A New Season Underway at Near West Theatre

Posted July 13, 2021 in Press Releases

CLEVELAND – Near West Theatre will reopen its doors this summer in preparation for a full season of virtual and live performances.

After an overwhelmingly successful Rise program last summer and fall, Near West Theatre welcomes back to the virtual stage a second installment and original production, entitled: Rise: The Reconstruction Project, from September 11 – 19. This performance will be an original piece created by the minds of 26 creative youth, and cultivated by the capable hands of Mariah Burks—a longtime NWT participant and recently appointed Director of Engagement at Dobama. This show fits into the theatre’s Fall Youth production slot in September, and coincides with the 20-year anniversary of 9/11 – a topic revisited by the cast and NWT alumni.

Closely following in November will be a live production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the well-known hit, to ensure an uproarious crowd for their Holiday Intergenerational show, running November 19 – December 5. The New Year will bring good tidings for the theatre’s first ever live black box production of The Fantasticks, well known for its intimate staging and iconic song, “Try To Remember.” The Fantasticks holds an impressive title as “the longest-running production of any kind in the history of American theatre.” The Fantasticks will run February 11 – 20.

The season will end on a high note with the ultimate musical theatre standard: Rodgers + Hammerstein’s, Cinderella, which will captivate audiences from March 25 – April 10. A timeless Broadway reimagining stays true to the original R+H concept of an enduring tale illustrated by floating musical score (“A Lovely Night,” “Ten Minutes Ago,” and “Impossible”) and an enchanting script.

Trinidad Snider, Near West Theatre’s Artistic Director, looks to this season as one that is full of opportunity. “Everywhere you look, there’s potential in bringing this eclectic mix of musicals to Near West this year. We’re activating every stage – virtual, mainstage, and black box, to make our 43rd season happen. We know these productions will bring opportunity to the voices and people we love to celebrate most – the often unsung. We can’t wait to serve up surprises at every turn.”

Near West Theatre will continue to find creative opportunities to serve mission and our community with COVID-19 still a very present factor. “Although we believe the worst health challenges of COVID are behind us, we will continue to feel the impact it’s made on operations for many months ahead. We have embraced what our environment has given with creativity and passion to the mission,” says Mike Obertacz, Near West Theatre’s Executive Director. “We’re staying responsive to our community’s needs, have added several new events and programs, and are taking this season’s shows one at a time.” Near West Theatre’s online calendar has been updated with a full list of season show and event dates.

Pay What You Can ticketing is the standard at Near West Theatre, with a suggested donation of $15 per ticket. Audition information and tickets for shows will be released throughout the season. Learn more at

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About Near West Theatre

Near West Theatre builds loving relationships and engages diverse people in strengthening their sense of identity, passion, and purpose, individually and in community, through accessible, affordable and transformational theatre arts experiences. Since 1978, Near West Theatre has been shaping, changing, even saving the lives of children, teens and adults. The community theater hosts a variety of free community events and free after school programs to underline its commitment to accessibility for all people. The organization serves people of all ages, but a focus on youth goes back to its founding and continues to this day.

Rise: The Reconstruction Project

Virtual, Streamed

September 11 – 19, 2021

Fall Youth Production, ages 7 – 16

Streaming Access: $15, Pay What You Can tickets

Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Main Stage

November 19 – December 5, 2021

Holiday Intergenerational Production, ages 7 and up

In person, $15, Pay What You Can tickets

THE LITTLE MERMAID is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also provided by MTI.

The Fantasticks

Black Box

February 11 – 20, 2022

Winter Teen and Adult Production, ages 16 and up

In person, $15, Pay What You Can tickets

THE FANTASTICKS is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also provided by MTI.

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s


Main Stage

March 25 – April 10, 2022

Spring Intergenerational Production, ages 7 and up

In person, $15, Pay What You Can tickets

CINDERELLA is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization.

Tickets at

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