From the moment we first greeted our artists, to the incredible procession of puppets down Superior Avenue, to wild innovations on the Fringe, and the unleashed jubilation of our closing night party, we witnessed magic. What we saw and felt was community created by the wonder of performance.
BorderLight 2019, in every way, exceeded our expectations. But none of this would have been possible without the magic worked by our Board, staff, event team, volunteers, artists and 2019 inaugural sponsors who took a chance on our inaugural festival—all of whom brought the Festival to life. Our gratitude is boundless.
Here, we share with you some highlights from the summer and an invitation to help shape what is to come.
4,000+ ticketed attendees
10,000+ festival-wide attendance
Visitors from 26 states + England
267 artists from 8 countries and 11 states
90+ staff and
Numerous sold-out shows
45+ media stories and reviews
2 The Left: A Tribute to the Life of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
An inspiring, music-filled, multimedia experience chronicling the life and spiritual journey of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, the controversial member of 90s pop music phenom TLC. The show reveals a young woman of color endeavoring to find her artistic voice and purpose, allowing the audience to glimpse behind the legend--and discover how her path may mirror our own.
A Kingdom, A Chasm
Three unlikely companions must sustain a "community" in the ravaged wilderness that was once New Orleans. Brought together by disaster, living in the shelter of a disintegrating Mercedes Benz, Emelda, Dudley, and Chauncey have created their own mini-society in a land where no society is left. Their social biases have survived while the city around them did not, however, and their little world is at the point of collapse. Through absurd humor and exuberant physicality "A Kingdom, A Chasm" explores the dysfunction of defunct social systems and the tenuous compassion that holds humans together in spite of it all.
Taking inspiration from the likes of the mad tea party in Alice in Wonderland and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Vagabond Inventions uses its contemporary approach to classic clowning to tell this surrealistic tale of friendship amidst crisis.
A Secret in Plain Sight
At the age of 43, Kevin Gladish discovered the truth behind a family secret that completely altered everything he thought he knew about who he was and what was true, sending him on a journey to uncover his roots. This one-hour solo show tells the story of his discovery and search for the truth.
At the time of his search, Kevin wrote a serial blog called A Story With No Beginning (http://kevingladish.blogspot.com/), which documented his discovery and search in real time. This solo performance grew out of those writings and attests to the healing power of reclaiming and telling your story.
Accidental Comedy Presents: Che Guerrero
GET OUT. LAUGH. MAKE FUN. Accidental Comedy is a group of performers dedicated to enriching the arts in Cleveland through live comedy and other productions.
Enjoy a night with Philly-based CHE GUERRERO, whose comedy tackles race, marriage, and the experience of growing up as an undocumented immigrant in America. Enjoy an evening with a fresh and revolutionary voice of the national comedy scene plus a lineup of local favorites Cody Cooper, John Bruton and Raj Suresh.
ABOUT CHE GUERRERO
Che Guerrero has spent 12 years tackling race, marriage, and work through stand-up comedy. A revolutionary voice on the modern comedy scene, Che's style is rooted in his experiences growing up undocumented. His sense of humor and command of the stage is the result of obstacles often unseen by the average American.
In 2014, Che broke out on the New York scene with a feature on Gotham Comedy. He released his first album, "Thank You That's My Time" in 2016 and continued to hit every stage from The Hoboken Comedy Festival to The Laughing Skull Comedy Festival. By 2018, Che was being highlighted on BET as part of 50 Central's "Artist Spotlight."
While his album remains in constant rotation on Sirius XM, his "American Immigrant Podcast" chronicles the lives and work of comedians of all backgrounds to illustrate the true fabric of the scene.
Accidental Comedy Presents: Nancy Norton
GET OUT. LAUGH. MAKE FUN. Accidental Comedy is a group of performers dedicated to enriching the arts in Cleveland through live comedy and other productions.
Enjoy a lineup of comedians headlined by nationally-acclaimed NANCY NORTON, whose hilarious and fast-paced improvisational style leaves audiences with little time to catch their breath. Enjoy an evening with one of the most unique and authentic voices of the national comedy scene (Winner, 2018 Boston Comedy Fest).
Supporting acts include local favorites Josh Morrow, Mary Santora, John Armstrong (7pm show) and Cody Cooper, Jimmie Graham, Mike Ivy (10pm show).
ABOUT NANCY NORTON
Nancy Norton has been featured on A&E‘s An Evening at the Improv and starred in her own one-woman show on PBS, The Yellowish-Green Girl, and recently featured on Nickmom Night Out on Nickelodeon.
Aim’d so near
Two spirited women, a locked room, a tape recorder, and a puzzle. Based upon significant, courageous, and often overlooked characters from Shakespeare’s 'Othello' and 'Romeo and Juliet', Emilia and Angelica uncover the secrets keeping them trapped. Will accepting past sins free them from confinement?
Inspired by Sophocles’ Antigone, AntiCone is the largely wordless story of an immigrant who is put to work building a wall against her country of origin (and, therefore, her brothers), under the dangerous eye of new leader, Creon, and against the pull of her ancient namesake. Scored by evocative and visceral original music, the play combines physical theatre, clowning, and audience interaction with unique, powerful dances. AntiCone was an official selection of FringeNYC festival in the fall 2018. Recommended for ages 13+.
Betsy Carmichael’s BINGO Palace
Join the fabulous Betsy Carmichael as she hosts an unforgettable night of BINGO. Betsy brings the audience "into the act" with special games, prizes, fun and surprises! A BINGO bash beyond belief... don't miss a moment of the hilarity.
