Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) presents the world premiere of Akarui an exuberant and haunting take on transformation and love written by up-and-coming playwright Jen Silverman.
Akarui transports its characters to a ‘rave cave’ at the end of the world where DJ Akarui spins beats that summon the lost, the desperate and the dangerous. Among those that answer the call are a transboi, a young handsome musician, a young boy who awakens to find himself dead and his memory gone and a fearsome scientist caught up in her experimentation. As seekers and revelers follow the sounds of DJ Akarui, they are led into a world where anything is possible if you’re willing to give up everything.
Akarui is directed by Executive Artistic Director Raymond Bobgan, featuring Molly Andrews-Hinders, Davis Aguila, Dionne D. Atchison, Roxana Bell, Carly Garinger, Richard Brandon Hall, Faye Hargate, Jeremy Paul, James Alexander Rankin, Amy Schwabauer, Adam Seeholzer, Chris Seibert, Rose Sengenberger, Lew Wallace and Beth Wood.
Creative Team includes Danielle Case (Stage Manager), Benjamin Gantose (Lighting Design), Ali Garrigan (Costume Design), Todd Kripinsky (Set Designer).
Jen Silverman received her BA from Brown University and her MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. She is an Affiliated Artist with New Georges and with idTheater Co, a member of Youngblood at EST, and her plays have been developed with The Lark, New York Stage & Film/ Powerhouse Theatre Company at Vassar College, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the hotINK International Festival (NYC), The Playwrights Realm, and Seven Devils Playwrights Conference. She was the recipient of the 2010 Kate Neal Kinley Fellowship, a 2011 Core Apprentice at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, and is a two-time finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference. Her play Crane Story premiered off-Broadway in 2011 with The Playwrights Realm, and the one-act The Education of Macoloco won the 2009 Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Play Festival and was published by Samuel French. She received a 2011 commission from InterAct Theatre and the NNPN to write The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane, which she developed at the MacDowell Colony during a 2012 residency. Jen has also held a residency at Hedgebrook, and has upcoming residencies at the Millay Colony and New Harmony. In 2011 she was a US Delegate for a China/America Writers Exchange in Beijing and Chicago.
Raymond Bobgan is Executive Artistic Director of Cleveland Public Theatre and was recently selected by American Theatre Magazine as one of twenty five artists shaping the future of American theatre. He specializes in devising new plays through an ensemble‐driven process and has created over twenty new performances. Raymond’s theatrical work has been featured in the New York Times, Time Out New York, American Theatre Magazine, Canadian Theatre Review, Theatre Journal, and in Lisa Wolford’s book Grotowski’s Objective Drama Research. His work has been seen in Romania, Brazil, Denmark, Serbia, Turkey, The United Kingdom, and throughout Canada and the US. Raymond has also initiated, designed, and implemented numerous community engagement programs including CPT’s Summer Theatre Enrichment Program, a job training program for inner-city teens, Brick City Theatre which offers after‐school arts to youth residents of public housing and the Y‐Haven Theatre Project which engages homeless men, in theatre creation and production. He was recently awarded an Artistic Excellence fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council and was a premiere recipient of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture’s Creative Workforce Fellowship, funded by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Raymond is an alumnus of Jerzy Grotowski’s Objective Drama Research Program at the University of California, Irvine, and he is a guest artist at Humber College in Toronto.
Akarui opens at CPT Friday, May 25 and runs through Saturday June 9, (with a preview Thursday, May 24) in the Gordon Square Theatre, 6415 Detroit Avenue in Cleveland’s Gordon Square Arts District. Performances are at 7:30 pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday.
Tickets are $10- $25 with free beer after Friday performances.