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News & Events

Introducing our 2018 Harlequinade Honorees, Raymond Bobgan and Holly Holsinger

RAYMOND BOBGAN (EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CLEVELAND PUBLIC THEATRE)

This is Raymond Bobgan's 12th season in the leadership position at Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT). Raymond specializes in working through an ensemble process to create new performances that are bold, multilayered, and highly physical. Raymond's work has been seen in Romania, Brazil, Denmark, Serbia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Canada and has been featured in American Theatre Magazine, Canadian Theatre Review, Theatre Journal, and in Lisa Wolford's book Grotowski's Objective Drama Research. Raymond has created many works for CPT including: Red Ash Mosaic; Feefer Rising, with Faye Hargate; Rusted Heart Broadcast; Insomnia: The Waking of Herselves, with Holly Holsinger and Chris Seibert; Cut to Pieces, with Chris Seibert; Blue Sky Transmission: A Tibetan Book of the Dead, co-produced by CPT and La MaMa ETC (NY); and The Confessions of Punch and Judy, co-produced by CPT, NaCl (NY) and Number 11 Theatre (Toronto), which was published in New Canadian Theatre Volume 9.

While serving as Executive Artistic Director at Cleveland Public Theatre, Raymond initiated the Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP), a job-training theatre program for low-income teens, Y-Haven Theatre Project which engages formerly homeless men in writing and performing theatre, Teatro Publico de Cleveland, CPT's resident Latino theatre company, and Station Hope, a community arts festival honoring Cleveland's social justice heritage and exploring contemporary issues of social justice. Raymond is currently working with Arabic speaking communities to create theatre projects in Arabic and English. Raymond and Cleveland Core Ensemble's production of Red Ash Mosaic is currently touring nationally to New Orleans, Detroit, and Columbus.

In 2017, Raymond received the Cisgender Ally Award at Cleveland's Transgender Day of Remembrance, and in 2015, received Equality Ohio's Ally Award. He received the 2017 Governor's Award for the Arts in Ohio and in 2014 became the first recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize in the discipline of Theatre. He currently serves on the National New Play Network Executive Committee, Theatre Communications Group Board of Directors, and is the Chair of the Board of the Gordon Square Arts District. Raymond is a two-time recipient of the Creative Workforce Fellowship (2010 for theatre, 2014 for music composition), a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. Under his leadership, CPT has eliminated significant debt, run consistent operating surpluses, and formed both a Building Reserve and an Innovation Reserve. This financial advancement was a result of mission-focused programming including a strong emphasis on supporting new works and local artists, a bold aesthetic vision and CPT's education and engagement programs.

HOLLY HOLSINGER (ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY)

Holly Holsinger is an Associate Professor at Cleveland State University where she specializes in acting, voice, and movement. She recently received a Distinguished Faculty Award, the University's top honor for teaching and was the first recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award for CSU's College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Holly has a special interest in the power of theatre for marginalized artists and minorities at all levels of craft. She has been active in creating programs at CSU designed for disadvantaged students and often contributes to Cleveland Public Theatre's education programs for Latino artists, “at risk” teens and for children in public housing.

Holly has been a devising theatre artist for more than twenty-five years, most of those years spent here in Cleveland. She has participated in the creation of over twenty original plays in collaborative partnerships, serving also as performer or director and composer. Holly recently remounted her solo performance Frankenstein's Wake (co-authored with Raymond Bobgan) at Cleveland Public Theatre, and received critical raves and audience acclaim. Frankenstein's Wake had previously toured to New York, Chicago, was featured at the Grotowski at Irvine and Beyond Conference at UC Irvine, and will appear at the Freedom and Focus Conference in London in July, 2018. She co-wrote and directed Ancestra at CPT, a play about women's rights in Ohio with Chris Seibert, which grew from community explorations and historical research. Another recent work, Insomnia: The Waking of Herselves, co-devised and performed at CPT and North American Cultural Laboratory, examines concepts of female identity and “wholeness.” Holsinger's work has been described by critics as “magic,” “captivating,” and “a tour de force.” Frankenstein's Wake, was hailed as “an exhilarating bravura performance” by Time Out New York. Her performance and creative contributions in the groundbreaking work Blue Sky Transmission: A Tibetan Book of the Dead (at CPT and La Mama ETC in New York) also earned her rave reviews, most notably in American Theatre Magazine and The New York Times. Holsinger's work has been featured in Canadian Theatre Review, Theatre Journal and in Lisa Wolford's book Grotowski's Objective Drama Research. She has performed throughout the US, Canada, Romania, Belgium, and Brazil, and has shared her performance research with artists in Denmark, Colombia, Spain, and Ireland. Holly was the recipient of a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship.

