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Set at a single restaurant table and spanning over 80 years, THE BIG MEAL tells the expansive story of five generations of a modern family through one unending metaphoric meal, starting from a young couple’s first meeting and ending with a visit from their young great-grandchild. In this inventive and beautiful play about the love, trials, and resilience of families, we experience – over the course of many mealtimes -the moments both large and small that make up a full life.

Pre-show talks: 12/6, 12/7,  12/15, 12/20, 12/21, 12/26, 12/29, 1/3, 1/4
*pre-show talks begin 45 minutes before curtain

On Thursday, Dec. 12th at 6:30pm join special guest Doug Katz, executive chef/ owner of Fire and Katz Club Diner for a preshow conversation about food, culture, and the family unit.

*show your ticket from THE BIG MEAL and receive a special “little meal” at the Katz Club!

Thursday night preview (12/5) to benefit the Cleveland Foodbank Cleveland Foodbank

Winner! 2010 New York Times
Outstanding Playwright Award

“#1 Play of 2011” – Time Out Chicago

2012 Drama Desk nomination – Best Play

Lucille Lortel nomination – Outstanding Play

“A life-in-overdrive comic drama…
Dan LeFranc’s snappy dialogue captures the tumultuous tenor of family gatherings.”
-Charles Isherwood, New York Times

“Packed with humanity and humor, The Big Meal dishes up laughs and tears.”
- New York Daily News

“Ambitious and impressive…You will be amazed.”
- Time Out New York

“Sharp and stunning…Touching and engrossing…
You’ll recognize something of yourself or your family members in these people.”
- Associated Press

“Ingeniously constructed…”
- Variety

“A fine new American play – willing to cut to the chase and cut you to the quick.”
- Chicago Tribune


Bob Goddard  (MAN 1) is delighted to be returning to Dobama and is excited to be working with the gifted Joel Hammer and cast.  Bob earned a B.A. In Theatre at Bowling Green State University.  Bob last appeared in THE PITMEN PAINTERS at Beck Center and was recently seen in THE LIFE OF GALILEO (Old Cardinal) at Cleveland Play House.  Bob last appeared at Dobama in THE WALWORTH FARCE (Dinny).  Bob has worked in many regional theaters and locally at Cleveland Public Theatre and Clague Playhouse.  Past roles include THE CARETAKER (Davies),  COMEDIANS (Gethin Price), HEDDA GABLER (Tesman) and as an ensemble member of the original production of Lynda Barry’s THE GOOD TIMES ARE KILLING ME at City Lit Theatre Company in Chicago.  Lastly, if you’re keen on learning about local history, art and architecture, Bob provides fascinating walking tours of Greater Cleveland for Tours By Locals.  All love to my GG.

Anne McEvoy  (WOMAN 1) Grateful to be part of Dobama’s 2013-2014 season, Anne is pleased to be working with Joel once more, having worked with him on Dobama’s COLDER THAN HERE. Last seen at Dobama in SONS OF THE PROPHET, Anne has worked at Actors’ Summit, Beck Center, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, Great Lakes Theatre, (the Ohio, Hanna, Outreach Tour) Karamu, Kennedy’s PHS, the NACL Theatre, NY, and Ohio Shakespeare Festival.

