Cleveland-based play has links to Kent State

Nicole Hennessy

Senior, recent grad take to the stage in area premiere


Credit: DKS Editors

As two actors constantly switch hats, sometimes so quickly they must be stacked upon their heads three or four at a time, the characters of “GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL!” come to life.

The hats, serving as the identities of the characters, include printed on titles such as drunk, doctor, daughter, friend and Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press.

“It’s not about Johannes Gutenberg,” said Marc Moritz, the musical’s director. “It is less about a structured story and more about a style of play. I think it’s got a certain sensibility. It’s not groundbreaking in any way, it’s just fun; it’s silly.”



• Tickets: Students – $10

• Regular – $17

• Dec. 4 through Jan. 2 at the

Dobama Theatre 2340 Lee Rd

Cleveland, OH 44118

Through Dane Castle who plays ‘Bud’ and Chris Richards who plays ‘Doug,’ these identities begin to exhibit character.

A satan worshiping monk and an anti-Semitic little girl who sells flowers can’t read the labels printed on their hats, thus never even know themselves in a comedic manner with no implied sociological message.

“It’s fiction, but true,” Castle, a senior theatre major, exclaimed in his dialogue.

German music pours from the speakers in the theater when Bud, in a bowtie and an argyle sweater vest, and Doug, in a button down shirt, take the stage explaining to the audience they will be performing a musical they have written.

“It is their heart and soul. They love musical theater more than they love anything,” Richards said of Bud and Doug. “They are very dedicated. They are not just passively hoping this will take off.”

The characters are two aspiring playwrights who have written “GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL!” They are “presenting it (the play) to the audience hoping producers are out there. They want to share it with the world,” Moritz explained.

Though Richards does not think the metaphor of one person wearing many different hats was an intended message, he admits that we all wear many different hats in life.

“I can only be a son to my parents, a student to people who are teaching me,” he said as he explained that these roles can also be interchangeable. “In any walk of life, people know each other in different ways and varying different degrees.”

The minimalist set of rich wooden floors surrounding a piano contains props such as a box labeled wine press, which during the play turns into a printing press.

“We don’t make wine anymore,” Richards said while he was wearing the Gutenberg hat. “We make words.”

Contact performing arts reporter, Nicole Hennessy, at [email protected].