Talespinner will return to the stage once state and federal officials have given the all clear to gather with others and TCT has solidified a health and safety plan for our guests and artists. Keeping everyone safe is our top priority. Thank you for your support!

Announcing Digital Mini Season!

Join us for TCT’s new Digital Mini Season or Season 9.5. This will be an all-virtual season with shows the first half of 2021. TCT will use this opportunity to change the calendar year for the theatre, and looks forward to (hopefully) kicking off the new schedule and official 10th season in person in the fall.

The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus


The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus (In Your Home)
Written by Eric Coble
Directed by Melissa Crum

Andrea Belser
Miranda Coble
Jailyn Sherell Harris
Matthew Zitelli

Sheila and her friends find themselves on a mystical journey that could change the course of human and animal-kind forever! When a mysterious coyote with a cowboy hat and pick-up truck steals the group of friends' orange traffic cone, the crowning glory of their dirt-road junk-pile fortress, an adventure and a true test of bravery and friendship begins.

Public Performances:

March 4th at 7pm - Educator and Community Night
Are you an educator or organization who would be interested in booking one of our touring productions? Email Artistic Director, Katelyn Merold, to join us for our annual “Educator and Community Night” and preview for The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus (In Your Home), our virtual 2021 tour. This performance is followed by a talk-back to ask questions about the booking and performance process.

General Public Performances
March 5th - 7th and March 12th - 14th
Fridays at 7pm
Saturdays at 3pm and 7pm
Sundays at 3pm

Touring Information:

This virtual production can be “Zoomed” right to you! Perfect for schools, libraries, scout troops, homeschool groups, and so much more. For more information about booking and pricing, contact Katelyn Merold at kc.tctorg@gmail.com Tickets go on sale for the general public performances on February 1st! - Stay Tuned!

PLAYground artwork

Virtual PLAYground 2021

Introducing four brand new scripts by local playwrights.

June 4th - 6th and 11th - 13th
Performances at 3pm and 7pm on all dates - Show line-up TBA

PLAYground gives Cleveland-area writers of all experience levels a chance to produce their original works for children at Talespinner! Playwrights sixteen and older are invited to submit scripts that will be considered for a staged reading brought to life via Zoom by a team of professional artists. PLAYground scripts may be considered for a future, fully staged production at TCT.

Are you interested in submitting a script?

Deadline: March 1st, 2021

Submit: A preliminary script, with a list of characters, and a synopsis. It is understood that re-writes will happen between acceptance and rehearsals, but any major changes must be approved by TCT. All major changes to character must be completed by April 1st, 2021 so that casting can begin at that time. Please make sure that your name and contact information--including email--is printed clearly on the front page of the submission. Submissions not clearly labeled will not be considered.


  • Writers must be based in the Cleveland area. Out of state or out of region submissions will not be accepted for this program. (Please feel free to contact TCT at the email address below if you would like to know if your area is included.)
  • Writers must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Scripts must be an adaptation of, or based on, an international folktale, faerie tale, mythology, or work from another discipline (ie. ballet, opera, orchestra, literature.)
  • All materials on which work is based must be in the public domain. Scripts will not be considered if they are based on materials that hold current copyright.
  • All materials on which work is based must be noted for reference. (ie: "this work is based on the German folktale, Ashputel.")
  • The script should need no more than 4 actors. (This does not mean only 4 characters! Puppets and masks can be used!)
  • Writers should be willing to work collaboratively with TCT and the artists involved in the program, and be available for all rehearsals and performances in the program.
  • Submitting writers can not have had a full production in any previous TCT producing season.
  • Folksongs or appropriate music can be included, but orchestration and instrumentation must all be able to be produced vocally, or with alternate, available, creative instruments. TCT does not use pre-recorded materials. Musical direction will not be provided, and links to source music must be provided by the writer, if indicated specifically in the script.
  • Scripts can be no longer than 45 pages.

Where to submit:

Electronic copy is preferred. Please send a word or pdf document to kc.tctorg@gmail.com with "PLAYground Script Submission" in the subject header.

Paper copy - Please send a clearly printed copy to:
Talespinner Children's Theatre
PO Box 602036
Cleveland, OH 44102
Attn: PLAYground

Are you interested in directing for PLAYground?
Submit your resume and Letter of Interest to Artistic Director, Katelyn Merold at kc.tctorg@gmail.com.

Fill out my online form.

About Les Hunter

Les Hunter headshot

As a playwright Les Hunter’s work contemplates the way that theatre can shed new light on emerging problems of selfhood. His plays include Down by Contact (Dobama Theatre and Playwrights Local); Weimar (Baldwin Wallace University); To the Orchard (Playwrights Local and Jewish Play Project International Playwriting Contest finalist); and with his wife Elana, Aponibolinayen in the Sky (Talespinner Children’s Theatre). He wrote for all three parts of the collaboratively written, NYC hit, The Jackson Heights Trilogy (Theatre 167). Playscripts, Brooklyn Publishers, Smith Scripts, and Indie Theatre publish and license his plays.

He is the Ohio Regional Representative for the Dramatists Guild of America, and the 2019/2020 Cleveland Public Theatre Premiere Fellow for playwriting. In 2020, Hunter was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for literature. Dr. Hunter is an associate professor of English at Baldwin Wallace University, where he received the 2019 Bechberger Award for Human Development.