Five children find themselves in a strange, empty room. No windows. No doors. And no phones to call home. How did they get there? How will they get out? As the grownups arrive, rules are quickly established, and the children must work together to find a way out – to understanding and to safety. But can they trust everyone? Who is a helper? Who is not? As they form a community, the young ones discover the truth about their mysterious existence in the space, and they must rely upon their collective skills, talents, and experiences to make it through their transformative journey.

Performance dates June 17 – June 24 2023

Inspired by and created in partnership with families in Cleveland, along with internationally recognized director Liesbeth Coltof and Cleveland Play House, this play celebrates ingenuity, humor, determination, and resilience. Shining a light upon environmental justice and the effects of lead exposure,Watching Butterfliesis part of 10CHILDREN Cleveland, a new collaboration between Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University’s School of Film & Media Arts, LAND studio, Amber N. Ford, and The MetroHealth System and its Center for Arts in Health to create a theatrical play, a documentary film, visual arts exhibits, and educational projects to create a conversation around the critical needs experienced by people living in Cleveland’s under-resourced communities.

Director                                                                    Liesbeth Coltof

Playwright                                                                Eric Schmiedl

Production Dramaturg                                             Dennis Meyer

Scenic designer/Technical director                          Cameron Caley Michalak

Costume Designer                                                   Suwatana (Pla) Rockland

Lighting Designer                                                     Michael Boll

Sound Designer                                                       Richard B. Ingraham

And Actors

Director of Education & Artistic Strategies              Pamela DiPasquale

Director of Community Development                      Marcela Rodriquez-Gonzales

Manager of Partnerships & Dramaturg                   Yining Lin, PhD

And Staff Cleveland Playhouse