BUTT Why?? An ass-inine show about our cushiest asset
Sit your ass down! Get comfy on your cushy, squishy, tushy! You are about to dive deep into the whole truth about your butt…WHY? Because it’s the most beautiful, versatile and underestimated part of you. Don’t believe me? Look around! We ALL have this asset, and who the heck knows why it’s praised as sexy, yet also the butt of most jokes; why it’s shamed and objectified but also super necessary to our bodily functions. You, your butt, your neighbors and their butts are about to go reeeaalll deep into each other…no, not like THAT. We’re going to dive into the backstory of the butt, and I hope you’re ready, because this shit is b-a-n-a-n-a-s!
Cleveland Public Theatre’s STEP (Student Theatre Enrichment Program)
A community caught in an ancient conflict receives a message from a mysterious Mist. On the verge of collapse, the City looks to four citizens seeking a truth that would unravel a devastating secret hidden in the stars. As midnight approaches, four divided nations must carve a path towards a united tomorrow or crumble into ruin.
CPT’s Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP) is a rigorous arts-based program that provides hands-on job training, engages youth from Cleveland families in a powerful learning experience that develops job skills, academic achievement, and interpersonal skills. As part of this eight-week summer program, youth ages 14-19 work together to create, produce, perform, and tour their own play. This program is the longest-running arts-based, workplace development program in Cleveland and is an international model for engaging youth. Since its beginning in 1994, STEP has received multiple awards and recognitions including those from the City of Cleveland, The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Through STEP, teens see themselves as a positive and inspirational force, and watch as their work has an impact on the larger Cleveland community.
Code Red: A Drag Manifesto
Inspired by Willa Cather's "Paul's Case," a New York City drag queen retells the story of her journey from the mundane Midwest to NYC, while tackling childhood trauma. This one-person show combines elements of theatre, drag, cabaret, and storytelling.
CPT’s Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP)
Cleveland Public Theatre’s celebrated Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP) is Cleveland’s longest-running arts and job training program for teens. STEP returns to city parks this summer, celebrating its 25th year with an original play, "Color the City," inspired by a South American Los Andes story, Huatiacuri, the Story of a Mountain.
The citizens of the Black and White City have forgotten the Colorful Mountain, once their landmark and prized jewel with otherworldly powers. As the wealthy White family seeks a cure for their sick father, a colorful woman from the Mountain, named Star, roams the city to unlock a mysterious dream. Can a black and white land rediscover the beauty and richness of colors? Led by Bolivian artist Diego Aramburo, "Color the City" showcases Cleveland youth as they work to build a brighter and more colorful world. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy free theatre in the park!
This work is made possible through the support of the Creative Fusion artist residency, a program of the Cleveland Foundation.
CPT’s International Ensemble Projects
A double bill presentation of original works by Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi and Teatro Público de Cleveland, multi-national and multi-lingual community ensembles resident to Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT).
Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi, Raymond Bobgan and Faye Hargate collaborate to create an original play based on the members’ own stories. Alejandro Moreno's "Colt 45" (performed by Teatro Público de Cleveland) begins in the aftermath of a horrible natural disaster. Dolores and Daniel are surprised to find an unconscious Donald Trump. Drama ensues as they decide what to do next.
CREATURES by Roger Titley
Presented in partnership with Cleveland Public Library's 150th anniversary celebration.
Be amazed as a fantastical menagerie of life-sized animals take over the streets of downtown Cleveland. Created by acclaimed puppeteer Roger Titley and powered by human volunteers, the procession will feature cheetah, kudu, elephants, birds and more. Volunteers (ages 12+) can join in before the event and learn to build and operate a beautiful raven puppet. This spectacular event kicks off with African drumming and dance by Cleveland's own Djapo Cultural Arts Institute.
The procession will depart from Cleveland Public Library Main Branch, located at 325 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114.
1:00 - 2:00 / 2:00 - 3:00 FREE puppet workshops open to the public
2:45 – 3:15 Performance of "Toukii - Journey" by Djapo Cultural Arts Institute
3:15 - 3:30 Puppet procession travels from Cleveland Public Library to Public Square
3:30 - 3:45 Photo opportunities with "Creatures" on Public Square
Ingenuity Cleveland is proud to support the work of BorderLight and groundbreaking creatives across the city by helping artists and entrepreneurs grow, connect, and find opportunities. Special thanks to Ingenuity for their generous in-kind offer of space for "Creatures" auditions, rehearsal, puppet storage and assembly.
Dear Cleveland: The Polyphonic Soliloquies
Historical revelry meets delusions of grandeur in a quagmire of dizzying poetry. Set to a soothing classical soundscape of Claude Debussy compositions.
Doncan’s Execution: A Scene from Tropico Macbeth By John Rivera-Resto
Tropic Macbeth is an original story based on 'The tragedy of Macbeth' by William Shakespeare. Although the basic plot remains close to the original - a tragedy of murder and political ambition, this adaptation, set in the 1935 Caribbean, has a Different story and new characters.Is a story of strong women, and how they use men to achieve power, justice and revenge. The decades-long hatred between the Orillan and Doncan families explodes when "the lady Macbeth" (lady Macbeth), uses her husband, the commander Macbeth, in a Machiavellian plan to overthrow the Doncan regime and reinstate the the Orillan to their orginal power.
The Collected Few Dance Project is proud to present their second production, “Dreamscape”. The 40 min dance concert explores the many adventures our minds takes us on daily. From moments of heavy regret and grief that we cant seem to shake. Feelings of love and passion that constantly fuel our hearts. Recurring moments that we see over and over, and even our deepest nightmares that haunt us to our core.
