Playhouse Square to Receive National Endowment for the Arts Grant

National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $20,000 to Playhouse Square to support the commission of Cartography, a new work by theater artist Kaneza Schaal, award-winning author and illustrator Christopher Myers and produced by ArKtype/Thomas O. Kriegsmann.

Art Works is the Arts Endowment’s principal grantmaking program. The agency received 1,592 Art Works applications for this round of grantmaking and will award 977 grants in this category.

“These awards, reaching every corner of the United States, are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Organizations such as Playhouse Square are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create and be inspired.”

Playhouse Square Vice President of Community Engagement & Education Daniel Hahn met artists Kaneza Schaal and Christopher Myers not long after they returned to the United States from working with a group of refugee youth in Munich, Germany. Their work with those refugees inspired Schaal and Myers to propose creating a theater piece that would use mapmaking and storytelling to explore the themes of migration and immigration.

Compelled by the artists themselves and a previously-established relationship with Cleveland-based organization The Refugee Response, Hahn and Playhouse Square decided to partner with producer Tommy Kriegsmann, president of ArKtype, and commission Cartography.

“Myers and Schaal are creating an engaging performance that leads to the contemplation of urgent questions about migration and immigration,” said Hahn. “We at Playhouse Square believe in the power of theater to develop understanding, insight and empathy and because of this, we actively seek to produce new and promising work like Cartography for young audiences. We are so grateful to have received a National Endowment for the Arts grant which will provide students the opportunity to consider where we have come from, how we have moved and where we are all going, as well as give us the ability to expand and foster our ongoing relationships with The Refugee Response, Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Cuyahoga County Public Library system.”

Leading up to the engagement of Cartography at Playhouse Square in November 2019, Kaneza and Schaal visited Cleveland this past April and will return in September to conduct storytelling workshops for area educators, for children ages 10-17 at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch of Cuyahoga Public Library and with refugee students from John Marshall High School. Each student participating in the workshops will receive a free ticket to see the show at Playhouse Square in November.

“Many teens struggle to find out who they are and what motivates them. This is especially true of the teens in our program who have witnessed conflict, been forced from their homes and found themselves in a new home land,” said Patrick Kearns, executive director of The Refugee Response. “Cartography is a one of kind experience for these students to express themselves, to find their voices and to hear each other's stories with the guidance of professional performers and storytellers. We are thrilled and grateful for this unique opportunity and collaboration.”

About Cartography
Cartography, a new play commissioned by Playhouse Square, explores the issue of migration. Five refugees from struggling countries discover what it means to leave home behind and start a new life. Performed by a diverse company of actors from such countries as El Salvador, Syria, Lebanon, South Africa and Rwanda, the play itself was inspired by true events.

In 2016, artists Christopher Myers and Kaneza Schaal flew to Munich, Germany, when 30,000 new people a day were arriving in that city, creating the largest migration in recorded human history. They spent hours listening to the refugees’ stories, shaping them into this stunning play. A combination of simple storytelling and interactive video technology, Cartography, taken directly from today’s headlines, exemplifies theater at its most relevant.

The creative team is led by author Christopher Myers (Caldecott Honor winner for his illustrations for Harlem, which was written by his father, Newberry Honor author Walter Dean Myers, whose works also include Somewhere in the Darkness, Slam!, Monster) and New York director Kaneza Schaal (2016 Creative Capital Award winner). Cartography is produced by ArKtype, led by Tommy Kriegsmann. ArKtype has produced work with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Peter Brook, Peter Sellars, Julie Taymor, as well as the U.S. premier of Tel Aviv’s Nalaga’at Deaf-Blind Theater production of Not by Bread Alone.

Cartography is produced with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Joyce Foundation. Additional support provided by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The New Victory Theatre, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University, and Young People’s Theatre of Toronto, Canada.

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
216-640-8660
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org

Art J. Falco to Complete Impressive Tenure as CEO at Playhouse Square; Gina Vernaci to Become President & CEO

At the March 11, 2019 meeting of the Playhouse Square Board of Trustees, Board Chair James Ratner announced Art J. Falco’s intention to step down from his current role as CEO effective June 30, 2019 after 28 years of visionary leadership at the helm of the not-for-profit performing arts center. Falco will continue to serve as a Senior Advisor for Special Projects, focusing on real estate initiatives and specifically The Lumen apartment tower.

The organization’s current President and Chief Operating Officer, Gina Vernaci, will become President and CEO effective July 1, 2019.

“Playhouse Square has had incredible success during Art’s tenure, rising to become a leader and role model in the industry. We are fortunate to have as a successor someone who was not only an integral part of creating our strategy, but who is one of the industry’s leaders in her own right,” said the chair of Playhouse Square’s Board of Trustees, James Ratner. “Given her national network and reputation, we are grateful that Gina’s love of Cleveland and belief in Playhouse Square’s mission have kept her here.”

Art has led the growth of Playhouse Square into the nation’s largest performing arts center outside of New York through a unique business model based on real estate management and holdings supporting arts presentations and vice versa. At the same time, Gina has led the creation of a performance and education powerhouse that has the largest Broadway series season ticket holder base in the nation.

As President and Chief Operating Officer of Playhouse Square, Gina is responsible for all operations, including more than 1000 annual performances and supervising a full- and part-time staff of 425 as well as the “RedCoats” volunteer corps of 2000.

Gina became an integral part of the movement to save the theater district after joining the organization in 1984, and as Playhouse Square grew, she assumed responsibility for programming, where she streamlined operations and instituted the Community Engagement & Education Department. Promotions followed swiftly in the ensuing two decades, and as part of Art’s executive team, she was named Vice President of Theatricals, then Senior Vice President of Operations, then Executive Producer; directing the artistic, educational and business aspects of shows, festivals and strategic partnerships in the community.

With a Master’s degree in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University, Vernaci understands what it takes to make a city thrive, and has been part of the leadership vision to make the arts and entertainment a crucial part of Northeast Ohio’s economy. She has led initiatives that have helped to position Playhouse Square as the region’s premier cultural and entertainment destination, including the expansion of Playhouse Square’s KeyBank Broadway Series from 8 to 24 performances for each engagement and growing the season ticket holder base for the series to the largest in the nation. She established Playhouse Square’s role in the Broadway in Akron series and continues to champion programming collaborations with libraries, colleges, resident companies and area non-profit theaters.

Well-respected by local, regional, national and international colleagues, Gina is Road Vice Chair of the Broadway League and is Past President and a member of the Investment Committee for the Independent Presenters Network and the Founder and Past President of The Independent Presenters Concert Network. She led the design of a unified booking agreement for the Broadway industry.

“It is a tremendous honor to lead Playhouse Square as we write the next chapter for this beloved institution. We will continue to build on our solid foundation and our dedicated team members will continue to deliver the dazzling experience our community expects and deserves,” said Gina. “It is especially gratifying to know that Art continues to be on this journey with us as we continue to expand our national profile.”

Among the many accomplishments achieved under Art’s tenure are: the growth of Playhouse Square from five performance spaces to 11 with an average annual attendance of more than one million guests; the establishment of Playhouse Square Real Estate Services, making Playhouse Square the first performing arts center with a real estate division; the completion of the restoration of Playhouse Square’s historic spaces; the creation of downtown Cleveland’s first Business Improvement District, later adopted city-wide as Downtown Cleveland Alliance; the development of the Playhouse Square District’s hotel, restaurants and residential living; and innovative partnerships with Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University, ideastream and the K&D Group.

For the entirety of Art’s tenure, Playhouse Square has balanced its budget and today earns more than 90% of its operating budget, the highest percentage nationally in the performing arts industry. Many performing arts centers now look to Art, Gina and Playhouse Square’s executive team for ideas, suggestions and guidance.

“It has been an honor to lead an organization with such an incredibly talented team of staff and volunteers and with such a supportive board. It is so gratifying to know we have made such a positive contribution to Cleveland and Northeast Ohio,” said Art. “My decision to make this transition was made so much easier knowing we have such a talented and capable leader in Gina ready to take the helm.”

The annual Playhouse Square Center Stage Benefit on July 24, 2019 will honor Art, with proceeds raised supporting the organization’s area development mission. In November, it was announced that the organization’s President’s Award - given annually to an individual, foundation or organization in Northeast Ohio whose leadership, perseverance and dedication has contributed to the success of Playhouse Square – would become the “Falco Award.”

Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
216-640-8660
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org

Playhouse Square Announces 2019-2020 KeyBank Broadway Series

Over an online broadcast of the annual Broadway Launch Party on February 26, 2019, Playhouse Square unveiled the seven shows that will be featured in the highly-anticipated 2019-2020 KeyBank Broadway Series: SUMMER: THE DONNA SUMMER MUSICAL, THE BAND’S VISIT, MEAN GIRLS, ANASTASIA, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, MY FAIR LADY and Disney’s FROZEN.

Playhouse Square President and COO Gina Vernaci says of #BWYinCLE, “In today’s fast-paced world of push notifications and screens that chirp at us all day, it is helpful to have good incentives to shut them all off. The KeyBank Broadway Series offers seven such reasons. We know you are going to thoroughly enjoy those moments when the lights go down, worries disappear and showtime truly becomes your time.”

Playhouse Square, with nearly 46,000 season ticket holders, leads the nation’s Broadway tour markets. Playhouse Square will offer each production for a total of 3 weeks, giving Northeast Ohioans plenty of opportunities to catch some of the most incredible shows that touring Broadway has to offer.

Season tickets to the 2019-2020 KeyBank Broadway Series at Playhouse Square are now available by calling 216-640-8800 or online at playhousesquare.org/broadway. Season ticket packages range from $100-$690 each with monthly payment plans available. The season announcement broadcast can be watched in its entirety at playhousesquare.org/launchparty, featuring performances from SUMMER: THE DONNA SUMMER MUSICAL, ANASTASIA and FROZEN, as well as in-depth looks at all seven shows, including a visit to Disney’s Broadway costume shop and interview with Cleveland-native and producer of THE BAND’S VISIT Orin Wolf.

The 2019-2020 Key Bank Broadway Series Includes:

SUMMER: THE DONNA SUMMER MUSICAL

October 8-27, 2019

She was a girl from Boston with a voice from heaven, who shot through the stars from gospel choir to dance floor diva. But what the world didn’t know was how Donna Summer risked it all to break through barriers, becoming the icon of an era and the inspiration for every music diva who followed. With a score featuring more than 20 of Summer’s classic hits including “Love to Love You Baby,” “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff,” this electric experience is a moving tribute to the voice of a generation.

THE BAND’S VISIT

November 5-24, 2019

The Band’s Visit is the winner of 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, making it one of the most Tony-winning musicals in history. And now it’s also a Grammy Award® winner for Best Musical Theater Album.

In this joyously offbeat story, set in a town that’s way off the beaten path, a band of musicians arrive lost, out of the blue. Under the spell of the desert sky, and with beautiful music perfuming the air, the band brings the town to life in unexpected and tantalizing ways. Even the briefest visit can stay with you forever.

With a Tony- and Grammy-winning score that seduces your soul and sweeps you off your feet, and featuring thrillingly talented onstage musicians, The Band’s Visit rejoices in the way music makes us laugh, makes us cry, and ultimately, brings us together.

MEAN GIRLS

December 3-22, 2019

Direct from Broadway, MEAN GIRLS is the hilarious hit musical from an award-winning creative team, including book writer TINA FEY (“30 Rock”), composer JEFF RICHMOND (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), lyricist NELL BENJAMIN (Legally Blonde) and director CASEY NICHOLAW (The Book of Mormon).

Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung.

New York Magazine cheers, “MEAN GIRLS delivers with immense energy, a wicked sense of humor and joyful inside-jokery.” USA Today says, “We’ll let you in on a little secret, because we’re such good friends: GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!”

ANASTASIA

February 4-23, 2020

Inspired by the beloved films, the romantic and adventure-filled new musical ANASTASIA is on a journey to Cleveland at last!

From the Tony Award®-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, this dazzling show transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family.

ANASTASIA features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally, a lush new score by Stephen Flaherty (music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics) with direction by Tony Award®-winner Darko Tresnjak.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

March 10-29, 2020

Jesus Christ Superstar is an iconic musical phenomenon with a world-wide fan base. In celebration of its 50th Anniversary, a new mesmerizing production comes to North America. Originally staged by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and helmed by the acclaimed director Timothy Sheader (Crazy for You, Into the Woods) and award-winning choreographer Drew McOnie (King Kong, Strictly Ballroom), this production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival garnering unprecedented reviews and accolades. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring.

With music and lyrics by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winners Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’, ‘Gethsemane’ and ‘Superstar’.

MY FAIR LADY

April 28 – May 17, 2020

From Lincoln Center Theater that brought you The King & I and South Pacific, comes “a sumptuous new production of the most perfect musical of all time” (Entertainment Weekly), Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY. Director Bartlett Sher’s glowing production is “thrilling, glorious and better than it ever was” (New York Times). “Every so often a revival comes along that reminds you how indispensable great theater can be” (NY1).

Boasting such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “On the Street Where You Live,” MY FAIR LADY tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.” But who is really being transformed?

Disney’s FROZEN

July 15 – August 16, 2020

A mysterious secret. A family torn apart. As one sister struggles with being an outsider and harnessing her powers within, the other sets out on a thrilling adventure to bring her family together once again. Both are searching for love, but they’ll learn that to find it they’ll have to look inside themselves first.

FROZEN is melting hearts on Broadway in an all-new production created for the stage by an award-winning team. It features the songs you know and love from the original film plus an expanded score with a dozen new numbers. An unforgettable theatrical experience filled with sensational special effects, stunning sets and costumes, and powerhouse performances, FROZEN is everything you want in a musical: It’s moving. It’s spectacular. And above all, it’s pure Broadway joy.

Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
216-640-8660
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org

Playhouse Square to Offer Sensory-Friendly Performance of DISNEY’S THE LION KING August 31, 2019

layhouse Square will present a special performance of Disney’s THE LION KING for individuals with sensory sensitivities, autism spectrum disorders and other sensory, social and cognitive challenges or issues and their families on Saturday, August 31 at 1:30 p.m. This marks the first-ever sensory-friendly performance of a touring Broadway show in Cleveland. Playhouse Square has previously presented sensory-friendly performances as part of the Children’s Theater Series presented by University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s.

Modeled after a successful performance of THE LION KING sponsored by the Theatre Development Fund (TDF) at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway and repeated in cities around the country such as Seattle, Las Vegas and Houston, Playhouse Square’s sensory-friendly experience provides a supportive environment for the audience. Slight adjustments to this full-length performance will be implemented. For example, jarring sounds will be reduced and strobe lights focused into the audience will be eliminated. House lights will remain on at a low level throughout the performance. Audience members can stand, move, talk and make noise, if needed. In addition, there will be quiet spaces and activity areas for families. Sensory objects including fidgets, earplugs and noise-canceling ear-muffs will be provided. Trained staff and volunteers will provide encouragement and assistance to guests.

“We want everyone to be able to experience the transformative power of live theater, especially with their families,” said President & COO Gina Vernaci.

Guests are encouraged to bring their own manipulatives, seat cushions, comfort objects and extra support items to the theater to use during the performance.

Tickets go on sale on February 22 at Playhouse Square’s official ticketing outlets: online at playhousesquare.org, at the Playhouse Square Ticket Office or by calling 216-241-6000. Orders for groups of 15 or more may be placed by calling 216-640-8600.

ABOUT THE LION KING

After 21 landmark years on Broadway, THE LION KING continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its premiere on November 13, 1997, 25 global productions have been seen by more than 95 million people. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING has made theatrical history with six productions worldwide running 15 or more years. Performed in eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway; London’s West End; Hamburg; Tokyo and Sapporo; Madrid; Scheveningen, Holland; Manila, Philippines; and on tour across North America, for a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe. Having played over 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, THE LION KING’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.

THE LION KING won six 1998 Tony Awards®: Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical. THE LION KING has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.

The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success. The first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical, Taymor has in recent years supervised new productions of the show around the world.

The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from The Lion King animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from "Rhythm of the Pride Lands," an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award®-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to the haunting ballad “Shadowland.”

The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed The Lion King animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay. Other members of the creative team include: Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (production supervisor). Anne Quart serves as co-producer.

Disney’s THE LION KING, on tour at Playhouse Square August 7 – September 1, 2019, is a Huntington Featured Performance.

For more information worldwide, visit LionKing.com.

Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
216-640-8660
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org

Playhouse Square Announces Five Executive Promotions

On January 22, 2019, Art Falco and Gina Vernaci announced the promotion of Patricia Gaul to executive vice president and general counsel, and the promotions of Tim Birch, David Greene, Autumn Kiser and Michelle Ryan Stewart to senior vice president. All are effective January 28, 2019.

These promotions follow Gina Vernaci’s advancement to president and chief operating officer, announced in September. In addition to serving as president and COO, Vernaci will continue to steward the popular KeyBank Broadway Series. Art Falco remains the not-for-profit performing arts center’s CEO.

