Now in its fourth year, FusionFest is a multidisciplinary arts festival that welcomes artists from various backgrounds who are represented in puppetry, solo shows, music, dance and full productions. The festival, running April 29-May 10, unites the Play House with such cultural institutions as the Cleveland Museum of Art, Verb Ballets, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA), Karamu House, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Mandel Jewish Community Center.
Originally developed as part of FusionFest '08, Lee Blessing's stage adaptation of Heaven's My Destination serves as the anchor for the 2009 arts festival. Presented April 24-May 17, Heaven's My Destination follows Brush, who is "a fervent religious convert determined to lead 'a good life.' A startlingly relevant tale of religion and tolerance with poignant and sometimes hilarious consequences, George's travels take him through smoking cars, bawdy houses, banks and campgrounds from Texas to Illinois—and into the soul of America."
The Play House will host a symposium "A Brush with Heaven: Thornton Wilder and America's Spiritual Voice During the Depression" on April 26 at 4:30 PM.
Arias with a Twist director and co-creator Basil Twist will offer his hour-long work Dogugaeshi April 30–May 3 at the Cleveland Museum of Art's Brooks Theatre. In Dogugaeshi, the innovative puppet theatre maker "unfolds an intimate, abstract, contemporary journey of images and emotions influenced by the rare tradition of Japanese stage machinery, dogugaeshi. This hour-long performance features original shamisen compositions created and performed live by master musician Yumiko Tanaka. The multidisciplinary production blends Twist's signature puppetry with superb video projection, lighting, and sound design."
Verb Ballets All Stars will present the world premiere of In the Groove and Over the Top by Dianne McIntyre and Seán Curran's Mozart Piano Trio in C Major May 1-2 at the Bolton Theatre. The Cleveland Play House will present staged readings of Eric Coble's A Girl's Guide to Coffee (May 3 at 4 PM) and Faye Sholiton U.S. v. Howard Mechanic (May 9 at 4 PM), both under the direction of Seth Gordon. A reading of Max Sparber's Minstrel Show, or The Lynching of William Brown will also be presented (May 2 at 4 PM).
Charles Ross' One-Man Star Wars Trilogy will play the Baxter Stage May 6-10, and the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art will present Pechu Kucha on May 8.
FusionFest will also include the Mandel Jewish Community Center's Dorothy Silver Playwriting Award. The award will be presented April 30 at 7:30 PM in Studio One.
For tickets and more information, visit clevelandplayhouse.com or phone (216) 795-7000.