Arts District: New Things at New Dobama

And more local arts news

In its new home across from the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, Dobama Theatre continues to be a place to try out new things. The November edition of its First Mondays reading series is noteworthy for a couple of reasons.

First, there's the play — Jean Cummins' Pray for the Missing Girls, Part I: Someone Is Killing the Girls of Juarez. It's the story of an American journalist who travels to a Mexican border town to investigate crimes against women. Meanwhile, her daughter wanders the streets of her hometown.

Second, there's the cast, which includes longtime veterans of local stages, like Reuben and Dorothy Silver, Dana Hart, Jacqi Lowey, Michael Regnier and Jean Zarzour. Also on the list: co-founder of the now defunct Bang and the Clatter Theatre, Sean Derry, who wasted no time getting back onstage.

Part one will be read at 7 p.m. Monday at Dobama Theatre (2340 Lee Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216.932.3396, It's free, but donations will be accepted.

Part II of Pray for the Missing Girls will be read in the First Mondays series December 7.

Speaking of incubating new plays, the third season of Cleveland Public Theatre's Little Box series launches next Thursday, November 5. The company turns over its Storefront Studio to playwrights and directors to try out work in early stages of development. First up is Becky Cummings' play History of Life, which follows an adopted woman's quest to meet her birth family. As it happens, the woman is an evolutionary biologist, which provides opportunities to examine nature vs. nurture and science vs. religion as life-shaping forces. It's at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Cleveland Public Theatre's Storefront Studio (6415 Detroit Rd., 216.631.2727, Tickets: $10. Little Box continues through November 15. For a complete schedule, go to

While the Cleveland Orchestra is in Vienna, trombonist Allen Kofsky — who retired from the ensemble in 2000, after having been hired in 1961 by the legendary George Szell — offers something for the kids. He performs in a Musical Rainbow program, with pianist Laura Silverman and host Maryann Nagel. It's at 10 a.m. Friday, October 30, and 10 and 11 a.m. Saturday, October 31, in Severance Hall's Reinberger Chamber Hall (11001 Euclid Ave.,, 216.231.1111). Tickets: $7.

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