'Gloria' Explores Costs of Competition at Work

Sarah Maria Yannie, Keith Kornajcik and Michael Prosen in "Gloria" [Steve Wagner/CPT]
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Workplace drama takes center stage at Cleveland Public Theatre in its latest play, "Gloria."

Young professionals vie for a break at a magazine while veteran employees keep their distance until a tragedy unfolds in the office.

The play, written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, takes a critical look at personal ambition, and director Beth Wood was eager to bring it to Cleveland Public Theatre.

“When I read this play I was so struck by the journey of each of these human beings… and how much this play is about the masks we wear and how far we’ll go to succeed,” Wood said.

Beth Wood, director [CPT]

The characters navigate the shifting media world, but the workplace competition is relatable across professions.

Cleveland Public Theatre discloses to audiences there is violence within the play, and Wood said her objective is to “ignite emotion” from the tragedy in a way that is not “traumatic for the audience.”

Still, the tragedy is not the main focus. It’s more about how people interact with their colleagues.

“I think what I’m asking the audience to consider is: When we put someone else’s needs above our own doesn’t that help us succeed more? And maybe that’s not what these characters are always doing. They’re putting their own needs and their own desires in front of everything else,” Wood said.

“Gloria” continues through April 13 at Cleveland Public Theatre.

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