Customer Spotlight: Cleveland Public Theatre

Customer Spotlight: Cleveland Public Theatre

Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) takes seriously their role as a PUBLIC theatre. They produce groundbreaking and adventurous new plays with a bold aesthetic and a multiplicity of voices and perspectives. CPT is a nationally recognized home for intelligent, inventive, and socially conscious performances and life-changing education programs. Their focus is on work that is fresh, current, and original, not simply imitative of the past or caught up in mainstream values. Just as public radio and television provide an alternative to the mainstream, CPT strives to provide work outside the Cleveland theatre mainstream related to topic, theme, style, and artist identity. They perform shows that speak to issues of social justice, cultural identity, race, gender, and sexual preference.

The 2019/2020 season reaffirms their commitment to representing onstage the multiplicity of voices in our community and of the greater world, explores and confronts contemporary issues, and simultaneously celebrates joy, humor, and our responsibility to call and to respond. A commitment to diversity results in hiring creators from different backgrounds, as well as embracing new processes, forms, and aesthetic values. CPT’s Cleveland CORE Ensemble provides an avenue for deep artistic and personal research into the craft of theatre, and results in honed performances with distinct aesthetic and ethical values. With increased investment and expanded programs to support local and national artists in developing plays, they are ensuring that the theatre of the future—in the Northeast Ohio region and beyond—is thriving, bold, abundant, and reflective of the world we live in.


History Of Community Building and Neighborhood Development 

Cleveland Public Theatre was founded by Cleveland-born civil rights lawyer James Levin in 1981. CPT was originally modeled after Cafe LaMaMa, an experimental theatre in NYC where Levin had spent time as an actor/director after graduating from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. It was there in New York City he discovered that social, political, and cultural discourse could be influenced by the arts. The mission in Cleveland would become to raise consciousness and nurture compassion through groundbreaking performances and life-changing education programs.  

CPT has grown from its humble beginnings as a volunteer-based project with a mere 5K dollars allocated yearly, to an indispensable arts organization with an annual operating budget of 2.5M that employs 22 full-time & 12 part-time staff members. The institution has been an integral part in revitalizing the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood by promoting the commercial and economic development of what is now the Gordon Square Arts District.  

In 1984, CPT would find their first home in the second floor of an Irish Dance Hall near West 65th Street. Today this space is known as the James Levin Theatre, named after its founder. By 1995, they would purchase the building at 6415 Detroit Avenue and acquire the adjoining building in which contained Cleveland’s oldest standing theatre (built in 1912). Finally, in 2009 they invested in the adjacent de-sanctified Orthodox Church properties. These buildings would serve a crucial role in Cleveland Public Theatre’s development as a center of performing arts. 


Life Changing Educational Programs

James Levin’s legacy is carried on today under the leadership of Raymond Bobgan who was named Executive Artistic Director in 2006. CPT’s commitment to the community is evident through their core education programs. Bobgan founded the Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP), a rigorous arts-based program that provides hands-on job training and engages Cleveland teens in a powerful learning experience.

Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP)

Raymond co-created the Y-Haven Project with James, a program that teaches theatre job related skills to formerly homeless men. Additionally, Cleveland Act Now (formerly Brick City Theatre) provides year-round theatre arts programming for youth ages 5-14. CMHA CAN takes place in partnership with Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) at community centers for youth and families who live in public housing, and CAN also partners with other local community centers. CAN Academy is a free theatre training program at Cleveland Public Theatre for youth from Cleveland and surrounding neighborhoods.

Y-Haven Theatre Project
Cleveland Act Now

Cleveland Public Theatre is also home to two international ensembles, Teatro Público de Cleveland (TPC) and Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi. TPC inspires inter/intra cultural exchange through thought-provoking bilingual storytelling and performance that fosters social consciousness and builds community. TPC is committed to identifying, developing, celebrating, and inspiring Cleveland Latino artists to share their experiences, cultures, perspectives, and talents. Through Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi, Arabic-speaking communities of Cleveland share vital, life-affirming stories celebrating family, dignity, and freedom of expression. Masrah Cleveland Al-Arabi is open to all who share a heritage from Arabic-speaking cultures with an interest in theatre regardless of experience.


Ways To Support CPT


Cleveland Public Theatre is funded through grants from foundations, government, and corporate donors, but most importantly through generous support from their own community. To show your appreciation for the work they do, you can make a personal donationvolunteer your time, or attend an upcoming event.  Their annual fundraising extravaganza Pandemonium 2019 is this Saturday, September 7th from 7:00-midnight.  


The Cleveland Public Theatre Chooses Jakprints For Custom Printing

Jakprints is grateful to be trusted with printing their 2019-2020 Season Programs and we are so proud of the way that they turned out! 

For this project they chose a 28 page Custom Booklet (8.5” x 11”) w/ 12pt Uncoated cover stock and printed 100 lb. Uncoated papers for the interior pages.

The relationship between JP & CPT dates back 15+ years. We’ve produced over 800 orders for them including flyers, brochures, booklets, business cards, stickers, t-shirts and more.  We’d like to thank Caitlin Lewins (Director of Audience Engagement & Media Relations) and Cleveland Public Theatre for their continued support.