THE CRADle will rock

by Marc Blitzstein, directed by Joey Rizzolo

The Cradle Will Rock premiered in 1937 and because of its incendiary pro-labor politics, almost didn't premiere at all; on opening night, the theater was chained shut and the actors were prohibited from performing any piece of it on stage. So the audience was marched up Broadway to another theater, a rented piano was wheeled onto the stage where composer Marc Blitzstein played the entire score, and the actors performed not on the stage where they were forbidden to go, but in the audience.

During the 2012 election cycle, manufacturing jobs were hotly debated by the candidates. This production of The Cradle Will Rock premiered in one of the most economically depressed counties in Ohio, a community devastated by the flight of the steel and auto industries. Admission was free, drawing families struck by unemployment who would otherwise not come to an evening of theater. Set in a shantytown in which every scene was created by a ragtag ensemble, poverty and joy surrounded this production that opened to critical acclaim.

this revival of the Marc Blitzstein agitprop, pro-union musical from some 80 years ago is a muscular and engaging piece of theater. A stunning, finely meshed cast and the restless imagination of director Joey Rizzolo give this potentially creaky material a massive jolt of energy. And you won’t need an instruction sheet to find parallels to the political discussions being waged today.
— Christine Howey, Scene

Cast: Marc Moritz (Mr. Mister), Katherine DeBoer (Mrs. Mister), Courtney Merrell (Moll), Matthew Wright (Editor Daily), Darryle Lewis (Reverend Salvation), Derrick Bean (Dr. Specialist), Aaron Mucciolo (President Prexy), Ali Bianchi (Yasha), William Hoffman (Dauber), Billy Ferrer (Junior Mister, Bugs), Llewie Nuñez (Sister Mister, Stevie, Coach Trixie), Dana Hart (Harry Druggist), David Bugher (Cop), Debra Rose (Ella Hammer), Donnie Sheldon (Larry Foreman), Michael Cunningham (Gent, Gus Polock, Professor Scoot), David Cotton (Dick, Professor Mamie), Ellie Phillips (Sadie Polock)

Musical Director: Carter Sligh

Choreographer: Holly Handeman

Set Designer: Paul Moser and Joey Rizzolo

Lighting Designer: Jamie Benjamin

Costume Designers: Suzie Campbell and April Rock

Stage Manager: Sarah Jick

Produced by OSTF
Opened: July 20, 2012, Oberlin, OH