Fairy in the Lake
Fairy in the Lake is a short opera in three acts that follows the coming of age story of a young man from Brazil. He overcomes racism and choses to start a new life. Wanting to leave the pain of his life behind he loses a part of himself, his culture and creativity. Still, he hears the call of a fairy, and is drawn to a lake, where he is reborn.
Music and story written by Obediya Jones-Darrell, and the accompaniment is performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra (previously recorded in Prague, Czech Republic). Story is narrated by Opera singers Carla Chambers-Jeffreys (Canada) & Liz Huff (Cleveland). The fairy is portrayed by aerial circus performer, Lucretia Denise (Cleveland), as she flies through the air during the performance.
This site-specific work takes place in an elevator and elevator lobby across multiple floors. As audience members enter, exit and ride the elevator at their own will, who knows what they will encounter?
Each time a door opens, a new scene and new opportunity awaits both in the elevator and in the lobby. Places are exchanged, shoulders are nudged, whole conversations are had with a glance, a gesture, or a choreographed interaction. The movement of the audience through the elevator and the opening/closing of the doors causes interactions to be viewed in an interrupted context and much like life, lends itself to interpretation based on the viewers own experiences, inferences, thoughts and desires. As the performance progresses, and groups become intertwined at each intersection, it may become difficult to impossible to know who is performer and who is audience.
This new work in progress is intended to be a fun, surprising, sometimes revealing experience rooted in movement improvisation that invites and welcomes audience participation.
A newly married couple is put to the test by immigration officers.
This "pop-up" performance can be seen during these times:
Wed 7/24/2019 6:00pm-7:30pm (Playhouse Square)
Thu 7/25/2019 6:00pm-7:30pm (Playhouse Square, then wandering)
6:10pm (Hermit Club Patio)
6:35pm (Outcalt Theatre Lobby)
7:25pm (Miller Classroom Lobby)
4:30pm (Outcalt Theatre Lobby)
5:30pm (Helen Theatre Lobby)
7:20pm (Hermit Club Patio)
Good at Heart
South Korean theatre-maker Hyeja Ju, is the director of B.K.G. Theatre, which translates to Actors, Audiences, and Spaces Theatre. B.K.G. Theatre creates new work seeking to explore the human essence through experimental theatre and actor-centered stagecraft. “Good at Heart” is a physical, non-verbal performance inspired by the story of Anne Frank reminding us that genocide is a problem all people must be vigilant against.
This work is made possible through the support of the Creative Fusion artist residency program, a program of the Cleveland Foundation.
GYM Shorts: Presented by the Playwrights’ GYM
Dobama Theatre’s Playwrights’ GYM presents an array of 10-minute short plays featuring fantastic Cleveland actors, written by Claire Robinson May, Logan Cutler Smith, Greg Vovos, Mary Weems, and Rachel Zake. Laugh, cry, ponder, be entertained: look into the mind of a playwright. These pieces take us from the present to the future and tackle couples trying to outwit the neighbors or each other, dinosaurs who have come back from the past, a fateful dinner, and the vast. Entertaining and timely in theme and personal connections, this 55-minute extravaganza will not disappoint. Playwrights GYM is a program provided by Dobama Theatre, Cleveland’s Off-Broadway Theatre located in Cleveland Heights. The upcoming season begins October 6, 2023 and offers five shows running through May 19, 2024. Check out what’s coming to the Dobama stage and read more information about our playwrights at dobama.org.
I Am But a Whisper
As dancers, our job is to interpret the music. As people we have so little control over how others interpret us. I AM BUT A WHISPER allows the audience to choose how the physical dance they see on stage is shaped by the personal playlist they select before each performance. The playlists have been created and curated by the dancers, but the audience will decides the tone of the show they view. Using a silent disco format, I AM BUT A WHISPER creates multiples shows and experiences out of a choreographic outline, fleshed out by the viewers perception and interpretation.
I Know It Was The Blood: The Totally True Adventures of a Newfangled Black Woman
In a story of triumph tinged with bits of heartache, a scrappy girl-child navigates a changing world and finds the courage to live life on her own terms. Actress, soprano, and storyteller Tara Lake takes audiences on a journey into the world of African-American Jersey girlhood in the 1980s-1990s – a world steeped in family Sundays, church conventions, and extravagant reunions, weddings, and funerals. In this unforgettable sojourn embracing southern roots, gospel rhythms, and queer identity, one family’s love conquers all. I Know It Was The Blood: The Totally True Adventures of a Newfangled Black Woman has racked up an Artists’ Choice Award-winning World Premiere at Chicago Fringe 2018, a Rochester Fringe 2018 Best Bet nod, a “Not to Miss at Charm City Fringe” title, and a CultureTrust of Greater Philadelphia 2019 Independent Artist Festifund Award. Join us for an unforgettable performance of soul-rich theatre, storytelling, song, and poetry!
(This play with vocal music runs approximately 80 minutes. Suitable for ages 13 & Older)
I Stumbled Through a Magic Portal and All I Got Was This Dumb T-Shirt
Choose your own adventure! I STUMBLED THROUGH A MAGIC PORTAL AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS DUMB T-SHIRT is an exercise in collaborative storytelling, where wild and mysterious characters will guide you through a unique interactive experience. Modeled after simple tabletop role-playing games, the audience is the primary player in the story and must work together to find a way home. Absurd and heartfelt, irreverent and intimate, every performance is one-of-a-kind. Whether you're a seasoned campaigner or brand new to the table - welcome!
In Their Footsteps
Thousands of American women served in the Vietnam War. Infinite Variety Productions (IVP) interviewed five of these women - all volunteers. Through a script created from the oral histories and an innovative set using five blocks, IVP tells the often unknown, yet timely, story of the human side of war.
