The Cleveland Play House

The Cleveland Play House in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, United States | American Restaurant

The Cleveland Play House, in Cleveland, Ohio is America’s first regional theatre. It was founded in 1915 by a group of eight prominent Clevelanders, among them Charles and Minerva Brooks, who sought to bring plays of substance to the people of Cleveland in an era dominated by vaudeville. From these beginnings, The Cleveland Play Housebecame and remains, an artist-driven theatre that serves the Greater Cleveland community through its superb productions and outstanding theatre education programs.



The Cleveland Play House, has had eight Artistic Directors over the years.  Paul Newman, Joel Grey, Margaret Hamilton and Jack Weston are among the many actors whose careers began at TheCleveland Play House, either on stage or in the theatre’s education program, The Curtain Pullers.



In the Play House’s ninety-plus seasons, over 11 million people have attended more than 1,300 productions, including more than 100 World and/or American premieres. 



The original Play House facility was built in 1927 on farmland donated by industrialist Francis Drury, and housed two theatres that remain in use today.  To accommodate substantial growth in the years just after World War II, The Play House operated the 77th Street Theatre from 1949-83 in a converted church a few blocks away.  That venue featured America’s first open stage – the forerunner of the thrust stage that was popularized in the 1950s and ‘60s.  In 1983, a Philip Johnson–designed addition to the original facility opened, annexing a Depression-era Sears building to the original Drury Theatre building, making The Cleveland Play House, the largest regional theatre complex in the United States.



In November 1933, The Cleveland Play House offered the nation’s first community-based theatre education programs. Today, more than 40,000 students attend Cleveland Play House productions, as well as drama and playwriting classes offered by the Education department, each year. Additionally, The Cleveland Play House and Case Western Reserve University launched an MFA program in acting in 1996, a program that has quickly become one of the most prominent in the nation.



Internationally, The Cleveland Play House has made its mark with the Full Circle International Theatre Exchange Program. The Exchange was established to celebrate Cleveland’s ethnic diversity, and has enabled the Play House to host or exchange productions with the National Theatre of Hungary, The Czech National Theater and Slovak National Theater, as well as Russia’s New Experimental Theater of Volgograd.  The next exchange in this remarkable series will start in 2008 when the renowned Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv, Israel brings it remarkable production of Hamlet to the Play House.

www.Clevelandplayhouse.com

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8500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland,
Cleveland
Ohio
United States
216-795-7000
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