Play House artistic director Michael Bloom penned the play that will be directed by Peter Amster, who also staged Pride and Prejudice for Cleveland audiences in 2008. Emma will officially open March 3 and run through March 21 in the Drury Theatre.
San Francisco Bay-area actress Nealis will portray Emma, with Montgomery (Off-Broadway's Our Town) as Mr. Knightley. The cast will also feature Carolyn Faye Kramer (Harriet), Patrick Clear (Mr. Woodhouse), Dana Hart (Mr. Weston), Suzanne Lang (Miss Bates), AJ Cedeno (Mr. Martin), Michael Flood (Ensemble), Zac Hoogendyk (Mr. Churchill), Lindsay Iuen (Mrs. Elton), Sarah Nedwek (Jane Fairfax), Tom Picasso (Ensemble), Tom White (Mr. Elton) and Leigh Williams (Mrs. Weston).
"Beautiful, witty, and much too mischievous, Emma Woodhouse is one of Jane Austen's most unforgettable heroines," CPH press notes state. "Confident that she knows best, Emma schemes to find a suitable husband for her friend Harriet, only to discover that she understands the feelings of others as little as she does her own heart. As Emma puzzles and blunders her way through the mysteries of her social world, we meet a cast of unforgettable characters in a tale brilliantly reflecting Jane Austen's mastery of wit, irony and wisdom."
"The coming-of-age story of a spoiled, overly imaginative young woman will always have resonance, as witness the continuing movies and television series," Bloom said in a statement. "In adapting it for the stage, we’re focusing on the nexus of character and action, psychology and morality."
The design team includes Robert Mark Morgan (scenic design), Joe Cerqua (composer), Kristine Kearney (costume design), Jeff Davis (lighting design), Don Wadsworth (dialect coach) and Jim Swonger (sound design). Tickets are available by phoning (216) 795-7000 or by visiting ClevelandPlayhouse.
Founded in 1915, the Cleveland Play House has presented the world premieres of Randal Myler's It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues, Michele Lowe's The Smell of the Kill, Eric Coble's Bright Ideas and Seth Greenland's Jerusalem.