Small but mighty Mamai Theatre Co. suspends operations.~ Crain's Cleveland Business

Mamai Theatre Company bows out of Cleveland arts scene -- for now. ~Cleveland Plain Dealer

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Bernadette Clemens,
Executive Artistic Director
Christine McBurney,
Co-Artistic Director

Production Photos on FB

Mamaí & the Co-Founders

Mamaí Theatre Company was co-founded in 2010 by Bernadette Clemens, Wendy Kriss, Christine McBurney, and Derdriu Ring; and established as a 501(c)3 in 2012. Our mission is to create intelligent, relevant classical theatre that offers an artistic home for Cleveland theatre artists and equal opportunity for women in the professional theatre community. Mamaí (pronounced MAH-may) is the Gaelic word for "mother". Four working mothers, theatre artists, colleagues, and friends arrived at a place where it was time to create their own opportunities. "Don't wait to create" became our motto. From 2010-2012 we completed a financial planning phase for sustainability and exploratory artistic projects hosted at venues such as Cleveland Public Theatre and Playhouse Square.

 

 

We engaged public as well as invited audiences as well as area professional theatre artists before emerging with our inaugural 2013 season in Cleveland Heights, during which The Plain Dealer noted that Mamaí "has made a howling entrance onto the city's artistic scene." Our award-winning 2014-2016 seasons in Historic Tremont and downtown Cleveland were supported by growing audiences, critical acclaim, as well as public and private grants. Mamaí's four completed seasons have garnered resounding support from the community. The company contractually employed 70 women and 17 union actors belonging to Actors' Equity Association among its greater numbers of theatre artists and technicians hired since 2013, and ushered economic activity into venues' neighborhoods by engaging over 2,000 audience members annually through artistic and educational programming. Mamaí celebrated its 5th season by moving to Playhouse Square.

September 2017

 

Mamaí Suspends Operations

 

Mamaí Theatre Company has announced that it is suspending all operations indefinitely as of December 31, 2017 while it investigates new avenues of sustainability. The company values the many partners and patrons who have contributed to Mamaí’s success, but the company’s operations have grown past the capacity of the current staffing model. Board president David Schiopota notes, “Despite numerous accolades and significant investment from many within the Cleveland theatre community, Mamaí Theatre leadership has struggled to find an administrative solution that can sustain the long-term health of the company.  Even with a resoundingly successful debut at Playhouse Square this year, building an artistic company of this caliber is an enormous effort.”

 

Executive Artistic Director Bernadette Clemens acknowledges the impact of this news on artists and audiences who have witnessed the company’s rapid growth. Speaking of the company’s accomplishments, Clemens notes: “Each year, Mamaí’s grant funding doubled, tripled or quadrupled in total dollars. We saw a balanced budget that grew on average over 40% per year. Our budget in our 5th season was over 400% of our inaugural budget. To me, that says that the women who co-founded Mamaí, the people who led Mamaí, and the community that backed Mamaí’s mission, have something to say. It is something critical, and it was heard. People are still listening.”

 

Co-Artistic Director Christine McBurney adds, “It has been a dream to fill a neglected niche by providing intelligent, relevant, classical theatre to this community and beyond, with plays that we wanted to see in Cleveland, told by Cleveland artists -- women’s stories from the classical canon, written by the world’s master playwrights.”


Mamaí leadership remains avidly engaged in exploring opportunities to ensure a legacy for the organization and its mission. Thank you to the 7,000 community members who came to our programming in Mamaí’s five-year history. Thank you to more than 100 artists and technicians who have worked with Mamaí and brought their skill to Northeast Ohio stages in plays uniquely produced by Mamaí. Thank you to partner organizations who collaborated in Mamaí’s success. Thank you to the public and private granting entities which have supported intelligent, relevant classical theatre and equal opportunity for women in professional theatre in Northeast Ohio.

What our Patrons say...
 
'Mamai is a first-class company, on the level with Stratford and Shaw festivals (though tinier!) Thank you, ladies, for the compelling artistry you have shared with us! You are much deserving of a sabbatical and time to figure out administrative solutions. But I do not believe that Cleveland should let this company die. And I don't believe we will!'
~Jeannette Sorrell, Artistic Director – Apollo's Fire
'I have seen Arcadia 3 other times: the original in London, in Ashland Oregon at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and at the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake. ..this production was their equal. Thank You!'
~LaBrynda Linka 

“Thank you for doing something so courageous and so exciting. I really don't know where to begin with this email.  I'm never lost for words (ask anyone), and hardly ever use superlatives. Medea is one of the most incredible productions I have ever seen. The direction and the work by the actors is so magnificent. Let me just say...Thank you!”

