straight, no chaser; it takes no prisoners; minces no words; spares no feelings…Everyone who missed this play the first time around should make a real effort to get off their lazy asses and go see it this time.”
Cool Cleveland (Mansfield Frazier), February 2017


Archive at Event Page


Funding for this production was provided in part by the Chandra Law Firm, LLC.

Funding for the premiere production of this play was provided in the form of an ArtSTART grant from: