News & Events

2019-2020 Professional Theater Season

The 2019-2020 Professional Theater Season is filled with signature eclectic and diverse titles that include modern classics, regional premieres, and the ninth annual collaboration with Baldwin Wallace University Musical Theatre program.

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Written by David Mamet

Directed by William Roudebush

Featuring Austin Pendleton

Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French

September 13 – October 6, 2019; Mackey Theater


Featuring venerable character actor Austin Pendleton (My Cousin Vinny, The Muppet Movie, Finding Nemo),  Mamet’s 1984 Pulitzer Prize winner & 2005 Tony Award ® Winner for Revival Play stands strong today, where capitalism is a battle of toxic masculinity you suit up for every day, while imbibing a Red Bull with a side of comic bluster.


’Glengarry” was built for speed. Much of the beauty of this play comes from its revved-up rhythms”—The New York Times 


Written by Carson McCullers

Directed by Eric Schmiedl 

Presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

October 4 – November 3, 2019; Studio Theater

Based on Ms. McCullers’ novel and two movie adaptations, this is the story of a young awkward outcast, overly ambitious in all she does, finding her way as her family undergoes deep changes. A feminine and Southern story, akin to Catcher in the Rye. We can all relate to that feeling and need to belong-- as the member of something.

“There aren’t many opportunities to see McCullers’ work on the stage and they are never to be missed.”—The Berkshire Edge


Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire

Music by Jeanine Tesori

Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture and the book by William Steig
Originally produced on Broadway by DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Productions

Directed by Scott Spence; Musical Direction by Larry Goodpaster; Choreography by Martín Céspedes

Featuring Gilgamesh (G.A.) Taggett as Shrek

Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI)

December 6, 2019 – January 5, 2020; Mackey Theater

Additional Performances Dec 19, matinee and evenings on December 14 & December 28, 2019


Based on the smash-hit DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek The Musical is a Tony Award®-winning fairy tale adventure. "Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek...." And thus begins the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Throw in a short-tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you've got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there's one on hand... and his name is Shrek.


“Under Scott Spence’s fun-forward direction and with Martín Céspedes’ joyous choreography that is perfectly in sync with the show’s orchestrations, the uninhibited and gifted ensemble takes us on a thoroughly enjoyable adventure. In fact, every ensemble number is a celebration, complete with exceptional vocal talent, remarkable dancing, and contagious exuberance.” – Cleveland Jewish News


“This one is pure fun. Tesori’s music is so full of life and whimsy. And stoked long-time Beck Center actor Gilgamesh (G.A.) Taggett is returning as Shrek after being on the national tour of Annie for the past few years” – Scott Spence


Shrek The Musical is sweet, big, and extremely lovable.” Newsday


“Deliciously funny. Spectacular” – The Daily Telegraph


“Joyous. The most fun you’ll have. A monster hit!” – The Daily Mirror


Music and Lyrics by John Kander & Fred Ebb 

Book by David Thompson

Directed & Choreographed by Jon Martinez

Original Direction & Choreography by Susan Stroman

Presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI)

Special Wednesday and Thursday evening performances February 19 & 20, 2020

Locally Produced Premiere

February 7 – February 23, 2020; Mackey Theater

Additional performances Thursday February 13, Wednesday February 19 and Thursday February 20, 2020

Nominated for 12 Tony Awards ®, The Scottsboro Boys is the ninth annual Baldwin Wallace University Music Theater Program Collaboration. Based on the Scottsboro Boys’ trial. Set in the framework of a Vaudeville show, and a show within a show, with big musical numbers ranging from flashy and exuberant to mournful and delicate that will feed your soul. Like Cabaret, this musical creates a dynamic social critique.

Presented with the support of FGI Foundation, a supporting foundation of Jewish Federation of Cleveland, Francine M. Gordon, Trustee

“’Scottsboro’ contains what might be the most beautiful song they (Kander & Ebb) wrote — "Go Back Home," a mournful ballad of longing enough to bring to tears anyone who ever has been away and in trouble”—Chicago Tribune


Written by Steve Martin

Directed by Scott Spence

Presented through special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.

Regional Premiere

April 3 – May 3, 2020; Studio Theater

Written by Steve Martin, (yes, that Steve Martin.), this wild and crazy play pulls back the curtain on two married couples and the extreme transformation they can experience when the sky is the limit. You’ll have a burning desire to find out what happens next for these four lovers.

“I’ve had the best time directing and producing Martin’s previous exploits as playwright, including the amazing ‘Picasso at the Lapine Agile’. It’s the most pleasurable of adventures climbing inside his sharp yet demented mind.” –Scott Spence

“…a finger or two of any hard liquor of your choice, a jigger of Christopher Durang-ian satire, a tincture of marital farce, and a shot of Looney Tunes, shaken until extra-frothy, served over ice”—Vulture 


Written by Ayad Akhtar

Directed by TBA

Presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc

Regional Premiere

May 29– June 28, 2020; Studio Theater

This 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner illustrates why those brave enough to discuss politics and religion at a dinner party are served their just desserts.  The discussion erupts around the crumbling talk of identity politics and prejudices--like the ones that may be baked deep within all of us.

“An intellectually engaging play on a politically provocative topic”—Variety

“Although ‘Disgraced’ runs under 90 minutes, with no intermission, Mr. Akhtar packs an impressive amount of smart, heated talk, as well as a few surprising twists, including a shocking burst of violence—into the play’s taut duration.” – New York Times


Book by John O’Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick

Music and lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick

Director Scott Spence 

Musical Direction by Larry Goodpaster

Choreography by Martín Céspedes

Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI) 

Locally Produced Premiere

July 10 – August 9, 2020; Mackey Theater

Additional Performances Thursday July 30 & August 6, 2020


Set in 1595 the story of two brothers, who just happen to be the nemeses of a little known Mr. William Shakespeare, are desperate to write a hit play. A local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre will involve Singing, Dancing, AND Acting, all at the same time! Gasp! The brothers then decide to write a (wait for it) MUSICAL! The world’s very first musical! 


“ Sometimes “wacky” is exactly what you want in a musical. This one is tuneful and quite hilarious, and it will be just as much of a joy to work on as it will to bring it to NE Ohio audiences.” – Scott Spence


“Broadway’s big, fat hit!” says New York Post. 


Think “The Producers, Spamalot, and The Book of Mormon. Squared!”-- New York Times

CAC 4c NEW 27may09  Ohio Arts Council 


All performances are at theaters inside Beck Center for the Arts located at 17801 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood, just ten minutes west of downtown Cleveland. Free onsite parking is available. 
Beck Center for the Arts is proud to be a part of Northeast Ohio’s professional theater landscape, operating under a letter of agreement with Actors’ Equity Association. We are a Small Professional Theater (SPT) based on the number of seats, number of our performances, and the maximum weekly hours of work we provide to actors. We produce every show on our stages, by choosing the play, casting and rehearsing it, building the sets, props, and costumes, directing and performing the live music, and designing lights and sound. We proudly utilize regional resources and talent.
We thank Nordson Corporation for their generous support of our Chairman’s Circle event unveiling the new season on May 7, 2019 to Beck Center for the Arts donors. 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. Beck Center for the Arts is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that offers professional theater productions on two stages, arts education programming in dance, music, theater, visual arts, early childhood, and creative arts therapies for individuals with special needs, free gallery exhibits year-round, and outreach education programming.
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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