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img_3737Reviews for SLOWGIRL

“Dobama is at its best, once again.”

“Tense, funny and tragic, “Slowgirl” is filled with big ideas and seismic emotions
played here with a delicate touch, a marvel of understatement that makes
the eventual earthquake of revelation all the more shattering.”
- Andrea Simakis, THE PLAIN DEALER

“SLOWGIRL is a well-written script that keeps you on the edge of your seat,
waiting for what surprising revelation will reveal itself next.  Dobama’s production values enhance the text, resulting in a must-see evening of theatre.”
- Roy Berko,

Reviews for A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMASimg_8348

“…a touching, sometimes humorous, and always affecting theatrical quilt of many tones… The central set piece in Ben Needham’s effective scenic design is a large turntable powered by up to four cast members, each bending their back into the effort. Ultimately, that turntable functions tellingly as a metaphor for the vicious circle of violent confrontations we all seem to be locked into at this moment. In this play, carols such as “Silent Night” and O Christmas Tree” take on a different, more profound meaning. And they help us to imagine that we might all start pushing that vicious circle into a more positive shape.”
- Christine Howey, CLEVELAND SCENE

“…it is impossible not to be engaged and moved by the warmth and intensity of this disciplined and talented core of actors/singers and the rich characters they create.” ; “…a beautifully written and gorgeously told story about lives in dramatic transition…”

“Dobama’s “Civil War Christmas” is a technical marvel, a gorgeous looking, finely tuned show where entrances and exits are choreographed with balletic precision.” – Andrea Simakis, THE PLAIN DEALER

“…much more than a mere holiday show…”; “The story is gripping in its concept and grand in its scope.”; “…an exceptional set, lighting, sound and costuming along with superb music by the group of actor/musicians combined with the exceptional singing…”; “This promises to be a sell-out.” – Mark Horning,

“The cast was universally outstanding…” ; “The technical aspects of the show were as complex as the staging. Ben Needham’s set designs, Marcus Dana’s lighting, Richard Ingraham’s sound design, Mark Jenks’ puppets, Jeremy Dobbins’ projection designs, and Tesia Dugan Benson’s costumes all added to the epic feel and images of the production.” ; “This is the most expensive and probably the most complex show that Dobama has ever produced.” – Roy Berko, Broadway World Cleveland


Reviews for THE NORWEGIANSimg_7327

“…rising out of its numbing simplicity like a Phoenix – a very, very funny Phoenix – is an absolutely brilliant piece of storytelling.” – Bob Abelman, CLEVELAND JEWISH NEWS

“Don’t let the phrase “bitter comedy” scare you away.  The show is sprinkled throughout with wonderful examples of dry humor and upper mid-west colloquialisms which are a joy to discover and laugh at even after the moment has passed.  The production does not let the grim subject matter get in the way of the comedy.  This is a good one to catch.  Uff Da, You Betcha!”- Mark Horning, AXS.COM

Reviews for BELLEVILLEimg_6477 2

“Dobama’s production is superb. The writing, acting, staging and technical aspects all blend together to make for a compelling evening at the theatre. It’s a must see for anyone interested in theatre and the limits of the human condition.” - Roy Berko, NEWS HERALD
“The four member cast is spectacular… This play weaves a web that draws you in until you find yourself way too involved in the conclusion… This play is much like slowing down on the highway to view a horrific but spectacular automobile accident. As our eyes are drawn to the carnage we recoil in horror with what we have witnessed but still cannot stop looking.” - Mark Horning, EXAMINER
“The playwright clearly wants us to suffer along with Abby and Zach, to ride the rising tide of suspense, anguish and uncertainty. But to enjoy this one-act, nearly two hour play, you have to not only like to suffer; you have to love it. The folks at Dobama make this easy to do.”
- Bob Abelman,
“Herzog’s script definitely sticks with you after the play is over. Upon reflection, one comes to really appreciate the underlying revelations about human nature…This is how we came to appreciate the magnitude of talent that both Llewie Nunez and Matt O’Shea display in their portrayals of this complicatedly, intertwined couple.” -
“Some of the scariest moments in theater and in life can arise from seemingly predictable, every-day situations. There’s something about a placid façade hiding a terrifying secret that is more blood-curdling than a spooky haunted house at night. This is the effect that playwright Amy Herzog is after in Belleville, now at Dobama Theatre.”
Christine Howey, SCENE


