Lisa Ortenzi of Great Lakes Theater talks about HUCK FINN

Great Lakes Theater (GLT) Classics on Tour is spreading the “power and passion of theater” with their touring production of “HUCK FINN,” written by Mark Twain, adapted by Eric Schmiedl, and directed by Lisa Ortenzi. Playing for free at various public venues through Cleveland and northeastern Ohio, your family can experience the journey of Huck and Jim down the mighty Mississippi now through March 3, 2018.

“We are Cleveland’s classic company, and so a lot of our focus is on Shakespeare and the classics,” explains Ortenzi, the Director of Educational Programming for GLT. “The classics are important to us because they are universal. They speak to us, in a way, through the ages.” 

HUCK FINN actors (from left) Chennelle Bryant-Harris and Chelsea Cannon

The GLT Education Department feels that dealing with relevant social and personal issues like racism and inclusion are important. These tours (suggested for ages 10 and up) are designed to go into classrooms and into the community, and help to not only tell a great story, but to deal with some significant topics in a safe environment. 

“We want to be able to look at how fun and exciting live theater is, but also to be able to discuss serious topics that come up,” says Ortenzi. “[Americans] have many different views. We’re looking at race in a different way… the things that Americans were struggling with back in the 1800s – we’re still struggling with today. How do we get along? How do we include the other? How do we get rid of prejudice?”

Lisa Ortenzi

Ortenzi also points out that “HUCK FINN” is about storytelling. It’s about really getting into the characters, and going on a journey. It’s about letting the imagination play, and giving the audience a chance to be creative. Hear more about HUCK FINN by checking out Lisa’s full video interview below!  

director LO
Are you ready to take that journey??? For information on where your family can enjoy “HUCK FINN” free in the community, visit The show is playing now through March 3, 2018.

Interested in hearing about the journey of the HUCK FINN cast? CLICK HERE for the YouTube interview with cast members Chelsea Cannon, Chennelle Bryant-Harris, James Alexander Rankin, and Eric Schmiedl.


Published by Kate Klotzbach

After writing for Examiner for 7 years, I brought my content to a new venue! Founded in June of 2016. I'm a Musical Theater graduate of Ohio Northern University and a long-time performer, arts lover and former stage manager. I spent 3 years touring the U.S. with VEE Corporation, and am a proud Cleveland Singing Angels alum. Lover of Cleveland, chocolate, coffee, dogs, scary movies, Cards Against Humanity and (of course) my awesome family. PLEASE BE SURE TO "FOLLOW" MY BLOG FOR ALL OF THE LATEST UPDATES AND POSTS!

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