Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Royal Albert Hall CEO Craig Hassall to Step Down

Hassall is moving to Playhouse Square in Ohio

Royal Albert Hall CEO Craig Hassall to Step Down

Royal Albert Hall CEO Craig Hassall will step down at the start of the 2023 season, having accepted a position as President and Chief Executive of Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio.

Hassall joined the Hall in 2017 from his previous role as CEO of Opera Australia. He led extensive plans for the Hall's 150th anniversary in 2021, and subsequently its survival and recovery through the Covid-19 Pandemic - which resulted in the Hall's first closure since World War II.

During his six-year tenure, Hassall oversaw a multimillion programme of refurbishment of the Grade I listed venue, dramatic growth in the Hall's own concert promotions as well as a wide array of initiatives diversifying the Hall's reach and engagement work.

Craig said: "After six wonderful years at the Hall it is time for me to bid a very fond farewell. I have genuinely loved working with the team, and despite all the recent challenges we have faced, it has been a huge privilege to lead the Royal Albert Hall through some great times (and some daunting ones!)"

Ian McCulloch, President of the Royal Albert Hall said: "We have benefitted from Craig's many talents for nearly six years. During this tenure, Craig has accomplished a great deal for the good of the Hall and the wider cultural sector. He has played a pivotal role in sustaining us through the Covid-19 pandemic, in enhancing our reputation and in enabling the Hall to reach even wider audiences. He will be leaving us with our deep gratitude and goodwill."

Hassall, 57, will now lead one of North America's top performing arts centres in Playhouse Square, the second largest theatre district in the United States, with 11 venues in total. He replaces outgoing CEO Gina Vernaci, who retires in February after a 39-year career with the organisation.

"Playhouse Square has a great history of accomplishment and leadership in the performing arts industry," Hassall continued. "It's poised to play an even bigger role and I am honoured and excited to have the opportunity to partner with the Board of Trustees and this talented team to take Playhouse Square to the next level."

Hassall will relocate to Cleveland to join Playhouse Square in early 2023, after completing the London Christmas season and the bedding in of the annual Cirque du Soleil season.

In addition to his role as Chief Executive of the Royal Albert Hall, he also held the Chief Executive position at Opera Australia and was Managing Director of the English National Ballet. He was also chief operating officer at Raymond Gubbay Limited, and held senior artistic roles for major projects including the 2000 and 2012 Olympic Games in Sydney and London.

The Hall will announce plans for Craig's replacement in due course.

Photo Credit: Andy Paradise

Regional Awards

From This Author - Aliya Al-Hassan

Aliya Al-Hassan is UK Managing Editor of BroadwayWorld. A London-based theatre critic and journalist, she has a life-long passion for the arts, with a focus on theatre and opera. She is a... (read more about this author)

Review Roundup: THE CRUCIBLE, Starring Erin DohertyReview Roundup: THE CRUCIBLE, Starring Erin Doherty
September 29, 2022

Arthur Miller’s gripping parable of power and its abuse returns in a new staging by director Lyndsey Turner at the National Theatre, starring Erin Doherty. So what did the critics think?

Exclusive: Save up to 47% GREASE THE MUSICALExclusive: Save up to 47% GREASE THE MUSICAL
September 29, 2022

Exclusive: tickets from just £15 for Grease The Musical. The One You Want. The One You Need. Oh Yes Indeed!

Exclusive 48hr Presale for Limited West End Season of OKLAHOMA!Exclusive 48hr Presale for Limited West End Season of OKLAHOMA!
September 28, 2022

Exclusive 48 hour presale for smash-hit show Oklahoma! at the Wyndham's Theatre

Apple and Southbank Centre Launch Partnership to Support Black Creatives in the UKApple and Southbank Centre Launch Partnership to Support Black Creatives in the UK
September 28, 2022

Apple and the Southbank Centre have launched a groundbreaking partnership to support Black creatives in the UK.

Glasgow and Liverpool Remain Contenders to be 2023 Eurovision Host CityGlasgow and Liverpool Remain Contenders to be 2023 Eurovision Host City
September 28, 2022

The BBC has provided an update on the bidding process for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest, and confirmed that two cities, Glasgow and Liverpool, remain in competition to be the 2023 host city.