Metro Parks/TruNorth looking for another Shakespeare

June 30, 2008 at 11:44 am 6 comments

The Lorain County Metro Parks and TrueNorth Cultural Arts are looking for Playwrights.
Part of our vision is to encourage and empower playwrights, giving one the opportunity to professionally create and experience their art right here in Lorain County!

This past year we commissioned local playwright and actress Kimberly Ceja in writing Blooms of Steel, the Making of an International City. Director Jaqui Loewy worked with 11 adults and 12 youth bringing the show to life … receiving great community support through our 9 performances. Over 1500 people attended.
We vision more original productions, giving playwrights, directors, and actors / actresses the opportunities of originating scripts, shows and characters.

Another part of our vision is to unite art, nature and history. Each proposed play connects to at least one. Please contact Rick Fortney, Executive Director of TrueNorth Cultural Arts, at, or by calling 440.724.7189 for further information.

There will be an Open House on Monday, July 7th, 7:00 p.m. Please contact Rick if you plan on attending. This will be a time to visit our theatre, meet some of our staff, and brainstorm on concepts. You do not have to attend this meeting in-order to submit a proposal. This is only for those who have the time, feel it would assist them in the process, and would like to attend.

Proposals are due no later than Friday, July 18th. Proposal should include resume, references and a 2-page write-up on how you would connect with any one of the topics.

We plan on contracting 2-3 plays a year for the next 3 years, until all 8 plays are written. We plan on premiering one new show a year, each spring, creating a repertoire of original productions, which will be featured with additional repertoire each theatrical season.


This Wellington artist hangs his success and notoriety on one incredible painting – the Spirit of 76. In this detailed piece, he depicts the Colony’s independent spirit in the form of walking wounded of two drummers and a fife player. It is interesting to know that there are many originals of this piece as Willard painted this famous and popular scene repeatedly.

Although this is a Revolutionary War piece, it could take place in a narrative form of ‘backflash’: it needs connection to the present!


Dance Halls were the social hub of many communities along the lake shore. Avon Isle, Beach Park, Crystal Beach, and others provided not only great live music and a place to try out the latest dances, but also the perfect environment for young men and women to meet…and if the hands of fate were well aligned, to fall in love.

This script needs to capture the sounds, dances, and feelings of this great time in our history. It must contain period music, dances, and clothing. Romance, comedy, and memories must come out of this script.


Easter Seals is a great, and purposeful, American tradition. Few know, however, that this wonderful non-profit started in Elyria Ohio’s Gates Hospital for Crippled Children.

This script needs to tell the story of the reasons, struggles, and ultimate success that is the Today’s Easter Seals Society.


In the 1920s, Dr. Francis H. Herrick puttered his car from Cleveland, OH, to the wilderness of Brownhelm Township in search of nesting bald eagles. While he found many nesting eagles, it was one nest in particular that caught his imagination, and through his writings and lectures, that of the American public. This special nest was deemed ‘The Great Nest’ and it was bigger, and heavier, than Herrick’s car! It was also 80+ feet up in a tree and seeing into this immense nest created several obstacles, and an equal amount of ingenuity.

This script needs to capture the pioneer spirit of Herrick and how he overcame the incredible challenges of researching wildlife in their natural habitat. Certainly, one of the largest challenges had to have been the threat that Herrick posed to the well-entrenched beliefs of Americans, especially the ‘locals’, in regards to wildlife and tree-climbing scientists.


The electric street car line – the Interurban – allowed connection between people and places in a way, at a speed, never before experienced. The steps along the track varied from large cities and suburbs, to quaint country stations, to grand amusements along the Lake Erie Shoreline. But as fast as the Interurban was, its life span was even faster, and by the end of the 1930s it was gone.

This script must tell some of the overall, and local, history of the Interurban. It should be filled with stories of people, places, and connections.