~Leslie Varnick, premiere Northeast Ohio vocal coach

Press

2017

 

A DOLL’S HOUSE

Cleveland Plain Dealer Year in Review 2017 A DOLL'S HOUSE is a standout on Northeast Ohio stages

Cleveland Scene's The Best of Cleveland Theater in 2017: A DOLL'S HOUSE

2017 Cleveland Critics Circle Awards for Mamaí Theatre Company

 

A DOLL'S HOUSE is #1 of the Top Ten Most Memorable Theatre Moments in Cleveland Theatre, 2017

"...a standout production...not to be missed...brought to rousing life by the Mamai Theatre Company...under the emotionally astute direction of Christine McBurney. Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A smart and stirring turn under Christine McBurney’s fast-paced and quietly gripping direction. An iconic piece of theater not to be missed."  Cleveland Jewish News

"A stellar production by Mamai." Cleveland Scene

"An excellent production...great theater." ~Cool Cleveland

http://wclv.ideastream.org/wclv/mamai-theatre-presents-a-dolls-house

 

THE TESTAMENT OF MARY

http://www.news-herald.com/article/20170707/FEATURES/170709600

 

http://www.cleveland.com/onstage/index.ssf/2017/07/the_testament_of_mary_at_mamai.html

 

http://www.ideastream.org/wclv/mamai-theatre-presents-the-testament-of-mary

 

https://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/the-mother-of-jesus-is-at-the-center-of-a-play-and-a-dust-up-with-some-catholics-in-the-testament-of-mary/Content?oid=8586507

 

2017

Mamaí moves to Playhouse Square

THE WOMAN HATER

Mamaí Resurrects Lost Lampoon 'The Woman Hater'

 

http://wclv.ideastream.org/wclv/mamai-theatre-company-presents-the-woman-hater-christine-mcburney

 

https://kateklotzbach.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/the-woman-hater-an-interview-with-mamais-christine-mcburney/

 

LADY WINDERMERE’S FAN

http://m.clevelandjewishnews.com/columnists/bob_abelman/girls-gone-wilde-is-the-best-part-of-mama-s/article_c39016f0-4e23-11e6-9f5c-278f31516593.html

 

http://wclv.ideastream.org/programs/sound-of-applause/mama%C3%AD-theatre-lady-windermeres-fan

 

TOP GIRLS

http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2016/06/06/top-girls-puts-on-its-power-suit-at-mamai-theatre

 

http://wclv.ideastream.org/wclv/mamai-theatre-presents-top-girls-jaime-bouvier

 

2015

DEATH AND THE MAIDEN

 

http://m.clevescene.com/cleveland/a-woman-faces-her-former-torturer-andmdash-or-does-she-andmdash-in-death-and-the-maiden/Content?oid=4639900

 

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

http://www.ideastream.org/programs/sound-of-applause/darryl-dmc-mcdaniels-streetcar-named-desire-chris-greene

 

http://www.cleveland.com/onstage/index.ssf/2015/07/a_stellar_cast_and_tennessee_w.html

 

http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/the-classic-a-streetcar-named-desire-shatters-dreams-again-in-this-mamai-production/Content?oid=4610542

 

http://wclv.ideastream.org/wclv/mamai-theatre-company-christine-mcburney

 

http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/news/arts_and_entertainment/mama-s-streetcar-is-stellar-despite-understated-stellaaaa/article_b37a1100-2e51-11e5-aa79-77c1b7d195cc.html

 

http://wclv.ideastream.org/wclv/mamai-theatre-company-christine-mcburney

 

THREE SISTERS

http://wcpn.ideastream.org/programs/sound-of-applause/karamu-house-cleveland-shakespeare-festival-mamai-theatre-company

 

http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/columnists/mama-mines-three-sisters-for-meaning-and-finds-the-mother/article_a46a7992-0d64-11e5-af4c-77cebdee9dac.html

 

http://m.clevescene.com/cleveland/a-family-and-their-friends-face-existential-angst-in-the-excellent-three-sisters-by-mamai-theatre-company/Content?oid=4595812

 

http://wclv.ideastream.org/wclv/mama%C3%AD-theatre-company-bernadette-clemens

 

http://www.axs.com/mama-theatre-company-s-production-of-anton-chekhov-s-three-sisters-soa-56696

 

2014 CRITICS AWARDS

CLEVELAND CRITIC CIRCLE AWARDS

http://clevelandtheaterreviews.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-cleveland-critics-circle-awards2014.html

 

CJN ABELMAN AWARDS

http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/features/article_6cf20e44-91e5-11e4-bcb7-0bb32d1d3edb.html#.VKWoTfnl6eU.facebook

 

SCENE THEATRE AWARDS

http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/scenes-theater-awards-for-most-of-2014/Content?oid=4467469

 

BEST THEATRE OF 2014

http://www.ideastream.org/programs/sound-of-applause/best-theater-2014

 

10 MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS IN CLEVELAND THEATER, 2014 EDITION

http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/features/article_12ed0368-8484-11e4-8218-0bf609699ab0.html#.VI8oE6mhXoA.facebook

