It’s not very often that I will admit I am feeling nostalgic. Although I’m more sentimental than I let on. Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of working a benefit held at 8500 Euclid Avenue – the former home of the Cleveland Play House. I spent many years in various capacities at the old House of Play, and luckily had some time to aimlessly wander my old stomping grounds. It seemed every square foot sparked a memory. Every backstage area, hallway, and stairwell had its own story about my time there. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Entering the vacant theatres was sad and almost sacred – like visiting the grave of a long lost friend.
Seeing the spaces so lifeless was sobering. However, each space brought back memories of wonderful creative teams and productions from years past. Some of my favorite memories are of the Children’s Series produced by Bill Hoffman at the Cleveland Play House. Bill produced several world premier productions through this Series over the years showcasing the talents of play writes such as Eric Schmiedl, Eric Cobel, and Kenny Kacmar. Being part of a creative team and having the ability to work together as a script evolves is one of the most rewarding experiences I have been a part of throughout my theatrical career. This level of collaboration creates truly remarkable work (even on a shoestring budget).
Although theatrical productions no longer grace the stages of 8500 Euclid Ave, the city has a booming arts culture. Cleveland Public Theatre offers several unique productions every season and continues to widen their reach. Coming up this weekend, CPT is presenting Station Hope – A Block Party With a Purpose at St. John’s Church. This free, one night only experience is a multiple disciplined arts event that celebrates the triumphs of the Underground Railroad, the history of St. John’s Church, and the contemporary struggles for freedom and justice. Visual art displays, choral performances, dance, storytelling, and music will come together for this inspiring evening from 6pm – 10pm Saturday April 26. You can get all the details here.
Among the performances will be a musical piece entitled “Get a Job” created by two of my much loved and respected colleagues, Bill Hoffman and Eric Schmiedl. If for some reason you can’t make it out this Saturday, you can catch Bill and Eric producing wonderful shows throughout the year at the Lantern Theatre at Canal Corners & Farmers Market. I hope you can make it to Station Hope this Saturday. A truly inspiring evening awaits you. Solus Lighting is a proud supporter of Station Hope. ~Maureen E. Patterson, Lead Designer Solus Lighting LTD
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.