Tom Woodward* (MAN 2) This is Tom’s sixth production with Dobama in recent years. Last season he portrayed the central figure of Will Cronin, a conflicted Christian fundamentalist, in Samuel D. Hunter’s A BRIGHT NEW BOISE (Cleveland Critics Circle nominee for Best Actor). Additional Dobama appearances have included MIDDLETOWN, THE SEAFARER, DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE, and THE RECEPTIONIST. Other area credits include: RACE and IS HE DEAD? at The Beck Center for the Arts, IPHEGENIA 2.0 at Cleveland Public Theatre, and two seasons with CSU Summer Stages Repertory Company appearing in THE SHADOW BOX, THE ELEPHANT MAN, CHEKHOV IN YALTA, and the starring role in Kander and Ebb’s CURTAINS. Regionally, he has worked with Heart of America Shakespeare Festival (THE TEMPEST, TWELFTH NIGHT), Kansas City Repertory Theatre (MACHINAL, GROSS INDECENCY. . .) Okoboji Theatre (JAKE’S WOMEN), and Studebaker Studio Theatre in Las Vegas (LA BETE). In Los Angeles he starred in the west coast premiere productions of JACK and JILL at the International City Theatre and UNEXPECTED TENDERNESS at the Lee Strasberg Institute, the latter production bringing him Best Featured Actor in a Play citations from L.A. Weekly and Backstage West. Film credits include a featured role in CORA UNASHAMED, a PBS American Masters Presentation, and the horrible horror film WITCHCRAFT VIII: SALEM’S GHOST. He also had a recurring role on the daytime drama GENERAL HOSPITAL long ago, when the Clintons lived in the White House and only a few people had cell phones. Tom is a very proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Derdriu Ring* (WOMAN 2) A graduate of The Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin, Derdriu’s most recent role was as Ellen in THERE IS A HAPPINESS THAT MORNING IS at CPT. Favorite roles include Annette in GOD OF CARNAGE ( Dobama), Maggie in HOBSON’S CHOICE (PICT), Pegeen/Widow Quinn/Sarah Tansey in PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD (The Guthrie Theatre, The Irish Rep, NYC and PICT), Josie in MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN (Great Lakes Theater), Claire in BOSTON MARRIAGE (PICT), Catherine in PROOF (Cleveland Play House), Dr. Emma Brookner in THE NORMAL HEART at Ensemble, Nancy in FROZEN (Beck Center), Vivie in MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION (Austin State Theatre), Nora Reilly in JOHN BULL’S OTHER ISLAND (Geva Theatre) and Slippy Helen in THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN (Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles), Catherine in LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (Hartford Stage) and Julie in DOUBLE HELIX (The Abbey Theatre). Television work: LAW AND ORDER, C.I. and HOPE AND FAITH. Derdriu is an associate artist and founding member of Mamaí Theatre Company.

Geoff Knox (MAN 3) is very excited to be back in Cleveland making his Dobama debut.  He was last seen at Ensemble’s production of ANIMALS OUT OF PAPER and this past summer at the Ohio Shakespeare Festival’s productions of THE COMEDY OF ERRORS and CYMBELINE.  In summers past he performed many roles at CSU Summer Stages, including Dr Treves in THE ELEPHANT MANEdwin in BOOTHand Preacher Haggler in DARK OF THE MOON.  Other area theatres Geoff has worked at include The Great Lakes Theater Festival and Cleveland Public Theatre.  He recently attained his MFA from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory in Sarasota, Florida, where he performed the title roles in HAMLET and TARTUFFE, among others.

Llewie Nuñez (WOMAN 3) made her debut at Dobama Theatre in the first show of the 2013-14 season, TIME STANDS STILL. She recently graduated from Oberlin College where she studied Creative Writing and Acting. At Oberlin she appeared in STRIKE-SLIP (Rachel Morse), dir. Heather Anderson Boll, and in LUCIA MAD (Lucia Joyce) and WHERE HAS TOMMY FLOWERS GONE? (Nedda Lemon), both dir. Paul Moser. As part of her senior thesis project, she also wrote, directed, and performed a partially improvised new play, SURVIVED BY: AN IMPROVISED OBITUARY, which she plans to remount professionally in the near future. In addition, she was the director of Oberlin’s award-winning long-form improv troupe, The Sunshine Scouts.  Regionally, Llewie has performed at Cleveland Public Theatre in IPHIGENIA 2.0 (Bridesmaid), dir. Matthew Wright, and at the Oberlin Summer Theater Festival in THE CRADLE WILL ROCK (Sister Mister), dir. Joey Rizzolo.

