Monthly Archives: October 2017

WRP Announces “Lost in Yonkers” Cast!

Western Reserve Playhouse is pleased to announce the cast of “Lost in Yonkers”!

The cast stars talented young actors Robbie Rush & James Patrick, along with seasoned professionals Shani Ferry & August Scarpelli, as well as OCTA recipients Beth Gaiser & Jay Hill. Rounding out the ensemble is award-winning local legend Harriet DeVeto.

Keith Stevens directs this heartwarming memory play by Neil Simon.

Performance Dates: January 26 – February 10, 2018

Show Times: 8:00 pm Fridays and Saturdays; 2:00 pm  Sunday
Tickets: $17.00 Adults; $15.00 Seniors & Students

Get yours today!

Our New Itty Bitty Theater is Offering Some Amazing Classes! Class size is Limited, so Book Today!

  Thursdays 9:30-10:15AM – Starting November 9- December 21, 2017  (No Class November 23, 2017) – $65.00

Itty Bitty Ballet (Ages 3-6) This 6 week class is an introduction to ballet for our very youngest dancers, ages 3-6 years old. (Must be potty trained.) Learn about the world of ballet in a relaxed & fun atmosphere. These classes are structured to stimulate coordination skills, listening skills, balance, music interpretation, creative movement & motor development in the youngest dancers. This program is an excellent introduction to the world of ballet. Limited to 10 students. There will be a small performance on the last day of class.


 Thursdays 10:30-11:15AM – Starting November 9-December 21, 2017 (No Class November 23, 2017) – $65.00

Itty Bitty Tap (Ages 3-6) This 6 week class is an introduction to tap for our very youngest dancers, ages 3-6 years old. (Must be potty trained.) Learn about the world of tap in a relaxed & fun atmosphere. These classes are structured to stimulate coordination skills, listening skills, balance, music interpretation, creative movement & motor development in the youngest dancers. This program is an excellent introduction to the world of tap & rhythm. Limited to 10 students. There will be a small performance on the last day of class.


 Tuesdays  9:30-10:15AM – Starting November 7-December 12, 2017 – $65.00

Itty Bitty Acting (Ages 3-6) This 6 week class is an introduction to acting for our youngest actors, ages 3-6 years. (Must be potty trained.) Learn about the world of acting & imagination. Using acting terms & activities, your child will learn what it takes to become a character & become comfortable on stage. Through the use of fairy tales & magic, your child will become a star. These classes are structured to be fun, no pressure & filled with laughter & learning in a non-scary environment to help our youngest actors become “stars” on stage. There will be a small performance on the last day of class.


 Mondays 1-1:45PM – Starting November 13-December 18, 2017 – $70.00


Itty Bitty Theater – Puppet Theater (Ages 3-6) This six week class in an introduction to putting on our own show.  Each student will create a hand puppet, puppet theater and write their own show with their class.  Sure to be all time favorite as we use art, acting and our imagination to bring their story to life. This class is perfect for our artists.  There will be a small performance on our last day of class.


Meet some of our NEW INSTRUCTORS for these amazing classes:

  Meet Alex Petsche

Alex has been teaching & performing choreography throughout Northeast Ohio for almost 10 years.  She began studying dance when she was six years old & was performing on stage by age 11.  She has taught dance at various locations, such as Lisa’s School of Dance & The Little Gym.  She won a merit in choreography at the Ohio Community Theatre Association at both the regional & state level for “Spamalot”.  She currently works with Imaginos Productions, LLC as an event planner & performer for children’s parties & special events. Alex will be instructing our Itty Bitty Ballet & Tap Classes.

Miss Alex can’t wait to meet your child to help them learn & grow!


