Talespinner Children’s Theatre Reopens with a New Team and an Exciting New Performance Season

Talespinner is ready to re-open their doors in Gordon Square after two years of being closed to the public due to the pandemic. The organization re-emerges with a new Executive Artistic Director, Heather Utsler-Smith, to lead Talespinner into the next decade of opening the hearts, minds & imaginations of the children of Northeast Ohio.

Heather Utsler-Smith

With an MFA in Applied Drama and Theatre for the Young, a masters certificate in Arts Entrepreneurship and more than fifteen years working as an educator, Heather brings extraordinary experience to the Talespinner organization. She has also served as the Performing Arts Director for an association of YMCA’s in Massachusetts, running two youth theatres including one she founded, and directing and choreographing more than 60 productions during her tenure.

“I was bit by the performing arts bug when I was in second grade after I saw a VHS of the original Broadway production of Into the Woods with Bernadette Peters and I’ve been hooked ever since,” said Utsler-Smith. “With the support of amazing teachers and arts educators who allowed me to experiment with staging my own scenes and producing my own shows even at the young age of eight, I knew this was going to be my life’s work.”

Founded in 2011, Talespinner began their search for new leadership in 2020 as the board embarked on a strategic planning initiative that focused on growing the organization’s services and offerings while also preserving the theatre’s place in the community. Board President, Sandro Galindo, noted that the decision of who was going to lead Talespinner into the next decade was carefully chosen.

“Talespinner has been beloved by Cleveland’s children and families for ten years, but there’s so much more we want to offer – especially our educational programming and growing our relationships with local artists,” Galindo said. “With Heather’s impressive background in both theatre and education, we knew she would not only connect with Talespinner’s vision but be able to expand our reach and impact into more communities.”

“I’m honored to be leading an organization with such a rich history in the community,” continued Utsler-Smith. “I’m particularly excited about the opportunity to continue fostering and nurturing Cleveland’s amazing playwrights and artists, and produce their original works, as well as some of the beautiful and vibrant stories that make up the tapestry of theatre for young people across the country and the world.”

Talespinner will announce their new season and welcome the community back with an afternoon of magic, crafts, contests and face-painting on Sunday, August 28th from 2 – 5pm at the Reinberger Auditorium. Crafts will be themed after the new performances, which will be announced at 2:30pm on that Sunday. The event is free to attend for all children and families and light food and beverages will be provided. Online registration is recommended

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