It’s A Lot Going On
This is a story of resilience through adversity told through poetry and song. The overarching theme is one's awareness of their mental health. It's a message of the many things that are behind the generic phrase It's A Lot Going On.
It’s a Match!
A comedy show about navigating the world of online dating!
Our comedians will take you on a journey through the online dating experience. The show will feature real online dating interactions read dramatically, an improvised live dating app where our comedians create personas based on audience suggestions and then "swipe" on each other until we find a match, and a live interview with an audience member about their dating profile and potential matches. Finally, our cast will improvise a set of scenes, on the spot, inspired by the experience!
This delightfully improvised, interactive evening of live improv comedy will take you on a journey through the world of ‘swipe‘ romance using real online dating interactions. We all know that swiping with comedians just feels better.
And to think, this is how you could meet the love of your life!
Journey to the Kingdom of Hypnos
Do you remember where Sleep is, Dear Ones? Mnemosyne invites you to close your eyes and journey to the court of that benevolent Greek god-creature of Slumber. But beware, in this Underworld the River of Oblivion is spilling over her shores and threatens the Waking.
*This immersive audio experience must be listened to on headphones.*
Living on the Moon
"Living on the Moon" a play filled with music, puppetry, humor and love between a mother and daughter facing truths and letting go. You can't heal what you're not aware of, and what’s holding you back. Facing the truth is what "Living on the Moon" is all about and the freedom for one woman to let go. Tonight, "Living on the Moon" will take you on that journey between Molly, her daughter and Molly's mom who comes back as a puppet called Memory. Memory and Kate having the love and courage to encourage Molly to face her reality and her truth so she can go back onstage and live life to its fullest. Through the performance you will see what the impact of Alzheimer's had on Molly when she went through that journey with her mother's illness. Molly's mother returns as a puppet (Memory) who along with Molly's daughter; Kate helping Molly to finally...let go and be free.
Love’s Lost Raree Box
"Step right up and take a peep inside this wonderous box!” ...an enticing invitation from the Raree Box Madame, an unusual woman in possession of a precious box with mysterious origins. Solo artist Chris Seibert seduces willing audience members to share in stories of love and loss, magic and origins.
This "pop-up" performance can be seen during these times:
Thu 7/25/2019 7:00pm-8:30pm (Playhouse Square, outdoor)
Fri 7/26/2019 8:45pm-11:00pm (Public Square)
Sat 7/27/2019 5:30pm-7:45pm (Public Square)
Sat 7/27/2019 9:30pm-10:30pm (Public Square)
Marie Curie Horror Story
This Marie Curie mystery unfolds as the famous scientist finds herself in an unknown place inhabited by a mysterious woman. As Marie reflects on the triumphs and tragedies of her life, she slowly unravels the puzzle of the present. The play paints a vivid picture of Marie's passion for science, her deep love for her partner and husband, her tenacity in weathering the great storms of her life, and her complicated relationship with her “radiant child.” Through memory, music, and poetic and horrific storytelling, Marie is confronted by her past and is forced to come face to face with the chilling realities of her radioactive discovery. Marie Curie succumbed to radium poisoning in 1934. She was still alive when a group of young women worked as watch dial painters in the US, using glow-in-the-dark paint.
Our Dad is in Atlantis
A Staged Reading
A Mexico-US migration story told from the point of view of children. When their dad drops Big Brother and Little Brother off at their grandmother’s, the boys are not quite sure where he is going or when they will see him again. All they know is grandmother’s house smells like old people and they are a little afraid of her. And that dad has crossed the border to build a life in Atlantis…or wait, Atlanta? As the months go on and no word comes from dad, the boys are bounced between family members and encounter first loves, bullies, and loss. They soon find themselves at the border in search of their father and a place to call home. "Our Dad is in Atlantis" is a funny, candid, and ultimately heartbreaking tale of separated families, growing up, and the children lost in migration.
The play was originally written in Spanish by one of Mexico’s premiere writers, Javier Malpica, and will be presented as a staged reading in an English translation by celebrated Cuban-American playwright Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas.
Parents & Children, Husbands & Wives: It’s All Relatives
Acclaimed storyteller Penny Sterling (Spy in the House of Men) teams up with musicians Mike and Mel Muscarella (Violet Mary) to present songs and stories about our relatives. It’s an evening of tales about the people we love, told with humor, poignancy, and great music. And maybe a little wine. Okay, more than a little.
Peter Pan and Wendy
A fresh take on a beloved story follows Wendy's adventures in Neverland with the charming immortal Peter Pan. Through make-believe that becomes all-too-real in battles with the fiercest lady on the seas, Captain Hook, Wendy discovers that to love truly is to risk loss - but to risk loss at the ticking hands of time is to embrace the possibility of loving truly.
Pinch and Squeal’s WIZBANG!
Step into the WIZBANG! Circus Theatre tent and be transported to another world! Hosted by kamikaze vaudeville duo, Pinch and Squeal, WIZBANG! features a full lineup of live musicians, circus acts of all genres (that fit inside and out), big production numbers, and complete mayhem. (Winner, Best of Cleveland 2017)
Poetry Free Cleveland
Poetry Free Cleveland is a street poetry team writing typewriter poems by request on the spot for free. We're all about bringing poetry to the people. What do you need or want a poem about? We'll use your response to craft a personal and meaningful poem. Poetry Free Cleveland started in 2021 as a solo act, popping up at local festivals, parks, neighborhoods, and online. The response has been enthusiastic, so the project has expanded into a team of published poets active in the Cleveland literary scene.
Featuring original music by Cleveland based public transit rock band The Frans, “Public Fransit” explores the history of public transportation in the US and Cleveland. This new short play was created through a partnership with Cleveland Public Library, and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.