“One of my first steps in my new role has been to assemble the leadership team and organizational structure that will guide Playhouse Square into the future,” said Vernaci. “We have a deep pool of talent and so there was no need for me to look outside our walls. Each of these individuals has been with Playhouse Square for at least 15 years. They have helped Playhouse Square become what it is today, with measurable impacts on all areas of our operations.”

About Patricia Gaul – Executive Vice President & General Counsel

Gaul oversees the organization’s finance, human resources, legal and real estate functions. She has managed the finances for many projects that have changed the face of Playhouse Square and the surrounding district including the renovation of the 14th Street, Allen and Hanna Theatres; the expansion of Playhouse Square into real estate, including the acquisition of the Hanna and Bulkley buildings; the building of the Playhouse Square parking garage and the Crowne Plaza at Playhouse Square Hotel (formerly the Wyndham); the partnership between Playhouse Square and ideastream to create the Idea Center at Playhouse Square and The Lumen apartment tower. Gaul joined the organization in 1984.

About Tim Birch - Senior Vice President of Operations & Technology

Birch focuses on improving guest experiences through technological advances that today’s audiences have come to expect while preserving the historic beauty of Playhouse Square’s magnificent theaters for generations to come. He began his tenure at Playhouse Square in 1998 as Director of Sales, overseeing ticketing and the ticket office. His sales focus broadened as he introduced the organization’s corporate sponsorship program and gave structure to concession and parking revenue streams. In 2011, he took over the Playhouse Square Information Technology Department and ushered the organization into the 21st century through new networks and systems, including the district’s first video boards. Birch brought in designer Danny Barnycz, who would create the now iconic GE Chandelier and Dazzle the District neighborhood transformation.

About David Greene – Senior Vice President of Programming

Greene is responsible for directing the booking and production of all entertainment and events in the center’s 11 performance venues, managing activity that supports the mission of the organization and ensuring maximum potential usage of the organization’s complex theater calendars. Greene and his team book more than 600 curtains on an annual basis, managing relationships with promoters and producers from across Northeast Ohio and the United States. Since joining the organization in 1999, his responsibilities have steadily increased.

About Autumn Kiser - Senior Vice President of Revenue & Marketing

Kiser, who has been with the organization since 2004, leads Playhouse Square’s institutional and brand marketing and sales and ticket operations. She oversees marketing, publicity, communications, digital and social media marketing, season ticket retention and services, group sales, inside sales, single ticket sales, sponsorship and the ticket office. In addition, she directs marketing and communications for the Playhouse Square District and the organization’s area development and real estate interests. She introduced Playhouse Square’s first institutional branding program, oversaw the unveiling of the GE Chandelier at a live event for 25,000 people and led the strategic growth of the KeyBank Broadway Series season ticket base to more than 45,000, which made it possible for the Series to expand to a three-week engagement per show. Cleveland is one of fewer than 5 markets in the country able to sustain three full weeks built on season ticket plans.

About Michelle Ryan Stewart - Senior Vice President of Advancement

In addition to leading annual fundraising efforts of the not-for-profit performing arts center and its current $100 million campaign, Advancing the Legacy, Stewart recruits new members for the Playhouse Square Nominating and Governance committees, manages the RJF Presidents’ Club, serves on the Government Affairs committee and oversees the organization’s guest relations and RedCoat volunteer programs. Since joining Playhouse Square in 2001, she has directed special campaigns for the Idea Center at Playhouse Square and the Power of Three: the Allen Theatre Project as well as benefits for the opening of the Idea Center, the opening of the Allen Theatre Complex, the 90th Anniversary of Playhouse Square and Dazzle the District. Under her purview, Playhouse Square’s fundraising efforts have grown from $3 million to $7 million from more than 7400 donors annually.

Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
216-640-8660
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org

Gina Vernaci Named President and Chief Operating Officer of Playhouse Square

Playhouse Square announced September 21, 2018 that Gina Vernaci has been promoted to the position of president and chief operating officer (COO), effective October 1. Vernaci joined the organization in 1984 and has been serving as its executive producer since 2014.

“During the course of her esteemed career, Gina has made major contributions at Playhouse Square and achieved great respect in the performing arts industry. She understands our unique business model combining the performing arts and real estate,” said Art J. Falco, chief executive officer (CEO). “Gina’s promotion adds leadership and structure to our organization as we break ground on our 34-story apartment building, The Lumen, and continue our forward momentum. With the enthusiastic support of the Board of Trustees, I welcome her to her new role.”

“Gina has a proven track record of important contributions and visionary leadership,” said Jim Ratner, chairman of the Playhouse Square Board of Trustees. “We have great faith in her ability to take on this role and exceed expectations.”

As president and COO, Vernaci’s responsibilities will include overseeing the day-to-day operations of Playhouse Square. Art Falco will continue to serve as Playhouse Square’s CEO.

In her most recent position, along with shepherding the growth of the KeyBank Broadway Series, Vernaci was focused on growing Playhouse Square’s impact regionally, nationally and within the performing arts industry. As part of the leadership vision to make the arts and entertainment a crucial part of Northeast Ohio’s economy, she was responsible for directing and managing the artistic, educational and business aspects of shows, festivals and strategic partnerships in the community.

“I would like to thank Art Falco and our Board of Trustees for their support as I now step into my elevated role at Playhouse Square,” said Vernaci. “Since beginning my journey here 34 years ago, the passion for renovating these glorious theaters was evident. Now, as the largest performing arts center in America outside New York, our dreams are a reality and our future is bright. Whether I am working in Cleveland, New York or London representing our great community, I am proud to be a part of an organization that leads the way in improving the quality of life in our community through the arts while helping to develop the region's economy.”

Prior to serving as Playhouse Square’s executive producer, Vernaci held the role of senior vice president of theater operations from 2011 to 2014, adding the organization’s community engagement and education initiatives and front house of operations to her purview. In 2005, she was appointed vice president of theatricals and was responsible for programming, marketing and sales. Her early roles with Playhouse Square include director of programming and program manager. Over the course of her career, Vernaci directed the booking strategy of Playhouse Square from two to 11 performance spaces and established Playhouse Square’s role in Broadway in Akron. She also envisioned and launched a unified booking agreement for the Broadway industry.

Founder of the national concert network (TIPCON), Vernaci served as president of the Independent Presenters Network (IPN), is a Tony Awards voter and sits on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of the Broadway League. Vernaci holds a Master’s degree in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

Playhouse Square Breaks Ground on "The Lumen"

On April 5, Playhouse Square broke ground on its 34-story apartment tower: “The Lumen at Playhouse Square.” Standing 396 feet tall with a square footage of more than 602,000, The Lumen is the largest residential project undertaken in downtown Cleveland in 40 years.

Destined to become an icon of the Cleveland skyline, The Lumen will add to the distinct identity of the Playhouse Square District. Situated on a one-acre site at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 17th Street, The Lumen will host 318 apartments; 528 parking spaces for residents, theater guests and other visitors; and nearly 20,000 square feet for resident amenities. Construction, which will employ 2000 workers, will be completed in summer 2020.

“The Lumen” was chosen as the name to reflect the energy surrounding Playhouse Square as well as the importance of light in theater in general and the Playhouse Square District in particular: the GE Chandelier, the marquees, retro sign and gateways.

“The Lumen lights the way toward the bright future of Playhouse Square,” said Playhouse Square President and CEO Art J. Falco. “If you think about it, we’ve come full circle from the days when the theaters almost became parking lots. Now we are turning what is already a parking lot into something much more beneficial for our neighborhood and for downtown Cleveland, which is really what Playhouse Square’s not-for-profit mission is about: driving economic vitality in the region.”

“This investment is an example of our long-term real estate strategy, which is to build a working endowment to help secure the future of our historic theaters, and the entertainment and educational programs people enjoy in them,” said Jim Ratner, Chairman of the Playhouse Square Board of Trustees.

Residents of The Lumen will enjoy commanding views and resort-quality amenities including courtyard terrace with grill area and fireside lounge; electric car charging and car wash stations; pet spa; bike storage and repair station; concierge services; business and fitness centers; heated lap pool and more. Special care has been taken to create a complete separation of public and private traffic within the garage to ensure residents, theater guests and other visitors have an optimal experience.

Playhouse Square expects to complete financing for the $135 million project soon. Aside from a $15 million gift from the Richard J. Fasenmyer Foundation specifically designated for a residential project, funds raised through Playhouse Square’s $100 million Advancing the Legacy Campaign will not be used for The Lumen.

