Gray Space

Melissa Crum, Ananias Dixon


Two strangers meet in an abstract café. Through the shapeshifting of identity and environment, the pair explore how to have difficult conversations in real time. ** this is a staged reading**




30 minutes


Gund Dance Studio


Fri 7/22 @ 8:00PM
Sat 7/23 @ 4:30PM




Recommended For

Ages 18+


Scripted Play, Physical Theatre, Reading


Conversations surround race, gender, identity, and mental health.


ADA Accessible, Restroom



This piece is an exploration of the process involved in having authentic, difficult conversations. Two strangers meet in an abstract café where they are able to be transported over space and time through a variety of magical sound effects, beginning with the dinging of a bell. The audience will follow our characters through a wide range of scenarios as they navigate facing hard truths, making mistakes, and working to uncover what we are really communicating to one another with what we do and do not say. While we are hoping this piece can be one episode of a larger work, this particular conversation will take place between a Black male and a White female. Their relationship will begin as a blank canvas, all we know is that we are looking at a Black male and a White woman, and without a word, the conversation with the audience will already be in progress. From lovers, to co-workers, interactions with law enforcement, and communications across the vast space of the internet, the two players will shift in and out of various identifiers and settings to explore how our intersectionality’s and environment shape conversation differently.

Created by Ananias Dixon and Melissa Crum

Melissa Crum: Co-writer, Actor

Ananias Dixon: Co-Writer, Actor

Chennelle Bryant-Harris: Dramaturg
James Kosmatka: Sound Design

Melissa Crum, Ananias Dixon


Explore our hashtags across your favorite social platforms:

#GraySpace #GraySpaceBorderLightCLE

Additional Info

Ananias Dixon
Ananias is blessed to be 2021 Cleveland Public Premiere Fellow. He is theater teacher and coach at the Cleveland School of The Arts, Cleveland Play House, and Playhouse Square and has also been a member of George Street Playhouse’s educational touring theatre. Theater credits include The Good Heart, The Claxson Family, How to End Poverty in 90 min, Ratus and Hattie (Cleveland Public Theater); Skeleton Crew, Sunset Baby, The Effect, An Octoroon (Dobama Theatre); Detroit 67, Julius X (Karamu House); Black Angels Over Tuskegee (Actors Temple); John Henry (Cleveland Play House); The Toilet (New federal theatre). TV/film Includes “Law and Order: SVU”, “Blue Bloods”, “Person of Interest”,” Boardwalk Empire”,” Upstairs”, “NYC 22”, Antwone Fisher, Home_, and Criminal Activity. Ananias was also part of Cleveland Play House’s New Ground Theatre Festival as the AD for The Nolan Williams Project as well as AD for The Royale under the direction of Robert Barry Fleming.

Melissa Crum
Melissa Crum is a Cleveland-based director, writer, performer, and educator. Melissa received the 2016/2017 Nord Family Foundation Playwright Fellowship through Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT), where she and co-writer & composer Caitlin Lewins developed Everything is Okay (and other helpful lies), a dark musical comedy. Everything is Okay (and other helpful lies) received a reading at the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) in the summer of 2019. Through this work, Crum and Lewins were finalists for the 2019 Mitten Lab. Melissa completed the 2013/2014 Joan Yellen Horvitz Director Fellowship at Cleveland Public Theatre where she directed The Drowning Girls. Melissa has directed locally at Dobama Theatre, Talespinner Children’s Theatre, True North Cultural Arts, and Cleveland Public Theatre. Melissa studied Directing Devised Theatre and Theatre Creation under the tutelage of Raymond Bobgan, and holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Cleveland State University.

** this is a staged reading**

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