Don't Wander Off Dev Blog #2

[ALERT: This blog contains minor spoilers and peeks behind the curtain for our upcoming show, Don't Wander Off. Read on if you don’t mind knowing a bit about the show is written, structured and created.]

Our goal for Don't Wander Off is to create a show that uses interactive mechanics to tell a story with an audience. From that general premise, we’re drilling down into world building, game mechanics* and developing ways for the audience to contribute their own ideas to every show. In this post, we want to share the goals and principles that have been guiding our process and informing the decisions we’re making as we create the show; this is the Magna Carta for Don't Wander Off.

MEANINGFUL CHOICES

The mantra for Don't Wander Off is “the audience’s choices matter.” This is not always a given in choice-powered experiences, but having already created work where the audience is primarily responsible for the manufacturing of meaning, we wanted to branch out into audience authorship. On Don't Wander Off, the audience affects the narrative primarily thru the navigation of either a geographical world model or a matrix of story points and states (better known as CYOA, which stands for “Ci, Y dO we have to keep referencing those books? A). Some choices also alter tone and perception of the story world. The same event can take on different meanings based on these tonal lenses, so that the participants at any given show not only choose outcomes, but also genre.

    Additionally, there are chances to interact with the story in a more open-ended, responsive way. Specific questions about the history of an object or for the description of an particular phenomena, and then make alterations or adaptations based on that input. This is most similar to the Exploration segment of MegaGame: Sundered Sea, which was itself inspired by games powered by the apocalypse. This is going to require we be able to think on our feet and find ways of taking previously established lore and event points into the creations of the audiences. It also means that the show will be more tailored to each individual audience.

SPLIT THE PARTY

Whenever the Theater Ninjas Cadre has daydreamed about doing our version of a live action point-and-click adventure game/Interactive Fiction piece, inevitably we’d talk about the problem of how to do so in a way that gives the audience control as a group.

Our first solution, with Don't Wander Off, is to cheat by dividing the audience into two groups very early on. This is important thematically, but it also helps us to utilize two different forms of group choice-based storytelling systems:

  1. A smaller group that uses a more interrogative form of storytelling. This allows for a more open-ended form of storytelling where the players will be able to contribute significantly to the detail and plotting of the story.

  2. A larger, but still manageable group that will use voting and discussion to navigate a series of options. This is the more choice-based of the two groups, and while there will be some randomness and mathematics hiding in the background, it will be more about making choices that will result in events and scenes playing out.

DEATH HAS CONSEQUENCES

If part of the story concerns making life or death decisions in an extreme situation, the only way those choices will feel meaningful for the audience is if there are consequences. This idea is still developing, but the creation of a death mechanic has been a part of our thinking for awhile. We don’t want to penalize players for taking risks, especially when those risks can lead to a better story, but we want failure to be meaningful as well because that’s just more dramatic and interesting.

We eventually ended up combining the challenge of group choice mechanics and this ‘death has consequences’ idea. As it stands now, there’s a much larger cast of characters for the show, many of whom will putting their life on the line for the audience’s sake. The audience’s choices will guide them to success, failure, or noble sacrifices.

EMBRACE STORYTELLING

Okay, I’ll level with you. Even if we could afford to build a realistic spaceship with a million flashing led’s and holograms and lasers….well, we would totally do that. But one of the reasons we’re using Sci-Fi is to explore theater of the mind techniques. We have experience in using sound techniques and video projection to good effect, and while this show will include a fair amount of techno-wizardy happening off-stage, Don't Wander Off ultimately shares in the currency of campfires and amphitheaters, in the simplest and oldest forms of virtual reality yet invented: the worlds that unspool in our minds when we immerse ourselves in imaginary places, people and ideas. Expect crazy lights and projections, but also expect quiet moments where the story exists primarily in your head.

 

A space of our own

Theater Ninjas enter their second decade by moving into Detroit Shoreway

Theater Ninjas, the “Food Truck of Cleveland theater,” is putting down roots in the Detroit Shoreway Gordon Square Arts District. A storefront in the historic Courtland Building at West 54th and Detroit Avenue will become the new base of operations for the 11 year old nomadic group, providing space for rehearsals, workshops, front office, and smaller performances. The move marks a big change for the peripatetic Ninjas who have made a name for themselves by creating ‘accessible avant-garde’ theater in a wide variety of venues across the city.