2013-14 Season Reviews

Reviews for KINimg_2134

“KIN is one of those special scripts that happily gets a superb production at Dobama.  It’s a play for everyone, whether the viewer is looking for thoughtful moments, humorous interludes, or fine acting.  KIN is a must see evening of theater.”
-Roy Berko,
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Beautifully directed by Shannon Sindelar, this play is funny and fascinating as it glides through two lives coming together with a series of vignettes that weave a love story with all the trappings involved… And speaking of fabulous, the technical elements of this show are just that. WOW. Particularly, the projection effects designed by Mike Tutaj are the coolest thing I have ever seen in Cleveland. I don’t want to spoil anything by describing what happens to the set, but you have to see this fine artistry…. This is one hell of a way to end a season.”
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“…the production, under the sure-handed direction of Shannon Sindelar, is both beautiful to look at and continually engaging… a show that explores the intricacies of family and relationships from a fresh and often startling angle.”
-Christine Howey, SCENE
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“This intimate play, first produced off-Broadway and performed without an intermission, is very clever in its construction and intriguingly abstract in its presentation. The collection of small scenes – and the genuinely tender moments they provide, courtesy of some fine writing and an excellent ensemble… add up and are surprisingly moving.”                                                               -Bob Abelman, CLEVELAND JEWISH NEWS
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Reviews for MADE IN AMERICAimg_3820(1)

“I love plays and movies about salespeople. It’s a small and arcane thematic niche, to be sure, but I’m all over any show that deals with people selling things to other people… So maybe that’s why I real…ly like Made in America by local playwright Joel Hammer, now at Dobama Theatre. This two-hander focuses relentlessly on a million dollar piping deal being negotiated for a huge government project. …there is much to admire and enjoy in Made in America. And, you know, it’s about a salesperson! So cool.”                                                                                                            -

-Christine Howey, SCENE                                                                                                                             

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“Made In America” offers an intense evening of drama that slowly builds to a crescendo. It magnifies the seamier side of capitalism as well as the human co…ndition. After the well played set up with the first act, the second act surprises you with a series of plot twists that will delight and satisfy.”

- Mark Horning, EXAMINER

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Reviews for THE ALIENSimg_7770

As darkness falls, KJ dances a Pan’s ballet with the sizzling stick, sparks flying, leaving tracers in the air. The big man is awkward and yet light on his feet, and it’s a mesmerizing and beautiful passage, cut short when the sparkler begins to sputter and then go out. That dying of the light presages a calamity when this trio of misfits is rocked by unexpected tragedy, the suddenness of the event like a sharp intake of breath. With it, everything changes, and the playwright leaves Beckett behind to create a moving, meaningful work all her own.”
-Andrea Simakis, THE PLAIN DEALER
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“The Aliens, a play by OBIE-Award winning playwright Annie Baker, and Dobama’s latest offering of contemporary fare, dignifies these discussions by giving them to these lonely explorers of the universe. There are no Carl Sagans in this group; rather, there are three gritty pathfinders searching for meaning in the universe. What emerges is an intelligent and tender production.”
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“The take-away from this tender character study, besides the master class in naturalistic performance and design, is a greater compassion for the aliens among us and a newfound ability to see those we easily dismiss as invisible.”

“THE ALIENS is a play that you watch for what it does not have.  There is scant action, long periods of seemingly inactivity and a thin thread of plot.  It is only through careful observation that you discover the genius of this minimalist work.  It is a play that you must work at to understand, but your efforts will be generously rewarded.  See this one.
-Mark Horning, THE EXAMINER

“In spite of the quality of writing and superb production, THE ALIENS is not a play for everyone.  As the play’s director Nathan Motta said in his pre-curtain talk, “experiencing this play takes work.”  …let the play simmer in your head and see what emerges.  It’s worth the effort.”
-Roy Berko, NEWS HERALD,, Broadway World Cleveland
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2013 Year End Awards for Dobama Theatre

TIME STANDS STILL, Top Ten Productions of 2013
- Andrea Simakis, THE PLAIN DEALER