Written by Golden Globe award-winning actress and playwright, Regina Taylor ("Crowns"), "Resistance" is a series of short plays that tackle a range of topics, from LGBTQ rights to gun rights to voting, to the 13th amendment's tie to modern slavery and the prison system. These diverse plays take an unflinching look at our current social political terrain.
This project is made possible through grant support from the Minority Arts and Education Fund (MAEF), a program of the Cleveland Foundation.
"Resistance" is made up of the following 6 short works:
As 101-year old Pearl waits her turn to cast her ballot she recalls her participating in the marches for the Voting Rights Act, Pearl has a hard time figuring if she stands in the past or present as things seem painfully familiar in the age of MAGA.
Real life Jim Johnson was a janitor at Princeton University. One of the students recognize him as a runaway slave. Johnson had the right to contest his being dragged back down south into slavery by fighting his identity. He lost the case but the town "bought" him from his owner. Johnson had to pay off the debt. He lived to see the passage of the 13th amendment which abolished slavery except in the case of imprisonment. Under this law - Johnson's descendants remain slaves to this day.
BITING THE BULLET
Maya and Harold share the memory of the death of their son by gun violence. They do not share the same opinions on gun control laws.
ANY OTHER NAME
On the eve of the birth of their first child - Serena and Cynthia can't agree on the name of their first child: Penelope... which has a safe and traditional family history and meaning to one... or Dragon Planet Boxer which is fierce and in your face to the other, who doesn't want her child to ever feel that she has to hide. As their child listens to her parents stories, she readies herself to take on the names that the world might give her even before she takes her first breath.
The devastation of global warming has passed the point of no return. People are lining up to buy a one way ticket to Mars. Mars is a planet named after a god of war and has its own thoughts about being colonized.
A centenarian African American woman is getting ready for God to land on earth in a spaceship and carry her home. She believes that God must look like her since no one sees her/hears her and treats her like a foreign body.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:
Regina Taylor (PLAYWRIGHT) is an actor, director and playwright. Playwriting credits include: “Bread” (Edgerton Award. Water Tower Theater), “Crowns” (four Helen Hayes awards, including Best Director), "Oo-Bla-Dee," (Steinberg-ATCA award) and "Drowning Crow," (Broadway, MTC), “The Trinity River Plays” (Edgerton Foundation Award) and “stop.reset” (Signature Theater Residency Five).
Ms. Taylor received the Denzel Washington Endowed Chair Fordham University at Lincoln Center. An Artistic Associate of Goodman Theatre, Taylor is its most produced playwright. Signature Theater residency five playwright.
Taylor in her TV role as Lily Harper in "I'll Fly Away” received a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress, 3 NAACP Image Awards and two Emmy Award nominations. Her other television roles include “The Unit”. Taylor was first African American lead in Masterpiece Theatre’s "Cora Unashamed," starred as Anita Hill in HBO’s “Strange Justice” and “A Good Day to Die” starring Sidney Poitier. She has co-starred in USA Networks’ Dig and guest starred in “Elementary” and “The Black List”. Next year Taylor is featured in Netflix’ One Day and a Night starring Jeffrey Wright, Ashton Saunders and directed/written by Joe Robert Cole (writer: Black Panther) and guest stars on Red Line (Producer Ava DuVernay for CBS).
Taylor’s film credits include “Saturday Church”, "The Negotiator," "Courage Under Fire," "Clockers," and "Lean on Me." Taylor was also the first Black woman to play Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet" on Broadway.
When you hear "Burlesque" what comes to mind? Vegas style show girls covered in feathers and rhinestones? Vaudeville era shenanigans? The Moulin Rouge?
In Revealing: BURLESQUE The Sex Kitten Purrlesque is will demonstrate that burlesque is an art that contains many different styles, all with the common theme of music, dance, and of course, a little bit of sensuality. You'll see comedy, tragedy, and occasionally something just plain weird. The Sex Kitten Purrlesque entertains themselves first, which has resulted in enthralled audiences across the midwest. What can we say? We have great taste!
Burlesque is for everybody, and every body, so you'll see a diverse cast of performers of varying sizes, shapes, and genders. Gone are the days of lines of identical showgirls, bring on the spectrum of beautiful performers!
This show is adult in nature, so please be 18+, bring your sense of humor and an open mind, and get ready to have your world rocked by Revealing: BURLESQUE!
"a must-see if there ever was one..." - The List
Homeless McGoldrig has lost it all - including his mind. He now dives into the wonderful wounds of his past through the romantic world of Rudolph Valentino. Dare to laugh at despair and gasp at redemption in this brave, bleak, beautiful production for which Fishamble and Pat Kinevane won an Olivier Award in 2016.
WINNER: Olivier Award 2016
WINNER: Argus Angel Award at Brighton Festival 2012
WINNER: Fringe First and Herald Angel at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011
"passionate one-man show…Mr. Kinevane interprets Valentino’s highly theatrical screen presence to stunning effect…carefully wrought production…[he] doesn’t just demand [the audience’s] attention, he commands it. And that difference is what makes Mr. Kinevane an artist of the theater." - Ben Brantley, The New York Times
"a must-see if ever there was one" **** The List
"unflinching, intensely physical performance..bristling with black humour" **** The Scotsman
"fabulous dance of whirling words..a bravura outpouring of sorrow, anger, hurt and lacerating wit" **** The Herald
"a brilliantly crafted demonstration of everything that is possible in live performance" ***** The Skinny
"remarkable range of styles and devices…to be in that audience was to experience a rare synergy between performer and the performed-to" - Irish Independent
"flawless performance…aches with life" - Evening Herald
"dazzling theatricality" - The Guardian
Snowflakes on the Patio
Snowflake Comedy Club exists to give a space in the local comedy scene that is empathetically welcoming and striving for inclusivity. We want to bring light to underrepresented groups, including people of color, women, and folks in the queer community. Our goal is to create safe and fun spaces for both comics and audience members in these communities.