“Having a headquarters is a complete sea change for Theater Ninjas and for the artists with whom we collaborate.,” says Artistic Director Jeremy Paul. “We’ve spent the last ten years as nomads, basically operating the company out of a messenger bag. A home base will make creation of new work much easier. We will continue to seek out interesting sites for larger productions, but now we will have an identifiable location for many of our activities. ”

Since 2006, Theater Ninjas has created immersive encounters that transform the way its audiences experience the world. Combining diverse genres, disciplines, and media, the Company explores new forms of performance and collaboration. The majority of Theater Ninjas work is original, devised and site-specific that require significant research, planning and incremental development. The new headquarters will become a hub for Theater Ninjas activities including rehearsals, performances, classes in movement and devised theater creation, audio and video recording, and Company administration including box office.

The Company has a long history of performing in the Gordon Square Arts District, at 78th Street Studios, Guide2Kulchur and the Near West Side Lofts storefront (now Old City Soda and FOUNT). and through co-productions at Cleveland Public Theatre. Last Fall they produced The Last Day, an explorable immersive storytelling experience that borrowed from video and ‘escape the room’ games, in the Gordon Square Arcade.

Theater Ninjas is led by Jeremy Paul and an interdisciplinary team of creative producers called the Cadre, comprised of Lauren Joy Fraley, Eric M. C. Gonzalez, and Christopher Hisey. The Company began the search for a more permanent base of operations last summer.

“Gordon Square is a natural fit for the kind of work we do, which blurs the line between theater and other art forms. We’re excited to join Cleveland Public Theatre, Near West Theatre, Talespinner Children’s Theatre, and Blank Canvas in contributing to the remarkable revival along Detroit Ave.”

After partnering with Detroit Shore Community Development Organization to find venues for past shows Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys and The Last Day, the Company identified a suitable storefront at 5403 Detroit in the Courtland Building, and will join existing tenants City Breaks Studio, The Black Market, and Zekes Barbershop.

“We are thrilled to welcome storefront theater to Gordon Square,” said Adam Rosen, Economic Development Director at DSCDO. “With all the development happening at the eastern edge of Gordon Square, Theater Ninja’s innovative brand of performing arts only adds to the excitement and liveliness of Detroit Avenue.”

Theater Ninjas inaugurates the space March 18-19 with a two-night show called Positive Reinforcements, a showcase of short-form performance that features new and developing material from local artists. In July, the company will unveil Don't Wander Off, an interactive storytelling encounter that uses audience decisions, high tech wizardry, science fiction icons, and game mechanics to tell dynamic stories about a deep space expedition in a distant galaxy.

Operations in the new location are being funded in part by a grant from the George Gund Foundation and contributions from Theater Ninjas Board members and supporters.

“Having a headquarters is a complete sea change for Theater Ninjas and for the artists with whom we collaborate.,” says Artistic Director Jeremy Paul. “We’ve spent the last ten years as nomads, basically operating the company out of a messenger bag. A home base will make creation of new work much easier. We will continue to seek out interesting sites for larger productions, but now we will have an identifiable location for many of our activities. ”

Since 2006, Theater Ninjas has created immersive encounters that transform the way its audiences experience the world. Combining diverse genres, disciplines, and media, the Company explores new forms of performance and collaboration. The majority of Theater Ninjas work is original, devised and site-specific that require significant research, planning and incremental development. The new headquarters will become a hub for Theater Ninjas activities including rehearsals, performances, classes in movement and devised theater creation, audio and video recording, and Company administration including box office.

The Company has a long history of performing in the Gordon Square Arts District, at 78th Street Studios, Guide2Kulchur and the Near West Side Lofts storefront (now Old City Soda and FOUNT). and through co-productions at Cleveland Public Theatre.  Last Fall they produced The Last Day, an explorable immersive storytelling experience that borrowed from video and ‘escape the room’ games, in the Gordon Square Arcade.

