MXO ‘The Arts Unplugged’: Dominique Morisseau’s ‘Pipeline’ Addresses From School To Prison At Cleveland Play House!


Cleveland Play House, Posted October 18th 2019

In this groundbreaking lyrical drama, Nya—a dedicated inner-city school teacher—sends her own son, Omari, to private school. But when a teacher’s questions push a button, Omari pushes back. An altercation ensues, and Nya’s plans for Omari’s future begin to unravel. Pipeline is a compelling, must-see portrait of the systemic school-to-prison pipeline and the experience of being a parent to a young black man in America.

Pipeline’ run of show is now through November 3rd. More information is available here.

Use promo code PIPEBOGO and save 50% off tickets!

(Offer not valid with any other discount, promotion, on prior sales, or on $20 tickets.)

Ohio Direction Card holders pay only $5 for tickets to Cleveland Play House performances!

Call the box office at 216.241.6000 and use promo code ODC.

Tickets will be held at will call. Purchaser must present ODC at time of pick up, and not as a form of payment.


Comfort Dolo

(U/S Jasmine) was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and raised in friendly Fridley, Minnesota. She graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN with double majors in Honors Theatre and Communication Studies. Since graduating, she has been performing around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Favorite credits include: To Kill a Mockingbird (The Guthrie Theatre); TOUCH, a remake of the 1984 Emmy Award winning film project (Illusion Theatre); and various commercials ranging from the Minnesota State Lottery to hand modeling for KeyBank. Recent credits include: Ida Green in Into the Breeches! (Cleveland Play House), Sorel Bliss in Hay Fever andSorin in The Seagull (CWRU/CPH), Naomi in Sugar (Phoenix Theatre), Carlos Sirah’s The Utterances (The Playwright’s Center), and Shirley in Fifth of July (CWRU/CPH debut). She is a big fan of theatre for social justice, the German language, and gummy bears!

Bjorn DuPaty

(Xavier) is happy to be back at Cleveland Play House where he appeared in Fairfield (Cleveland Play House). Off-Broadway: MLIMA’S TALE (Public Theater) and Two Mile Hollow (Women’s Project Theater). National Tour: Julius Caesar and Comedy of Errors (The Acting Co.). Regional: Mud Row (People’s Light Theater), Do You Feel Anger (Humana Festival), A Raisin in the Sun (Crossroads Theater), Clybourne Park (Pittsburgh Public Theater). Film: Demolition. TV: Alpha House, Sleepy Hollow, The Blacklist, Person of Interest, Zero Hour, All My Children. MFA from Rutgers’ University, Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Suzette Azariah Gunn

(Nya) is a multicultural actress from New York. Her credits include but are not limited to: Theater – The Mountaintop, Heritage Theater UVA (One of the best performances in 2018) — C-Ville Virginia; Twelfth Night, Endgame; Baltimore Center Stage: Paradox of the Urban Cliché; Labyrinth Theater Company: Funnyhouse of a Negro; (Sarah, Named one of NY’s Top Actresses Off-Broadway—NY Sun); Classical Theater of Harlem: American Maul; Culture Project: Black Flag; 59 East 59th: Velvet Rope; (Best Supporting Actress); Planet Connections: Trouble In Mind; PlayMakers Repertory: High Priestess of Dark; North Carolina Black Repertory. TV Guest Star: Chicago PD, The Good Fight; Recurring: Law & Order, Criminal Intent, SVU, Believe. Film: 21 Bridges, The Outside Story Madeline’s Madeline (Sundance 2018), Sunset,The Depths, Five Nights in Maine, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Roadie, Honors: 2018 Los Angeles Film Award Best Ensemble, Golden Door International Film Festival Nominated Best Lead Actress, NBC Diversity Showcase, Education—BFA: Howard University, Oxford Certified.

Rachel Harker

(Laurie) was seen earlier this year in Native Gardens at Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Off-Broadway she was Lois Wilson in Bill W and Dr. Bob, a role she originated in Boston. Other plays she has appeared in include God of Carnage, A Streetcar Named Desire (Elliot Norton and IRNE awards for best actress), Tartuffe, Twelfth Night, Lend Me a Tenor, Legacy of Light, Private Lives, King Lear, and The Dresser. Regional theatres where she has worked include San Jose Repertory Theatre, American Stage Festival, New Repertory Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, and Northern Stage Company. TV work includes The Resident, Halt and Catch Fire, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Being Mary Jane. On film she can be seen in the upcoming The Last Full Measure, also The Game Plan, The Legend of Lucy Keyes and The Invention of Lying.

