Play Lab February 10 - 16 Featuring Workshop Production of “Sanzaru”





Annual new play incubator program culminates with two free staged readings and one workshop production from February 10 through 16 at Waterloo Arts.

Cleveland, OH; January 18, 2020

Playwrights Local announces the 2020 Play Lab, the company’s fifth annual program for developing new works. Teaming playwrights with directors and dramaturgs, this incubator process spans months of drafting and revising plays in progress. A series of culminating presentations include staged readings of two new works--This is Not Ramona's Fault by Mara Layne and Oblatus by Diana Lueptow--along with a workshop production of Sanzaru by Greg A. Smith. Complete details are available at

All performances run February 10 through 16 at the Creative Space at Waterloo Arts (397 E. 156th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44110). Staged readings of This is Not Ramona's Fault by Mara Layne and Oblatus by Diana Lueptow are free with no reservations required. Tickets for the workshop production of Sanzaru by Greg A. Smith are $8 general admission, and can be purchased at Additional information is available by contacting or (216) 302-8856.

The performance of This is Not Ramona's Fault by Mara Layne will be presented on February 10 at 7:00 pm. Directed by Christine McBurney with dramaturgy by Les Hunter, this new play follows Ramona, 16, as she navigates the aftermath of loss and its impact on her friendships, family, and intimate life. The presentation of Oblatus by Diana Lueptow will be on February 15 at 3:00 pm. Directed by Caroline Jackson Smith with dramaturgy by Lenora Inez Brown, this historical drama follows the abbess, intellectual, and composer Hildegard of Bingen as she defies church leaders in 12th century Germany, initiating a battle of wills from which she refuses to retreat. Both staged readings will be followed by post-show talkbacks with the playwrights. 

The workshop production of Sanzaru by Greg A. Smith runs for three performances only: February 14 and 15 at 7:30 pm and February 16 at 3:00 pm. Created with director Erik Andrews and an ensemble of actors--Minor Cline, Lauren B. Smith, and Casey Venema--this new work of devised, collaborative theater was developed almost entirely in this year’s Play Lab process. Deriving its title from the “Three Wise Monkeys”--see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil--the play finds three strangers waking up in an inescapable room, all with no knowledge of how or why. As their ability to communicate with each other becomes more fractured, so too do their relationships and–more worryingly–reality itself. 

“Sanzaru is a play both three months and eight years in the making,” says playwright Greg A. Smith. “The concept first came to me in 2012, but it took until December 2019--and a series of wonderfully productive workshops--for pen to finally be set to paper.” Among the crises examined in Sanzaru is the challenge of communicating in a world more polarized than when the playwright first conceived of this idea. “Thankfully, yet also unfortunately, a story about a group of people unable to communicate with each other has probably only become more relevant,” Smith agrees. “The resulting play is many things--a psychological horror; a dark comedy; bleak and hopeful; ugly and beautiful; and often thought-provoking. It is both the play that I wanted to write, and so much more.”

The final performance of Sanzaru on Sunday, February 16 will be followed by a special post-show audience response session. Information on moderator Dr. Shane Breaux as well as the playwright, director, and cast is available at

About the Company

Playwrights Local is a theater company in Cleveland. As a playwrights’ center, our goal is to provide a home for dramatic writing in Northeast Ohio. We offer classes and workshops, produce original plays, provide networking opportunities, and engage the community through outreach projects. Learn more about programs such as our Young Playwrights Collective and our annual Open Call for Submissions at Make your tax-deductible contributions to our 501(c)(3) group at


Tom Hayes, Managing Director

Playwrights Local

(216) 302-8856 

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Playwrights Local 4181

Playwrights Local is a theater company based in North Collinwood. Our specialization is the development and production of new plays by writers from Greater Cleveland.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 5:31 PM, 02.05.2020