Theater Ninjas is led by Jeremy Paul and an interdisciplinary team of creative producers called the Cadre, comprised of Lauren Joy Fraley, Eric M. C. Gonzalez, and Christopher Hisey. The Company began the search for a more permanent base of operations last summer.  Paul said,  “Gordon Square is a natural fit for the kind of work we do, which blurs the line between theater and other art forms. We’re excited to join Cleveland Public Theatre, Near West Theatre, Talespinner Children’s Theatre, and Blank Canvas in contributing to the remarkable revival along Detroit Ave.”

After partnering with Detroit Shore Community Development Organization to find venues for past shows Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys and The Last Day, the Company identified a suitable storefront at 5403 Detroit in the Courtland Building, and will join existing tenants City Breaks Studio, The Black Market, and Zekes Barbershop.

“We are thrilled to welcome storefront theater to Gordon Square,” said Adam Rosen, Economic Development Director at DSCDO. “With all the development happening at the eastern edge of Gordon Square, Theater Ninja’s innovative brand of performing arts only adds to the excitement and liveliness of Detroit Avenue.”

Theater Ninjas inaugurates the new headquarters on March 18 with an informal open house to showcase renovation plans and solicit feedback on the design. In July, the company will unveil Don't Wander Off, an interactive storytelling encounter that uses audience decisions, high tech wizardry, science fiction icons, and game mechanics to tell dynamic stories about a deep space expedition in a distant galaxy.

Operations in the new location are being funded in part by a grant from the George Gund Foundation and contributions from Theater Ninjas Board members and supporters.

 

What is happening with Theater Ninjas?

It's been awhile

Last year was really busy for Theater Ninjas. We created the Cadre, our in-house team of creative producing powerhouses, produced a ton of new work, and made big, important forays into immersive game-like theatrical encounters (we're working on a better name for those kind of things). 

Then, we went quiet for a bit. If you like making jokes about Ninjas, this is your time to shine.

We haven't been idle though. Over the last few months, we've been deep in rehearsal for our next show, Don't Wander Off, an interactive, explorable sci-fi story that is, no joking, the most ambitious storytelling project we've ever undertaking. It's a complex tale of deep space survival, critical choices, and multiple storylines...a little like making 6 different plays all at once. It goes up in July.

In addition to that, we've also been working on a few other things that we really want to tell you about. Oh man, I would love to tell you about them! For example, after much soul-searching, we [INFORMATION REDACTED] which has led us to begin the colossal, but vital task of [NOT TALKING ABOUT IT]. Simultaneously, changes in Cleveland theater have led us to believe we need an [AWESOME SECRET THING] which will fundamentally change [SOMETHING FUNDAMENTAL AND YET CHANGEABLE ABOUT US].

All will be revealed in good time!

In the meanwhile, here are a bunch of things we are able to talk about, so here we go:

Season Auditions - March 3-5, 2017 - We're holding auditions for our upcoming season! Are you a performer interesting in working on something new and different? We want to work with you. Sign up here.

Positive Reinforcements - March 18-19, 2017 - Positive Reinforcements is back featuring new scenes, scores, songs and sketches. See new short-form performances by amazing local artists. Location is currently TOP SECRET (see above).

Sincerity Forever - March 25 - Theater Ninjas is proud to be a part of the Mac Welllman Homecoming Festival this year. We're producing a reading of Wellman's Obie-award winning play about aliens, the KKK, and Jesus. Info about the festival can be found here.

Don't Wander Off Dev Blog #1

DWO-title.jpg

The next Theater Ninjas project is called Don't Wander Off and it’s a “playable sci-fi story”. It’s also an “Interactive Fiction Performance”. It’s also “game-like” or like a Choose Your Own Adventure book.*

So what is this show? And more importantly, is it truly a unique experience unlike any other you’ve ever had in live performance?

To the second question, the answer is easy. Yes. You won’t see a show like this anywhere else.