For more information or to register on the waiting list for an apartment at The Lumen, visit playhousesquare.org/apartments.

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The largest performing arts center in the country outside of New York, the not-for-profit Playhouse Square is Northeast Ohio’s destination for Broadway and more great entertainment. A thriving downtown neighborhood, residents, office workers and visitors can dine and relax at one of 12 area restaurants or on U.S. Bank Plaza under the glow of the world’s largest outdoor chandelier – the GE Chandelier. Playhouse Square is a champion of arts education and downtown Cleveland, and proud to be the home of Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and Tri-C JazzFest.

Development manager Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 189 cities and in 20 countries. Hines has approximately $96.5 billion of assets under management, including $48.5 billion for which Hines provides fiduciary investment management services, and $48 billion for which Hines provides third-party property-level services. The firm has 114 developments currently underway around the world. Historically, Hines has developed, redeveloped or acquired 1206 properties, totaling over 390 million square feet. The firm’s current property and asset management portfolio includes 533 properties, representing over 213 million square feet. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a pioneering commitment to sustainability, Hines is one of the largest and most-respected real estate organizations in the world.

Architect Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) is an award-winning architecture, interior design, and planning firm with a thoughtful design vision and a dynamic national imprint. Since 1931, SCB has made a lasting visual impact on skylines, campuses, and neighborhoods nationwide. From offices in Chicago and San Francisco, they offer their expertise to clients across the country, helping them achieve their goals and create unique built environments through a balanced understanding of high-level design, technical innovation, and sustainability. SCB is recognized as one of the nation’s leading designers of high-rise, urban residential buildings, having completed the design and construction of more than 105 high-rise, multi-family projects and 55,000 residential units. SCB has won numerous design awards including accolades from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Urban Land Institute (ULI), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and International Interior Design Association (IIDA), among others . For more information visit www.scb.com.

Local architectural partner Vocon, established in 1987, is a global architecture and interior design firm focused on creating distinctive, productive environments for private/public sector clients throughout the country. Architecturally licensed in all 50 states, Vocon is a certified woman-owned firm with offices in Cleveland and New York.

Construction contractor Gilbane provides a full slate of construction and facilities-related services – from pre-construction planning and integrated consulting capabilities to comprehensive construction management, general contracting, design-build and facility management services – for clients across various markets. Founded in 1873 and still a privately held, family-owned company, Gilbane has 46 office locations worldwide. For more information, visit www.gilbaneco.com. Gilbane has been providing construction management services in Ohio since 1959.

Property manager Greystar Real Estate Partners is a fully integrated multifamily company offering expertise in property management, development and investment throughout the United States and abroad. Headquartered in Charleston, S.C., Greystar is the largest operator of apartments in the United States and manages nearly 400,000 units in more than 100 markets with more than 10,000 team members. Greystar was founded by Bob Faith in 1993 with the intent to become a provider of world-class services in the multifamily real estate business. The innovative Greystar business model integrates the management, development and investment disciplines of the multifamily industry. To learn more about Greystar, visit www.Greystar.com.

Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org
216-640-8660

Playhouse Square Announces 2018-19 KeyBank Broadway Series

On February 27, Playhouse Square unveiled the seven shows that will be featured in the highly-anticipated 2018-19 KeyBank Broadway Series. The annual season announcement and launch party featured a variety of performances and appearances from various Broadway artists. Performances by cast members from the 2018 North American Tour of MISS SAIGON and COME FROM AWAY had audience members on their feet, and the evening’s special guests included Beverley Bass, the real-life pilot featured in COME FROM AWAY, and Academy Award nominee Chazz Palminteri, whose real childhood story is brought to life in the musical A BRONX TALE. 

Executive Producer of Playhouse Square Gina Vernaci stated, “The KeyBank Broadway Series will give us the opportunity to see seven beloved Broadway musicals from the comfort of our seats at Playhouse Square. We will hear stories that have changed people’s lives. We will hear lush scores that will resonate deeply within our souls. And we will have the visual feast of delicious costumes and sets. With a mix of cherished revivals and captivating new productions making their Cleveland debut, this season truly has it all.”

Once again, Playhouse Square, with more than 45,000 season ticket holders, leads the nation’s Broadway tour markets. For the third year in a row, Playhouse Square will offer each production for a total of 3 weeks, giving Northeast Ohioans additional opportunities to catch some of the most incredible shows that touring Broadway has to offer.

Season tickets to the 2018-2019 KeyBank Broadway Series at Playhouse Square are now available by calling 216-640-8800 or online at playhousesquare.org/broadway.  Season ticket packages range from $100-$680 each with monthly payment plans available.

The 2018-2019 Key Bank Broadway Series

HELLO, DOLLY!
Oct. 2-21, 2018
hellodollyonbroadway.com

Tony Award®-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley stars in HELLO, DOLLY! – the universally acclaimed smash that NPR calls “the best show of the year!” Winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, director Jerry Zaks’ “gorgeous” new production (Vogue) is “making people crazy happy!” (The Washington Post). Breaking box office records week after week and receiving thunderous raves on Broadway, this HELLO, DOLLY! pays tribute to the original work of legendary director/choreographer Gower Champion – hailed both then and now as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history. Rolling Stone calls it “a must-see event. A musical comedy dream. If you’re lucky enough to score a ticket, you’ll be seeing something historic. Wow, wow, wow, indeed!”

LES MISÉRABLES
Oct. 30 – Nov. 18, 2018
lesmiz.com

Cameron Mackintosh presents the new production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, LES MISÉRABLES, direct from its acclaimed Broadway return. Featuring the beloved songs “I Dreamed a Dream,” “One Day More,” and many more, this epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history. With its glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, this breathtaking new production has left both audiences and critics awestruck. “Les Miz is born again!” (NY1).

MISS SAIGON
Jan. 29 – Feb. 17, 2019
saigonbroadway.com

“A DYNAMITE BROADWAY REVIVAL.” - The New Yorker

Experience the acclaimed new production of the legendary musical Miss Saigon, from the creators of Les Misérables. In the last days of the Vietnam War, 17-year-old Kim is forced to work in a bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer. There she meets and falls in love with an American G.I. named Chris, but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. For 3 years, Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris, who has no idea he's fathered a son. This new production features stunning spectacle and a sensational cast of 42 performing the soaring score featuring Broadway hits including “The Heat is On in Saigon,” “The Movie in My Mind,” and “Last Night of the World.”

SCHOOL OF ROCK
March 5 – 24, 2019
schoolofrockthemusical.com

SCHOOL OF ROCK is a New York Times Critics’ Pick and “AN INSPIRING JOLT OF ENERGY, JOY AND MAD SKILLZ!” (Entertainment Weekly). Based on the hit film, this hilarious new musical follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher who turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. This high-octane smash features 14 new songs from ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, all the original songs from the movie and musical theater’s first-ever kids rock band playing their instruments live on stage. Vanity Fair raves, “FISTS OF ALL AGES SHALL BE PUMPING!”

A BRONX TALE
April 23 – May 12, 2019
abronxtalethemusical.com/

“WONDERFUL AND REFRESHING! The kind of tale that makes you laugh and cry.” - The New York Times

Broadway’s hit crowd-pleaser takes you to the stoops of the Bronx in the 1960s – where a young man is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he’d love to be. Bursting with high-energy dance numbers and original doo-wop tunes from Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin), A BRONX TALE is an unforgettable story of loyalty and family. Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro and Tony® winner Jerry Zaks direct this streetwise musical – based on Academy Award nominee Chazz Palminteri’s story – that amNewYork called, “Jersey Boys meets West Side Story.”

DEAR EVAN HANSEN
June 11 – 30, 2019
dearevanhansen.com/

WINNER OF SIX 2017 TONY AWARDS® INCLUDING BEST MUSICAL AND THE 2018 GRAMMY® FOR BEST MUSICAL THEATER ALBUM.

A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. DEAR EVAN HANSEN is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it. “One of the most remarkable shows in musical theater history,” says The Washington Post. Rolling Stone calls DEAR EVAN HANSEN, “a game-changer that hits you like a shot in the heart” and NBC News says that the musical is “an inspiring anthem resonating on Broadway and beyond.”

DEAR EVAN HANSEN features a book by Tony Award winner Steven Levenson, a score by Grammy, Tony® and Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, The Greatest Showman), and direction by four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Greif (Rent, Next To Normal).

