As Ragtime’s final weekend approaches, here’s a word about the variety of people on stage and backstage. Part of Near West Theatre’s mission is to be a crossroads of diversity for actors and crew members of varied ages, races, neighborhoods, economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, acting experience and other differences. Each production is designed and directed by professionals and is supported by paid musicians and stage management, but otherwise is turned over to an entirely volunteer cast and crew for the run of the show. Here are a few statistics on Ragtime’s cast and the people who work behind the scenes moving set pieces, handling props, running lights and doing many other tasks:
- Total: 59
- Cast members: 43
- Crew members: 16
- Teens: 19 (nine in cast, 10 in crew)
- Oldest actor: age 77
- Youngest: ages 6, 9 & 13
- Persons of color: 22
- Cleveland residents: 33
- From Cleveland’s three Near West Side ZIP codes: 27
- Other communities represented: Cleveland Heights (6), Parma (5), Lakewood (2), Parma Heights (2), Richfield (2), Rocky River (2); and 1 each from Akron, Avon Lake, Berea, Euclid, Independence, Kent (KSU) and Olmsted Township.
And that’s not counting the dozens who volunteer “front of house”: at the concession stand, gift shop and ticket table, and as house managers, greeters, and bakers of cookies and brownies. Want to help in that way now or for a future show? Click here for information, then contact Carole Hedderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets are still available online for the 7:30 p.m. performances of Ragtime on Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19, and for the 3 p.m performance Sunday, May 20. Or call our advance sales ticket line (weekdays only) between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.: 216-961-6391.