To the first, it might be best to describe what has inspired us up to this point. Those of you who have followed our work over the past 10 years know that we often make audience agency a part of our theater. What we usually mean by audience agency is that members of the audience have some meaningful control over their experience.**

Our best-known show that hinged on this concept was “The Excavation”, a museum-like show where the audience could move between different performed ‘exhibits’ about Pompeii. The audience didn’t really affect the show, but each person had their own, personalized experience based on a set of simple choices: go listen to the discredited archeologist or pretend to be a butterfly with the site-specific artist. It was impossible to choose everything, so each audience member constructed their own version of the show by deciding what to see (and what not to see), not unlike carving a statue from marble, or chipping away stone to excavate one of Pompeii’s lost citizens.

There are small number of theaters experimenting with this kind of theater. It’s usually paired with ‘immersive theater’, a kind of 360º performance where audiences typically explore different rooms filled with roving, interacting actors and is usually either entrancingly magical or uncomfortably embarrassing. It’s still theater, after all.

As we explore the role of choice, agency and customization in theater, we most often find ourselves looking not to other forms of theater, but rather to different kinds of games. While our goals are often very different, there’s a lot of kinship between the work Theater Ninjas does and elements of role playing, story-creation games and video games that revolve around branch narrative mechanics. Our last show, The Last Day, felt more like an adventure game in the Myst sense.

What we're building for Don't Wander Off.

Bottleneck-branching diagram via Sam Kabo Ashwell

Bottleneck-branching diagram via Sam Kabo Ashwell

For this show, we want to actively collaborate with the audience to tell a sci-fi story about survival. The story revolves around a deep space exploration team that immediately has to deal with crash landings, broken spaceships, bizarre scientific phenomena, and the real possibility that they may not make it home again. We’re calling this a ‘playable’ show because it’s more like a game than a traditional play. Through a mixture of mechanics (which we’re still developing so I can’t tell you what they are) the audience will direct, guide and invent aspects of the final story. What will that feel like? Well, sorta like Interactive Fiction, kinda like immersive theater, a lot like choice-based storytelling and the one thing we can promise is that it will be something totally new.

Who is this for? Gamers? Theater Fans? NASA Engineers?

At the risk of sounding like a marketing slogan, we think it’s for you. One of our goals for this event is that it can scratch multiple itches for different kinds of audience members. If you want to take charge and try to help guide the fate of the people stranded on an alien planet, you can do that. If you want to hang back and watch how the story unfolds in a more passive way, you can do that too. Our goal with the show is strike a good balance between directing the action and watching it play out.

Typically on a show, we want to preserve the mystery of what happens. But on this show, because it’s so new, even for us, we decided to start this regular development blog. We’re learning as we build, and we’ll be recording our discoveries, our insights, our mistakes, and our inspirations as we go along.

This is going to be something radically new. It’s exactly the kind of thing Theater Ninjas needs to be making.

Don't Wander Off is being created by Jeremy Paul, Christopher Hisey, Lauren Joy Fraley, Eric M. C. Gonzalez & Ryan Lucas. It runs from February 9 - March 5, 2016.

 

* This has become a catch-all term for choice-based narratives which problematic because A) it's limiting and B) it's copyrighted. We're gonna try to avoid using it from here on out.

** The word 'meaningful' is important here, because you have some level of control when you go to the movies: where to sit, what snacks to get, see the 3D version or not. But your choices do not affect what the characters in the movie do, it doesn't change the perspective the movie takes and it doesn't change how other people experience the movie. And that's fine, but we're messing around with something else here.

discover The Last Day

Theater and escape room games collide in The Last Day

What happened on The Last Day? That’s the question players will answer in the latest interactive story from Theater Ninjas, Cleveland’s purveyors of out-of-the-ordinary experiences. This time around, the “theatrical food truck” is taking up residence in the Gordon Square Arcade, creating a unique immersive storytelling experience. Audiences will solve puzzles, manipulate arcane machines, and investigate the life of a mysterious woman’s magical past.

The Last Day is a giant, explorable puzzle box full of tantalizing clues and whispered secrets. Like walking inside a three-dimensional novel, this interactive experience creates a rich universe inside a series of rooms filled with lost letters, sketches of fantastic beasts and lands, postcards from unseen spirits, missing memories, and exotic artifacts. Borrowing from video games—like Myst and Gone Home—and ‘escape the room’ games, The Last Day is an intimate encounter with the unknown.

