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.