News & Events

2016-2017 Theater Season

"There is no better example of the glorious mash-up of a Beck Center for the Arts season than the offerings of 2016-2017" - The Plain Dealer Click here to read the article!

Beck Center's 2016-2017 Season will ‘Bring It On’ with three regional premieres, new works from young playwrights, an off-Broadway hit,  classic titles, and our sixth collaboration with Baldwin Wallace University Music Theatre program.

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Ruthless at Beck Center for the ArtsRUTHLESS!

Book and Lyrics by Joel Paley
Music by Marvin Laird
Directed by William Roudebush; Musical Direction by Larry Goodpaster; Choreography by Martín Céspedes
Featuring Matthew Wright as Sylvia St. Croix
Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
September 16 – October 16, 2016 | Mackey Theater
Show contains adult content/launguage

Ruthless! is a campy cult favorite about Tina Denmark, the greatest song-and-dance sensation to ever hit the third grade. When her school holds auditions for Pippi in Tahiti, Tina proves she will do anything to play the lead…anything! This outrageous musical famously spoofs Broadway musicals such as Gypsy and Mame, as well as classic films including The Bad Seed and All About Eve. An Off-Broadway sensation, Ruthless! is the winner of Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards.

“The fun comes from the sheer brazenness" - The New York Times

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Written by Annie Baker
Directed by David Vegh
Presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
October 7 – November 6, 2016 | Studio Theater
Show contains adult content/launguage

It's "Body Awareness" week on campus and Phyllis, the organizer, and her partner, Joyce, are hosting a guest artist in their home. Their family is quickly divided as Frank, a photographer famous for his female nude portraits, settles in. Phyllis is disgusted by his work, but Joyce is rather intrigued by the whole thing. Meanwhile, Joyce’s grown son Jared continues to deny his symptoms related to Asperger’s Syndrome. Tensions rise as Jared turns to Frank for advice in this smart and generous comedy by Obie and Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Baker.

"An engaging new comedy by a young playwright with a probing, understated voice” - The New York Times

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The Little Mermaid LogoDisney’s

Music by Academy Award winner Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Book by Glenn Slater & Doug Wright
Based on Hans Christian Andersen story and
Disney film produced by Howard Ashman & John Musker
Written & Directed by John Musker & Ron Clements
Directed by Scott Spence; Musical Direction by Larry Goodpaster; Choreography by Martín Céspedes
Featuring Kathleen Rooney as Ariel
Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI)
December 2 – December 31, 2016 | Mackey Theater

Based on the classic fairy tale and film, The Little Mermaid begins under the sea where Princess Ariel is fascinated by the forbidden land above. After saving Eric from stormy waters, she begins to discover her love for the human prince. In an effort to be with him, Ariel makes a deal with a sea witch and trades her voice for temporary life on land. Only when Ariel achieves true love will her voice return and her transformation be completed. This dangerous sacrifice ultimately leads to an epic battle of good and evil that only love can remedy. The Little Mermaid was nominated for the 2008 Tony Award for Best Original Score and the Grammy for Best Musical Show Album.

“A musical that does justice to the lovely film from which it sprang” – Entertainment Weekly

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Bring it on the Musical logoREGIONAL PREMIERE

Libretto by Jeff Whitty
Music by Tom Kitt & Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Amanda Green
Directed by Victoria Bussert; Choreographed by Gregory Daniels; Musical Direction by David Pepin


In collaboration with Baldwin Wallace University Music Theatre Program
Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI)
February 10 – February 26, 2017 | Mackey Theater
Special Thursday evening performances February 16 and 23

Beck Center and Baldwin Wallace Music Theatre Program team up in 2017 with Bring It On The Musical, the 2013 Tony Award nominee for Best Musical. Bitingly relevant and sprinkled with sass, this movie-based-musical takes audiences on a high-flying journey filled with the complexities of friendship, jealousy, betrayal, and forgiveness. Campbell’s dream senior year becomes a nightmare when redistricting forces her to attend the less-than-spirited Jackson High School. After struggling to fit in, she joins forces with the headstrong Danielle to set the cheerleading world on fire. With a renewed spirit and a powerhouse squad they take on their school rivals at the National Championships to see who can Bring It On!

“Energetic and lively…Impressive staging and an engaging score combine to make Bring It On a refreshing surprise” – Variety

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A Great Wilderness Samuel D. Hunter Beck Center


Written by Samuel D. Hunter (2014 MacArthur Genius Grant recipient)
Directed by Scott Spence
Featuring Tom Fulton and Andrew May
Presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
March 3 – April 9, 2017 | Studio Theater

After decades as the gentle-natured leader of a Christian retreat that endeavors to "cure" gay teens, Walt is packing up his life and preparing for a reluctant retirement. But when his final client quietly disappears into the remote Idaho wilderness, Walt discovers his previously unwavering moral compass may no longer points the way. With profound humanity and subtlety, A Great Wilderness navigates complex moral terrain, exploring the shifting motives and inconstant strength of our personal convictions. Strong content.

GRATIFYING...a wonderfully textured performance” – The New York Times

WORTH THE TREK…affecting drama that strengthens its hold on you bit by unpredictable bit” – Boston Globe

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Written by Paul Downs Colaizzo
Directed by Donald Carrier
Presented through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
June 2 – July 2, 2017 | Studio Theater
Show contains adult content/launguage

From one of the country‘s most promising new voices comes this contemporary drama that pushes the limits and embraces the harsh reality of today‘s youth. Loosely inspired by the Duke Lacrosse team scandal, the party of the year results in the regret of a lifetime, and one person will stop at nothing to salvage a future that is suddenly slipping away. In this quick-witted and gripping comic tragedy the veneer of loyalty and friendship is peeled back to reveal a vicious jungle of sexual politics, raw ambition, and class warfare, where in “Generation Me” it’s every man for himself.

“An exceedingly well-made play. Unexpected and thrilling” – New York Observer
“Stunning. Really Really is really worth seeing and talking about” – Entertainment Weekly

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City of Angles LogoCITY OF ANGELS

Book by Larry Gelbart
Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by David Zippel
Directed by Scott Spence; Musical Direction by Larry Goodpaster
Choreography by Martín Céspedes
Presented through special arrangement with Tams-Whitmark Music Library, Inc.
July 7 – August 13, 2017 |  Mackey Theater

Winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, City of Angels is a clever tribute to 1940s film noir. With two plots running simultaneously, this ingenious musical skillfully weaves the real world and the “reel” world into one unforgettable adventure. When Stine embarks to faithfully adapt his novel into a screenplay, he discovers the difficulty of maintaining his artistic integrity against Hollywood movie moguls. As the line separating fantasy from reality is blurred, Stine must find a way to produce a happy ending!

“A spoof with a serious side…looks like a dream and plays like a hoot, letting a knockout cast loose on knockabout comedy” – Variety

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CAC 4c NEW 27may09  Ohio Arts Council

Programming at Beck Center for the Arts is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Arts Council. Beck Center gratefully acknowledges the generous funding provided by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.

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