The colors, texture, and ease of quarrying made the sandstone deposits in Amherst (and South Amherst) quite profitable. Despite this, working in the quarries must have been exhausting, dangerous, and not well paying. Through the years, the techniques and equipment for removing the stone must have changed considerably. Shipping the large blocks changed as well – from the ‘Pony Trail’ days to modern tractor-trailers. As the ability to remove the stone became easier, and shipping became more international, so did the list of famous clients (including Bill Gates).
This script needs to tell local stories – either as a family history, or as a community collage. Whether ending in success or failure, the final product must put a proud spin on this piece of Lorain County history.

The shipyards of Lorain built and launched an incredible number, and variety, of ships. A few of these ships carried the American flag into battle, but most carried goods and raw materials – including iron ore to Lorain’s own steel mill. The rise and fall of the shipyards mirrors the success of the city of Lorain. When the shipyards left, so did a large part of a thriving community. On the side, so did a young and hungry corporate leader. He went onto New York City where he became a shipping giant…and, of course, the owner of the New York Yankees.

This script must capture the rise and fall of Lorain’s shipbuilding history. It should connect with the community with references and a collage of real stories. While George Steinbrenner can be a part of the story, he doesn’t have to be.


It was a song, and not a map, that lead the slaves northward. Still, this song’s catchy melody contrasted greatly with the incomprehensible dangers that faced the slaves on their way north. “Who could be trusted?” was a constant concern along the line of the Underground Railroad. With great care, luck, and determination, the loose link of hiding places could bring the former slaves up to northern Ohio. As they came into communities like Lorain County they faced their last few choices before they reached their fate – that being true freedom, or revengeful capture. Lorain County Metro Parks’ Burrell Homestead is a well documented Underground Railroad stop.

This script must be true to the hardships and dangers of the Underground Railroad, and it must be accurate to the beliefs of the time.

Entry filed under: everything else, Link -ups.

BUSTER’S MOM – AND OLD CARS AND CROCKS Happy Anniversary – Henery

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kelly Boyer Sagert  |  June 30, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    How fun!

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  June 30, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Well time to get out the pen and ink all you budding playwrights
    What an opportunity Loraine

  • 3. dennis lamont  |  June 30, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    INTERURBAN …the word is unknown to the prople of Lorain … as far as they were concerned, they were streetcars and your history is loaded with mis- prints and mis-directions.
    They are not electric streetcars, by design, operation and law, they were the high speed intercity passenger and freight haulers. The interurbans are not gone, they just don’t haul passengers any more … the very power lines running thru Lorain & Elyria are remnents of the Interurbans that sold power along the way, every factory or locomotive motor got it’s start on streetcars, grew up on interurbans and displaced steam on the railroads. Electrical controls from multiple-unit interurban units were adapted to elevators, making the skyscraper possible. In case you are looking for a rather large prop, my brother and I own the last Interurban car to run in Lorain and there are some really nice newspaper clippings about its last run. We have gathered a very complete history of the electric railroads in and around Lorain, the home of the largest Street Railway builder in the world. Lorain was home to many electric railway employees and right down the road at Lake Breeze Rd the motorman of a speeding interurban car saved the life of a small child earning himself a Carnegie Life Saving Medal and a lifetime of unremitting back pain …. stories, just a few thousand!


  • 4. thatwoman  |  June 30, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Thanks Dennis I will pass on the information to TruNorth and to the Metro Parks Cheers Loraine

  • 5. renee dore  |  July 1, 2008 at 12:37 am

    I wish I had expertise in the area of composing scripts, ect. I think the above subjects all offer great material to write a play from. Many of us have commented that some of Lorain’s history is what movies are made of. Shipbuilding is one of the earliest industries having been the talent of the settlers who came here from the east in the 1810’s. Lots of lives lost and fortunes made from the meger companies along the Black River for decades in the 1800’s. Renee

  • […] They found their playwright in our own Kelly Sagert Watch this space for COMING ATTRACTIONS!!!! […]

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June 2008

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