The Cleveland Play House and Cleveland Clinic Sign Purchase Agreement, Play House Remains at 8500 Euclid Avenue Until 5/2011
The Cleveland Play House has agreed to sell its complex at 8500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, to the Cleveland Clinic. The Board of Directors overwhelmingly approved the sale of the 300,000 square foot building and approximately twelve acres of land at its Annual Meeting on July 16, 2009. The Play House and Cleveland Clinic will enter into a customary due diligence phase, which should last approximately 60 days and will result in the sale of the facility, as well as a two-year leaseback agreement to The Play House. The leaseback will allow The Play House to continue to produce a full array of theatre and arts education programming at its current location until May 2011.
As announced in April, 2009, The Play House is joining Cleveland State University ("CSU") and PlayhouseSquare Foundation in reconfiguring the Allen Theatre as a multi-stage venue to serve as the primary home for The Play House and CSU's Program of Dramatic Arts. The grand opening is scheduled for September 2011.
"This is an historic step as we journey toward a new business model - one that is mission-centric, artistically vital, and operationally stable," said Peter A. Kuhn, Chair of the Cleveland Play House Board of Directors. "We are elated to be part of this collaboration with our terrific friends at Cleveland State and PlayhouseSquare, and look forward to serving this great community for decades to come from our new downtown home.'"
Move makes "economic sense."
The decision to sell to the Cleveland Clinic was carefully considered by the Board of Directors. The deal made tremendous economic sense, according to Kevin Moore, Managing Director of The Cleveland Play House: "The sale of the property is a critical step toward a financially stable business model for The Play House," said Moore, "and will help create an organization that has adequate endowment funds, essential working capital, and a thrilling new home in which to produce outstanding professional theatre and arts education programming."
Sale to yield artistic benefits, too.
"Many fine, well-known actors began their careers on our stages," said Michael Bloom, Artistic Director of The Play House, "but we need an environment where we can focus our resources more fully on our artistic and educational programming. The sale of the property at 8500 Euclid positions The Play House to embark on a remarkable collaboration with two important partners in a truly unique joint venture, and will also jumpstart our efforts to broaden our audience by participating in the energetic revitalization of downtown Cleveland."
On with the show.
The Cleveland Play House will operate in its current location until May 2011, with a full range of programming, including: 2009-10 and 2010-11 mainstage seasons, FusionFest, the MFA in Acting Program with Case Western Reserve University, an array of educational programs, and the Theatre for Children series. All scheduled events will continue, including parties, galas, fundraisers, meetings, conferences, receptions, limited run engagements and other similar events.
The 2009-2010 mainstage season begins in September, and includes: Beethoven, As I Knew Him; Inherit the Wind; A Christmas Story; Lost in Yonkers; Ain't Misbehavin; Emma; and Bill W. and Dr. Bob. Information and subscriptions are available at www.clevelandplayhouse.com or 216-795-7000.
Good for the community.
The Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University and PlayhouseSquare partnership will benefit the Northeast Ohio community in a number of ways, including: additional audience members visiting downtown; increased opportunities for aspiring theatre students at CSU; Play House artists supporting theatre education programs at Cleveland School of the Arts, Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University; and employment for hundreds of local, regional and national artists each year. The partnership will enrich PlayhouseSquare's mission to present a wide variety of quality performing arts, advance arts education, and create a destination for entertainment, business, even housing.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland ("MOCA") will continue to operate out of The Cleveland Play House complex with plans to move to University Circle.
About The Cleveland Play House.
Founded in 1915, The Cleveland Play House is America's first regional theatre. More than 12 million people have attended more than 1,300 productions at The Play House, including more than 130 American and/or world premieres. Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Bloom and Managing Director Kevin Moore, The Cleveland Play House is an artist-driven theatre that serves the Greater Cleveland community by holding true to its mission: To produce plays of the highest professional standards that inspire, stimulate, and entertain our diverse audiences, to conduct training and educational programs that enhance the quality of life for those we serve, and to help ensure the future of theatre.
The Cleveland Play House is funded through the generosity of Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture; The Ohio Arts Council, which helps to fund The Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans; and the National Endowment for the Arts.