Aug 17, 2023 - News

Talespinner Children's Theatre enters its second decade

Children play with puppets on stage.

A children's playhouse. Photo: Courtesy of Talespinner Children's Theatre

Talespinner Children's Theatre has been one of the best-kept secrets in Cleveland's arts community for a decade — but the organization doesn't want to be a secret anymore.

Driving the news: Talespinner will host a ribbon-cutting and open house for its new location inside 78th Street Studios from 5-7:30pm Friday.

Flashback: Former artistic director Alison Garrigan founded Talespinner in 2011 as a local theater company with performances geared toward and sometimes starring kids.

  • The nonprofit organization rented space at Reinberger Auditorium in Gordon Square from the Centers for Families and Children until June, when the Centers took back the space in order to expand.

State of play: After a two-year hiatus following Garrigan's retirement in January 2020, Talespinner returned last year under the leadership of new artistic director Heather Utsler-Smith.

  • Since taking over, Utsler-Smith helped create spring and summer educational programs that attracted more than 100 kids this year.

What's next: Talespinner's 2023-24 season will feature six productions at various Cleveland locations with the theme "In My Neighborhood" to offset 78th Street Studios' lack of full theater performance space.

What they're saying: "We decided to turn the challenge of moving into an opportunity," Utsler-Smith tells Axios.

  • "The hope is to engage with the communities we're in and have our performances paired with other community events that help get the word out."
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