 Meet Kaitlyn Harris

Kaitlyn Harris has been performing on stage since the age of 3! She started taking classes at Weathervane Playhouse (& has taught there, as well!) & continued at Kent State University. She has worked as a princess for Tiaras & Treasures for 3 years & loves every minute of it! She has performed at a professional level at Carousel Dinner Theatre & has been seen in over 30 productions in Ohio!  She will nest be seen at Chagrin Valley Little Theatre as BELLE in their production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Miss Harris can’t wait to meet your little one & help them discover the world of acting!
 Meet Mrs. Sally Morris

Sally has been performing throughout the area for almost fifty years. She is currently in rehearsal as Miss Hannigan in Beachwood Community Theater’s upcoming production of “Annie”. Sally has directed several plays and pageants at her church. She is looking forward to working with the Itty Bitty Puppet Theater and introducing our youngest thespians to the magical world of theater. We will create our puppets and scenery and put on a lovely little show at the end of our time together.

Mrs. Morris is thrilled to meet your child and have a fantastic time creating a show with your child!

Western Reserve Playhouse Plans First Year-Round Season

10/12/2017 – West Side Leader

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By Kathleen Folkerth

Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoski and Brian Westerley are heading up a new era at Western Reserve Playhouse in Bath. They are shown seated at the theater’s new bar area.
Photo: Kathleen Folkerth

BATH — The lights will be on — and the heating and air conditioning, when needed — all year at Western Reserve Playhouse (WRP) starting in January.After 61 years as a summer-only venue, the theater housed in a 161-year-old barn at 3326 Everett Road will feature a greatly expanded schedule of shows, as well as theater education and community performance opportunities in 2018.

Earlier this year, the board overseeing the theater named Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoski artistic director and Brian Westerley co-artistic director. Westerley said the paid staff positions were in the theater’s bylaws but had not been filled until now.

Sniadak-Yamokoski, a Peninsula resident and Woodridge High School graduate, said she ran her own theater in Cleveland for several years but put that on hold when she got married and had children. With her children now a little older, the idea of getting back into running a theater was appealing, she said.

At the same time, Westerley, of Stow, was also interested in working for a theater after directing and appearing in shows throughout the area. He is an Akron native who has also worked professionally in New York and Los Angeles.

The two knew each other through friends but only met about a year ago. After they both were added to the WRP board and found they worked together well, they proposed teaming up to take on greater roles in the organization. The board unanimously agreed, they said.

Once that happened, in May, they had less than a month before the start of the 2017 season, for which the shows had already been scheduled.

“We didn’t sleep a lot that first month,” Westerley said.

The two weren’t just focusing on the season’s three productions; they also delved into some projects to improve the theater’s space. They first launched a crowdfunding effort that quickly raised $2,600 to put toward new heating and air conditioning.

“People got excited when they saw what we were doing,” said Sniadak-Yamokoski.

Using volunteers and donations, other projects also got attention: a new bar was added to the back of the theater (which has a liquor license) to replace the old concession stand, the stage was extended and the lobby was refurbished. Wi-Fi was added to the entire building, and plans call for the addition of a few high-top tables to encourage socializing before shows and during intermissions.

With the 2017 season now complete, Sniadak-Yamokoski and Westerley are now looking ahead to their expanded 2018 season, which they just announced.

“I am thrilled by how well we worked on the second season,” said Sniadak-Yamokoski. “We didn’t have a lot of disagreements.”

Westerley added it helped that he’s more of a fan of plays and his colleague loves musicals. The season features a few of both styles, ranging from new works to old favorites.

The plays to be performed in 2018 are Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers,” Jan. 26-Feb. 10; “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” May 11-26; “Terms of Endearment,” Aug. 17-Sept. 1; “Little Women,” Oct. 5-20; and “Hay Fever,” Nov. 2-17.

Musicals on the schedule are “Tomorrow Morning,” March 9-24; “Dogfight,” April 13-28; Disney’s “The Lion King Jr.,” June 22-24; “Into the Woods,” June 29-July 1; and “Bare: A Pop Opera,” July 13-28.

The artistic directors said they are excited about bringing “Tomorrow Morning” to the stage. WRP will be the first theater to produce the work in the state. The book, music and lyrics are by Laurence Mark Wythe, based in London, and he will work closely with WRP on the show.

Also planned next October is the second annual 80 Minute Play Festival, which will feature performances of four new 20-minute plays submitted by the public. Submission information will be available in the near future.

