Talent is UNLEASHED at CPT (photos)

Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) “Unleashed” its most creative and authentic performances of the season as it hosted the annual PANDEMONIUM (PAN) benefit on Saturday, September 9, 2017 on the CPT Campus.

Known as the party of the year, this unique event has caught the attention of arts organizations across the nation for the unique model of letting party-goers choose their own adventures in food, performances, and other activities over a wide range of unique spaces spanning from large stages to tiny hallways.

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I found the Los Cabezudos aka The Big Heads and we danced!

This year’s PAN Award Recipient was Andrew Watterson, “in celebration of his contributions to the arts, environmental sustainability and community development.”

The weather was cool but clear, the mood was festive, and spirits were high among guests, volunteers and performers. With the theme “Unleash,” it was an anything-goes atmosphere as artists, comedians, dancers and revelers alike interpreted what that meant. The air was pungent with freedom, release, laughter, mischief, inquisition, and naughty anticipation.

“We’re looking forward to the vignettes, the people, the fun! [We volunteer] because it’s a community project and it’s good for the community… and volunteering gets you in free!” – Paul and Linda Schwin (4th year attendees/volunteers). 

“I had 3 performances and I feel like it went well.” What’s great about this kind of setup? “It’s nice to have different audiences come see the work. And to perform with all of the other acts around here.” – Wesley Allen (“Señor Symphonifunk and the Symphonic Stream” performer).

Wesley Allen
Wesley Allen – “Señor Symphonifunk and the Symphonic Stream”

“[My piece] was a piece about unleashing inner sexuality. It was a great journey to go on as a person and as an artist. It’s my first Pandemonium and it was great. You get to do your piece several times, and you find new things each time – it’s a very open and safe space to play.” – Samantha Richards (“Touched” performer).

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Samantha Richards (left) and Terah McGowan (right) – “Touched”

“So much fun! The food is great! The Thai… everything is good!” Friends Dori Kroth and Dorivette Nolan (1st and 2nd year at PAN, respectively). 

“I am wearing an angler fish-head hat that actually lights up! I decided to volunteer because it’s a fun experience. I love theater and why not spend time at a giant theater festival with people you love doing something you love?” – Timothy Richard Parks (Volunteer Caller and Striker).

“I’m calling shows and encouraging guests to have fun, and telling them about the amazing acts they can see. [I’m also] wearing an angler fish hat and bringing the mood up!” Rebekah Ferro (Volunteer Caller and Striker).

Timothy Richard Parks, Keely Sajovie, Rebekah Ferro, and other volunteer
Callers at PAN! From left: Timothy Richard Parks, Keely Sajovie, Rebekah Ferro, and other volunteer

“I’ve been a part of PAN [as a performer] for several years now, but this is the first time I’ve been able to wander and observe the wonderful art. It’s almost like you’re on a journey and you walk into a room, and something crazy is happening so you watch for awhile, and then you move onto something else. It’s like you’re Alice in Wonderland and you’re just kind of going down the rabbit hole of wonderful Cleveland Theatre, and I’m just so wonderfully proud to be here! It’s great!” – Tania Benites (PAN guest).

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From left: guests Tania Benites and Shelley Nixon

“We were thinking “unleashed” – what comes with a leash? Well a dog, but you can’t really bring a dog to an event, so… [We’re looking forward to seeing] the combination of music, poetry, spoken word… and we live in the neighborhood so we walked our ‘dog’ here!” – Troy and Molly Piper brought their “leashed” dog “Fido” (5th year PAN guests).

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Molly and Troy Piper show off their dog “Fido”

This immersive fundraiser featured nearly 300 Northeast Ohio performing artists in over 50 original works on 20 distinctive stages. From sundown past moon rise, the festivities brought all ages and genres together.

Dance Performances included Verb Ballets, Inlet Dance Theatre, Wind and Sand Dance Company, Elu Dance Co., Deuce Dance & Friends, Dot King, Suga Shack Girls Burlesque and Double-Edge Dance.

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Suga Shack Girls Burlesque

Live Music & Comedy Performances included Pureplex DJs featuring Neil Chastain & Byron Lee Eulinberg (aka Funk Shway), By Light We Loom, David Loy & the Ramrods, The Church of Starry Wisdom, Señor Symphonifunk, Buck McDaniel, Cleveland Opera Theater, Mourning A BLKstar, Revolution Brass Band, Global Connections, Nicole & Eugene Sumlin, Tim Cornett and more.

Original Theatrical Work included Teatro Publico de Cleveland, Raymond Bobgan & the Cleveland Core Ensemble, Tecia Wilson, Ray Caspio, RA Washington, Melissa Crum & Caitlin Lewins, Cathleen O’Malley, Pinch & Squeal!, Roaring Third Productions, Sally Groth, Greg Vovos, Amanda Lin Boyd & Juice McKenna, Stuart Hoffman, Amy Schwabauer, Stephanie Wilbert & Erin Dolan, Les Hunter, Meredith L. King, Elaine Hullihen & Daved Thonnings, Theater Ninjas, Denis Griesmer, CPT’s Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP), Beth Wood and more.

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STEP Program performance

Wandering Performances included The Cleveland Museum of Art Community Arts, Mark Zust, Kalindi Stockton, Teatro Publico de Cleveland, Día de Muertos Ohio and more.

Visual Art Installation & Multimedia included T. Paul Lowry, Kerry McCarthy, Eric M. C. Gonzalez, Vickie Williams, Dayni Maher, Ben Gantose, Inda Blatch-Geib, Caitlin Lewins and more.

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Acrobatics in the Radical Rotunda

Celebrity Chefs who were cooking live throughout the campus were Astoria Café and Market, La Campagna, Luxe Kitchen and Lounge, The Root Café, Toast, West Side Market Café and XYZ Catering. 

CHECK OUT THE PANDEMONIUM 2017 SLIDE SHOW!

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