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Playhouse Square Unveils Next Phase of Neighborhood Transformation Featuring Dazzling New Theater Marquees

The $10.2 million project is slated for completion in June 2023. Playhouse Square is in the process of finalizing funding for the project.

Playhouse Square has unveiled plans to build upon its dramatic neighborhood transformation. Designed to bring the grandeur and beauty of its 100-year-old, fully-restored theaters outdoors, this next phase features dazzling new theater marquees, signage for the performing arts center's resident companies and technology upgrades for elements installed during the original phase of the transformation.

"The marquees you see today have served their purpose; now, as we commemorate our centennial, we have the opportunity to create a unified visual vocabulary to welcome guests to Playhouse Square and aid in wayfinding," explained President and CEO Gina Vernaci. "These new marquees brilliantly set the stage for our next 100 years."

The $10.2 million project is slated for completion in June 2023. Playhouse Square is in the process of finalizing funding for the project.

Playhouse Square is building upon its pedestrian-friendly environment to attract more visitors to downtown Cleveland, further supporting the city's economy. The not-for-profit performing arts center began its most recent update in 2014 with "Dazzle the District" - including the now-iconic and often photographed GE Chandelier, gateways, retro sign, digital signage and more - and continued in summer 2021 with beautiful new café enclosures and lush plantings, all part of the organization's mission-based work to develop an inviting downtown district for residents, visitors and businesses.

Playhouse Square has once again hired the experiential design firm The Barnycz Group - the same group used for the initial phase - to design and oversee the project. The firm specializes in the creation of large-scale, interactive, dynamic content environments and has orchestrated some of the world's most attention-grabbing projects including Playhouse Square's own GE Chandelier, gateways and retro sign; the Crown Fountain at Chicago's Millennium Park; LG's Vegas Spectacular; The District Detroit; the Dubai Mall; and the Mall of the Emirates.

The Connor Palace and Allen, Hanna, KeyBank State and Mimi Ohio Theatres - Playhouse Square's five historic venues out of 11 total performance spaces - are being crowned with new marquees that complement one another and will add to the ease of wayfinding for guests and visitors. Each theater's unique design - inspired by ceiling detail and other elements found within the venues - has a daytime and nighttime personality with video screens, music and lighting that can change color to match shows or seasons. The Bulkley Building is being outfitted with its own marquee to assist guests with locating Outcalt and The Helen Theatres.

Signage adorning the Hanna Building will call attention to Playhouse Square's seven illustrious resident companies: Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland International Film Festival, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University's Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and Tri-C JazzFest.

Video screens and sidewalk kiosks installed eight years ago are receiving the latest technology upgrades for an even more dynamic visual experience throughout the Playhouse Square District.

"These sensational marquees will stand as an enduring public tribute to everyone who has brought us through our first 100 years and to the bright possibilities ahead," added Vernaci.



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