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Cleveland Play House Announces Hall of Fame Inductees


Cleveland Play House (CPH) will honor a new class of individuals who have contributed to its vibrant history with a Hall of Fame induction ceremony and luncheon on Sunday, October 9th from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at Cibrèo Privato located at 1501 E. 14th Street. The 2016 inductees will include Jonathan Bolt, a former resident company actor at CPH who also directed the world premiere of Arthur Miller's The Archbishop's Ceiling; Dean R. Gladden, former CPH Managing Director who was instrumental in CPH's International Theatre Exchanges; Leonore Klewer, former CPH Manager for over a decade; and William Rhys, former CPH company member and Acting Artistic Director.

The CPH Heritage Award will be presented to Patricia Eversole, in recognition of her near half century of service to CPH. Past CPH Hall of Fame inductees include Ed Asner, Dom DeLuise, Marlo Thomas, and Joel Grey. Honorary Co-chairs for the event are 2001 Hall of Fame Inductees Walter E. and Jean C. Kalberer.

CPH Managing Director Kevin Moore states, "I am thrilled with the CPH legends that our Heritage Council has recommended for induction to our Hall of Fame this year. Jonathan Bolt and Will Rhys are actor/directors from a golden era of CPH artistry, the 1970s and '80s, with Will serving as acting Artistic Director in the 1980s. Leonore Klewer was a legendary leader for us, guiding our business operations throughout the 1950s and '60s. I am particularly pleased that my predecessor and friend, Dean Gladden, will be inducted in honor of his nearly twenty years as Managing Director, and that this year's Heritage Award will go to an outstanding CPH staff member, Patricia Eversole, who is celebrating her 45th year with us. The remarkable longevity of Cleveland Play House is made possible by the people who made it happen, day after day, play after play, season after season, for over a century. These five individuals have all contributed to that rich legacy, and it is a tremendous pleasure to induct them into the CPH Hall of Fame."

Cleveland Play House Hall of Fame - Class of 2016

Jonathan Bolt

When contacted for the 100th Anniversary of the Cleveland Play House, Jonathan Bolt wrote "I am not sure Facebook can hold all the memories I have..." The Play House "was the place I finally learned how to act -- then direct -- and then (almost) how to write a play." Jonathan joined the Resident Company in 1967 and quickly became a core member of the group, playing 14 leading roles by 1973. He soon began directing as well as acting, and became known in the company as an "actor's director," leading 16 productions by the time he left in the late '70s. He returned in 1984 to direct the world premiere of Arthur Miller's The Archbishop's Ceiling. His play Threads, loosely based on his early life in North Carolina, premiered at CPH in 1979 and had a continued life in regional theatre. Jonathan continued to have a vibrant career and, since 2005, has been the Artistic Director of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts third year Performance Company in New York City.

Dean R. Gladden

Dean Gladden is in his eleventh year as Managing Director of the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas. Prior to joining Alley, Dean was Managing Director of Cleveland Play House for 19 years. He was responsible for the administrative, financial, marketing, facilities and development aspects of the theatre. Over the years, Dean has overseen the production of over 300 plays and established international exchanges with the Czech National Theatre in Prague, the Hungarian National Theatre in Miskolc, the Slovak National Theater in Bratislava, and the Ten New Experimental Theatre in Volgograd, Russia. Dean has taught arts management classes at CWRU, CSU, BGSU, University of Houston, University of Akron, and in Budapest, Hungary under the sponsorship of the United States Information Agency.

Leonore Klewer

In the early days of Cleveland Play House, the office staff numbered fewer than four people working with Max Eisenstat in the one-room box office on East 86th Street. Leonore joined them in 1938 and was immediately immersed in all functions from accounting to manning the ticket dock at performance time. She assumed responsibilities and knew the inner-workings of the theatre so well that she was the obvious successor to Max Eisenstat on his sudden death in the 1955-56 season. Formally named Play House Manager in 1958, she was second in command to Director K. Elmo Lowe until they both retired in the spring of 1969. Upon retirement, she joined the Women's Committee and continued to volunteer until her death in 1986. Of her, the critic Peter Bellamy wrote: "Because of her ability and complete dedication, she was the glue that held the Play House together."

William Rhys

Will Rhys was a dynamic contributor to Cleveland Play House starting in 1974 when he came as director of the National Theatre of the Deaf at our 77th Street Theatre. He also jobbed in as a high energy/physical actor for a couple of seasons before joining the Repertory Company in 1977. Will appeared in over 30 plays and directed about 20 productions at CPH. In 1985, he was appointed Acting Artistic Director and re-invigorated Play House stages with memorable productions until 1988. His career has continued on and off Broadway and in regional theatres across the country. Between 1992-2000, Will served as Artistic Director of the National Theatre of the Deaf. During recent years, Will has been acting and directing in regional theatre around the country.

Patricia Eversole - Heritage Award

Pat Eversole has been an integral part of Cleveland Play House in a career that has spanned five different decades. Pat's first CPH position was as the night operator, fielding calls and, literally, connecting wires to keep CPH connected. The operator station was housed in the ticket office and so, in true CPH fashion, Pat became an 'early multitasker' when pressed into service as a ticket office representative. There she took great care of patrons and honed her skills in customer service, knowing by heart the sometimes unique qualities and preferences of CPH subscribers. While there, Pat also became adept at reconciling box office settlements, a talent that would serve her well as she transitioned full time into Accounting, where she made certain that the CPH lights stayed on-and often placated clamoring vendors. In true the-show-must-go-on fashion, Pat has made her mark in the way most appreciated by her fellow CPH employees: by making certain payroll was done EVERY week, even when that meant interruption of her vacation, coming in during a Valentine's Day blizzard, or the strategic scheduling of her honeymoon so as to not miss payroll. However, perhaps what is truly most appreciated by all of us who value Cleveland Play House is Pat's love-and knowledge-of CPH and its people. This was again evident throughout our Centennial preparation when it was not unusual for us to veer from the CPH archives and instead utter the three words that were guaranteed to give us the answer: "Go ask Pat."

Sunday, October 9, 2016 • 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Cibrèo Privato • 1501 E. 14th Street

Tickets are $100 (group tables for up to 10 are available for $1000 per table) of which a portion may be tax deductible.

Special Offer: Purchase any ticket to the Hall of Fame Luncheon and you will be eligible to purchase a ticket to that afternoon's 2:30pm performance of All the Way for just $40 (up to a 50% discount). Offer not valid with any other discount, promotion, or on prior sales. Valid on select seating locations. Subject to availability.

Contact Kat Clark at 216-400-7053 or with questions, dietary needs, or to purchase tickets.

About Cleveland Play House

Cleveland Play House, recipient of the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award® and founded in 1915, is America's first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, CPH has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences across Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. CPH has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,600 productions. Today, Cleveland Play House celebrates the beginning of its second century of service while performing in three state-of-the art venues at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. We also thank the residents of Cuyahoga County for supporting Cleveland Play House through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

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