Props! Winter 2021

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Winter 2021

Bringing you behind-the-curtain news and showing you how your donation makes a difference at Playhouse Square!

playhousesquare.org/support

IN THIS ISSUE

• •

Connor Palace Renovation • Volunteer Recognition Jump Back Ball 30 • Education Update


A MESSAGE FROM MICHELLE Playhouse Square always has been especially beautiful in December. Dressed in its holiday best, the neighborhood never fails to evoke oohs and aahs from visitors delighting in the sights of Christmas trees, menorahs and winter-wonderland settings throughout our majestic venues.

I would hope that the hardships we collectively experienced while separated made us all better appreciate the many blessings we previously may have taken for granted. At this time of year I can think of none more relevant than being able to gather together to celebrate the beauty of the season.

Perhaps no December at Playhouse Square holds as much meaning for me than this one. First, because it marks my 20th anniversary working for this wonderful institution. And second, because it celebrates the return of annual performances and events that have grown to be a part of so many people’s holiday traditions.

When we think of the theaters and being together, it would not be possible to be successful without our loyal RedCoat volunteers and Front of House Managers. Led by Ed Broderick and Meg Colwell in our Guest Services department, more than 1,300 RedCoats and 16 house managers help make every performance a better

experience for our guests. On the opposite page you will see a glimpse of how significant their impact is on the operation of our theaters. As we celebrate the holidays and prepare for the 2022, I wish you and yours health, happiness, and love.

Michelle Ryan Stewart Senior Vice President of Advancement

Front cover: Connor Palace

ADVANCEMENT STAFF Michelle Ryan Stewart Senior Vice President of Advancement 216-640-8410 michelle.stewart@playhousesquare.org

David Turner Advancement Ticketing Manager 216-640-8418 david.turner@playhousesquare.org

Leanne Dewyer Director of Advancement 216-640-8411 leanne.dewyer@playhousesquare.org

Victoria Gray Advancement Coordinator, Annual Giving 216-640-8422 victoria.gray@playhousesquare.org

Mary Winchester Assistant Director of Advancement 216-640-8412 mary.winchester@playhousesquare.org

Annie Singer Advancement Coordinator 216-640-8407 annie.singer@playhousesquare.org

Cheryl Helden Foundations & Major Gifts Manager 216-640-8406 cheryl.helden@playhousesquare.org

Jason Bogdany Advancement Database Coordinator 216-640-8428 jason.bogdany@playhousesquare.org

Sarah Stengel Partners Advancement Manager 216-640-8408 sarah.stengel@playhousesquare.org

Steven Deliman Donor Relations & Special Projects Assistant 216-640-8426 steven.deliman@playhousesquare.org

Karen Bridegum Donor Relations Coordinator 216-640-8419 karen.bridegum@playhousesquare.org

Katie Lang Donor Communications & Education Fund Coordinator 216-640-8664 katie.lang@playhousesquare.org Claudia Medlin Gift Processing & Data Entry Coordinator 216-640-8409 claudia.medlin@playhousesquare.org Ed Broderick Senior Manager, Front of House 216-640-8535 edward.broderick@playhousesquare.org Meg Colwell Volunteer Manager 216-640-8559 meg.colwell@playhousesquare.org Jason Brown Donor Relations Assistant 216-640-8421 jason.brown@playhousesquare.org


TOP 5 REDCOATS BY HOURS VOLUNTEERED RedCoats are the face of Playhouse Square to nearly one million guests who attend more than one thousand curtains each year. Volunteers donate their time, serving as greeters, ticket scanners, ushers and tour guides, as well as providing administrative assistance.

Audrey DeClement

Georgia Taylor

16,585

9,886

Don Fedorchak

9,872

Patty Dotts

7,430

Benita Batulewick

6,631

VOLUNTEER HOURS Active Date 9/6/1982

VOLUNTEER HOURS Active Date 4/7/1988

VOLUNTEER HOURS Active Date 2/18/1988

VOLUNTEER HOURS Active Date 10/6/1993

VOLUNTEER HOURS Active Date 5/19/1987

39 YEARS

33 YEARS

33 YEARS

28 YEARS

34 YEARS

OF SERVICE

november

2021

OF SERVICE

1,276 volunteers

OF SERVICE

assisted with

Edward Broderick

97 shows

OF SERVICE

for a

total of

OF SERVICE

13,020

volunteer hours

MEET THE STAFF

SENIOR MANAGER OF FRONT OF HOUSE

I lead our team of dedicated House Managers who I assign to the shows presented here and work closely with them and stage management to ensure all productions run seamlessly. Front of House interacts with virtually every department at Playhouse Square in the planning

and execution of our performances to provide a safe and memorable experience for our guests. We value the important contribution of our RedCoats who diligently work alongside us to make Playhouse Square the premier entertainment destination it is.

