Dobama Theatre has been exposing Cleveland to thought-provoking, daring, and socially and politically relevant plays for 50 years. In addition to the company’s yearly mainstage productions (almost exclusively premieres), Dobama has two notable programs that have helped the company cultivate young audiences: the Night Kitchen and the Marilyn Bianchi Kids’ Playwriting Festival.
The Night Kitchen is a late-night series that focuses on young adults, both as spectators and performers. The program has evolved over the years, but has included short plays, experimental work, long-form improvisation, and plays by both local and emerging playwrights dealing with contemporary issues.
The Marilyn Bianchi Kids’ Playwriting Festival, named for one of Dobama’s founders, is a young playwrights festival that began in 1979. Students from the first to twelfth grades in Cuyahoga County are invited to submit original plays on any subject and in any setting they wish. Of the hundreds of submissions that Dobama gets each year, about a dozen are ultimately chosen to receive full productions in the festival. The winning playwrights also receive a savings bond and their scripts are published in Dobama’s annual book of festival plays. To make the event as inclusive as possible, most of the performances are free of charge and one performance is signed and audio-described for sight- and hearing-impaired audience members.
Dobama Theatre Information
- Other Venues: Pilgrim Congregational Church, 2592 West 14th Street; Tri-C East Theatre, 4250 Richmond Road, Highland Hills; Cleveland Playhouse-Brooks Theatre, 8500 Euclid Avenue
- Public Transportation: Varies by venue
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good (all venues)
- Performances/Programs: Performance schedule is Thursday through Sunday
- Ticket Prices: $17–$22, students and seniors $15–$20; tickets are $8 on the preview Thursday before opening; first Sunday of the run is pay-what- you-can
- Subscriptions: Full Flex pass $135, eight tickets good for any performance (enough for two people to see each show); single subscription $68, four tickets good for any performance; Thursdays-Only $98, eight tickets good for any Thursday-night performance (for two people); Preview Night $55, eight tickets good only at each Preview performance.