In Suite 2 of the historic Gordon Square Arcade, teams of 2 to 8 players will have an hour to collectively explore a fantastic world of impossible places as they unravel riddles, brew potions, and follow a trail of poetic breadcrumbs to discover the story of The Last Day. Unlike a traditional play, there are no actors; players move at their own pace and can influence the character’s fate.

“With The Last Day, we want everything in the room to tell a story. There’s no real way to ‘lose’ this game, just different paths and chapters to find. Even “red herrings” can be revelatory in this strange environment,” said Artistic Director Jeremy Paul.

This is the latest phase of Theater Ninjas’ exploration of game-like theatrical experiences starting with last years Adventure workshop at Tabletop Cafe, Turing Machine Puzzles or the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure structure of Code: Preludes.

Broken Codes

Theater Ninjas decipher the beauty and brutality of digital life in “Broken Codes”

Slate of new works reveals secret histories and perilous paths created by technology

Theater Ninjas continue their tenth year of out-of-the- ordinary experiences with Broken Codes, an immersive performance of new works melding dance, theater, music, video art, and game design with stories of digital life. This collection of multi-media short-form work by Cleveland artists highlights the conflicted relationship between technology and modern life, exploring the themes of women in tech, artificial intelligence, and the evolutionary effects of the internet.

Running from May 5 to 21 at the Rising Star Roastery, Broken Codes features a mixture of art forms using a grab-bag of styles and stories, each one providing a different perspective into the modern landscape of smart phones, social media, and the ways technology is changing who we are and how we connect.

Audiences will scroll through a collage of experiences: you might watch watch Pandora Robertson’s “Codebreakers”, a short play about three rookie female analysts thrown into the deep end of WWII cryptology at Britain’s Bletchley Park, then listen to composer Eric M. C. Gonzalez’s 360o chronology of electronic sound featuring violin, tape music, electronic synthesis, digital sampling, and interactive computer music before choosing to play “Broken Nodes”, Christopher Hisey and Ryan Lucas’ game of creating and refining your own artificial intelligence.

“Modern life is already a collage of digital and IRL communication; photos, video, text, and games are integrated into our lives, and becoming more important every day,” says Artistic Director and conceiver of Broken Codes, Jeremy Paul. “All the artists in Broken Codes are using their own language to tell a part of the story, but it’s up to each audience member to decide how they fit together.”

Broken Codes continues Theater Ninjas interest in bringing modern digital stories to the stage that began with Code: Preludes and The Turing Machine. With Broken Codes, the Ninjas are broadening the scope of their technology-focussed shows by showcasing an impressive roster of local Cleveland creators including Marcia Custer, Lauren Joy Fraley, Eric M. C. Gonzalez, Christopher Hisey, Val Kozlenko, Ryan Lucas, Jeremy Paul, and Pandora Robertson.

In keeping with their role as ‘food truck of Cleveland theater’, Theater Ninjas will be producing this explorable show at the Rising Star Coffee Roastery in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood. Rising Star Coffee Roasters is a small, local coffee roaster out of Cleveland, Ohio. They are committed to sourcing the best specialty coffee from small farmers around the world. Rising Star's business model is in place to bypass fair trade organizations and go directly to the source – the farmers.

“We’re thrilled to be performing at the beautiful Rising Star Roastery” says Paul. “Unique locations are a big part of the shows we create, and performing Broken Codes at the Roastery gives us a chance to do this show in a really unique way, supported by a great company.”

Broken Codes is sponsored in part by the Cleveland Foundation, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the Cyrus Eaton Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council and Rising Star Coffee Roasters. Codebreakers is a co-production with Ohio City Theatre Project. 

Who We Used To Be

Who We Used To Be

You only have ONE WEEKEND to see our next original production: Who We Used to Be. This show continues to delve into myth as metaphor for how we construct the cities we dwell in, and what makes them home.