Local Playwright Eric Coble's STRANDED ON EARTH

Actress Derdriu Ring is the white-hot center of a stunning production of Eric Coble's 'Stranded on Earth' (review)

‘Stranded on Earth’ a convoluted mystery worth unraveling

 

'Arcadia': Mamai Theatre takes on Tom Stoppard's time-shifting masterpiece (review)

 

Challenging ‘Arcadia’ given a stellar staging

Complex and Compelling: Arcadia by Tom Stoppard Gives Your Brain a Vigorous Workout at Mamai Theatre

 

Arcadia, Cleveland Public Theatre and Inlet Dance Theatre at Cain Park

 

Mamaí Theater Company’s production of ‘Woman and Scarecrow’ lives

Dance of Death: A Dying Woman is the Focus of the Powerful, Splendidly Performed Woman and Scarecrow

Mamaí Theatre’s ‘Woman and Scarecrow’ offers more than meets the eye

Derdriu Ring and Bernadette Clemens wage a masterful battle against the dying of the light in Mamai's 'Woman and Scarecrow'

 

10 Most Memorable Moments in Cleveland Theater, 2014 Edition

Best Actress in a Non-Musical: Derdriu Ring, STRANDED ON EARTH, Theater Ninjas/Mamaí Theatre Company

 

Superior Achievement: WOMAN AND SCARECROW, Mamai Theatre Company

 

Superior Achievement: Pandora Robertson, WOMAN AND SCARECROW, Mamaí Theater Company

 

http://www.cleveland.com/onstage/index.ssf/2014/12/carrie_porgy_and_bess_les_miz.html#incart_story_package

 

http://www.cleveland.com/onstage/index.ssf/2014/11/derdriu_ring_and_bernadette_cl.html

 

http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/dance-of-death-a-dying-woman-is-the-focus-of-the-powerful-splendidly-performed-woman-and-scarecrow/Content?oid=4405619

 

http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/features/article_425bef14-62e8-11e4-a6eb-6b85844c21ca.html#.VFbBScure-M.email

 

http://www.axs.com/mama-theater-company-s-production-of-woman-and-scarecrow-lives-26431

 

http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/complex-and-compelling-arcadia-by-tom-stoppard-gives-your-brain-a-vigorous-workout-at-mamai-theatre/Content?oid=4342956

 

http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/features/article_7edfb66a-1431-11e4-989f-0019bb2963f4.html#.U9K07q3gSW8.email

 

http://www.cleveland.com/onstage/index.ssf/2014/07/arcadia_mamai_theatre_takes_on.html

 

http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/complex-and-compelling-arcadia-by-tom-stoppard-gives-your-brain-a-vigorous-workout-at-mamai-theatre/Content?oid=4342956

 

http://www.cleveland.com/onstage/index.ssf/2014/06/actress_derdriu_ring_is_the_wh.html#incart_river

 

http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/features/leisure/arts/article_704e83ea-f1a6-11e3-a726-001a4bcf887a.html#.U5khVBs253M.email

 

http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/news/local/article_6a259940-be5c-11e3-bd5b-001a4bcf887a.html#.U0Qlre8bq5M.email

 

http://www.cleveland.com/onstage/index.ssf/2013/12/local_playwright_eric_coble_ta.html#incart_river

 

Local Playwright Eric Coble's STRANDED ON EARTH

2013

The Plain Dealer 2013 Entertainment Year in Review: MEDEA

Mamaí is a 2013 Cleveland Critics Circle Award Winner

The Plain Dealer Fall Theatre Preview

Heights Observer: Mamai's First Season, A Hit

Plain Dealer Review: BOSTON MARRIAGE

The Plain Dealer Arts Listings: BOSTON MARRIAGE

Heights Observer: Behind the Scenes of Boston Marriage

WCPN's "The Sound of Applause" with Mamai' Co-Artistic Directors

The Plain Dealer Review: MEDEA

The Plain Dealer Arts Listing: MEDEA

Busy Actress' Next Dream Role Might be Behind the Scenes

A Look at Small Theaters Grabbing the Spotlight

The Plain Dealer 2013 Entertainment Year in Review: MEDEA

Mamaí is a 2013 Cleveland Critics Circle Award Winner

The Plain Dealer Fall Theatre Preview

Heights Observer: Mamai's First Season, A Hit

Plain Dealer Review: BOSTON MARRIAGE


The Plain Dealer Arts Listings: BOSTON MARRIAGE

Heights Observer: Behind the Scenes of Boston Marriage

WCPN's "The Sound of Applause" with Mamai' Co-Artistic Directors

The Plain Dealer Review: MEDEA

The Plain Dealer Arts Listing: MEDEA

Busy Actress' Next Dream Role Might be Behind the Scenes

A Look at Small Theaters Grabbing the Spotlight

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