Kadeem Ali Harris

(Omari) is excited to make his Cleveland Play House debut! Kadeem was most recently seen as Chris in Sweat at the American Conservatory Theater. He has worked regionally at Berkeley Repertory Theater, Cal Shakes, and Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. He would like to thank his mother, brothers, and all his friends for their support. MFA ACT.

Colleen Longshaw

(U/S Nya) is a Cleveland, Ohio native who holds an MFA in Acting from Kent State University. She was last seen on the Cleveland Play House stage as Grace in The Piano Lesson. Other credits include: Kiss me, Kate (National Tour); The Groove Factory (New York Music Theatre Festival); The Full Monty (Northshore Music Theatre); Hairspray (Northshore Music Theatre, Porthouse Theatre); Fences (Karamu House); Caroline, or Change (Tantrum Theatre, Karamu House, Dobama Theatre, Mercury Theatre); Sister Act (Porthouse Theatre, Karamu House); Starmites (Porthouse Theatre); Made in America (Dobama Theatre); A Christmas Carol (Great Lakes Theater); The Color Purple (Karamu House); South Pacific (Porthouse Theatre); Dreamgirls (Cain Park); Once On This Island (Porthouse Theatre); Big River (Porthouse Theatre); Avenue X (Cain Park); Godspell (Cain Park, Porthouse Theatre); Aida, (The Beck Center); The Buddy Holly Story (Carousel Dinner Theater); Twelfth Night (Ohio Shakespeare Festival). 1 John 4:7.

Jade Radford

(Jasmine) Cleveland Play House debut! Regional Theater includes Cadillac Crew (Yale Rep), Scapino (Gulfshore Playhouse), Love’s Labour’s Lost (The Acting Company), The Mecca Tales (Sheen Center). Film/TV: Orange is the New Black (Netflix), Elementary (CBS), Hightown (STARZ), Queen of the Desert (Short Film). Education: BFA SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Theater Arts

Eric Robinson

(Dun) is a recent graduate of The Pennsylvania State University where his credits include Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine and Clybourne Park. Upon graduation, he obtained his first regional theatre credit in Dominique Morisseau’s world premiere of Mud Row at People’s Light Theatre in Malvern, PA. Eric is excited be making his CPH debut with this incredible play.

Abdul Seidu

(U/S Omari) is excited to be understudying in such a powerful and thought provoking play. Abdul graduated summa cum laude from Kent State with a BA in Theatre Arts. He has recently been seen in the CRSHD world premiere in the Tribeca Film Festival and the CWRU/CPH MFA productions of Hay Fever, The Seagull, and Fifth of July.

Shilla Benning

(Costume Designer) Mud Row (People’s Light Theatre Malvern, PA); Pipeline, Skeleton Crew (Actors’ Theatre Louisville, KY); Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, The Amen Corner (Alliance Theatre Atlanta, GA); Film: Limited Partners, What Men Want, Night School, A Meyer’s Christmas, Ride Along, Reluctant Fundamentalist, One Missed Call, Madea Goes To Jail, Zombieland, Footloose. Television: Survivors Remorse, Being Mary Jane, The House of Payne, The Originals, The Vampire Diaries, Drop Dead Diva, Dancing With The Stars. Theatre: Holler If Ya Hear Me, Smart People, Detroit ‘67, Blues For An Alabama Sky, Black Nativity (True Color’s Theatre, Atlanta GA). Bronze Lens Film Festival Women’s Superstar Behind the Lens Award Recipient 2013.

