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Narrative teens dating violence

Just this month, the University of Kansas Department of Theatre announced that "Johanna: Facing Forward" will be part of its 2015-16 season.

"Let's do it again." It's mid-May, and the cast, a combination of Cleveland Public Theatre regulars and members of Teatro Publico de Cleveland, a Latino theater company CPT launched in 2013, is two weeks away from the first public preview of "Johanna: Facing Forward." The atmosphere is collegial and collaborative, much lighter than the dark, difficult material in Rivas' production - teen-dating violence, stalking and rape.

Later, they run through a gripping, ripped-from-the-headlines moment in the script - the September 2007 sentencing of Ruiz, when then-Judge Timothy Mc Ginty sent the 17-year-old to prison for 27 years. "It's almost like, that's the best he could do, right? "It's all still about From left: Johanna Orozco (with son Malcolm) and Plain Dealer reporter Rachel Dissell (and daughter Willa) tour Gordon Square Theatre in the summer of 2014 to see the space that will house "Johanna: Facing Forward." The world-premiere play is based on Dissell's 2007 series about Orozco's inspiring journey of courage and recovery and Orozco's journals. ' " The playwright reached out to the reporter on New Year's Day 2014, almost seven years after the stories were published.

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Tania Benites, who plays Johanna Orozco in the new play that opens at Cleveland Public Theatre on Friday, May 29, sits in a hospital bed listening to voice-mail messages. Where: CPT's Gordon Square Theatre, 6415 Detroit Ave, Cleveland. The first is from a teacher at Lincoln West High School, asking the 18-year-old senior about some missing homework.

For those who don't know Orozco's story, one told in a gripping series of newspaper articles by Plain Dealer reporter Rachel Dissell, the calls are breadcrumbs, marking a curious trail. She'll need to finish the assignments so she can graduate. "Listen, don't worry about what everyone's saying - Michelle and I are gonna make you look bea-u-ti-ful! Michael Fritz, Johanna's surgeon, who reconstructed her ruined face and jaw.

Based on the Plain Dealer series "Johanna: Facing Forward" by Rachel Dissell and the journals of Johanna Orozco. "Great," says director and playwright Tlaloc Rivas.

Narrative teens dating violence

Approximate running time: Two hours, including one 15-minute intermission.

Still, Rivas didn't want to write another "Extremities," the 1980s revenge fantasy that unfolds in the living room of a farmhouse in middle-of-nowhere New Jersey where a woman named Marjorie subdues her would-be rapist Raul with bug killer, trusses him up and stuffs him in her fireplace.

She then turns the tables on her attacker, terrifying and brutalizing him, as he did her.

An actor appearing in an alcove on an unfinished set in CPT's Gordon Square Theatre delivers each message. Another is from a bubbly girlfriend, calling about trying on dresses for prom. She has to remember to turn in the proper paperwork for an upcoming dental surgery, one in a seemingly endless succession of operations to repair the skin and teeth and bone blown apart by a shotgun blast.

Johanna: Facing Forward What: A Cleveland Public Theatre production of the world-premiere play written and directed by Tlaloc Rivas. Juan Ruiz, the boy she once loved, had pulled the trigger.

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