Holsinger received an MFA in Acting from the University of California, Irvine where she studied with Robert Cohen and Jerzy Grotowski. She was a four-year participant in Grotowski's Objective Drama Research. Holly is a certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework.

Introducing our 2017 Harlequinade Honorees, Leti Lopez and Charles Hargrave!

Letitia Lopez

Letitia Lopez found her passion in art, culture and community in 2008 when she became a volunteer at Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center whose mission is dedicated to transforming lives by preserving, educating, and promoting Latino heritage through the teaching and practice of the visual, performing and literary arts. Shortly after she became a volunteer she joined the Board of Trustees and in 2009 proudly accepted the position of Executive Director. The most she enjoys about her position is witnessing how the arts, in all forms, impacts the youth and families she serves. She has also found her strength in planning events and celebrations where she is able to reach the community beyond the center.

In 2013 she become part of an advisory committee that would go on to create the first Latino theatre ensemble. That same year she performed in her first play and four years later continues to be an active committee member and actor of Teatro Public de Cleveland. Outside of her community work she enjoys spending time with her children, grandchildren, gardening and taking road trips. Letitia currently resides in Garfield Heights with her husband and youngest son.

Charles Hargrave

Charles Hargrave started with TCT as Technical Director and a member of the acting company in TCT's inaugural season. Since then, he has helped to shape the face of TCT, both backstage, and in front of audiences in the company. Audiences here may remember him in such roles as Menastatos in The Magic Flute, Artem in The Tinderbox, Ivan in Prince Ivan and the Firebird, and Prince Setna in The Mummies and the Magic Prince. Charles also became a member of TCT's first touring company with his portrayal of Ostrich in the remount of The Tale of the Name of the Tree. He is a Cleveland State University graduate, with a BA in performance. During his tenure with TCT, Charles has also performed with Ohio City Theatre Project, Clague Playhouse, Mamai Theatre Co., Ensemble Theatre, and several years of Ingenuity Festival. Among his other achievements, Charles was one of the founding members of the World Without Windows theatre company. Lastly, he has sound designed for multiple productions around Cleveland, at theaters such as Clague Playhouse, Con-con Theatre, and Dobama, among others.

TCT's Pay What You Can program is now officially the Ohio Savings Pay What You Can Series

Ohio Savings Bank, an organization known for understanding the importance of the arts for children, has been a generous supporter of Talespinner Children's Theatre. We are thrilled that they have underlined their belief in us and the children and families in our community by extending their support to one of our most important programs here at TCT. Thanks to their generous underwriting of our Pay What You Can Program, TCT can continue to provide and expand on its commitment to providing the opportunity for families to attend our productions regardless of financial standing.

Pay What You Can... and when we say "what you can," we mean it!

At TCT we believe the arts should be in the community and the community should be in the arts.

TCT Founder and Executive Artistic Director Alison Garrigan Receives 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship

Alison Garrigan

TCT Founder and Executive Artistic Director, Alison Garrigan, has been chosen to receive a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship grant. The grant, awarded to 40 artists in Cuyahoga County in the disciplines of craft, dance, design, literature, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts each receive $15,000 in 2016 through the Creative Workforce Fellowship. The Fellowships are awarded by the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC), the local arts service and research organization that operates the program. The organization’s board of trustees approved the awards, which are made possible by the residents of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the County’s public funder for arts and culture.

CPAC’s president and CEO, Tom Schorgl says, “These Creative Workforce Fellows are providing new opportunities for residents and visitors alike to engage with a wide array of art forms. Their work is contributing to youth education and a heightened awareness of our environment, community and place. The work these artists make is intelligent, playful, striking and skillful. CPAC is fortunate to be able to support this talented group of individuals through a grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.”

More than 400 artists submitted applications for Fellowships, which were reviewed anonymously in two groups, based upon discipline. The two panels were comprised of professional artists from across the United States based on recommendations from CPAC & CAC’s national peers. The top 40 applications in each review group were discussed in open panel meetings in November. The top 20 scoring applications in each group—a total of 40 artists—were recommended for Fellowships.

The grants are designed to further each artist’s work and to connect them more broadly and deeply with the community. Each artist will hold a public activity in 2016 to engage directly with residents and showcase their work. Starting in 2016, visit www.CultureForward.org/fellowship to learn more.

Ms. Garrigan will use her Fellowship year to grow and expand on her devised and unique approach to theatre arts for children. To do so, she will be traveling around the country, visiting and observing other children's theatres with ground-breaking programs, learning from them, and sharing her own vision on the subject. She will also be doing a series of workshops to impart the unique style of devised theatre that she has created for other artists, both professional and young, both in Cleveland, and in the cities she visits.


The 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship is a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. Funding for the Fellowship program is made possible by the generous support of Cuyahoga County residents through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

CPAC CAC