Maelstrom Collaborative Arts integrates diverse genres, disciplines, and media to explore innovative forms of performance and collaboration. We produce live and virtual interactions that invite artists and audiences into new adventurous territory.

Our History


Since our first performance in 2006, Maelstrom Collaborative Arts (formerly Theater Ninjas) has built a reputation for boundary-pushing work noted for its range of styles and content, highly-stylized physical staging, site-specific production, and experimentation with interaction and audience agency. We have been committed to producing a mix of world/regional premieres and original productions including devised plays, classical reinventions, participatory game-based art experiences, and work-in-progress showcases for theatre and dance. At the core of our identity is the idea of theater as an event, and everything we do feeds into our goal of creating extra-ordinary experiences that resonate with audiences long after the show is over. In 2017, the Company began leasing a storefront suite  in the Gordon Square Arts District that functions as a headquarters for activities including rehearsals, performances, classes in movement and devised theater creation, audio and video recording, and administration including box office.


Board of Trustees

Susan Rothmann  •  Marjorie Anderson  •  Jeremy Paul

Staff & Cadre


Jeremy Paul - Artistic Director

Jeremy Paul is the founder and Artistic Director of Maelstrom Collaborative Arts since 2006. Primarily working in the field of devised theater, Jeremy has led the creation of the original productions Who We Used To Be, Don't Wander Off, Broken Codes, The Turing Machine, The Grand Celebration of the Celestial Mystery, TingleTangle, Code: Preludes, The Excavation, and Marble Cities. He is also the co-creator of the original works The Last Day (with the Maelstrom Cadre), NICK&JEREMY (with Nick Riley), Absence (with Michael Rau) and The Beetlebug and the Bad Worm (with Faye Hargate). Jeremy has also directed the world and regional premieres of many plays in Northeast Ohio, including Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys, Stranded on Earth, Black Cat Lost, My Barking Dog, Inoculations and Anna Bella Eema. Jeremy graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut with dual majors in Theater and Film, and has post-graduate training with the Pig Iron Theatre Company, New World Performance Lab and the Celebration Barn International School for the Performing Arts. Jeremy is a recipient of CPAC Creative Workforce Fellowships in 2012 and 2016.

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Lauren Joy Fraley - Connectivity Director

Lauren Joy Fraley is a performer, theater-maker, and teaching artist who joined the Cadre in 2016, and is now currently serving as Connectivity Director for Theater Ninjas. She has contributed to the creation of past Theater Ninjas' productions including Who We Used to Be, Don't Wander Off, The Last Day, and Broken Codes, which featured Auxiliary, her original short-form work inspired by her experiences with Theater Ninjas' after school STEAM club for girls at Orchard STEM school. She will lead this program again in spring 2018, this time culminating in Mystery Box, a new explorable story (created with Jeremy Paul) based on the life of Ada Lovelace, the first computer scientist who was "writing code for a machine that did not yet exist."



Sequoia Bostick - Cadre Member

Sequoia Bostick is a freelance Illustrator and designer living in Cleveland Ohio. She has collaborated with Theater Ninjas on design for Who We Used to Be, animation for Don't Wander Off, and illustration & design for the interactive "Landmarks" game at Cleveland Public Theatre's Station Hope, 2017. By day she teaches art to kids of all ages as a Resident Teaching Artist. By night (and sometimes part of the day) she creates crafts for kids, draws comics, and runs Cleveland’s own all-ages comic anthology Vagabond Comics. She graduated from the Cleveland Institute of art with a BFA in Illustration in 2014.


Marcia Custer - Cadre Member

Marcia Custer is a performance artist with an interest in both the bizarre and the sublime. Her premiere one-woman noise-comedy i went down to the water and found myselfie there (co-produced by Cleveland Public Theater) has been seen in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. She holds a B.A. in Dance from Kent State University and completed a post-baccalaureate program at Headlong Performance Institute (Philadelphia). Based in Cleveland, you can find her singing in freak-pop band Half an Animal or acting in the online series 2 Divorced Moms with artist Ben Oblivion.



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Christopher Hisey - Cadre Member

Christopher Hisey is a Lakewood-based artist and designer, and a proud member of the Maelstrom Collaborative Arts Cadre. Some of his projects with MCA include the narrative puzzle room The Last Day and the interactive science fiction storytelling experience Don't Wander Off. He was a founding member of the Parallax Theater Ensemble where he co-wrote and directed the live-radio-style script reading series The Social Anxiety Hour and performed in the Ohio premiere of Sweet Confinement. His previous work with Maelstrom Collaborative Arts includes creating Broken Nodes as a part of Broken Codes, performing in Code: Preludes and co-designing the Adventure puzzle workshop in the summer of 2015. Additionally, Christopher ran the Cleveland MegaGame Council with whom he designed large scale games and roleplaying events for groups of 30+ participants. Christopher is a 2002 graduate of Malone University, where he helped co-found the Open Frame Digital Film Festival.