We believe in a better and stronger comedic environment that “punches up” rather than “punches down” to marginalized communities. Our comics agree to basic guidelines ahead of time to be respectful and aware of how their jokes might impact others before they step up to the microphone. We will always do our best to regulate and advocate for everyone that attends a show to be treated with dignity and respect.
SongCraft [SOLD OUT]
*Winner of the 2021 BorderLight Fringe Producers' Choice Award
*Winner of the 2022 Near West Theatre Emerging Artist Award
After performing to sold-out audiences during BorderLight 2021 and 2022, SongCraft is BACK! This individualized 30-minute experience is perfect for solo audience members or families/friends of up to 3 people. When we greet you in our space, Rachel will engage you in a conversation about your dreams, hopes, memories, romances - whatever you feel compelled to share. Then Julia will write and Vickey will compose an original song on the spot inspired by the conversation, engaging you in the collaborative, creative process. At the end of the session, Vickey and Rachel will perform this brand-new song just for you, in an intimate, deeply personalized experience.
Two former friends and artistic collaborators meet in a local pub after an extended and enforced separation. One seeks absolution for his transgressions, and to propose a renewed partnership, while the other takes this as an opportunity to set the record straight. Lean in and listen to this intensely private conversation as they confront and deliberate over the continuing patterns of abuse and privilege by men in “the business” reflected in their shared past.
SUNDAZE at the Fringe with Tania Timmons & Ramon Rivas
TANIA TIMMONS is one of Cleveland comedy's strongest and most distinct emerging voices. Only a few years into her artistic path, she's already a regular fixture at prestigious Cleveland comedy institutions like The Improv and Hilarities 4th Street Theater. Whether it's being a featured performer at national events like the Detroit Women's Comedy Festival or highlighted in regional festivals like The Cleveland Comedy Festival or Rubber City Comedy Fest or hosting the weekly SUNDAZE series, her growth and development is an indicator of a healthy and fertile comedic arts scene.
RAMON RIVAS grew up in Lorain OH and has been featured in his own Comedy Central Half Hour Special, as a featured performer on HBOLatino's Entre Nos Stand up series and has projects in regular rotation on Sirius/XM comedy stations. He's performed at prestigious international festivals such as Just For Laughs, SXSW, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival & many more. Rivas is excited to partake in the Borderlight Fringe Festival and help highlight the vibrant comedy scene in Cleveland.
The efforts of Tania and Ramon as 2 resident artists continue to validate Cleveland as an arts destination locally, regionally and nationally. Week in, week out at Dunlap's Corner Bar 3258 w 32nd Street, 44109 in the heart of the Clark-Fulton area of Ohio City.
Table For Two
Once upon a time there was a woman and a man. For clarity’s sake, we will call them Mr. and Mrs. They were in love and because of that, they decided to marry one another. And for the sake of all of you, let's just say this love story does not end well.
Tesha; An “Other” Look at Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, infamously known as Notorious RBG is a contemporary cultural icon and much can be accessed about her life and work. The second female ever to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court, the Associate Justice's accomplishments and influence on gender equality are legendary.
Born in 1933 in Brooklyn, New York, Ginsburg taught at Rutgers University Law School and then at Columbia University, where she became its first female tenured professor. In law school, she was the first person to make both the Columbia and Harvard Law Review. She served as the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union during the 1970’s. She argued and won 5 out of 6 landmark gender equality cases before the Supreme Court. She was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1980 and named to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. A champion for equality, she continued to argue for gender equality in cases such as United States v. Virginia. She died September 18, 2020 due to complications from metastatic pancreas cancer.
So....what isn't there to know about the extraordinary contribution and life of RBG?
Borrowing from her documented life story, playwright and actress, Juliette Regnier narrows the broad scope of Justice Ginsburg’s astonishing life and imagines her right here. Right now. If we could sit in her company, what would she say? Tesha; An "Other" Look at Ruth Bader Ginsburg, set during Aninut, (the time and space between death and burial in the Jewish Tradition), Ms. Regnier, as RBG takes us through forearm planks, The Taj Mahal, Marty’s casseroles, baton twirling, Harvard Law School, the passion of Dvorak, The United States Constitution, and the cost of gender inequality.
As she dresses for lunch with her husband Marty and other deceased guests such as Notorious B.I.G. and Justice Antonin Scalia, she revisits time; the ‘50’s, the ‘70’s, the ‘90’s, and thoughtfully extemporizes on the conditions of those eras and their influences. She confides in us her experiences in marriage, friendship, career, the law, religion, the opera, muses on the realities of time and takes aim at the rippling harm of unconscious gender bias.
This intimate one-woman portrayal of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is ultimately about time - the maddeningly slow evolution of civilization, liminal time, 1933-2023, times of unrest and upheaval, and seizing the right time to midwife and foster change.
The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God
Based on George Bernard Shaw’s short story, this side-splitting comedy follows a young African girl who is abandoned by a white missionary for asking too many questions about God. Taking matters into her own hands, she sets off on her own to find out who—or what—God really is. Along the way she meets a number of characters who have very different views on God. In the end she’s forced to make her own decisions on God and her search.
This work is made possible through the support of the Creative Fusion artist residency program, a program of the Cleveland Foundation.