THE LYONS, Best Comedy of 2013
- Bob Abelman, News-Herald

Heather Anderson Boll (TIME STANDS STILL), Best Actress in a non-musical Superior Achievment
- The Cleveland Critics Circle Awards 2013

Chris Richards (SONS OF THE PROPHET), Best Actor in a non-musical Superior Achievement
- The Cleveland Critics Circle Awards 2013

Marcus Dana (COCK), Best Lighting Design Superior Achievement
- The Cleveland Critics Circle Awards 2013

COCK, Best Non-Musical Productions of 2013
-Times Theatre Tributes 2013, Roy Berko

TIME STANDS STILL, 2013 Best Non-Musical Productions
-Times Theatre Tributes 2013, Roy Berko

Corey Atkins (COCK) 2013 Best Directors of a Non-Musical
-Times Theatre Tributes 2013, Roy Berko

Joel Hammer (THE BIG MEAL) 2013 Best Directors of a Non-Musical
-Times Theatre Tributes 2013, Roy Berko

Nathan Motta (TIME STANDS STILL) 2013 Best Directors of a Non-Musical
-Times Theatre Tributes 2013, Roy Berko

Andrew Gombas, COCK, Dobama 2013 Best Performances by a Male in a non-musical
-Times Theatre Tributes 2013, Roy Berko

Chris Richards (SONS OF THE PROPHET) 2013 Best Performances by a Male in a non-musical
-Times Theatre Tributes 2013, Roy Berko

Heather Anderson Boll (TIME STANDS STILL), 2013 Best Performances by a Female in a non-musical
-Times Theatre Tributes 2013, Roy Berko

Marcus Dana (COCK), 2013 Best Lighting Designs in a non-musical
-Times Theatre Tributes 2013, Roy Berko

Reviews for THE BIG MEAL

“THE BIG MEAL is one of those special theatrical events when the script, the directorial concept, and the acting effectiveness all blend together to make for a “must see” theatrical experience.  BRAVO!”- Roy Berko;,

“[Director Joel] Hammer has assembled a tight, talented ensemble, able to wring some truly tragicomic moments from the clever script.”- Andrea Simakis, THE PLAIN DEALER

“The takeaway from seeing this production, then, is to witness the wonderful artistry with which it is presented. This production boasts a uniformly stellar ensemble…  Their intricate and intriguing portraits take all that is appalling and make it compelling.”
- Bob Abelman, NEWS-HERALD

“…a theatrical feast that can be very satisfying.”
- Christine Howey, Cleveland Scene

Reviews for COCK img_2875

“COCK, Mike Bartlett’s compelling script, under the meticulous and creative direction of Corey Atkins, and some of the very best acting seen on a local stage, is an absolutely must see production. It’s an A+ experience.”
- Roy Berko,
click here for full review

“The actors, director, and designers are brilliant in this production. Each performer slips seamlessly into a British accent, a clearly defined and intriguing character, and the playwright’s passive-aggressive wordplay. They give as well as they take, listening as intensely and as earnestly as they speak.”
-Bob Abelman, NEWS-HERALD
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“Dobama Theatre’s production of “Cock” is top notch. It is the pure science of acting distilled down to its essence. This is the play that you wait to appear during the season. It is here. Go see it.”
- Mark Horning, EXAMINER
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“With his excellent, four-person cast, director Nathan Motta has assembled a sturdy foundation upon which to balance this smart, demanding drama. His actors constantly explore the complex layers of their characters… It’s a first rate production… that’s nearly perfect.”
-Andrea Simakis, The Plain Dealer  
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“In this exquisitely rendered production… we see what drives these adrenaline-junkie shutterbugs, how their job ignites moral quandaries, and the toll their passion can take on personal lives.”
- Christine Howey, Cleveland Scene
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“TIME STANDS STILL addresses the inhumanity and atrocities of war, but it never becomes the kind of play that preaches its politics. Instead, it serves to reveal what 1980s songstress Pat Benatar told us long ago: that love is a battlefield. Wonderful acting merges with always interesting writing and flawless direction.”
- Bob Abelman, News Herald
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“Dobama launches its season triumphantly with this important, deeply moving play, which resonates long after it ends.”
-Fran Heller, Cleveland Jewish News
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“TIME STANDS STILL will play on every human emotion you possess, and maybe show you a different side of the turmoil that haunts our world. This show is a MUST-SEE!”
- Kory, New 102FM Cleveland
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2012-13 Season Reviews