The Original Broadway Cast Recording of DEAR EVAN HANSEN, produced by Atlantic Records, made an extraordinary debut at #8 on the Billboard 200– the highest charting debut position for an original cast album since 1961 -- and went on to win the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.  A special edition coffee table book authored by Levenson, Pasek and Paul, Dear Evan Hansen: through the window (Grand Central Publishing / Melcher) is now available, offering an in-depth, all-access look at the musical, including never-before-seen production photos and cast portraits, behind-the-scenes stories, and a fully annotated script by the authors.

COME FROM AWAY
July 9 – 28, 2019
comefromaway.com/

The true story of the small town that welcomed the world. Broadway’s COME FROM AWAY has won Best Musical all across North America!

The New York Times Critics’ Pick takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded airline passengers and the small town of Gander, Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.

Don’t miss this breathtaking new musical written by Tony® nominees Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and helmed by this year’s Tony-winning Best Director, Christopher Ashley. Newsweek cheers, “It takes you to a place you never want to leave!”

On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all.

Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org
216-640-8660

First National Tour of HELLO, DOLLY! to open 2018-19 KeyBank Broadway Series at Playhouse Square

The 2018-19 KeyBank Broadway Series will begin with the premiere of the first national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical revival of HELLO, DOLLY! starring Tony Award-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley in the title role.

In a statement, Ms. Buckley enthused, “I am so thrilled and happy to be playing Mrs. Dolly Levi in the first national tour of Scott Rudin’s rapturous production of HELLO, DOLLY!. The great Jerry Zaks has brought such wit and wonderful comedy to this classic Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman show. When I saw the new Broadway production starring the divine Bette Midler, I literally wept with happiness. It was one of the most joyful productions I have ever witnessed in the musical theater! I am delighted and honored to be added to the list of the wonderful actress/singers who have played the role. I can't wait to hit the road and bring this happy show to all of America!”

“The stars have once again aligned for the KeyBank Broadway Series,” said Playhouse Square Executive Producer Gina Vernaci. “Our audiences will literally receive the royal treatment when the legendary Queen of Broadway comes to the Connor Palace to launch the national tour of this beloved revival. What an honor to work with the renowned Broadway veteran Scott Rudin to launch this Tony Award-winning musical for the road.”

HELLO, DOLLY! is the first of seven shows to be announced as part of the 2018-2019 KeyBank Broadway Series at Playhouse Square. The remaining six will be revealed on Tuesday, February 27 at the annual Season Announcement and Launch Party. The event is now sold out, but will be streamed live online at playhousesquare.org.

Ms. Buckley, dubbed “The Voice of Broadway,” and whose 18th album Hope, recorded live at Joe’s Pub, will be released this spring, joins the astonishing list of show business luminaries who have inhabited the role, including Carol Channing, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, Betty Grable, Martha Raye, Ginger Rogers, Ethel Merman, in her last appearance on Broadway, Mary Martin, who led the West End company, and most recently in this celebrated new production, Bette Midler, Donna Murphy, and Bernadette Peters.

Led by four-time Tony Award-winning director Jerry Zaks and choreographed by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle, the entire creative team of the Broadway production will reprise their roles for the national tour of HELLO, DOLLY!, including four-time Tony Award winner Santo Loquasto (Scenic & Costume Design), six-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Lighting Design), Tony Award winner Scott Lehrer (Sound Design), Andy Einhorn (Music Direction), Tony Award winner Larry Hochman (Orchestrations), Tony Award winner Don Pippin (Vocal Arrangements), David Chase (Dance Arrangements), and Telsey + Company (Casting).

This production of Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman’s HELLO, DOLLY!, winner of four 2017 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, remains one of the most coveted tickets of the year on Broadway, with audiences rushing to see the “historic event” (Rolling Stone) that has left “tears on the cheeks of critics” (The Washington Post).

This HELLO, DOLLY!, the first new production of the classic musical (based on Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker) to appear on Broadway since it opened more than fifty years ago, pays tribute to the work of its original director/choreographer Gower Champion, which has been hailed both then and now as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history.

Season tickets for the 2018-19 KeyBank Broadway Series at Playhouse Square will officially go on sale to the public on Wednesday, February 28 at 10 a.m. Packages, which include tickets to all seven shows, start at $150.

BIOGRAPHY

BETTY BUCKLEY (Dolly Gallagher Levi). In an award-winning career that encompasses television, film, stage, and concert work around the globe, Betty Buckley is best known as the quintessential musical theatre actress. Stage roles range from the wife of an early U.S. President in 1776, which marked Buckley’s Broadway debut, to her critically acclaimed, Olivier Award-nominated performance as the deluded, silent screen star Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, a part she re-created on Broadway to equal success. Buckley also earned a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella in Cats and a Tony nomination for Triumph of Love. Her other Broadway credits include Pippin, Song and Dance, The Mystery of Edwin
Drood, and Carrie. Off-Broadway credits include the world premiere of Horton Foote’s The Old Friends (Drama Desk Award nomination), White’s Lies, Elegies, The Eros Trilogy, Juno’s Swans, and I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road. Regional credits include The Perfectionist, Gypsy, The Threepenny Opera, Camino Real, Buffalo Gal, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Grey Gardens at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY and The Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, for which she received an Ovation Award Nomination. In London she starred in Promises, Promises for which she was nominated for an Evening Standard Award and in the British premiere of Dear World. In addition to her contributions to the stage, Buckley has also released an astonishing 17 solo albums, most recently Ghostlight, produced by Oscar and muti-Grammy Award-winning producer, T Bone Burnett, released in 2014, and Story Songs, released in 2017. Ms. Buckley’s 18th solo album, Hope, recorded live at Joe’s Pub, will be released this spring by Palmetto Records. She has twice been nominated for a Grammy Award, in 2000 for The Diaries of Adam and Eve and again in 2002 for Stars and the Moon: Live at the Donmar. She tours in concert worldwide with her ensemble of musicians and in 2015 was featured in the Royal Albert Hall concert of Follies in celebration of Stephen Sondheim’s 85th birthday. Buckley’s film roles include Miss Collins in Brian De Palma’s classic Carrie (1976) and country singer Dixie Scott in Bruce Beresford’s Tender Mercies (1983), which features her rendition of the Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning song “Over You.” Ms. Buckley most recently co-starred with James McAvoy in the M. Night Shyamalan film Split (2017), for which she received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Featured Actress. Additional film credits include Frantic (1988), Another Woman (1988), Wyatt Earp (1999), and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening (2008). On television, Ms. Buckley played Abby Bradford in the drama series “Eight is Enough” (1977-1981) and received Daytime Emmy Award nominations for her work in both “Bobby and Sarah” (1984) and “Taking a Stand” (1989). She also had recurring roles on the HBO series “Oz” (2001-2003) and “Pretty Little Liars” (2012), and most recently on “Supergirl,” “Chicago Med,” “The Leftovers,” and “Getting On.” In 2017, Buckley was honored with the prestigious Julie Harris Award by The Actor’s Fund and in 2009, she received the Texas Medal of the Arts Award in Theater, following her induction into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in Austin, TX, in 2007. She has been awarded two honorary Doctorates of Fine Arts for her contribution to the musical theatre by Marymount College and the Boston Conservatory of Music. In 2012 she was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.

Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org
216-640-8660

Take a Walk through Playhouse Square History

Playhouse Square invites guests to take a walk back in time and experience the performing arts center’s distinctive story from the 1920s through present day with a new exhibit made possible by a gift from Joyce and Bill Litzler to Advancing the Legacy, the Campaign for Playhouse Square.

The exhibit tells the story from the construction of five theaters in the early 1920s, decline and abandonment in the 1960s, rescue and rebirth in the 1970s and ‘80s, to the Playhouse Square of today, with 10 performance spaces, hundreds of events, educational programs, real estate services and a million guests each year. The exhibit is in the KeyBank Corridor connecting the Playhouse Square parking garage to the theaters.

Design by Karen Skunta & Company, 10 full-color, backlit panels make up the exhibit. “We designed this contemporary and engaging exhibit to be experienced quickly on the way to a performance. Viewers taking a closer look will be rewarded with a variety of memorabilia – from a vintage map, programs and tickets to short stories and fun facts that tell the fascinating history. Our goal was to capture Playhouse Square’s rich legacy and communicate the pride of the District today, while sharing the vision for the future as the centennial approaches,” explained Skunta.

The exhibit is accessible without a performance ticket during normal business hours and when there are performances in the theaters. Visit playhousesquare.org for a performance schedule.

“Advancing the Legacy, the Campaign for Playhouse Square,” led by chairs Thomas Adler, K.K. Sullivan and Daniel Walsh, is the largest philanthropic effort ever pursued by the organization. $90 million dollars has been raised toward the campaign goal of $100 million to date and its objectives are: capital improvements, endowment growth, neighborhood transformation, education programming and new productions.

