Arts » Theater

20 Plays to Keep You Entertained While You Agonize Over the Election



Sure, you're in a panic about this year's election, motivating you to stand in your driveway in the middle of the night screaming, "Why, God?! Why?!" This means it's time for you to calm down and see a nice play. There are 20 of them and they are neatly categorized below by theme, starting with, what else...


All The Way by Robert Schenkkan

It's the story of how President Lyndon Baines Johnson made the 1964 Civil Rights Act happen, as that year's presidential election loomed. Cleveland Play House, September 17 - October 9

44 Plays for 44 Presidents

Developed by Chicago's Neo-Futurists theater group, this is a singing and dancing chronological jaunt through all the U.S. presidents, played by an all-female cast. Cleveland Public Theatre, October 6-26

Margin of Error by Eric Coble

One of Cleveland's beloved hometown playwright has some thoughts about how we choose elected officials, all told through the eyes of a political strategist from Gate C-19 at Hopkins Airport. Ensemble Theatre, September 30 – October 23

SEX (That get your attention?)

Sex With Strangers by Laura Eason

An obscure middle-age novelist and a famous young blogger meet at a writers' retreat, screw, repeat. An exploration into issues of privacy in our digital age. Cleveland Play House, October 22 – November 13

The Mystery of Love & Sex by Bathsheba Doran

This is a love story of how opposites (she's Jewish and white, he's Christian and black) complicate their relationship over five tumultuous, compassionate years. Dobama Theatre, September 2 – October 2

Body Awareness by Annie Baker

A comedy set in a small college town during "Body Awareness Week," centered around a woman, her female companion, her grown son and a photographer specializing in nude female portraits. Dobama Theatre, October 7 – November 6

MUSICALS (Some with exclamation points!)

Silence! The Musical by Jon and Al Kaplan

You've always wondered why they didn't make a musical out of The Silence of the Lambs, right? Well they did, and it's all for laughs. Beforehand, why not have an old friend for dinner?

Blank Canvas Theater, October 21 – November 5

Ruthless! The Musical by Marvin Laird and Joel Paley

This campy cult fave is all about a song and dance sensation who's...wait for it... in the Third Grade. A send-up of movie genres spiced with some dead bodies along the way. Beck Center, September 16 – October 16

My Fair Lady! (Just kidding, Lerner and Loewe never needed exclamation points.)

What else can you say? It's the classical musical based on the classical play Pygmalion. And the tunes: class personified. Great Lakes Theater, September 23 – October 29

Fun Home by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori

The Broadway mega-hit based on the graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, featuring original compositions by Tesori. All about a family that lives in their funeral home, with issues aplenty. Playhouse Square, October 2 – October 22

Finding Neverland by Gary Barlow, Eliot Kennedy and James Graham

Based on the biopic of J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, this musical rings all the appropriate Tinkerbelles while offering a fresh take on the familiar yarn. Playhouse Square, November 1 – November 20

HISTORY (Without any pop quizzes.)

An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

This is a riff on 19th century melodramas on the subject of slavery in America. "Incendiary and subversively funny." Dobama Theatre, October 21 – November 13

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee

Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson go at it—philosophically—with some family humor woven in. Ensemble Theater, November 18 – December 11

The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez

It's 1865 and three Jews show up in an abandoned plantation house: two newly freed slaves and a Confederate soldier. Their shared stories lead to revelations. None Too Fragile Theater, September 23 – October 8

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Okay, not strictly historical, but it happened a long time ago—unless this production sets it in modern times—with comical gender switches and a happy ending. Great Lakes Theater, September 30 – October 30


Annapurna by Sharr White

A formerly married couple reconnect for a final reckoning in a play studded with gallows humor. None Too Fragile Theater, November 4 - 19

Selfies at the Clown Hotel by Christopher Johnston

Another of Cleveland's beloved playwrights peers into the world of off-duty clowns, proving they are funny, sad and, yes, scary. convergence-continuum, now through September 17

Like I Say by Len Jenkin

A wile comic ride with puppets, an Alpine zombie resort, and—wait—you need more than that? convergence-continuum, October 14 – November 5


Lanford Wilson: Take Five

Five one-acts in 90 minutes by the Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist. Cesear's Forum, September 23 – October 29

The Last Day

Described as a "giant explorable puzzle box" with arcane machines and a woman's magical past. Theater Ninjas, September 15 – October 2Beck Center, 17801 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, 216-521-2540.


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