THE STORIES

"I fight because it keeps me alive"

The Story of Mara was created last year in Celestial Mysteries and was about a fierce young woman who defended her homeland from an army of demons, eventually getting subsumed into the architecture of a city that was built around their conflict. This year, we're bringing the story a bit closer to home, taking a new tack with the fight choreography and replacing the pack of demons with something quite different. We're borrowing a bit, at least in terms of mood, from a passage in Marble Cities, our 2012 devised work about imagination and power that inspired both this production, and Celestial Mystery.

"No one can go below without sacrifice"

Anna's Descent, a story about an estranged sister who returns home to Cleveland and discovers new faces and old ghosts, is a mix of several strands we've been working on: the story of the Seer from 2012's Marble Cities and the Inanna/Ishtar & Ereshkigal story from Celestial Mystery. We're paralleling the mythic journey of Inanna's descent into the underworld with contemporary character Anna's journey to see her family after many years apart. Inanna faced demons and Anna faces demons of her own as her memories and the present day collide, forcing her to confront all the messy emotional baggage she's brought with her. This piece also uses some of the original music composed by local band Filmstrip for Marble Cities.

"Something Happened..."

In The Fox, our Kitsune-inspired fairytale about a man and an otherworldly creature whose worlds collide, we're playing around with magic, horror, privilege, and the way cities function as different places for different people. We first put this one on its legs last year, and one of the big changes this year is we cut the vampires. I didn't want to cut the vampires, I really liked the vampires, but ultimately the story didn't want to be about vampires and we had to listen to it. This still has plenty of creepy, unsettling images though, and raises the volume on the humor in places as well.

Who We Used To Be

February 24 - 28
an original Theater Ninjas performance
directed by Jeremy Paul
Starring Courtney Auman, Minor Cline, Christina Dennis, Lauren Joy Fraley, Val Kozlenko, Jeremy Paul, and Bryan Ritchey

MegaGame: Sundered Sea

Sundered Sea is a medieval fantasy MegaGame about politics and survival. To claim victory against the mad god of the sea, players will need to forge alliances, explore new lands, wage war with hordes of monstrous enemies and even channel the power of the gods themselves. This epic, all-day event of gaming, roleplaying and world-building is co-produced by the Cleveland MegaGame Council and Theater Ninjas.

MegaGames represent a fascinating cross section in Theater Ninjas' interests: storytelling, games, audience agency, community building, and the immediacy of improvising solutions to problems. These elements are integral to the MegaGame experience, and that's why the Ninjas are excited to be part of this project - the only one of its kind in Cleveland!

Sounds great ... So what is a "MegaGame?"

A Megagame is a multi-player game in which many participants are organised into teams, with each player having a specific role on that team with unique ways to alter the game world. You might be the president in charge of a nation, a dogged reporter with special interview permissions, or a divine being with map-altering powers. Players rely on a combination of interpersonal interaction, strategic planning, teamwork, and board-game savvy to aid their team in achieving victory. MegaGames are both cooperative and competitive, and provide opportunities for players of all skill levels and interests.

Make sense? No? Then watch this fun video we made!

The Vital Stats

January 23

9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Cleveland Masonic Auditorium

3615 Euclid Ave Cleveland, Oh 44115

Admission Information

Basic Ticket: $25

Premium Ticket: $30

 

Ideal for fans of:

Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Risk, Small World, Settlers of Catan, Lord of the Rings, Warcraft, Skyrim, Dune, and H.P. Lovecraft

 

Press is "mesmerized" by Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys

 

Reviews for our regional premiere of Caroline V. McGraw's Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys have been astounding! Below are some of the highlights, but you'll want to head over to Cleveland.com and read their review for yourself.

"Theater Ninjas' mesmerizing production of Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys by Cleveland native Caroline V. McGraw marks the first professional debut of her work in her hometown. The marriage of playwright and company is a match made in surreal heaven."                                                                                                                            -Andrea Simakis, Plain Dealer

"In the daunting role of Brandy, Rachel Lee Kolis demonstrates a raw physicality that gives her performance a mesmerizing quality"                                                                                                                                                                                             -Christine Howey, Cleveland Scene

Preview night was sold out, and Friday's show was close to it as well. Make certain to get your tickets for this darkly comic, surreal journey before it's too late.

Click HERE to buy tickets online at Tixato.

