2013 Season

The Emperor's Ears (a Serbian Folktale)

“…plenty of humor, heart and audience participation… perfectly suited for kids… Talespinner is a marvelous entertainment resource for kids of all ages, and their theater should be packed. So bring your kids, grandkids and their friends to experience some stage magic live and in person.” — Christine Howey, RAVE & PAN
The Emperor's Ears The Emperor's Ears The Emperor's Ears The Emperor's Ears The Emperor's Ears
Cathleen O'Malley as Parvi, Ben Merold as The Emperor Trajan
The Emperor's Ears

June 15th through July 6th, 2013
Fridays 1PM & 7PM; Saturdays 2PM & 7PM; Sundays 2PM
Pay What You Can performances Sunday, June 16th & Friday, June 21st (7PM only)

Download the teaching guide for The Emperor's Ears (Adobe PDF, 1.7MB)

Picked on since childhood over his unusual ears, a young ruler vows to keep his secret, no matter what. Enter a barber's apprentice who can't help herself from telling the truth. Can she remain honest and keep his secret while becoming his only friend?

Production Team
Director — Alison Garrigan
Playwright — Michael Sepesy
Movement & Music Direction — Stephanie Wilbert
Costume & Mask Design — Melanie Boeman
Lighting Design — Josh Heidinger
Stage Manager — Brittany Gaul

Acting Company
Parvi/EnsembleCathleen O'Malley
Miro/EnsembleDaniel Grambow
Trajan/EnsembleBen Merold
Pedlar/EnsembleKatelyn Cornelius
Goran/EnsembleAndrew Gombas
Zora/EnsembleCarrie Williams

Ali Garrigan

Alison Garrigan — Executive Artistic Director/Director

Alison is a long-time professional in the theatre who has worked locally, regionally, and nationally as an actress, director, designer, puppet-maker, and teacher. She became dedicated to creative, intelligent and playful Children's Theatre in her late teens, and has returned to work with children and students frequently throughout her career. Her professional work in the Cleveland area has been seen and produced at such venues as Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland Institute of Music's Opera Stage, Beck Center for the Arts, Dobama Theatre, and Great Lakes Theatre, to name a few. Alison has always felt that Children's Theatre needs to be intelligent, creative, playful, and educational, and should engage every aspect of its audience, and its artists — reaching out not only to kids, but also to adults who are still kids-at-heart.

Cathleen O'Malley

Cathleen O'Malley — Parvi/Ensemble

Cathleen is a Cleveland newcomer and is thrilled to be making her TCT debut in�The Emperor's Ears. She is�a graduate of the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA), where she trained in Lecoq-based performance, movement, mask, and clown with international artists from over 25 nations.�From 2010-2012, Cathleen was the�Education Director and an ensemble actor with Touchstone Theatre in Bethlehem, PA, where she managed the company's award-winning education division and collaborated on eight original shows. Cathleen has performed original theatrical work regionally and abroad, including collaborations with�Relax Your Face�(London),�Zany Umbrella Circus�(Amman), Akropolis Performance Lab, On the Boards�(Seattle), and with female inmates of WA State Corrections through Freehold Studio's�Engaged Theatre Project.��Cleveland stage credits include Pandemonium '12,�Earth Plays�(CPT),�Cocopelli (Ensemble), and Mamaí Theatre's upcoming production of�Boston Marriage in July 2013.�Cathleen holds an MFA from Naropa University.

Daniel Grambow

Daniel Grambow — Miro/Ensemble

Daniel recently finished his Masters of Music at CIM, studying voice with Clifford Billions. While at CIM he played the role of Geronimo in Il matrimonio segreto, the First Minister in Cendrillon, and Peter in Hänsel und Gretel.�His earlier credits include Peachum (The Beggar's Opera), Pish-Tush (The Mikado) and Benoit/Alcindoro (La Bohème). He sang the baritone solo for Carmina Burana in Milwaukee (2007). He attended Carnegie-Mellon's Pre-college Musical Theater Program (2005), Interlochen Arts Camp (2006) and studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria (2009). At Inspiration Point, Arkansas, he received the Marie Prudie Brown Emerging Young Artist Award (2008).

Ben Merold

Ben Merold — Trajan/Ensemble

Ben is making his Talespinner debut! He is currently attending Cleveland State University and majoring in Theatre. His past credits include: Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream, O Li Roon in In the Red and Brown Water, and Daddy in The American Dream.

Katelyn Cornelius

Katelyn Cornelius — Pedlar/Ensemble

Katelyn is a proud graduate of the Cleveland State University Theater program and for the past two years has worked as an actor-teacher for Great Lakes Theater. Most recently Katelyn was proud to rejoin the Theater Ninjas in the revival of the The Excavation, an original work about the resurrection of Pompeii, at the Cleveland Art Museum. Katelyn has also worked at Cleveland Public Theater, Ensemble Theater, Karamu House, Cleveland State Summer Stages, and The Bang and the Clatter. Some favorite roles include Mandy in Osama the Hero (CPT), Kate Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer (CSU), Frieda Earle in the East Coast premiere of The Bow Club (Karamu), and a member of an ensemble performance of Woyzeck (Theater Ninjas). This is Katelyn's debut with TCT.

Andrew Gombas

Andrew Gombas — Goran/Ensemble

Andrew is an actor, musician, and storyteller whose previous professional credits include Iphigenia 2.0 and Inquietude at Cleveland Public Theater, as well as a tour of his original show We Black Sheep Have to Stick Together in Portland, OR. He recently graduated from Oberlin College and is working as an Actor/Teacher for Great Lakes Theater.

Carrie Williams

Carrie Williams — Zora/Ensemble

Carrie has been involved with TCT since 2011 as an artist, teacher, box office manager, member of the benefit committee, and currently as Volunteer Coordinator. �She�has worked with Cleveland Public Theater, Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, as an Actor-Teacher with Great Lakes Theater's school residency program, and most recently appeared in the Big Box production These Are The Times. �Carrie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Bowling Green State University.

Stephanie Wilbert

Stephanie Wilbert — Movement and Music Director

Stephanie received a BA in Theatre Arts from Cleveland State University where she studied Voice and Movement under Holly Holsinger. In 2012, Stephanie performed in the TCT inaugural production of The Tale of the Name of the Tree, as well as coordinating movement/percussion for Magic Flute. This season, she has been seen as The Witch/Dog 2/Ensemble in TCT's The Tinderbox. She is an EMC and a member of the Ohio Capoeira Brasil. This fall she will be attending the MFA in Theater: Contemporary Performance program at Naropa University.

Brittany Gaul — Stage Manager

Brittany is proud to make her professional stage management debut with TCT! She has been involved with TCT since Spring of 2012 as a teaching artist. Brittany has also worked as a professional actor with Theatre Ninjas, Blank Canvas, The Ohio City Theatre Project and Cleveland Shakespeare Festival. Off stage she serves as a volunteer yoga teacher with The Community Assessment Treatment Services Center. This summer she will appear as a teaching artist with The Ohio City Theatre Project. Brittany holds a BA in Dramatic Arts from Cleveland State University, and a 200-hr Certificate to teach yoga.

Michael Sepesy — Playwright

Michael is an award-winning playwright and filmmaker and has been a fixture of the Cleveland theater scene since his first full production in 1991. In 2003, he performed his one-man show Loserville as part of the New York International Fringe Festival. Since then, he has published short work in various publications and received several local awards for his short film Casualties (2010), made as a part of Cuyahoga Community College's video and film program. In 2008, he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in playwriting from the Northeast Ohio MFA Program. � He teaches English composition at Cleveland State University and public speaking at Bryant and Stratton College.