History

Ohio City Theatre Project (OCTP) is committed to pursuing excellence and building community through creative innovation, mentoring, and civic involvement. Actively involved in the Cleveland area since the summer of 2012, OCTP strives to create visceral theatrical experiences that are not just thought about, but are deeply felt. We take on important contemporary issues that are hard to grapple with. And we provide opportunities for transformative exchange where we can converse and feel through these issues collectively with our community.

Since 2013, OCTP has offered its Summer Arts program, a free camp for Cleveland youth, in which local theatre professionals lead participants in puppet making, storytelling, and a culminating public performance. OCTP’s Summer Arts program is now in its seventh year and has been in residence for the past five years at the Michael J. Zone Recreation Center. OCTP also offered after-school theatre education programming at Ohio City’s GALA school in 2018. Partnering with the Cleveland Playhouse in 2015, OCTP offered after-school programming at Almira PreK – 8 Academy.

OCTP has produced work in Cleveland alternative urban venues. These venues include an abandoned Lorain Road storefront that housed Summer Storefront (2013) with works by Caitlin Lewins, Melissa Crum and Pandora Robertson. OCTP also produced Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano (2013), directed by Sarah Greywitt at Ohio City’s United Church of Christ, Pandora Robertson’s Free Radical and The Late Night Sketchbook (2014) at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, the premiere of Snake Oil (2016) by Arwen Mitchell, directed by Sarah Greywitt at Canopy Collective and a coproduction of Pandora Robertson’s original work Code Breakers (2016) with Theater Ninjas at Ohio City’s Hildebrant Building.

The twelve-minute work Incendiaries by Pandora Robertson, showed in January 2015 at Cleveland Public Theatre’s (CPT) Fire On The Water: Part Four of the Elements Cycle. Incendiaries was developed into an evening-length work, which premiered in a January 2016 OCTP/CPT coproduction. Based on the 1966 Hough Uprising, the piece has been performed at numerous locations including CPT’s Station Hope, Road to Hope and in February 2017 at the Cleveland Public Library (CPL), an engagement which included a month-long OCTP theater workshop as part of CPL’s education and outreach programming. In July 2017, Incendiaries was produced outdoors together with a post-show theater workshop at The Gund Foundation Green, Public Square as part of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s Arts & Culture In The Square.

OCTP is led by Executive Artistic Director Pandora Robertson. Pandora is a 2016 Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Creative Workforce Fellow, a 2018 recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for playwriting and an inaugural Joan Yellen Horvitz 2011-2012 Director Fellow. OCTP Company Artist and Education Director Daniel McNamara was a 2018 Gordon Square Performing Artist-in-Residence, a 2015 CPT Kulas Composer Fellow, and a five-year Music Director and Company Member of Bread and Puppet Theater. OCTP board members are Attorney Jillian Davis and shark&minnow CEO, Hallie Bram Kogelschatz, and Pandora Robertson.

In September 2018, OCTP celebrated founding Co-Directors Fred Mowery and Sarah Greywitt who stepped down after helping lead OCTP through its successful first six years. Fred gained over 15 years of experience producing theatre in Chicago and Cleveland to and was a former company member of WNEP Theatre (Chicago) . Sarah spent 10 years working in Chicago’s off-loop theatre scene as an actor, director, and producer.  We have deep gratitude for their dedication and we are looking forward to building upon their many accomplishments.

Re-imagining theatre and community…