Near West Theatre
Near West Theatre builds loving relationships and engages diverse people in strengthening their sense of identity, passion, and purpose, individually and in community, through transformational theatre arts experiences.
Based on the Near West Side of Cleveland, Ohio, Near West Theatre has a unique identity as an intergenerational theatre where people of all ages work side by side, onstage and off. It prides itself on providing innovative, socially relevant musicals with casts of 35 to 65 people while maintaining affordable ticket prices so as to encourage audiences from all backgrounds.
Through its intensive community-building process, Near West Theatre nurtures long-lasting relationships that carry on beyond the walls of the theater. This process involves participants in developing the capacity to express themselves freely, to take risks within a group, to identify feelings and observations, and to make connections between their own life experiences and emotions and those of the piece being produced.
Near West Theatre champions inclusion defined as “fostering an open and affirming environment; maintaining affordability; acknowledging disabilities and special needs; honoring differences in race, culture, economic background, ethnicity, sexual orientation, spirituality, age, skill, mental health, physical ability, experience, education, and size.” Participants of economic means are in relationship with those who are struggling to make ends meet. This intersection of difference is the heart of Near West Theatre.