Meg Colwell VOLUNTEER MANAGER

The RedCoat volunteers are the first face, smile, and welcome to Playhouse Square! The Volunteer Manager’s job is to build and maintain a staff of RedCoat volunteers (1500-2000) to act as ushers for all performances and

events at Playhouse Square. The ongoing recruitment, training, scheduling, overseeing, and recognizing of these volunteers is critical to our goal of providing an outstanding guest experience at all times.


STREAMING EDUCATION PERFORMANCES FOR SCHOOLS BRINGING CHARLOTTE’S WEB TO GIGI’S PLAYHOUSE This November, our Education Department launched a new community engagement outreach program in partnership with GiGi’s Playhouse Cleveland. GiGi’s is the nation’s only network of Down Syndrome Achievement Centers. Working with a specialized teaching artist, children were given free access to our virtual production of Charlotte’s Web, complete with breakout activities to help foster understanding and enhance the performance. One example is when families created a group web through a gross motor activity to find the words that Charlotte wove in the story.

It was so wonderful working with these incredible families and children as we shared one of the most beloved stories of all time in an engaging, interactive way. It is so important for Playhouse Square to serve our non-profit mission and reach the widest possible audience, and doing so in partnership with GiGi’s Playhouse is deeply rewarding. I look forward to continuing this partnership in the months ahead.

– Daniel Hahn, VP of Education, Playhouse Square

CHARLOTTE’S WEB AT ST. MARK SCHOOL

It was so enjoyable watching the students connect to the story of friendship they had read by E.B. White to the actors playing the animal parts. The singing and dancing had the students joining in! It was great engagement and fun!

– Mrs. Josephine Litten, Teacher “ They cloned the book completely, and I loved every part of the play.” – Wyatt G., Student “ I liked that there was singing. It made me feel happy inside.” – Will G., Student

“ Charlotte’s Web is an amazing play. It was so good, and I loved the book too. Thank you for this opportunity.” – MacKenzie K., Student

“ My favorite part was when Wilbur won $25 and he gave his medal away at the fair for Charlotte. That was important because giving is good. It made me feel happy.” – Jack. W., Student


2021-2022 PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS: PRESENTED BY PAT AND JOHN CHAPMAN

Akron School for the Arts at Firestone CLC Archbishop Hoban High School Aurora High School Avon Lake High School Chagrin Falls High School CMSD All-City Musical Eastlake North High School Hathaway Brown School Hawken School Highland High School Hudson High School Independence High School

NEW STUDENT REPORTER PROGRAM Each year, the Dazzle Awards presented by Pat & John Chapman provide arts education opportunities and recognize excellence in high school musical theater in Northeast Ohio. New this year, student reporters are invited to get involved. This program is designed to provide high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who produce news for their school media outlets the opportunity to learn from media professionals and theater critics through panel discussions, trainings and practical learning. This will include opportunities to review shows and cover the Dazzle Awards at Playhouse Square. At the conclusion of the program, one student reporter will be nominated by Playhouse Square for The Jimmy Awards Student Reporter Program, with the opportunity to cover the National High School Musical Theatre Awards.

Lutheran High School West Magnificat High School Marion L. Steele High School

Through the Dazzle Awards program presented by Pat and John Chapman, we want to give students opportunities to learn behind the scenes as well as on stage. The Student Reporters will build reviewing, interviewing and promotional skills. – Cindi Szymanski, Director of Brand Marketing and Communications

Mayfield High School Medina High School Midview High School Nordonia High School Orange High School Padua Franciscan High School Rocky River High School Saint Joseph Academy Shaker Heights High School Solon High School Tallmadge High School Thomas W. Harvey High School Wadsworth High School Walsh Jesuit High School Willoughby South High School

Learn more about the Dazzle Awards at playhousesquare.org/dazzleawards


From L to R: Meg Hambach, Brittany Lassiter-Krusinski, Tom Euerle, Rebecca Fishman, Will Stolicny, Jacquie Davenport

ENCORE RECEPTION On November 17, members of Partners Encore Society gathered for a preshow reception in the Westfield Studio Theatre before seeing The Prom. Guests enjoyed hearing from Playhouse Square President & CEO Gina Vernaci about the reopening of Playhouse Square’s KeyBank Broadway Series and participating in a thoughtful Q&A session about Vernaci’s next steps professionally as she steps down from her position in 2023.

