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Box Office (216) 241 6000

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CPH to Induct Five New Honorees at Hall of Fame Ceremony

Posted October 28, 2014 in Press Releases

Cleveland Play House to Induct Five New Honorees at Hall of Fame Ceremony November 6th.

CLEVELAND, OH (October 28, 2014) – Cleveland Play House (CPH) will host their 18th Hall of Fame Luncheon on Thursday, November 6th in downtown Cleveland. The 2014 honorees have impacted the success of CPH through their wide-ranging achievements. This year’s recipients include Joe Garry, George Gund II, Maeve McGuire, and June Squibb. Receiving the Heritage Award for his contributions to CPH will be Nelson Isekeit. Honorary Co-Chairs for the event are long-time CPH supporters Bob Blattner and Betty Fredman.

Past CPH Hall of Fame recipients include Ed Asner, Joel Grey and Marlo Thomas, to name a few. “We are delighted to include this year’s inductees among the elite group of individuals that make up CPH’s Hall of Fame,” states CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley. “Our 99th season’s theme is Legacy, and these individuals have shaped our legacy of excellence and serve as inspirations as we head into our next century of serving our community. Our hope is that this honor will assure them that the vital roles they have played at CPH will forever be remembered and cherished.”

Joseph J. Garry, Jr.

Joe Garry has contributed to the Northeast Ohio community and the field of theatre for over 40 years. He began his professional theatre training at Cleveland Play House in 1959, and the early influence of his experiences with the CPH resident company shaped his entire career. While at CPH, Mr. Garry directed several record breaking productions including Dark of the Moon, The Bird’s (an original musical optioned for Broadway), StoryBook Theatre, Painting Churches, The Arabian Knight, and Images (which transferred to San Francisco and subsequently went on tour). Mr. Garry is also the former head of the Theater Department at Cleveland State University, where he served as a professor and wrote, directed, and produced plays, musicals, and operas. His accomplishments and dedication have helped to cultivate not only the Cleveland arts community, but also arts communities throughout the world via his musical theatrical abilities and inspiration.

George Gund II

Well remembered today as the founder of The George Gund Foundation, the contributions of time and counsel in his lifetime are as much an enduring legacy of George Gund as his financial support. Throughout his life, Mr. Gund was particularly devoted to the arts. The George Gund Endowment Fund at CPH was established in 1948, the revenue from which was used for CPH’s Visiting Artists Fund. He was a member of the Cleveland Play House Board from 1949 to 1966 and the Cleveland Play House Foundation Board from 1964 to 1966. He was president of the Foundation at the time of his death in 1966. The impact of George Gund’s accomplishments and philanthropic endeavors is still felt today by Cleveland Play House and the multitude of organizations that have benefited from his foresight, business acumen, and generosity.

Maeve McGuire

Maeve McGuire started her illustrious career at Cleveland Play House as a Curtain Puller at the age of five and continued to study there for the next 14 years. McGuire then moved onto television, which strongly shaped her career. She had starring roles in The Edge of Night, Another World, As the World Turns, One Life to Live, Search for Tomorrow, and All My Children. She infiltrated TV through such diverse assignments as co-hosting on The Mike Douglas Show to appearing as ‘The Dove Lady’. Frequent appearances followed on Law and Order, Dateline NBC, Beacon Hill, The Eternal Light, and The Baby-Sitters Club. From her early training at Cleveland Play House, Maeve has always had an abiding love for regional theatre. From Anchorage to Chapel Hill, and from Arena Stage to the Hartford Theatre, Maeve has starred in productions at 14 resident theatres. She returned to her beloved Cleveland Play House to star in The Little Foxes, Another Part of the Forest, and Night of the Iguana.

June Squibb

Ms. Squibb began her acting career in musical theatre and moved to Cleveland to sing and dance with Cleveland Play House. For the 1950-51 Season, June was awarded a fellowship as Assistant to the Prop Head. From 1951 to 1955, June was cast in many productions with the resident company, including Marseilles; The Play’s the Thing; Goodbye, My Fancy; Heiress; Detective Story; and Antigone. After moving to New York City, Ms. Squibb trained at the HB Studio. In 1960, she made her Broadway debut in the original production of Gypsy starring Ethel Merman and assumed the role of the stripper ‘Electra’. Over the years, Ms. Squibb has taught acting workshops extensively but did not pursue a career in front of the camera until she was already in her 60s. She has appeared in 20 films, including playing the wife of Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt. For her role as the wife of Bruce Dern in the film Nebraska, Squibb received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2014 and won a Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. From across the country, June’s nominations for her role in Nebraska were extensive.

Heritage Award Recipient

Nelson Isekeit

In 1964, Nelson Isekeit was a young man in Cincinnati in a dead-end job, looking for something interesting to do with his life. His childhood friend, Bob Moak, had been at Cleveland Play House for two years and suggested that he look into a position there. Mr. Isekeit accepted a position and, under the tutelage of CPH Business Manager Lenore Klewer, learned the rigors and responsibilities of serving the best interests of CPH. Klewer instilled in him enormous respect for the Board of Trustees, the Men’s and Women’s Committees, the volunteers, and the company. As Business Manager, he was a fiercely devoted and responsible steward for the long term fiscal health of Cleveland Play House.

CPH’s Hall of Fame Luncheon will take place from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on November 6that Cibrèo Privato. For tickets or additional information, please contact Kat Clark at (216) 400-7053 or kclark@clevelandplayhouse.com.

Founded in 1915, Cleveland Play House is America’s first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, Cleveland Play House has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. It has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,300 CPH productions. Cleveland Play House looks toward its centennial while performing in three state-of-the art venues at PlayhouseSquare in downtown Cleveland.

The Ohio Arts Council helped 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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