Ryan Headshot 2014 (2)Ryan Vincent (BOY) is thrilled and honored to work with this incredible cast under esteemed director Joel Hammer.  This marks Ryan’s return to Dobama where he first appeared in the Marilyn Bianchi Kids’ Playwriting Festival. Ryan, a seventh grader in Orange, was most recently seen in the roles of Tommy (Age 10) in TOMMY, a Benefit for Broadway Cares, Edgar in RAGTIME with Mercury Summer Stock, Albert Peterson in Playmakers’ BYE BYE BIRDIE and Capi in the staged reading of  THE OWL GIRL at Cleveland Public Theatre.  Other credits include Sacha in the Cleveland Play House/Cleveland Orchestra joint production of EVERY GOOD BOY DESERVES FAVOR, Prince Mamillius in Great Lakes Theater’s THE WINTER’S TALE, a Spirit in THE MAGIC FLUTE with Apollo’s Fire at Severance Hall, Jojo in SEUSSICAL at Fine Arts Association, Gavroche in LES MISERABLES at Fairmount Performing Arts Conservatory and Tiny Tim in Geauga Lyric Theater’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL, all to rave reviews.  Ryan has also performed numerous times with Opera Cleveland.  Film credits include the award-winning TURNING POINT and A SILENT TRUTH, both directed by Peter A. Fields.  Ryan was the recipient of the 2012 Indie Gathering International Film Festival Star Award in the youth division.  Love and gratitude to my extended family and Nathan Motta for all of your continued support.

1394424_546313212117519_2042799234_nEmily Kenville (GIRL) is ecstatic to be making her debut at Dobama! Emily is 14 years old and is in the 9th grade at Shaker Heights High School. Emily was last seen as Veruca Salt in WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY at Heights Youth Theatre. Favorite roles include Lavinia in A LITTLE PRINCESS (Heights Youth Theatre), Eliza in THE KING AND I (Hathaway Brown Theatre Institute), Puck in MIDSUMMER (Heights Youth Theatre) and Bullfrog in HONK! (dir. Bebe Weinberg Katz), among others. Thanks to Joel and Nathan for this great opportunity.

Joel Hammer (DIRECTOR) Mr. Hammer has worked as both an actor and director for Dobama Theatre for the past 25 years. He helped transition the theatre from its space on Coventry Road to its current home here on Lee Road.  He took part in the fundraising, design and development of the theatre’s new home and current management structure.  In September 2009, Mr. Hammer opened the theatre with Eric Coble’s TEN MORE MINUTES FROM CLEVELAND.  TEN MORE MINUTES… was a bookend piece to Mr. Coble’s TEN MINUTES FROM CLEVELAND, which was the last play produced in Dobama’s Coventry Road space.  Mr. Hammer has a BFA from The Ohio State University. He served his theatre apprenticeship at Actors Theatre of Louisville.  After a brief stay at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Mr. Hammer moved home to Cleveland where he worked at Cleveland Play House under the leadership of Richard Oberlin.  After directing COYOTE UGLY and FULL HOOK-UP for CPT, Mr. Hammer made his Dobama directorial debut with John Patrick Shanley’s SAVAGE IN LIMBO.  Mr. Hammer helped lead the theatre to its current professional status with its first professional production, SIGHT UNSEEN by Donald Margulies.  In 1998, Mr. Hammer directed Dobama’s award-winning production of Tony Kushner’s ANGELS IN AMERICA. This was an enormous undertaking for a small basement theatre but one that proved to the greater Cleveland community that great theatre can be done anywhere.  As a writer, Mr. Hammer’s play THE KING OF CARPETS was produced by The Jewish Repertory Theatre of New York and his play EVERY OTHER JUMP was produced at Dobama.  Mr. Hammer has directed extensively at Dobama and at other local theatres.  Some of his favorites include THOM PAIN, THE GOAT or WHO IS SYLVIA?, HUMBLE BOY, MARVIN’S ROOM, ALL MY SONS, A STEADY RAIN, and THE SUM OF US.  He has appeared onstage and has garnered critical acclaim for his performances in THE PILLOWMAN, A NUMBER, BLACKBIRD, EARS ON A BEATLE, CHERRY DOCS, THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD, and THE SEAFARER. Recently at Dobama, Joel has directed MIDDLETOWN and 4000 MILES.

*members of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States appearing under a special appearance contract

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