Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

Back in 2003, when the Case Western Reserve University MFA program made Cleveland Play House their home, I designed a production of Twelfth Night in the historic Brooks theatre with a fantastic creative team.  We were all familiar with how one another worked through the creative process and were truly in sync.  Challenges were overcome through collaboration, and the show turned out brilliant.

I recently had the pleasure of designing the lighting for the CWRU/CPH MFA production of Twelfth Night now running in the Helen Theatre at Play House Square.  Having been involved with the program for many years, I was thrilled to be asked back and a bit nervous to be part a new team in a new space.  What if we didn’t click?  What if my process drove them crazy?  After all, it has been over seven years since I had designed for CPH.  What if they had forgotten how persnickety I can be (or, as a friend of mine termed me as “a loveable canker sore” – Thanks, Ron!)?  

As it turns out, my fears were all for naught.  The team for this production connected seamlessly out of the gate with the director’s vision to set the production in the Mississippi Delta.  The music, costumes, sounds, and scenery all supported this vision (and the lighting isn’t too shabby, either).  A few familiar faces along with new found friends and colleagues reminded me how wonderful a creative, collaborative design and production process can be.  

Having hailed from a previous regime of CPH, I am certainly among many former staff members that had mixed emotions about the move downtown.  The history and sense of community that surged through the old building was a major part of my Play House memories.   It was quite like visiting the folks after they sell the house you grew up in to move into a new condo.  The combination of new conveniences and comfortable old favorites put you at ease.  The past is not gone or forgotten, just repurposed. 
If you haven’t visited the CWRU/CPH MFA program’s new digs, you should.  Twelfth Night  is a great way to start.  If you’re a veteran supported, bravo – unless you haven’t experienced this production of Twelfth Night yet, in which case, what are you waiting for?  It runs through October 26th, and you can get tickets here.  Enjoy the show!  ~Maureen E. Patterson, Lead Designer Solus Lighting LTD

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