In addition to the full year of shows, WRP also will begin to offer youth and adult theater classes. Sniadak-Yamokoski said she’d also like to offer workshops, such as dancing for actors, to help performers prepare for auditions. She and Westerley would also like to have a workshop on stage lighting design.

In the barn’s lower level, which still has part of the dirt floor from its early use as a dairy barn, Sniadak-Yamokoski and Westerley are planning to eventually build out an area for classrooms and better dressing rooms for performers. They’ve already added a “real” bathroom for performers so they no longer have to use the portable unit outside the barn.

The barn’s top level is full of costumes and props from years of shows — 2,400 square feet, to be exact. Sniadak-Yamokoski said she would like the theater to have a resident costumer to oversee a costume shop.

The two are also hoping the addition of activity at the theater will bring in more volunteers.

“If anyone wants to be involved, we want to grow this family,” Sniadak-Yamokoski said. “We’ll put you to work, and we’ll appreciate you.”

With the Akron area full of several small theater groups, WRP’s new artistic directors said they believe their changes can help the theater stand out.

“We’re not the richest theater, but that’s where creativity comes in,” Sniadak-Yamokoski said. “I want every person to leave and go, ‘Wow, I was moved by their artists.’”

The two also did a comprehensive study of ticket prices and found there was room for a slight increase. Single tickets are $17, or $15 for seniors 65 and older and students.

“We didn’t raise it much, but it will support the season,” Sniadak-Yamokoski said.

Season tickets are available for $100 for eight shows or $55 for a Flex Pass that allows admittance to four shows. Those options do not include the “Lion King Jr.” and “Into the Woods” performances, which are part of the WRP’s Young Artists’ Theatre Program. Those single tickets will be $10.

For more information, go to or call 330-620-7314.


Congratulations to Amanda Terman, the playwright of “A Rematch Made in Heaven”, for winning our inaugural 80 Minutes Play Festival!
A special thanks to the cast, crew & director of this show for helping to bring Amanda’s words to life!

Auditions for our 2018 Season Opener, “Lost in Yonkers” by Neil Simon Announced


Western Reserve Playhouse announces auditions for our 2018 Season Opener

Lost in Yonkers” by Neil Simon

Show dated are every Friday and Saturday from January 26-February 10, 2018 with one Sunday Matinee on February 4, 2018 @ 2PM



By America’s great comic playwright, Neil Simon, this memory play is set in Yonkers in 1942. Bella is thirty-five years old, mentally challenged, and living at home with her mother, stern Grandma Kurnitz. As the play opens, ne’er-do-well son Eddie deposits his two young sons on the old lady’s doorstep. He is financially strapped and taking to the road as a salesman. The boys are left to contend with Grandma, with Bella and her secret romance, and with Louie, her brother, a small-time hoodlum in a strange new world called Yonkers.

Directed by Keith Stevens

Staged Managed by Brianna Laybourn

Costumed by Kelsey Tomlinson

Light Designed by Kevin Rutan

Set Design by Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoski and Jim Grumba


JAY – 16 ARTY – 13 1/2

EDDIE – their father, 41

BELLA – mid-thirties, neat and sweet and pretty

GRANDMA KURNITZ – Eddie and Bella’s mother, a big woman, buxom, with a strong and erect body, 70 odd years of age

LOUIE – her other son, 36, doesn’t look like he’d be the hugging type

AUNT GERT – mid-to-late thirties, another of Grandma Kurnitz’s children


Auditions will be October 8 and 10, 2017 from 6:30-9:30P. Please sign up at

Please bring a current headshot and resume. All auditioning will do a cold reading from the show. There will be no equity contracts available for this production and no parts have been precast. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the director, Keith Steven at

Tickets on sale for our 1st Annual New Work Festival “80 Minutes”


This weekend only! Come and see four original 20 minute plays, four amazing directors, 10 superb actors and enjoy some of Ohio’s best theater.

October 6 & 7, 2017 @ 8PM and October 8, 2017 @ 2PM

Get your $10.00 ticket today!