Reviews for THE LYONS

“…“The Lyons” is hilarious… Think “Seinfeld” with everyone a Costanza… Director Nathan Motta’s genius is most evident in his casting choices (and in the lively pace of this production), for he has found performers capable of delivering all this dark, corrosive comedy without flinching at the toxic fumes. As Ben, Dudley Swetland’s veteran physicality and comic timing are put to grand use… Jeanne Task is wonderful as Rita… Anjanette Hall is a pleasure to watch all the time, but particularly when Lisa’s façade fades under attack and she regresses to the vulnerable little girl her parents and brother still see her as being… Christopher M. Bohan’s Curtis is so thoroughly uncomfortable in his own skin that he seems to be channeling the young George McFly from the film “Back to the Future” all flailing limbs, awkward imbalance, and stammering speech when on the defensive… It works beautifully. …disappointing is the fact that “The Lyons” ends at all.”


“The first act smashes all four of these flawed, neurotic people together into a small hospital room and the comedy sparks fly in all directions. …if you like to wallow in another family’s comical turmoil, and who doesn’t, The Lyons is your hilarious cup of acidic tea.”
-Christine Howey, CLEVELAND SCENE, RAVE & PAN.

“Under the direction of Dobama Theatre’s new artistic director, Nathan Motta, the production lives up to the pitiless comedy of the script. It has to move fast for the brutal humor to work — no time for hugging, learning or wallowing — and for the most part, it does. The cast… meshes well, with a few standouts… Imagine Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer trapped in a tiny hospital room, and you get the picture… Ever the matchmaker, Rita encourages her daughter to flirt with a terminal case down the hall, a suggestion that horrifies her son. “He’s dying!” Curtis yelps. “Nobody’s perfect, Curtis,” Rita says. And we can thank the gods of black comedy that the Lyons aren’t even close.”
-Andrea Simakis, PLAIN DEALER

“If you are a fan of dark comedy, then this is the play you have been waiting for all season. The dialog is exceptionally well written. It is sharp, fresh and right on the mark. The actors are perfectly suited and comfortable in their parts and the comedic timing is perfect. The only negative I could find in the entire evening was that at times the laughter was so loud and long that the next few words of their lines were lost in the noise… The premiere was sold out and I expect that by word of mouth, the rest of the run will be also. I would suggest getting your tickets early to avoid missing out… Well worth the price of the ticket. I suggest that everyone should get a chance to hear “The Lyons” roar!”
-Mark Horning, EXAMINER.COM

Reviews for

Reviews for

“When the dust clears, one thing is very apparent: the superb acting and spot-on direction carries this thought-provoking play and makes everything about it engrossing.” Bob Abelman, News-Herald.

“Dobama’s production, under the focused direction of Nathan Motta, is compelling. The cast is universally strong, the show well paced, and holds the audience’s attention. Dobama’s A BRIGHT NEW BOISE, featuring superb acting and focused directing, is a production well worth seeing!” – Roy Berko

“The cast of “A Bright New Boise” rises to the occasion and delivers a thoroughly engrossing, thought-provoking and funny evening of theater.”- Marjorie Preston

“Samuel D. Hunter’s 2011 Obie-winning play resonates now more than ever, and the Dobama Theatre production wrings both tragedy and comedy from the quiet desperation of clock punchers. It’s well worth seeing.” – Andrea Simakis, Plan Dealer

Reviews for


Dobama’s “The Motherf- – - – - With the Hat”: Cast makes characters their own as edgy work gains momentum
by Andrea Simakis for The Plain Dealer

Poetically profane Dobama drama speaks volumes
by Bob Abelman for The News-Herald

Foul language doesn’t foul Dobama show
by Fran Heller

a Grippingly Realistic Drama With Humor

By Marjorie Preston for Brava!

Listen to Director Dianne Boduszek’s interview on WCLV! WCLV Interview – Director Dianne Boduszek speaks about MFWTH

MOTHERFUCKER or is it MOTHERF**KER, captivates at Dobama
by Roy Berko

Check back often for more reviews as they come in. Stay tuned!!!