More information about Advancing the Legacy, The Campaign for Playhouse Square is available at playhousesquare.org/legacy.

Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org
216-640-8660

Playhouse Square Announces Hotel Has Joined InterContinental Hotels Group® (IHG) as Crowne Plaza®

Following a $6 million renovation, the 205-room Wyndham Cleveland at Playhouse Square is now the Crowne Plaza® Cleveland at Playhouse Square. Crowne Plaza is part of the InterContinental Hotels Group® (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies. The renovation encompasses all guest rooms, the restaurant, pool, fitness center and upgraded internet connectivity.

“We had a great 20-year relationship with Wyndham, but we felt it was time for a change,” said Art Falco, President and CEO of Playhouse Square which owns and operates the hotel. “Crowne Plaza has one of the best reservation systems and loyalty programs in the industry, and we wanted to bring that experience to our guests.”

The newly renovated hotel will be part of the Crowne Plaza Accelerate program, a $200 million, three-year brand transformation initiative created to place Crowne Plaza at the forefront of how modern business travelers want to conduct business – without constraints. As part of the program, the Crowne Plaza Cleveland at Playhouse Square will feature 205 WorkLife guestrooms, designed to offer a perfect mix of comfort, connectivity and flexibility.

The Playhouse Square district hotel will offer New American cuisine at its on-site restaurant, the Ghost Light Grille, led by executive chef Zach Conover. Additional amenities include van transit to downtown locations within a five-mile radius for guests; business center; fitness center; swim center with play area for children, sauna and whirlpool; and exhibition and meeting space.

As a major draw for business travelers, the hotel offers the comprehensive Crowne Plaza meetings program, which includes a two-hour response guarantee to RFPs, a dedicated Crowne Plaza Meetings Director and a daily meeting debrief.

The hotel features the Crowne Plaza Sleep Advantage® program, which encompasses the entire sleep experience, from training staff on how to create and maintain a restful environment to providing innovative products and services such as signature bedding, designated quiet zone floors and aromatherapy kits.

“We are excited by where the Crowne Plaza brand is going and the energy from IHG,” said Brian Moloney, general manager of the hotel. “We think this change will have great appeal for today’s modern business and leisure travelers and we look forward to welcoming them to the Crowne Plaza Cleveland at Playhouse Square.”

The Crowne Plaza, located at 1260 Euclid Avenue, is owned and managed by Playhouse Square. The Crowne Plaza brand is part of IHG’s diverse family of brands in nearly 100 countries and territories. The scale and diversity of the IHG family of brands means that its hotels can meet guests’ needs whatever the occasion – whether an overnight getaway, a business trip, a family celebration or a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Reservations can be made by calling 1-877-2 CROWNE or by going to IHG.com/CrownePlaza. Crowne Plaza hotels participate in IHG® Rewards Club. The industry’s first and largest hotel rewards program is free, and guests can enroll at IHGRewardsClub.com, by downloading the IHG® App, by calling 1-888-211-9874 or by inquiring at the front desk of any of IHG’s more than 5,000 hotels worldwide. The hotel also participates in IHG Green Engage® and offers unique programs to ensure sustainability.

 

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About Playhouse Square:
The largest performing arts center in the country outside of New York, the not-for-profit Playhouse Square is Northeast Ohio’s destination for Broadway and more great entertainment. A thriving downtown neighborhood, residents, office workers and visitors can dine and relax at one of 12 area restaurants or on U.S. Bank Plaza under the glow of the world’s largest outdoor chandelier – the GE Chandelier. Playhouse Square is a champion of arts education and downtown Cleveland, and proud to be the home of Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and Tri-C JazzFest.

About Crowne Plaza®:
Part of the IHG® global portfolio, the Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts brand has more than 400 locations around the world. The Crowne Plaza brand is dedicated to making business travel work for the modern business traveler. IHG recently announced the Crowne Plaza Accelerate plan which includes a $200 million investment in the brand for the Americas region. The plan ensures that the Crowne Plaza brand will remain at the forefront of the new way of doing business with design-led, culturally-relevant and technology-enabled solutions. Visit www.crowneplaza.com. Connect with us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/crowneplaza or Facebook: www.Facebook.com/crowneplaza.

Notes to Editors:
IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organization with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo®, EVEN® Hotels, HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, Holiday Inn Club Vacations®, Holiday Inn Resort®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 5,200 hotels and nearly 780,000 guest rooms in almost 100 countries, with more than 1,500 hotels in its development pipeline. IHG also manages IHG® Rewards Club, our global loyalty program, which has more than 100 million enrolled members.  

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales. More than 350,000 people work across IHG’s hotels and corporate offices globally.

Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.ihgrewardsclub.com for more on IHG Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit: www.ihgplc.com/media and follow us on social media at: www.twitter.com/ihg, www.facebook.com/ihg and www.youtube.com/ihgplc.

Playhouse Square Announces 2017-18 Children's Theater Series presented by University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital

PHOTOS

Cleveland, OH –The Children’s Theater Series presented by University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, with a season ticket price of $40 for four shows, provides an affordable, entertaining way for parents and grandparents to introduce children to quality live theater and create memories at Playhouse Square that will last for years to come.

Season tickets for the Children’s Theater Series at PlayhouseSquare are now available by calling 216-640-8608 or online at playhousesquare.org/childrenstheater. The four-show Children’s Theater Series season ticket package is $40 per seat. 

Families that purchase season tickets for the series can choose to participate in workshops held on the same days as Children’s Theater Series performances. These fun, interactive workshops are led by professional teaching artists and feature opportunities to learn songs and dance steps, create performances and music and much more. Admission to each workshop is $5 per child.

The 2017-18 Children’s Theater Series:

Hansel & Gretel: A Wickedly Delicious Musical Treat
Valley Performing Arts Center
October 28-29, 2017

Treat your family to this engaging, musical retelling of one of The Grimm Brothers’ most memorable fairy tales. Still reeling from the disappearance of his mother and classmates, Hansel believes with all his heart that he’s found a way to rescue them from deep within the Forbidden Forest. Doubtful, the streetwise Gretel nevertheless accompanies her brother. When they come across a house made entirely of candy, their bond and beliefs are put to the test. This story is brought to life with a rock and roll score admist an animated wonderland inspired by the whimsy of Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl. Nationally-produced playwright Ernie Nolan teams up with Grammy-nominated “kindie” artist Justin Roberts to create a wickedly delicious musical treat.
 

Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Casa Mañana Theatre
January 27-28, 2018

In the small town of Stillwater, Mr. and Mrs. Popper are pleasant, practical, predictable people. But when a package for the Poppers produces a penguin, chaos waddles into their lives. Soon, the Poppers open their home and hearts to not one, not two, but to a bunch of boisterous black and white birds. With catchy songs and penguin puppets aplenty, this new musical based on the novel by Richard and Florence Atwater and adapted for the stage by Pins and Needles Productions, will have you chirping with cheer!
 

The Gruffalo
Tall Stories
March 10-11, 2018

Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in this magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. While searching for hazelnuts, Mouse meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the party mad Snake. Will the story of the terrifying Gruffalo save Mouse from ending up as dinner for these hungry woodland creatures? After all, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo – is there?
 

Guess How Much I Love You & I Love My Little Storybook
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
April 14-15, 2018
Sensory-friendly performance at 11:30 a.m. on April 15

Little Nutbrown Hare loves Big Nutbrown Hare as far as he can reach and as high as he can hop. But Big Nutbrown Hare loves Little Nutbrown Hare as far as his long arms can reach and as high as his strong legs can hop. And so it continues as Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia adapts Guess How Much I Love You, the award-winning classic from author Sam McBratney and illustrator Anita Jeram. In I Love My Little Storybook, an eager little bunny lies on the grass, opens his book, and within moments, the story he’s reading comes alive in fascinating detail! From author Anita Jeram comes this endearing celebration of the joy of reading. Guess How Much I Love You & I Love My Little Storybook is adapted, directed and designed by Jim Morrow with music by Steven Naylor and narration by Beau Bridges.
 

The Children’s Theater Series is made possible in part by the Children’s Theatre Endowment established by the Junior League of Cleveland, support from the Ohio Arts Council and is generously supported by the public through a grant from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.

Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org
216-640-8660

KeyBank Contributes $10 Million to Playhouse Square Campaign; State Theatre to be Named “KeyBank State Theatre”

Cleveland, OH – KeyBank, a longtime supporter of the not-for-profit mission of Playhouse Square, announced a $10 million gift to the performing arts center’s Advancing the Legacy Campaign. While KeyBank’s contribution supports all five of the campaign’s objectives – capital improvements, education programming, endowment growth, neighborhood transformation and new production – a portion of the gift is designated specifically to provide for ticket and transportation subsidy to bring 40,000 Cleveland Metropolitan School District students and an additional 35,000 students from across Northeast Ohio to performances at Playhouse Square over the next five years.

“We are privileged to have one of the country’s most active and historic performing arts centers right here in Cleveland,” said Beth Mooney, chairman and CEO of KeyCorp. “KeyBank has been a supporter of Playhouse Square for many years because we believe in the organization’s economic, educational and social value to the community. We want to do our part to help that good work continue and to make sure students in our community experience live performing arts in these historic venues.”

For 20 years, KeyBank has contributed philanthropically to Playhouse Square: the 1998 Allen Theatre renovation; the Idea Center at Playhouse Square; the Allen Theatre Project, which brought Cleveland Play House and Cleveland State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance to Playhouse Square as resident companies; and the 25th anniversary of Playhouse Square Partners are just a few examples.

“We could not be more grateful for KeyBank’s belief in our mission and the support they have given to every initiative we have undertaken in the last 20 years,” said Art J. Falco, president and CEO of Playhouse Square. “Their gift to the Advancing the Legacy Campaign reaffirms their commitment to Playhouse Square and to the community. We are eager to share live theater with more students as the specially designated funds in KeyBank’s gift will make possible.”

In honor of this contribution, the State Theatre will be renamed the “KeyBank State Theatre.” Signage is expected to be in place by mid-September.

“Advancing the Legacy, The Campaign for Playhouse Square,” led by chairs Thomas Adler, K.K. Sullivan and Daniel Walsh, is the largest philanthropic effort ever pursued by the organization. $88 million has been raised toward the campaign’s $100 million goal to date.

About Advancing the Legacy Objectives

Capital Improvements
Saved from imminent destruction in the 1970s, the historic Playhouse Square theaters were renovated and reopened in the 1980s but had not been updated since that time. Facility and technological improvements are necessary to guarantee the longevity of the venues and improve audience experience. To date, the State Theatre and lobby have been repainted and lighting fixtures have been converted to LED, the Ohio Theatre George Gund Foundation Lobby has been re-created and additional restroom facilities have been added to the Ohio and KeyBank State Theatres and are under construction in the Connor Palace.

Endowment Growth
The Playhouse Square endowment is currently at $22.5 million, a fraction of what is needed to preserve the organization’s incomparable assets for future generations. In comparison, the endowment for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. stands at $96 million.

Neighborhood Transformation
The $16 million Dazzle the District project, including the world record-setting GE Chandelier, is part of this campaign.

Education Programming
The cornerstone of community engagement and education programming at Playhouse Square is theater for young audiences. The organization plans to increase the accessibility of live theater for school groups and establish a dedicated fund for the creation of new children’s theater productions in memory of arts education champion Colleen Porter.

New Productions
With remarkable resources available for the creation of new works, Playhouse Square has the potential to attract pre-Broadway productions to Cleveland, fueling the local economy and bolstering the reputation of both the organization and the city within the performing arts industry.

More information about the history of Playhouse Square and its impact on the city is available at playhousesquare.org/history.

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Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org
216-640-8660

Playhouse Square Plans 34-Story Apartment Tower to Continue Robust Growth of Downtown Cleveland Theater District

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Cleveland, OH – Destined to become an icon of the Cleveland skyline, an upscale apartment building will add to the distinct identity of the Playhouse Square District in early 2020. Situated on a one-acre site at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 17th Street - replacing the parking lot across from the Connor Palace - the 34-story tower will host 319 apartments, 550 parking spaces and 22,000 square feet for resident amenities. Construction on the project will begin by late fall 2017.

“We have always taken a lead role in making sure our neighborhood is a vibrant destination in the heart of the city,” explained Playhouse Square President and CEO Art J. Falco. “Early on, we created a list of things we wanted to accomplish – become a premier touring destination for Broadway, welcome residents, develop an iconic identity for the neighborhood – and with each success building on the one before, we have achieved those goals. A high-rise development project is the next one of our long-held visions becoming a reality, and with the great demand for residential living downtown, the timing could not be better.”

Playhouse Square has partnered with Hines and Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) to develop this project with the goal of amplifying the 24/7 live-work-play atmosphere of the Playhouse Square District. Playhouse Square will retain ownership of the property and engage the services of a management company yet to be determined.

“Hines is pleased to serve as development manager in bringing this state-of-the art apartment tower to one of the most vibrant communities in the Cleveland area,” said Hines Managing Director Brad Soderwall. “With our breadth of experience in upscale multifamily projects, this project will honor the quality and history for which the Playhouse Square District is known.”

Conceived by architecture, interior design and planning firm SCB, the design – will which go through the customary City of Cleveland design review process – includes several elements that refer to the surrounding theaters: on the tower, overlapping planes form a symbolic marquee and the graceful undulations in the garage façade recall a stage curtain. One of the tallest buildings in the area, the tower is largely composed of floor-to-ceiling glass, painted aluminum panels and exposed cast-in-place concrete, making a dynamic addition to the Cleveland skyline.

SCB Design Principal Devon Patterson explained, “We used glass to differentiate the tower from the historic buildings along Euclid Avenue and make the building into a beacon for the entertainment corridor, visible from downtown Cleveland. To mark the integration of this new residential community into the exuberant energy of the Playhouse Square District, we divided the form of the tower into three tiers that rotate out from the city grid at different levels that respond to the heights of the surrounding buildings. The northern edge of the building creates a signature profile, and the building is shifted over Euclid Avenue to provide residents with spectacular views.”

Residents will enjoy commanding views and resort-quality amenities including courtyard terrace with grill area and fireside lounge; electric car charging and car wash stations; pet spa; bike storage and repair station; concierge services; business and fitness centers; heated lap pool and more. Special care has been taken to create a complete separation of public and private traffic within the garage to ensure residents, theater guests and other visitors have an optimal experience.

“I’m sure people will wonder why a not-for-profit performing arts organization is building a high-rise apartment building,” said Jim Ratner, Chairman of the Playhouse Square Board of Trustees, “but this makes perfect sense when you consider that key components of our mission are to create an exciting district and drive economic vitality in the region. This investment is an example of our long-term real estate strategy, which is to build a working endowment to help secure the future of our historic theaters, and the entertainment and educational programs people enjoy in them.”

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The largest performing arts center in the country outside of New York, the not-for-profit Playhouse Square is Northeast Ohio’s destination for Broadway and more great entertainment. A thriving downtown neighborhood, residents, office workers and visitors can dine and relax at one of more than 12 area restaurants or on U.S. Bank Plaza under the glow of the world’s largest outdoor chandelier – the GE Chandelier. Playhouse Square is a champion of arts education and downtown Cleveland, and proud to be the home of Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and Tri-C JazzFest.

Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 189 cities and in 20 countries. Hines has approximately $96.5 billion of assets under management, including $48.5 billion for which Hines provides fiduciary investment management services, and $48 billion for which Hines provides third-party property-level services. The firm has 114 developments currently underway around the world. Historically, Hines has developed, redeveloped or acquired 1206 properties, totaling over 390 million square feet. The firm’s current property and asset management portfolio includes 533 properties, representing over 213 million square feet. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a pioneering commitment to sustainability, Hines is one of the largest and most-respected real estate organizations in the world.

Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) is an architecture, interior design, and planning firm that practices nationally from offices in Chicago and San Francisco. Since 1931, SCB has made a lasting impact on the nation's skylines, campuses, and neighborhoods, helping its clients across the country achieve their goals, serve their constituencies, and make their mark.

Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org
216-640-8660

Playhouse Square Welcomes Cleveland Ballet As Newest Resident Company

Cleveland, OH – On October 14, 2017, Cleveland Ballet will present its first performance as the newest resident company at Playhouse Square, joining existing resident companies Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and Tri-C JazzFest. The company will perform Les Sylphides with music by Frederic Chopin.

“There is true appreciation and knowledge of dance in Northeast Ohio. In fact, dance is one of the foundations on which the Playhouse Square of today was built,” said Gina Vernaci, executive producer at Playhouse Square. “Cleveland deserves a great ballet company. With thoughtful leadership and Gladisa Guadalupe’s vision, Cleveland Ballet is en pointe to fill that role. We heartily welcome them to our family of resident companies.”

