Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kid Theater On the Way in Cleveland

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 11:00 AM

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Cleveland actress and director Alison Garrigan is known for taking on, shall we say, adventurous projects.

She excels at roles that push the sexual envelope in productions like Hedwig & the Angry Inch and The Rocky Horror Show. Now she’s headed in the opposite direction: launching Talespinner Children’s Theatre.

The idea had been floating through her twisted mind for years; after all, she’s the daughter of theater parents who had performed for children in Seattle, where she was raised. But, she says, “The timing, the place, the money — something was always not right.”

Then, at an artists’ meeting last winter, someone asked what’s missing from the Cleveland scene. Somebody said “a professional children’s theater.”

“I went ‘Hello, universe!’ I’m not going to get a bigger punch upside the head than that,” says Garrigan. “I felt like a 10,000-pound weight was taken off my shoulder because this is what it was all leading up to. It’s what I was primed for since I was young.”

After laying the groundwork over the summer, Garrigan has just revealed the nascent theater’s future home: the Reinberger Auditorium at West 52nd and Detroit, on the edge of the Gordon Square neighborhood. The group will start modestly with two productions, with a scheduled debut next June.

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