The Blake & Ollie Show
Imagine the horror of a lifelong author, lit. prof., & linguistics maven at the diagnosis of a brain tumor pressing on the language processing center of my left frontal lobe.
18 surgeries & years of radiation & chemo later, it’s time to tell this story, about how we create & incorporate stories in our lives.
This show elucidates the murky process of how humans use words & discern meaning; + how we remember, compose, & communicate stories & ideas. We mostly take the process for granted—until an obstacle stymies us. Maybe it’s Alzheimer’s, a TBI, or marrying a non-native speaker, as I did. Or a tumor such as I have, slowly shutting off synaptic connections, even as the brain’s miraculous plasticity builds byways & spurs, eagerly forging “new ways around” the problem.
It’s monologue & storytelling by me, along with interaction w my own brain (played by an actor) & his puppet, “Ollie” the tumor taking over language expression. Conjurings of critical figures (played by 4 actors from the company), with forays into my fiction – storytelling – & how I create it—and “you” interpret it. A screen behind me gives access to memories, images, feelings, & more. Plenty of audience interaction, too.
The Children of Lir
What happens when a druid and a harpie who share a granddaughter meet in the land of Celtic myth? Travel with storyteller Gail Nyoka and harper Meta Epstein on a magical voyage of music and story, transported on the wings of imagination, in the company of the Swan Children of Lir, who enchant all who hear their voices.
The Coitus Society Soiree
An inexperienced young man stumbles into an establishment after receiving a mysterious invitation. He is met by the host of the venue and so begins his journey of self-awareness and lust. Will the bevvy of beauties entice him? Will they entice you? Classy, powerful and beautifully choreographed, this performance is not to be missed. Featuring The Suga Shack Girls - professionally trained dancers and Cleveland’s only All Black Burlesque Troupe - "The Coitus Society Soiree" is a sensual dance production with pulse-pounding music and dazzling costumes. Come dressed in your sexiest attire! Guests are encouraged to indulge their dress up fantasies. Masquerade masks, BDSM apparel...show your dark side at the Soiree!
The Expiration Date: A work in progress
From Page to Stage.
"The Expiration Date" is the story of one sixty-something man wrestling with life's big challenges and reflecting on what comes next--what do the "golden years" look like when one faces them alone, without faith in an afterlife or an all-powerful Being in the Sky? How does one live with the questions and no easy answers, while finding some humor, laughter, and absurdity along the way?
This introductory interactive workshop is for anyone who has thought about taking their stories off the page and performing them for a live audience. Judah Leblang, an experienced storyteller and Fringe Festival performer (Best of Festival, Calgary 2019) will share his insights on the basics of taking your writing and transforming pieces on stage: discovering your voice/rhythm, finding a through-line/theme, creating transitions, taking up space on stage, and connecting with an audience. Join Judah--Noon-1 pm on Saturday, August 5 at Kennedy's in Playhouse Square.
The Light House
On a little island in a faraway sea, there is a little girl who tends a lighthouse and who never ever smiles. Until one day, when she must set out for the horizon, and beyond....
From the playful minds of longtime pals and award-winning collaborators, Natasha Mirny and Tia Shearer Bassett, The Light House is a unique combination of shadow puppetry, storytelling, and interactive theatre. Celebrate the imaginative possibility of everyday objects (a cereal box, a flashlight, a sheet!) as you help Natasha and Tia tell a tale full of silliness and heart. Also…sea creatures.
The Light House: an interactive shadow show about finding your light. Best for ages 3-8, but everyone is invited.
The Peek-a-Booth is a pop up performance art vending machine. Only one or two people are allowed to view the private show at a time.
The viewer approaches the Booth and exchanges money for tokens. They enter the curtained area and see an array of 6 buttons corresponding to a menu. The viewer inserts the tokens, presses a button, puts on the headphones, and the Booth activates with lights and sounds with a performer inside.
Every hour a new performer is in the booth, so you never know what you're going to get!
The Shadow of the Clock
The Shadow of the Clock is a radio play mystery performed by two actors. A man receives a written death threat which says he will die at midnight. The play takes place in his locked apartment, with the only other character being the detective he hires to prevent the murder. The play unfolds in real time from eleven thirty five to midnight as the characters grow to trust each other less and less and try to predict and prevent the cause of death waiting for them at the play's finale. Performed before a blindfolded audience, The Shadow of the Clock offers the strange and unique experience where a play's audience and its characters attempt to do the same thing: imagine what they cannot see. This half hour original play by Luke Brett is not only a suspenseful riddle, but also an escalating human scene exploring our fascination with death, the emotions that come in the face of death, and the power of a frightened imagination.
This Is NOT About My Dead Dog
“This is NOT About My Dead Dog” is a comedic one-woman show reflecting on sex, alcohol, and an awkward girlhood. Follow actor/playwright Amy Schwabauer on a journey from young partier to young adult involving German Shepherds, breakups, and offbeat ruminations on the natural world. Originally produced to sold-out houses in January 2017, “This is NOT About My Dead Dog” is a tour-de-force from a unique talent hailed as “brave,” “brilliant,” and “brazen,” and praised for “spin[ning] a worthy anecdote and command[ing] the stage with flair.” Don’t miss this breakthrough work by Cleveland’s “Best Actress” for 2017.
Three Countries, One Mother
Using storytelling, poetry, movement, and song, Three Countries, One Mother explores the history and culture of the Bhutanese-Nepali-American people who were displaced from their homeland as part of the Bhutanese Refugee Crisis in the 1990s and early 2000s. This play is inspired by the true story of Neema Bal’s family– members of the Tamang tribe, an ethnic group in the Bhutanese-Nepali community. The Tamang tribe speak their own Tibeto-Burman language and have a diverse spectrum of influences on spirituality--including Buddhism and indigenous shamanism.