Auditions with Ohio City Theatre Project

Ohio City Theatre Project shows: Incendiaries and CodeBreakers &
Theater Ninjas’ Spring shows: Who We Used To Be and Broken Codes

Auditions by appointment in 75-minute slots
Monday October 12th Start time: 6:30 pm or 8:00pm, 
Monday October 19th Start time: 6:00 pm
Please be prepared to stay for the entire 75 minutes

Audition Location and Directions: 
The Idea Center at PlayhouseSquare. Rear entrance - 1375 Dodge Court, Cleveland OH 44114.
(Dodge Court (an alley) between E. 13th Street and E. 15th Street
Just south of Chester Avenue and the PlayhouseSquare Parking Garage)
Please allow time to find parking and to pay parking meters or paid lots.

Requirements:
Bring 2 copies of your resume and headshot
Any known schedule conflicts for November thru May 2016
Dress comfortably and be prepared to move.
You may be asked to cold read from both Incendaries
Bring a prepared monologue (optional)

There are no AEA contracts for either project.  There is a paid stipend for both projects.  

Incendiaries
Conceived and Directed by Pandora Robertson
Casting a racially diverse athletic ensemble for Incendiaries conceived and directed by Pandora Robertson, Incendiaries is Ferguson in Cleveland 1966. Based on the Hough race riots, it's a fast-paced muscular work, which critic Christine Howey singled out as "fiercely inventive". 
Performances for Incendiaries: 
Cleveland Public Theatre Coproduction
January 7 -23
REHEARSALS for Incendiaries: First rehearsal Monday, November 16. Rehearsals are evenings and weekends. The schedule will observe Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Conceived and Directed by Pandora Robertson

Code Breakers
Conceived and Directed by Pandora Robertson
Casting 3 adventurous athletic female actors for new ensemble devised work.  Code Breakers will be a head versus heart drama that drops women mathematicians in a Mad Men world.

Performances and for Code Breakers May 215.
Rehearsals late March and April. 

Who We Used To Be
Directed and Devised by Jeremy Paul
Theater Ninjas is looking for several ensemble members for Who We Used To Be, an iterative devised show based on the fables and myths created in our original Prelude The Grand Celebration of the Celestial Mystery. All races, ethnicities and gender identities considered. Performers should have strong movement skills, a sense of humor and be comfortable with playing games with strangers.

Performances for Who We Used To Be will be February 24-28, 2016.
Rehearsals begin January 25, 2016

Broken Codes
Theater Ninjas is looking for performers, movers and esoteric creators to work on the devised production Broken Codes, an interdisciplinary performance about technology, humanity and equality. Broken Codes will be created by multiple artist-creators, and artists may be cast in several pieces. All races, ethnicities, and gender identities considered.

Performances for Broken Codes will be May 5 - 22, 2016.
Rehearsals begin February/March 2016

Please contact Ryan Lucas to secure an audition slot or for any additional questions: RLucas@theaterninjas.com

Ninja Jeremy Paul in White Rabbit Red Rabbit at CPT

What's this!? Theater Ninjas Artistic Director Jeremy Paul is ACTING?! That's right, you can see Jeremy in the intriguing and experimental White Rabbit Red Rabbit on Thursday, October 8th at Cleveland Public Theatre. This fascinating This adventure of ideas by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour offers a unique collaborative experience between playwright, actor and audience. We think it will be right up your alley.

In rehearsal: Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys

We're started rehearsals of our next production: Cleveland native Caroline V. McGraw's Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys. We've talked through this dark and delightful script, been sized for costumes, and drawn the stage in chalk at our rehearsal space. We're ecstatic about bringing this Regional Premiere to you starting October 29th.

For tickets, visit our Tixato page at theaterninjas.tixato.com/buy

Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys
October 29 - November 14
written by Caroline V. McGraw
directed by Jeremy Paul
Original Composition by Eric M. C. Gonzalez
lighting design by Benjamin Gantose
costume design by Inda Blatch-Geib
stage manager Kaitlin Kelly
Starring Rachel Lee Kolis, Lauren Joy Fraley, Valerie Kilmer, Val Kozlenko, Ryan Lucas, Bryon Tobin