Potty Training

Cleveland art
In Mr. Lewis Rules: Stories From the Juvenile Justice System, Myron J. Lewis, a drug-and-alcohol counselor at Summit County Juvenile Court, recounts tales from his job. Among them is the story of a troubled teen who wanted to kill himself by drowning in a toilet. But the kid’s hands couldn’t reach the handle. So, Lewis offered assistance. First, he helped write a suicide note. Then he relieved himself in the toilet. The youngster quickly changed his mind. “[Myron] never gives up,” says Jacqi Loewy, who co-wrote and directs the one-man play. “He says he went into this career to change the kids, but instead the kids have changed him.”

Mr. Lewis Rules kicks off Cleveland Public Theatre’s month-long Big [Box] series, which features new works. It was originally staged at Akron’s Weathervane Playhouse in 2004, but the material has been tweaked since then, and the production is much tighter now, says Loewy. “The characters are much more defined,” she says. “It’s a real work in progress.”

Onstage, the 40-year-old Lewis plays more than a dozen characters based on real-life cases. But he’s at his best when he’s portraying himself, says Loewy. “I’ve never seen anyone with so much passion for his work,” she says. “He lights up when he talks about these kids.”
Jan. 6-7, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 8, 3 p.m.

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