Every year, Cleveland Play House welcomes actors, production designers, and other professional artists from all over the country. These artists, many of whom have never worked with CPH before, are in residence during a show’s production run and experience first-hand the quality of work CPH produces and the impact the theatre has on the community.
The consensus from these theatre professionals? Cleveland Play House is attracting more attention now than ever before, and the generosity of its donors is one of the primary reasons for its success.
The Value of Live Theatre
Theatre plays an indispensable role in not only entertainment, but developing conversation, strengthening emotional thinking, and simply connecting with others. Brendon Fox, Director of Cleveland Play House’s production of Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, has worked with many different regional theatres and understands its value on a fundamental level.
“I think theatre is so important for all of us in our busy, stressful lives,” says Fox. “It gives us the opportunity to come together to laugh, to think, to create conversation, and to develop empathy. Great storytelling is necessary to us as human beings – as important as oxygen. It reminds us we are a community, and a strong one.”
Nisi Sturgis, who appeared in Baskerville and has also performed On and Off-Broadway, feels the same way.
“In a busy world filled with technology, we sometimes struggle to connect with others in ways that fill us up,” she says. “For me, theatre is one of those ways we can connect. It’s where we can commit ourselves to someone else’s experience and become part of it. It’s where we can struggle with hard truths and share successes and challenges – develop empathy – become better listeners. It’s where we can all be welcome.”
This welcoming environment isn’t restricted to subscribers or ticket buyers. At CPH, students have the opportunity to experience the power of theatre at a young age. This enables students to not only expand their appreciation for theatre but develop essential life-skills that stay with them throughout their lives.
“I got the chance to talk to the young people that attended the student matinee performances, says Sturgis. “They were surprised that theatre was really for them. It wasn’t an elevated art form where their participation is just about having to behave in a certain way. They were part of the shows and we as actors loved their reactions and feedback during the performances.”
Why Cleveland Play House?
Now in its second century of producing bold, thrilling, and distinctive theatre for diverse audiences, Cleveland Play House is attracting a lot of attention. After receiving the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award and celebrating its Centennial season that same year, CPH is committed to serving the community in ways few other regional theatres can. Lex Liang, a nationally-recognized designer who has worked with CPH on a number of different productions, agrees.
“The generosity of spirit from the artistic leadership here, as well as the incredibly supportive staff always creates an immensely positive experience,” says Liang. “Being home to this Tony Award-recipient theatre is a testament to Cleveland’s efforts to build an exciting, creative, and inclusive downtown neighborhood. CPH is at the forefront of an inspiring, forward-thinking artistic movement here in Cleveland.”
“CPH’s commitment to each production starts months before rehearsals get underway,” Fox adds. “Very few theatres make this kind of investment in the work, which shows how important it is to Cleveland Play House to build a top quality production.”
However, Cleveland Play House cannot do this on ticket sales alone. Only about 50% of the total cost to produce its season is covered by subscriptions and single ticket purchases. The rest is made possible by contributions from normal, everyday people who are passionate about the value of CPH in the Cleveland community.
Fox further emphasizes the value of CPH as a leading regional theatre:
“You are incredibly lucky to have one of the finest regional theatres in the country right here in Cleveland. The quality of the shows CPH is able to produce here is because of your ongoing support, and I am grateful to be a part of your theatre community. I hope you’ll consider adding to your support now. It’s one of the best investments you can make to build a better community for everyone.”
To Sturgis, CPH is among the best:
“If I could tell people who don’t know Cleveland Play House just one thing, it would be how well taken care of you will be when you go there,” she says. “Producing plays requires balancing many interests – that of the artists, the playwright, the questions raised in the script, and of the audience. The fact that CPH works so hard to balance all of those needs makes such a difference in the experience we all have being here. No matter what show you see, you’ll get the best CPH has to offer, and it will matter that you’re there. That’s unique in theatre, and something very special about your Cleveland Play House. I hope you’ll support CPH now in any way you can. Theatre matters, and your gift matters, too.”
Making your gift to support Cleveland Play House is easy. Simply click HERE to give online, or call Rebecca Snedeker-Meier, CPH Development Associate, at 216.400.7056. No matter how much you contribute, your gift is appreciated, valued, and can make all the difference.
The Allen, Helen and Outcalt theatres are located at Playhouse Square
1407 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115
Administrative Offices and Education Center
1901 E. 13th Street, Suite 200 Cleveland, OH 44114 (216) 400-7000
7401 Detour Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44103