CLEVELAND - Here is another example of what’s happening in Cleveland that's gaining national attention. This time it is on the stage.
See how one theater’s effort to include everyone in the community is creating opportunities and making dreams come true.
The final touches are being put on the production “Labio de Liebre,” or “The Lip of the Hare.”
It’s about a former military man who is haunted by those he committed atrocities against. The play is performed in Spanish with English super titles.
This is the third major production in Spanish by Teatro Publico de Cleveland, an effort by at Cleveland Public Theatre to embrace the Latino community.
Raymond Bobgan, the executive artistic director at Cleveland Public Theatre, said "It’s really given a voice to a community that wasn’t really participating in the theater part of the art scene. And we’ve really seen an explosion. We have had sold out houses almost every time.”
And for some of the actors, it’s something they thought they would never do.
Mónica Cerpa Zuñiga, of Teatro Publico de Cleveland, said "The dream of being a singer or an actress and singing in front of the mirror, I never thought that it would come true.”
Teatro Publico’s success has been featured at a national conference and has a theater company from Providence Rhode Island traveling here to see how it’s done.
Cleveland Public Theatre is planning to take this model and engage with the local Arab-American and Middle Eastern populations.
Bobgan added, "It is so different when go and you see a performance from a community you don’t know well. And really hearing for the them changes on how you view people.”
A recent play, “I Call My Brothers,” focused on the Arab-American experience and they hope it will lead to more productions and better understanding.
Zuniga added, "Cleveland is a beautiful mix of different cultures, not only to represent them in theater, but to let other people know who we are. It’s really valuable.”
Labio de Liebre (The Lip of the Hare) is on stage now through the April 15..
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