Michael Boll

(Lighting Designer) Cleveland Play House productions include: Into the Breeches!; Native Gardens; An Iliad; The Invisible Hand; These Mortal Hosts; The Good Peaches; A Christmas Story; The Little Foxes; Venus in Fur; Every Good Boy Deserves Favor; In the Next Room, or the vibrator play; and Stew and the Negro Problem. CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program credits include: Macbeth, Metamorphoses, Identity Theft, The Winter’s Tale, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, An Orchard, Cloud 9 and Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. Cleveland lighting design work includes Cleveland Public Theatre, Cain Park, Cleveland Museum of Art, Karamu House, Dobama Theatre and Beck Center for the Arts. Off-Broadway credits include The Moliere Cycle (Classic Stage Company), Songs for a New World (George Street Playhouse), Dog Sees God (SoHo Playhouse) and The Moonlight Room (Associate Lighting Designer, Beckett Theatre). His work has also been seen at the N.Y. Fringe Festival, La MaMa E.T.C., HERE Arts Center, and Yale Cabaret.

Steve Broadnax III

(Director) World Premiere: Mud Row by Dominique Morisseau, Travisville by William Jackson Harper, Bayard Rustin: Inside Ashland by Steve H. Broadnax III, The Hot Wing King by Katori Hall, Everybody Black by Dave Harris. Theatre Includes: Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Play House, People’s Light, Hattiloo Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre Company, Chautauqua Theatre Company, Apollo Theatre NYC, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Atlantic Theatre NYC, Detroit Public Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, The Black Theatre Troupe in Phoenix, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Moore Theatre in Seattle, Market Theatre in Johannesburg, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, National Arts Festival in South Africa, and The Adelaide Arts Festival Australia. The Hip Hop Project, an award-winning, full-length, original play directed, choreographed, and conceived by Steve, has toured nationally and was showcased at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, D.C. Other writings include the award-winning American Taboo, and Camouflage (Eugene O’Neill semi-finalist). Training: Conservatory of Fine Arts Webster University (BFA), Penn State University (MFA). Steve is currently a Professor of Theatre and Associate Artistic Director at Penn State University

Kyra Button

(Assistant Stage Manager) is excited to be in her 3rd season at Cleveland Play House, having worked on An Iliad, Tiny Houses, The Seagull, Shakespeare in Love, Macbeth, The Invisible Hand, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Her previous credits include The Heart’s Impatience (Shufflefoot Theatre Company), Resistance (Semicolon Theatre), A Streetcar Named Desire (St. Ann’s Warehouse), Medea and Dreamgirls (Red House Arts Center), This Day Forward (The Vineyard Theatre), and The Intergenerational Project (Rose Bruford, London). She is overjoyed to be continuing her work with CPH and is proud to hold a BFA in Stage Management from Syracuse University’s Department of Drama.

Michael Carnahan

(Scenic Designer) is an award winning scenic designer working internationally in theater and live events. His recent work includes Billy Elliot the Musical in Sao Paulo, Brazil, premieres of Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater)and Mud Row, Lauren Gunderson’s I and You at 59E59, Katori Hall’s The Blood Quilt at Arena Stage, Noah Heidle’s Birthday Candles, Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, Quiara Alegria Hudes The Happiest Song Plays Last at Second Stage, the acclaimed Signature Theatre revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, and The Marvelous Wonderettes. He has collaborated with directors such as Joel Grey, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Charles Randolph-Wright, Christopher Ashley, Neil Pepe, Roger Bean, Austin Pendleton, among many others. He is also a busy associate designer on Broadway. Credits include: The Ferryman (Tony Award-Scenic Design), The River starring Hugh Jackman, Peter & The Starcatcher (Tony Award-Scenic Design), Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson(Tony nomination), and many others. Michael has won numerous awards and nominations for his design work. He is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design. He lives in Brooklyn with his dog, Beau.

Curtis Craig

(Sound Designer) Recent work: Indecent at the Denver Center, world premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s Mud Row at People’s Light & Theatre Company, world premiere of The Great Leap, Denver Center Theatre Company, The Bacchae with Classical Theatre of Harlem, and How to Catch Creation at Baltimore Center Stage and the Philadelphia Theatre Company. Actors Theatre of Louisville, Detroit Public Theater, Clarence Brown Theatre, Seattle Rep, Chautauqua Theater Company, the World Famous Apollo Theater, New York Fringe, and the Dallas Theater Center. In 2017, his sound design and composition from the Denver Center production of All The Way was awarded the Silver Medal in Sound Design at the World Stage Design exposition in Taipei, Taiwan. He previously won the Gold Medal in Sound Design for Pentecost in 2009 in Seoul, South Korea. His work can be heard at