In 2014, a group of dedicated volunteers and artists reconnected to build on the artistic legacy of the Cleveland San Jose Ballet and form Cleveland Ballet. Cleveland Ballet marked its return to the Cleveland arts scene with the artistically and financially successful October 2015 production, Past. Present. Future. This debut production was presented to a nearly sold-out audience and exemplified Cleveland Ballet’s collaborative spirit, and the community support demonstrates that a passion for professional ballet exists in Cleveland.

Led by Artistic Director Gladisa Guadalupe and newly joined by Ballet Master Cynthia Graham, Cleveland Ballet is thrilled to find a new home at Playhouse Square.

More information about Cleveland Ballet is available at clevelandballet.org.

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The mission of the new Cleveland Ballet is to present world class dance on stage through classical and new works and to ensure that classical and neoclassical ballet is accessible and relevant to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.  Cleveland Ballet will create dance and outreach programs of the highest levels of excellence, reaching deeply into the hearts of our community to inspire audiences.

The largest performing arts center in the country outside of New York, the not-for-profit Playhouse Square is Northeast Ohio’s destination for Broadway and more great entertainment. Playhouse Square is a champion of arts education and downtown Cleveland, and proud to be the home of Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and Tri-C JazzFest.

Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org
216-640-8660

The 2017-18 KeyBank Broadway Series at Playhouse Square

WAITRESS

October 17 – November 5, 2017
waitressthemusical.com

"THE WOMEN OF WAITRESS ARE CHANGING BROADWAY!" (Time Magazine).

Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, this irresistible new hit features original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles ("Brave," "Love Song"), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Hair, Pippin, Finding Neverland). "It's an empowering musical of the highest order!" raves the Chicago Tribune.

Inspired by Adrienne Shelly's beloved film, WAITRESS tells the story of Jenna - a waitress and expert pie maker, Jenna dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town's new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.

"WAITRESS is a little slice of heaven!" says Entertainment Weekly and "a monumental contribution to Broadway!" according to Marie Claire. Don't miss this uplifting musical celebrating friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.

 

ON YOUR FEET!

December 5-23, 2017
onyourfeetmusical.com

From their humble beginnings in Cuba, Emilio and Gloria Estefan came to America and broke through all barriers to become a crossover sensation at the very top of the pop music world. But just when they thought they had it all, they almost lost everything.

From international superstardom to life-threatening tragedy, ON YOUR FEET! takes you behind the music and inside the real story of this record-making and groundbreaking couple who, in the face of adversity, found a way to end up on their feet.

Directed by two-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots), with choreography by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) and an original book by Academy Award® winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman), ON YOUR FEET! features some of the most iconic songs of the past quarter-century — and one of the most inspiring stories in music history.

 

LOVE NEVER DIES

January 9-26, 2018
loveneverdies.com

The ultimate love story continues in LOVE NEVER DIES, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera.

The year is 1907. It is 10 years after his disappearance from the Paris Opera House and the Phantom has escaped to a new life in New York where he lives amongst the screaming joy rides and freak shows of Coney Island. In this new, electrically charged world, he has finally found a place for his music to soar, but he has never stopped yearning for his one true love and musical protégée, Christine Daaé.

Now one of the world’s finest sopranos, Christine accepts an invitation to travel from Paris to New York to perform at a renowned opera house. Christine's marriage to Raoul is suffering at the hands of his drinking and gambling and they desperately need the financial rewards that America can give them.

In a final bid to win back Christine’s love, the Phantom lures her, Raoul, and their young son Gustave, from Manhattan to the glittering and glorious world of Coney Island… not knowing what is in store for them….

LOVE NEVER DIES is a dazzling new production, which takes audiences on a thrilling rollercoaster ride of intrigue, obsession and romance. Be seduced by the beautiful; sometimes magical and poetic; sometimes joyful; and occasionally melancholic score. Don’t miss this magnificent continuation of one of the world’s greatest love stories
 

RENT

March 6-25, 2018
rentontour.net

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini's La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.  

 

THE HUMANS

April 10-29, 2018
thehumansonbroadway.com

Stephen Karam’s THE HUMANS is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter’s apartment in Lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle pre-war duplex and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan’s deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed, with humor and compassion, in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award® for Best Play.

 

ALADDIN

May 2-27, 2018
aladdinthemusical.com

Discover a whole new world at ALADDIN, the hit Broadway musical.

From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of Aladdin, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite.

See why audiences and critics agree, ALADDIN is “Exactly What You Wished For!" (NBC-TV).

 

HAMILTON

July 17 – August 26, 2018
hamiltonbroadway.com

With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, HAMILTON is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

HAMILTON is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary.  Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, HAMILTON is the story of America then, as told by America now.            

HAMILTON’s creative team previously collaborated on the 2008 Tony Award ® Winning Best Musical IN THE HEIGHTS.

HAMILTON features scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, and casting by Telsey + Company, Bethany Knox, CSA.

The musical is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman and The Public Theater.

The HAMILTON Original Broadway Cast Recording is available everywhere nationwide.  The HAMILTON recording received a 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album. 

More information about the KeyBank Broadway Series at Playhouse Square is available at playhousesquare.org/broadway.

Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org
216-640-8660

Playhouse Square Announces 2016-17 Children's Theater Series

PHOTOS

Cleveland, OH –The Children’s Theater Series presented by University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, with a season ticket price of $40 for four shows, provides an affordable, entertaining way for parents and grandparents to introduce children to quality live theater and create memories at Playhouse Square that will last for years to come.

Season tickets for the Children’s Theater Series at PlayhouseSquare are now available by calling 216-640-8608 or online at playhousesquare.org/childrenstheater. The four-show Children’s Theater Series season ticket package is $40 per seat.

Families that purchase season tickets for the series can choose to participate in workshops held on the same days as Children’s Theater Series performances. These fun, interactive workshops are led by professional teaching artists and feature opportunities to learn songs and dance steps, create performances and music and much more. Admission to each workshop is $5 per child.

The 2016-17 Children’s Theater Series:

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
Dallas Children’s Theater
October 29-30, 2016

When a great African king desires a wife, only the most perfect maidens in the land are invited to meet him. Mufaro’s pride and joy, his two daughters of very different dispositions, travel through a mystical jungle and across a deep river to be presented to the king. Along the way, the two girls encounter a number of mysterious situations that unknowingly test their courage, kindness and strength of spirit. Combining authentic African drumming, powerful choreography and thrilling original music, the splendor of Zimbabwe and the African continent comes to life on stage!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear & Other Treasured Stories
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
January 28-29, 2017

Mermaid’s much-anticipated new production will bring together old favorites and new friends. Featuring evocative music, stunning visual effects and innovative puppetry, the triple-bill highlights three of Eric Carle’s most beloved tales. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is joined by a whimsical cast of adventurous animals drawn from the pages of Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? The poignant story of a young girl’s unusual quest, Papa Please Get the Moon for Me, completes an hour-long performance, which both entertains and educates. This engagement is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Ohio Arts Council and the Crane Group.

DINO-Light
Lightwire Theater
March 11-12, 2017

Lightwire Theater presents DINO-Light where electroluminescent creatures light up the darkness in a heart-rending original tale. Truly unique and visually dazzling, DINO has been praised for its cutting edge blend of puppetry, technology and dance by audiences all over the world. Audiences may remember this mesmerizing company from their recent productions of The Ugly Duckling and The Tortoise & The Hare or Moon Mouse.

The Moon’s a Balloon
Patch Theatre Company
May 6-7, 2017

A balloon can be many things. It can be a friend to play with or a maker of friendships. A balloon can be something loved or something lost; something shared or something broken. A balloon belongs to everyone, everywhere. It knows no borders or boundaries. Balloons connect us to each other in all kinds of ways. The Moon’s a Balloon was inspired by a poem by e.e. cummings which suggests that amazing possibilities can come from the simplest of things.

The Children’s Theater Series is made possible in part by the Children’s Theatre Endowment established by the Junior League of Cleveland, support from the Ohio Arts Council and is generously supported by the public through a grant from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.

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The largest performing arts center in the country outside of New York, the not-for-profit Playhouse Square is Northeast Ohio’s destination for Broadway and more great entertainment. Playhouse Square is a champion of arts education and downtown Cleveland, and proud to be the home of Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and Tri-C JazzFest.

Playhouse Square receives public support with local tax dollars from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, to preserve and enrich our region’s artistic and cultural heritage, and state tax dollars from the Ohio Arts Council to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

Contact:
Cindi Szymanski
216-640-8660
cindi.szymanski@playhousesquare.org