Thu 1/23-Sat 1/25
For those creative-minded folks who, after seeing theater productions, pride themselves on often providing thoughtful feedback and constructive criticism, Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) is in need of your services.
Spread across four stages and featuring 11 new works-in-progress by local and national artists, “Entry Point” is the public’s opportunity to not only get an insider’s view through staged readings, short excerpts from theatrical works in progress, and guest panel discussions, but also guide playwrights toward their goals of honing their dreams into fully realized stage works.
CoolCleveland talked to Cleveland Public Theatre artistic associate Molly Andrews-Hinders — who is also the “Entry Point” line producer — about the unique festival taking place January 23-25 at the Gordon Square venue.
CoolCleveland: First of all, how unique is “Entry Point?”
Molly Andrews-Hinders: Cleveland Public Theatre is known as an incubator for new play development, but what we found is there’s actually very little research and development happening throughout the country in the early stages of the process. “Entry Point,” which is the first tier of our new play development, provides artists with an opportunity to get the very beginning stages of a piece up in front of an audience and receive some feedback so they can go back into the rehearsal room and continue to develop their work.
CC: How are the 11 different pieces presented?
MAH: Audiences have ownership over what they see and how they contribute. We have four different stages and there are some that are blocked and off book, some are on book and longer pieces. There’s just one piece that is running in the same space the whole time. Also, we’re not so concerned about the bells and whistles of tech — lighting or sound or aesthetics. It really is about the content of the piece. Before every show the directors or lead artists will tell the audience where they are in the development. You’ll get a little bit of context and perhaps what themes they’re working with and what questions they have with what you’re about to see.
CC: Who have you found truly enjoys “Entry Point?”
MAH: This is quite honestly my favorite thing that CPT does because things are so fresh. There’s this vibrancy seeing things that are hot off the press. I’d say it really draws in artists, people who are curious about development, but then it also is accessible for people who have never been to CPT before and are interested in new play development or the creation of new works, but don’t know how to get their feet wet. What’s so nice about “Entry Point” is that we do have this lounge that’s active the entire evening. So at any point throughout the evening people can gather. There’s a nice kind of cross pollination in terms of what people have seen and ideas bouncing back and forth.
CC: Ah, yes, booze helps.
MAH: (laughs) Totally, of course. Yes, we have the bar open the whole evening.