About Us

Welcome to Wake Up and Live’s Actor’s Studio!

Hello! My name is Sue Johnson. I am the Executive Director at Wake Up and Live, a non-profit performing arts educational organization committed to fostering and promoting diversity in the Cleveland Art Scene.

Wake Up and Live’s Actor’s Studio has been servicing the arts community for over 20 years. We collaborate with organizations to showcase diverse talents by promoting directorial, production, and acting opportunities in Northeast Ohio.

About Wake Up and Live’s Actors Studio

Wake Up and Live (WUAL) is a 501©3 non-profit performing arts, entertainment, and education organization committed to using an integrative, diverse approach to enrich northeast Ohio’s cultural life through empowering artistic, educational, entertainment, media programs and services that focus on the African-American , strong spirits of community in the midst of a pandemic.

WUAL has made the difference in the lives of some 800 students and actors since 1997 through “Master the Art” classes, workshops, private coaching, “PlayActs” performances and “PlayActs…To Go!” touring productions.

1. Over 80 playwrights have showcased their work through the almost 125 original plays and sketches performed by our Actor’s Studio in “PlayActs” Performances, “PlayActs… To Go!” and “Wake Up to Life” productions.

2. Since 2008, more than 410 local, regional, and national guests have been featured on our “Wake Up and Live with the Arts” You Tube show which promotes and supports the performing and cultural arts, artists, business, and community leaders.

Throughout our experience, we have endeavored to be sure WUAL follows on-going values which include:
– Reflect characteristics that we commit to, such as, developing a culture that delivers our mission and executes our vision; treating others with compassion, consideration, appreciation, and dignity.
– Work collaboratively as a team with ownership and alignment toward an organization known for its values of trust, innovation, dependability, reliability, loyalty, commitment; and open-mindedness, honesty, and efficiency.
– Are guided by the integrity of the content and impact of our performances.
– Commit WUAL to the caliber and quality of the dramatic arts that allow us to build audiences, be able to generate income, be long-lasting, and sustainable as a well-respected arts organization.

The multi-faceted activities we conduct include:

  1.  Presenting plays featuring emerging African American playwrights, actors, directors, stage managers. Recruit individuals with technical skills for lighting, audio, set design, and makeup and wardrobe. Our purpose is to raise community awareness, education of, and acceptance of black artists as major contributors to the arts industry in greater Cleveland
  2. Presenting “Wake Up and Live With the Arts” YouTube and social media interviews which showcase and promote  black theater actors, and other performing artists, (eg. instrumental and vocal, visual, dancers, poets, authors). We complement these unions with African American leaders of business and community organizations that support minority arts and culture.
  3.  “Reaching out to” the community to perform plays, present new interviews of lesser-known black performers for more artistic exposure, enhancing their chances of being noticed and hired.
  4. Continue training emerging African American talent to be more competitive in the arts industry. For example, improve craft and business development skills of aspiring and experienced playwrights, actors and directors. 
  5. Train younger, aspiring African American playwrights in the art of writing plays which focus on social justice issues, such as better housing, better schooling. Selected plays would then be performed by African American actors potentially via “Wake Up and Live With the Arts” YouTube shows, or in public settings.
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