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Arts District: Bobgan and the Box

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Cleveland Public Theatre artistic director Raymond Bobgan has been a strong advocate for the "public" part of the company, making CPT stages available for artists to develop new work in the Big [BOX] and Little Box series. This week, he gets involved in a Big [BOX] production for the first time, facilitating a production by a group calling themselves the Them.

"This group of people came to me and said they wanted to work on a show," says Bobgan, who's assembling scenes developed out of improv and the group's writing. The production, People4Change, follows three people who meet randomly in the subway. They want to make a difference in the world but ultimately realize they can't because they have no money. So they decide to raise some cash by cold-calling people out of the phone book.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 22, and Saturday, January 23, and 3 p.m. Sunday, January 24, at Cleveland Public Theatre (6415 Detroit Ave., 216.631.2727, Tickets: $12-$15. Sunday's proceeds will be donated to social-justice fund Community Shares.

Meanwhile, Bobgan is soliciting proposals for CPT's 2010-2011 season. In addition to the big and little [BOX] series, the company is considering a co-production series for new works already developed to the point that they can sustain a three-week run. The series would be presented in CPT's Storefront Studio.

To submit your idea for any of these programs, e-mail a one-page description, including why you think it's right for CPT, a list of potential collaborators, a résumé and the script, to Beth Wood at by February 1, or send it by old-school mail to Cleveland Public Theatre, ATTN 10-11 SEASON, 6415 Detroit Ave., Cleveland 44102.

Karamu Artistic director Terrence Spivey isn't waiting on the selection of his whole 2010-2011 season to announce one hot property. Sometime next year, Karamu will produce Lynn Nottage's 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined, a story of survival set in a whorehouse in civil war-torn Republic of Congo.

Alenka Banco, director of Convivium 33 Gallery at St. Josaphat Arts Hall, will facilitate the next Works in Progress session at Zygote Press (1410 E. 30th St.). The sessions give artists supportive critical feedback on their work. The next session is from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, February 14. To sign up, e-mail First come, first served. It's free.

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