The new tenant at the former Coventry School is official: it’s the Ensemble Theatre, which has spent the past eight years performing at the Cleveland Play House. And they’re not wasting any time, opening their first production on Saturday.
The kick-off play is The Colorado Catechism by Vincent J. Cardinal, a laugh-filled exploration of two people — a New York artist and a Midwestern divorced mom — who are almost wrecked by substance abuse. But they meet at a rehab center in Colorado where they both support and complicate each other’s recovery.
Directed by Ian Hinz, who is also Ensemble’s director of operations, the play will run through March 27. Hinz notes, “This play is a love letter to art and the creative process. So we thought it would be the perfect play to celebrate our new home.”
Celeste Cosentino, Ensemble’s artistic director and daughter of Ensemble’s founder Lucia Colombi, will play mom Donna and the artist Ty will be played by Tyler Whidden. There is also a strong Ohio University connection, since Cosentino, Whidden, and Hinz are OU grads and the playwright Cardinal is a former director of the school of theater at the Athens, OH, campus.
Because everyone is participating in the production without compensation, all proceeds will go to the Reuben and Dorothy Silver New Director Award and Ensemble Theatre’s educational programming.
Speaking of those programs, Ensemble’s “Spring Sessions” will take place at the Coventry location, including theater workshops for ages 9-12, 13-15, grades 9-12 and ages 18-plus. Information about these workshops is available at ensemble-theatre.com.
The move to the Coventry neighborhood has proven to be very gratifying for the Ensemble family. Says Hinz, “We are overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the Cleveland Heights school district, the city itself, and the Cleveland-area theater community. Everyone has gotten behind this effort and we’re on our way.”
The Ensemble Theatre is located at 2843 Washington Boulevard, 216-321-2930. Tickets for The Colorado Catechism, March 19-27: $10. Workshop details and fees available at ensemble-theatre.com.