More change is in the air at Cleveland Play House this year: In addition to making a big move to PlayhouseSquare, the theater has announced the hiring of Donald Carrier as the new associate director of the Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Acting Program.
Since 1996, Cleveland Play House has partnered with Case Western Reserve University to offer an MFA degree in acting. In 2003, it became a conservatory program completely housed at Cleveland Play House. As associate director, Carrier will serve as the primary liaison to CWRU on matters concerning the MFA acting program, in addition to directing MFA productions, assisting with curriculum planning, supervising and evaluating the training of the graduate ensemble, as well as serving as a master teacher and advisor.
Carrier has acted, taught and directed at regional theaters throughout the country, including The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, The Old Globe, The Shakespeare Theatre, and The Intiman. He also spent nine years as a company member of Stratford Shakespeare Festival and two years at Shaw Festival Theatre.
"Bringing Don Carrier into the CWRU/CPH MFA is a leap forward for an already fine program," says Play House artistic director Michael Bloom. "He has a superb conservatory background and extensive teaching and directing experience in the U.S. and Canada. To have an actor of his stature on CPH's staff is a true gift." Bloom has directed Carrier as Oscar Wilde in Gross Indecencies at the Hungtington Theatre Company in Boston and Lincolnesque at the Play House. Carrier also appeared in the Play House production of Noises Off.
Accordingly, Carrier's new career in Cleveland theatre won't be strictly limited to the CWRU/CPH MFA program. In the upcoming 2011-12 Mainstage season, he will be in the cast as Alfred Lunt in Ten Chimneys and as Mr. Daldry in In the Next Room. Carrier will join the Play House in September.
"What excites me most about what I can bring to this position is the fact that I've worked across the country and have a sense of what is out there and what is really required for a young actor to be successful, or to at least possess the knowledge to be pro-active," says Carrier.