News & Events

2017-2018 Theater Season

Beck Center's 2017-18 Season is filled with signature eclectic titles that include classics, a regional premiere, and the seventh collaboration with Baldwin Wallace University Musical Theater program.

“This is an especially exciting slate of plays and musicals as they collectively have such an amazing pedigree. Artists and audiences will be exhilarated and challenged all season long with these terrific pieces.” says Scott Spence, Artistic Director (now celebrating his 28th season with us).

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest | Beck Center for the ArtsONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST

Written by Dale Wasserman
Book by Ken Kesey
Directed by Bill Roudebush
Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
September 15 – October 8, 2017 | Mackey Theater
May not be appropriate for young audiences.

“Scarifying and powerful" - The New York Times

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, based on novel by Ken Kesey, tells the story of institutional madness where obedience and conformity are the only acceptable indications of good mental health. Randle Patrick McMurphy, a charming rogue, instantly questions the asylum's procedures. He begins to rally his fellow patients in increasingly greater acts of Independence. When these acts are not tolerated, McMurphy learns the authorities and Nurse Ratched have terrible ways of enabling conformity.

Open for Godot | Beck Center for the Arts


Written by Samuel Beckett
Directed by Eric Schmeidl
Presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
October 6 – November 5, 2017 | Studio Theater

"...a witty and poetic conundrum" - The Guardian 

"It is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. But you can expect witness to the strange power this drama has to convey the impression of some melancholy truths about the hopeless destiny of the human race." – The New York Times

Waiting for Godot is a tragic comedy in which Samuel Beckett explores the futility of man's hope. Two wandering vagrants wait in the middle of nowhere to meet up with Mr. Godot, hoping he'll change their lives for the better. As they wait, they speculate, joke, engage with fellow travelers, and ponder life's greatest questions. Waiting for Godot is a classic masterpiece that draws endless interpretations, and is considered one of the most significant plays of the twentieth century.

The Little Mermaid Logo


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 Natalie Blalock (Broadway's The Scarlet Pimpernel) as Ursula
Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI)
December 1 – December 31, 2017 | Mackey Theater

2016 Cleveland Critics Circle Awards Winner for Best Musical Direction (Larry Goodpaster), Best Projection Design (Adam Zeek), Rising Star Award (J.R. Heckman), and Superior Achievement Mentions for Best Musical, Best Choreographer, and Best Lighting Design.

Join us under the sea...again! Beck Center's award-winning production returns for another holiday season filled with family, magic, and more. Perfect for all ages, this timeless fairy tale begins with Ariel, a mermaid princess, as she dreams of the forbidden land above. Watch as she saves a human prince, falls in love, loses her voice to a sea witch, and ultimately fights to gain it back. Don't miss this wonderful production filled with dazzling video projections, innovative staging, beautiful costumes, and talented performers this holiday season!

Hair | Beck Center for the ArtsHAIR

Music by Galt MacDermot
Book and Lyrics by James Rado & Gerome Ragni
Directed by Victoria Bussert
In collaboration with Baldwin Wallace University Music Theatre Program
Presented through special arrangement with TM Music Library Inc.
February 9 – February 25, 2018 | Mackey Theater
Special Wednesday and Thursday evening performances February 15, 21, and 22
May not be appropriate for young audiences.

Hair has a history of defying expectations” or “It’s Fresh and Frank” – The New York Times

Beck Center and Baldwin Wallace University Music Theatre Program collaborate for the 50th anniversary of the ground-breaking musical that introduced rock and roll to Broadway. HAIR examines a group of 60s-era youth struggling to balance their lives, loves, and the sexual revolution with their rebellion against the Vietnam War and their conservative parents and society. This controversial and timely musical spawned several Top 40 hits including "Aquarius" and "Let the Sun Shine In."

My First Time | Beck Center for the Arts


Written by Ken Davenport
Directed by Scott Spence
Presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
March 30 – April 29, 2018 | Studio Theater
Contains adult content.

"Funny and touching to sweet, sexy and silly!" - The Village Voice

"One of New York's best new plays! Phenomenal!" -

My First Time features hysterical and heartbreaking stories about first sexual experiences written by real people. Before blogging technically began there was It allowed people to anonymously share their own true stories about their First Times. The website became an instant phenomenon and stories poured in from around the globe that were sweet, sad, absurd, funny, heterosexual, homosexual, shy, sexy, and everything in between. My First Time brings these true stories to life, and you may be able to share your first time – anonymously of course. Warning: Adult Content.

Bent | Beck Center for the ArtsBENT

Written by Martin Sherman
Directed by Matthew Wright
Presented through special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.
June 1– July 1, 2018 | Studio Theater
Contains adult content.

“Powerful and provocative." - The New York Times

" explosive, overpowering experience." - Women's Wear Daily

The influential play Bent follows a group of gay men finding ways to survive persecution before and after the Night of the Long Knives. Within the confines of a concentration camp a secret love affair illustrates how the selfless love of one person for another can overcome oppression, even under the most extreme circumstances. When Bent was written, there was little awareness about the persecution of homosexuals by the Nazis. The original production starred Ian McKellen, and the play has gone on to increase education and historical research. Nominated for a 1979 Tony Award for Best Play.

Gypsy | Beck Center for the ArtsGYPSY

Purchase Tickets

Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Scott Spence
Musical Direction by Larry Goodpaster
Choreographed by Martín Céspedes
Presented through special arrangement with Trams-Witmark Music Library, Inc.
July 6 – August 12, 2018 | Mackey Theater
May not be appropriate for young audiences.

“Broadway’s own brassy, unlikely answer to King Lear.” – Variety

Winner of multiple Tony, Grammy, and Drama Desk Awards for both the original production and its revivals, Gypsy is considered by many to be one of Broadway's all-time triumphs. The musical follows an overbearing stage mother, Mama Rose, and her two daughters across the country during the 1920's when vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born. Based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the score features songs that have become standards, and helped launch the career of Stephen Sondheim.

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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