Katherine Freer

(Projections Designer) is a multimedia designer working in theater, installation, and film. Her work is driven by the love of storytelling and belief in its power to shift the status quo. Frequent collaborators include Liz Lerman, Ping Chong, Kamilah Forbes, Tim Bond, Talvin Wilks, Ty Defoe, and Tamilla Woodard. Recent designs: RECONSTRUCTION (Still Working but the Devil Might Be Inside) (Lumberyard, dir. Rachel Chavkin); HERStory (Kennedy Center, dir. Goldie Patrick); Peculiar Patriot (Woolly Mammoth, dir. Talvin Wilks); By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Signature Theater, dir. Kamilah Forbes); Ajijaak on Turtle Island (New Victory, dir. Ty Defoe and Heather Henson); The Convent (ArtNY, dir. Daniel Talbott); Antigone (Richard Rodgers Amphitheater, dir. Carl Cofield); Cellular Songs (BAM Harvey, by Meredith Monk); Next to Normal (Syracuse Stage, dir. Bob Hupp); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Syracuse Stage, dir. Risa Brainin). Katherine is a proud member of USA829 and Wingspace Theatrical Design.

John Godbout

(Stage Manager) was Cleveland Play House’s resident stage manager from 2001 to 2008 and returned to CPH in the fall of 2011. This past summer, he worked at Porthouse Theatre where he stage managed Man of La Mancha and The Music Man. John has also stage managed at North Shore Music Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre, The Weston Playhouse, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Northern Stage, and Seaside Music Theatre.

Dominique Morisseau

(Playwright) is the author of The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle) which includes the following plays: Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company), Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre), and Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and NBT). Additional plays include: Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theatre), Sunset Baby (LAByrinth Theatre); Blood at the Root (National Black Theatre) and Follow Me To Nellie’s (Premiere Stages). She is also the book writer on the new musical Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations (Berkeley Repertory Theatre). Dominique is an alumna of The Public Theater Emerging Writer’s Group, Women’s Project Lab, and Lark Playwrights Workshop and has developed work at Sundance Lab, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Eugene O’Neil Playwrights Conference. Her work has been commissioned by Steppenwolf Theater, Women’s Project, South Coast Rep, People’s Light and Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival/Penumbra Theatre. She most recently served as Co-Producer on the Showtime series Shameless. Awards include: Spirit of Detroit Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper Prize, TEER Trailblazer Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, Audelco Awards, NBFT August Wilson Playwriting Award, Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, OBIE Award, Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship, and being named one of Variety’s Women of Impact for 2017-18.

Maryann Morris

(Stage Manager) is a Cleveland native and was Stage Manager for CPH’s Borderlight reading of Our Dad is in Atlantis, as well as Native Gardens, An Iliad, The Royale, The Diary of Anne Frank, hand-over SM’ed A Christmas Story and Sweat, and was Assistant Stage Manager for How I Learned to Drive and The Good Peaches. Shealso stage managed several CPH New Ground Theatre Festival works including Grand Concourse and Fairfield. Other collaborations include Letters from Zora featuring Vanessa Bell Calloway at Karamu House, Havana Hop with Paige Hernandez, Eric Schmiedl’s stage adaptation of the graphic novel Incognegro by Mat Johnson, My Mother Has 4 Noses with Jonatha Brooke, The Dazzle Awards at Playhouse Square, and May 4th Voices presented by The Maltz Museum of Jewish History and Kent State University’s Democracy Symposium.

Elissa Myers Casting, Paul Fouquet, CSA

(Casting) credits include Poisoner’s Handbook, Becoming Helen Keller, and Mystery of Matter, PBS. Other PBS projects include The Abolitionists, Dolley Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John and Abigail Adams, Benjamin Franklin (Emmy Award), Liberty (Peabody Award), God in America, People vs. Leo Frank, Louisa May Alcott, Great Performances (Artios Award in Outstanding Achievement in Casting), and Murder Of A President for American Experience. Feature films include Hank and Asha (Audience Award at Slamdance 2013) and The Union. Theatre credits include seven Broadway shows, including Tony nominated Having Our Say, as well as 26 Off-Broadway shows. Regional theatre casting in the past two years includes Denver Center, Geva Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Magic Theatre, Arena Stage, Alley Theatre, George Street Playhouse, and Arizona Theatre Company. The office has so far received 16 nominations and has won three Artios Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Casting.

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