Gina Vernaci addresses the group.

To learn more, visit playhousesquare.org/partners or email Sarah, Partners Development Manager, at sarah.stengel@playhousesquare.org.


PARTNERS PRE-SALE JANUARY 5 PUBLIC ON-SALE JANUARY 12

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REASONS TO ATTEND JUMP BACK BALL I T’S THE PARTY OF THE YEAR! An opportunity to give back to an organization that makes performing art accessible to our community. • An opportunity to experience Playhouse Square in a way you never have before. Zoe Ingram • •

HE ATMOSPHERE OF THE T ENTIRE NIGHT FROM THEMED DECOR TO THE MUSIC AND MORE. • A chance to dress up and have a terrific night out on stage at Playhouse Square. • And most importantly the fundraising, knowing that all proceeds going towards Playhouse Square’s education initiatives to help others get exposed to and learn more about the arts. Ryan Herman •

ON SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26, JOIN US ON PLAYHOUSE SQUARE’S RED CARPET FOR A NIGHT OF GLITZ AND GLAMOUR.

I t is a great creative outlet, from building decor to putting together a themed costume. • Not many better ways to support the arts while having a great evening in February! • WHEN ELSE CAN YOU DANCE TO A LIVE BAND ON STAGE IN A 100 YEAR OLD THEATER? Adam Fishman •

he cause itself. T THE THEME. • A fun night out, dressing up and meeting friends. Katie Caporossi • •

I t’s a blast and an excuse to dress up fancy and have a great time. • It supports the education fund and all the great programming they put together. • BECAUSE I’M A MEMBER OF PARTNERS. Katie Schneller •

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playhousesquare.org/jumbbackball


CONNOR PALACE RENOVATION

The guest restrooms on the mezzanine and main floor have been completely remodeled. All new plumbing fixtures, floors, walls and ceiling finishes will provide a classic, clean, fresh appearance. The last renovation was in 1987 and the original mezzanine fixtures were left mostly intact.

THE CONNOR PALACE HAS UNDERGONE SOME SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS! New carpet was installed in the auditorium and lobby. Taking cues from the architecture, there are specific design elements in each room which are celebrated with unique carpet designs. The Axminster wool carpet will hold up beautifully for 15 to 20 years.

In the auditorium, all of the nearly 2,700 seats have been replaced. The new state-of-the-art seats feature beautiful design and comfort. Backstage, all of the original dressing rooms were renovated. Many of the historic features have been retained and the rooms now include modern upgrades to serve the thousands of artists who tour Cleveland. Modern restrooms, historic and contemporary finishes, as well as updated dressing table and mirror lights are among the many improvements.


DISTRICT UPDATE

STUDENT ANIMATION ON DISPLAY Playhouse Square has collaborated with the Cleveland Institute of Art to feature some of the animation artwork created by students on our 5-story LumenView digital display located next to The Lumen apartment building.

Square. “So this is an ongoing installation of student artwork from the Cleveland Institute of Art. They refresh it for us every so often, and we look forward to keeping the partnership going as long as possible.”

“We knew that this large signage installation needed some special artwork to go on it,” said Cindi Szymanski, the director of brand marketing and communications for Playhouse

The best time to view the artwork is 30 minutes after sunset, perfect for when you are visiting during an evening performance this winter.

YOU LOVE PLAYHOUSE SQUARE.

MAKE IT YOUR HOME To find out more about The Lumen, visit thelumencleveland.com or call 216-284-8779.


SAVE THE DATE FOR THESE UPCOMING EVENTS!

FRIENDS

CIRCLE

FRIENDS CIRCLE ANNUAL MEETING Remarks will be followed by a screening of The Greatest Showman. Monday, January 10, 2022 Connor Palace

DONOR

CIRCLE

DONOR CIRCLE ANNUAL MEETING More details to come.

Monday, March 21, 2022 Location TBD

16 T H A N N U A L

uare Golf Outing q S e s u o h y a l P JUNE 6, 2022

Hosted by

Presented by

TO BENEFIT ARTS EDUCATION PROGRAMS


Give the gift that always gets applause! playhousesquare.org/giftcard or 216-640-8436


NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE

Playhouse Square Foundation 1501 Euclid Avenue Suite 200 Cleveland, OH 44115-2108

PAID

CLEVELAND, OH PERMIT NO. 2295

Playhouse Square wishes you and yours all the best this holiday season and in the New Year.