Spanning generations and countries, this deeply personal narrative weaves together family stories and ritual to investigate the impact of cultural legacy on an individual. The audience is invited to journey with Neema through his cultural inheritance as part of a quest to better understand himself.
Trouble Down South
A funny and daring look into what it means to be a young, gay woman from the South. It follows the protagonist’s journey through adolescence and into adulthood as she realizes she is nothing like the women around her. It explores sexuality, class, and being raised in a family where lady-ness is close to godliness.
Uncle Toots’ Pasta Dish
Uncle Toots wants one last pasta dinner in the home he’s about to lose, but more than sauce is stirred up and served when his family and longtime hospice nurse ambush him about a 60 year relationship he packed away. With you, Toots’ wide-eyed sister, Aunt Barb, World War II veteran husband, Rocky, and Nurse Nancy at the dining room table, a tale of lost love awakens this contentious family to realities they’ve never faced before. "Uncle Toots’ Pasta Dish" is an improvised experience you help bring to life even if you decide to just shut up and eat!
A physical comedy about three eccentrics sharing a crammed run-down flat: bulbs burning out, pipes bursting, mosquitoes biting, brains jammed, the outer world sending threatening signals… But these gentlemen want to have tea, and they will have it, even if the entire world is falling to pieces!
ISRAELI FRINGE AWARD for the best collective work
FESTIVAL JURY AWARD for an exceptional expressiveness and multidisciplinary approach - INFANT festival, Serbia
"The show is hysterically funny – its creators showcase wild fantasy and virtuoso clownery..." - The Jerusalem Post
"Israeli play 'Under Construction' had the audience in splits!" - Times Of India
Waiting on Godot
The waiting is over! Godot has arrived!...at a modest French restaurant called "Chez Lucky." So let the waiting begin, as the staff seek to satisfy the somewhat unusual order of their long-expected but unexpected guest.
Welcome to my House
Welcome to My House is an interactive performance art conversation with Robin VanLear, creator of Parade the Circle. Meet her in her rolling house, a treasure trove of props, ideas and memories. Exchange stories. It may start in her world but it will invade yours. Some days are silly and others serene. Be ready to swing from laughter to sorrow. This soul baring experience will inspire you and leave you with plenty to contemplate after her house rolls away.
Robin and her house on wheels can perform in any setting that is not cramped yet allows the audience to feel private and comfortable. This house without walls carries an assortment of inspirational bric a brac of Robin's making and choosing. Each show she arrives as a different character who will warm you with her charm, her laughter and possibly her tears.
Visually quirky with thoughtful commentary on this world that we all share, Robin wants to weave a web that encourages your thoughts, ideas and experiences to intertwine with hers. The result is a piece of community magic.
When Farah Cries
"When Farah Cries" is the story of a young woman who joined the Syrian revolution. Her personal emancipation from domestic and societal boundaries arises simultaneously with the attempted political liberation of a whole country. Can Farah, despite all odds, believe in hope, in freedom and in a better future?
Cast features Jay Abdo, Mohamad Alrefai, Zoe Bloomfield, Collin Linnville and Emily Preis.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Mudar Alhaggi (PLAYWRIGHT) is a Syrian playwright and cultural activist. He received a B.A in Dramatic Studies from The High Institute of Dramatic Arts in 2005 and shortly afterwards co-established the Street Workshop for playwriting. He was a trainer and the deputy manager of the Outreach Program at The Syria Trust for Development from 2005 to 2011. Alhaggi worked as a dramaturge for many performances including An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen and Footfalls by Samuel Beckett. In 2010 he was a guest resident artist in Delfina Foundation for playwrights in London, and he has published two plays; The Don Gwan (Cairo, 2010) and Bronze (Beirut, 2010). Alhaggi is currently the project manager of Ettijahat (www.ettijahat.org).
Naila Al Atrash (DIRECTOR) is one of the most highly celebrated directors in Arab theater today and has also earned renown as an innovative actress and scholar of theater arts, holding an MFA from the National Academy of Theatre Arts and Film, Sofia, Bulgaria. During her forty-year career she directed and starred in dozens of productions throughout the Arab World, Europe, and the United States. In 2012 she was forced out of her country for her anti-governmental political activities. She has served as an adjunct professor at Tisch School of the Arts/NYU since 2013.
**Special thanks to Cleveland State University's Department of Theatre & Dance for the use of rehearsal space.
Wizbang! Variety Circus MAYHEM!
An intimate 60-seat traveling circus tent, transporting audience into an imaginarium of neo-vaudeville, musical extravaganza, theatrical mayhem, and circus.
Purveyors Pinch and Squeal, send Vaudeville kicking and screaming to the 21st century, and together they've created Wizbang! A home for the weird, wonderful and fantastic. Bring your kids, grandmother, an ex or just yourself and let us bring you into a hilarious 60 minute, outside forgetting, journey into the ridiculous. It's a BIG TIME in the TINY TOP!
The 2019 BorderLight International Theatre + Fringe Festival presented by Char and Chuck Fowler
THANK YOU TO OUR INDIVIDUAL DONORS
Thank you to the following individuals, whose generous contributions have made possible our inaugural festival
Char and Chuck Fowler
Bob and Sally Gries
Chann Fowler Spellman
James Anderson and David Wittkowsky
Neil and Amy Viny
John C. Williams
LuAnn and Andy Brown
Stacy and Michael Goldberg
Patrick and Jeanne Walker
T. Paul Lowry
Felton Thomas, Jr.
Joanne R. Cohen