"We Believe That Art Can Change Lives" - CPT "And It Does..." - Kevin Charnas

So, back in August, I was fortunate enough to be hired by Cleveland Public Theatre via Independent Contract as an assistant director/writer/artist collaborator for a special project that they run.

Introducing The Y-Haven Theatre Project.

We were in development for a while, then rehearsals and now we've been on the "tour" for a week. Last week's performances were at Y-Haven itself and this week began with a performance at the Juvenile Detention Center last night.

You may remember, me previously talking about my great admiration for Cleveland Public Theatre and their work. I knew that it was a fantastic program for the men in recovery. But, selfishly, it's been an unbelievable, enriching experience for me. A great reminder of how much I don't know about life and the people in it. One that I hoped would be rewarding, but I don't think I realized the magnitude of the emotional energy I would put into the project or into being a part of these men's lives for almost 3 months.

I'm certain that what I'll take away from the experience will far out-weigh what I'm putting into it, but currently being in the midst of it, I need some time to let things percolate before I'm able to express myself thoroughly.

So, until that time, The Story of Baby20

NOVEMBER 5 - 8, 2009
Performances are FREE and open to the public (Suggested $5 donation to support the project.)

Cleveland Public Theatre and Y-Haven present
The Story of Baby20
Cleveland Public Theatre's Education Department and the Cleveland YMCA's Y-Haven Program present The Story of Baby20, the 2009 CPT/Y-Haven Theatre Project.

For the tenth year in a row, CPT, Cleveland's leading alternative theatre, and Y-Haven, YMCA's transitional housing center for homeless men in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, have collaborated to create this original performance. CPT Artists work with residents of Y-Haven to create an original play performed by the residents and based on their personal experiences. This year's production is guided by Director Denis Griesmer and Writer Kevin Charnas (that's me, bishes).

About the play: Once there was an old man named Tom and one evening outside his door he found a baby. Thus begins The Story of Baby20. Tom is compelled to follow the instructions on a note pinned on the baby, "Return to Owner." He begins a journey across the city and through his memory; a quest that forces him to remember things about his past he'd long since made himself forget. The tale turns when the baby grows into a man over a single night. What will the morning bring? Who is Baby20? Who is Tom? Is it all a dream? The Story of Baby20 is about the haunting power of human memory and its influence over our identity and our ability to change.

An audience favorite year after year, the CPT/Y-Haven Theatre Project offers candid insight into important issues of our society and gives real hope for growth and change. Audiences are continually blown-away by the poignant and moving stories presented by this powerful collaboration.