Rabbit Run Theater and Lake Erie College present “The Elephant Man”

Fine Arts,

Bernard Pomerance’s drama “The Elephant Man” opens Friday, Feb. 26, at Lake Erie College’s C. K. Rickel Theatre. This show is the third production in The Studio Series, a four-Pictured (L to R): Josh Dean as the Elephant Man, Dan Grgic as Dr. Frederick Treves Photo by Hannah Sandhampart collaborative theatrical season between Rabbit Run Community Arts Association (RRCAA) and Lake Erie College. The Studio Series is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and an additional grant from the Lake County Visitors Bureau.  

Directed by Brint Learned, executive director of RRCAA, “The Elephant Man” is based on the life of Joseph Merrick and explores Merrick’s struggles to lead a normal life in the face of severe physical deformity, due to a rare skin and bone disease. 

The show is set in Victorian London, where Merrick is exploited as a freak in a traveling sideshow and eventually left destitute in London. Dr. Frederick Treves takes an interest in Merrick and agrees to take care of him. Merrick quickly becomes a favorite among the British elite, but it is an acceptance that comes with a heavy price. 

Merrick is played by Josh Dean. Dean has a long history with Rabbit Run that dates back to 2001 when he first performed in “South Pacific” at the theater. Since that time he has appeared in a number of shows at Rabbit Run in between spending four years in the Army, studying martial arts extensively and became a Screen Actor Guild (SAG)-eligible stunt man. Playing the role of Dr. Treves is Dan Grgic, who has performed locally at The Beck Center for the Arts, the Hanna Theatre and Porthouse Theatre. The role of Mrs. Kendal is played by Evie Koh. 

The Elephant Man” runs Feb. 26, 27 and Mar. 3, 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 28 and Mar. 6 at 2:00 p.m. in the C.K. Rickel Theatre in Royce Hall for the Fine and Performing Arts off of Gillett St. on the Lake Erie College campus, 391 W. Washington St., Painesville, OH.

The Sunday, Mar. 6, performance will be signed for the hearing-impaired.

On Saturday, Mar. 5, guests may add on a pre-show stop at the Steele Mansion in Painesville. A sit down dinner featuring recipes that were popular with the social elite in 19th century England will be served followed by a self-guided tour of the mansion. The entrée includes chicken frickessee, a favorite among British aristocracy. The meal starts with salad greens along with dinner rolls with sweet cream butter and finishes with Blancmange for dessert. Cash bar is available. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., and dinner will be served at 5:45 p.m. Tickets including dinner and the show and are $58/person. Reservations are required for this event and may be made at rabbitrunonline.org.

The Steele Mansion is located at 348 Mentor Ave., directly across from Lake Erie College.

Tickets for “The Elephant Man” are $15 for adults and $13 for seniors. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at rabbitrunonline.org. Lake Erie College students, faculty and staff are admitted free of charge. All seats are general seating. Parking is free.

“The Elephant Man” is made possible in part by funding through the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lake County Visitors Bureau, the Ohio Arts Council and ideastream.

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