Cassidy Theatre, Inc. Board Has New Leader In Michael Caraffi

PARMA HEIGHTS -- As he indicated he intended to do more than 18 months ago, Bob Stoesser has now formally stepped down from his leadership role as Board President at the Cassidy Theatre, Inc., having held that position for 10 years. New at the helm is President Michael “Mike” Caraffi, who works for PNC Bank and has an extensive background as a business analyst. He has been a longtime volunteer actor, performer and director at our local community theatre gem. Caraffi is a good choice for heading up the theatre’s Board. The Cassidy, which has struggled to fill seats for years since the decision to privatize it. The municipality still owns the building, but no longer has the responsibility for its day-to-day operation. Caraffi, an accomplished pianist and performer, knows both sides of the theatrical and business equation – something that will come in handy as he works to chart a new course for our local community theatre, founded by the late Parma Heights Mayor Paul W. Cassidy for his wife, Elise, a former actress, in 1974.

Rounding out the Theatre Board for 2020 are Vice President Georgia Petrucci Muttillo; Secretary Katie Flanigan; and Treasurer Sarah Durham, along with Board members Steve DeLuca, Mike Larochelle, Sharon Mlecik and Dan Tomon, the latter being the city’s longtime Recreation Department Supervisor.

YOUTH THEATRE CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS – The Cassidy Youth Theatre spring classes and workshops begin February 15 and continue through April 11, and will run Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The classes and workshops are for youth ages 4-17. No previous theatrical experience is necessary.

For more information, visit or call 440.842.4600.

ON STAGE – What do you get when you mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, with a dash of Monty Python-esque humor thrown in for good measure?

The answer is “The 39 Steps,” a fast-paced whodunit that is a two-time Tony and Drama Desk award-winning production, which will grace the main stage of the Cassidy Theatre from February 7-23.

Written by Patrick Barlow, the production features a cast of four who play more than 150 different characters. The show features elements including a plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers and some good old-fashioned romance.  Not to be confused with the far more serious film by Alfred Hitchcock himself, “The 39 Steps” is a send-up of all things Hitchcock.

AT THE PARMA HEIGHTS LIBRARY – A Monday, February 10 special program at the Parma Heights branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, you’ll have the chance to learn what Aromatherapy is and how plant oils such as Peppermint, Rosemary and more work for human medicinal application. Participants will make a product to take home. All materials will be provided. The program is currently full, but you can join the waiting list at

The fun begins at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A of the library, 6206 Pearl Road.

HEALTHY LIVING FOR YOUR BRAIN AND BODY – Learn about the latest research providing insights into how to make lifestyle choices that may help you keep your brain and body healthy as you age during a Thursday, February 20 program from 7-8 p.m. in Meeting Room C of the Parma Heights branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

Those who wish to participate are asked to register in advance at

COMMUNITY WALKING – You are cordially invited to get out of the cold this winter and join the Parma City School District in its Community Walking program, located at all three Parma District High Schools, including Valley Forge in Parma Heights.

Community walkers can participate from 6-8 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays each week. Sign-in is required at each building at the designated entrance. For Normandy High School, 2500 West Pleasant Valley Road, that is the main entrance of the building. For Parma Senior High School, 6285 W. 54th Street, that is the back bus loop entrance, located off Longwood Avenue in the rear of the building. For Valley Forge High School, 9999 Independence Boulevard, it is the Auditorium entrance, located off Independence Boulevard.

The program will be offered through mid-April. Children ages 12 and under must be supervised by an adult. 

For more information, call 440.885.2328. There will be no community walking when schools are closed for any reason, including breaks and calamity days.

COMMUNITY SWIMMING – Free open swimming is open to Parma Heights residents each Tuesday through April 21 at Valley Forge High School, 9999 Independence Boulevard, from 6-8 p.m. Exception dates are March 10 and March 24, 2020. Proof of residency is required – either a utility bill or an Ohio driver’s license.

Children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Yes, the Valley Forge High School swimming pool is heated, in case you were wondering.

If you have questions, call the Parma Heights Recreation Department at 440.884.9606 or e-mail for more information.

HAWAII IN PARMA HEIGHTS – Mark your calendars for 6 p.m. Saturday, February 8.

Divinity Lutheran Church, 11877 Blossom Avenue, will host a Hawaiian Luau and Silent Auction. Tickets are $8. All proceeds benefit the church’s Youth Ministry. The event will take place in the church Fellowship Hall. To purchase tickets visit the church office personally or call Parish Administrator Paula McCormick at 440.845.2060.

ANOTHER DIVINITY FUND-RAISER – This one specifically supports the church’s 2020 operating budget and is held in memory of David Boxler, the late former president of the Divinity congregation, and a Valley Forge High School graduate.

It’s billed as “A Night at the Races,” and will be held beginning at 6 p.m. February 22 at the American Legion Post 703 on York Road. The evening includes was and beer, dinner, and opportunities to win basket prizes and sideboard monies. Your ticket stub will be sued for various other drawings throughout the evening. You can also purchase a horse to support the church. Horses are available for $25.

Another way you can help is by donating items that can be used in raffle baskets.  Those may be dropped off at the church office.

For additional information, call 440.845.2060.


Rick Haase

Rick Haase is a freelance writer from Parma Heights.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 9:29 PM, 02.02.2020