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Campaign for Allen Theatre Complex Makes Major Strides Towards Goal

Posted September 15, 2011 in Press Releases

Eleven Gifts Totaling More than $11.5 Million Lead Donations

, OH - The Power of Three: The Allen Theatre Project, a capital campaign undertaken in partnership between Cleveland State University (CSU), PlayhouseSquare and Cleveland Play House (CPH), is thrilled to announce the successful progress of its fundraising efforts with $27 million committed toward the $32 million goal.

The Power of Three has garnered contributions from foundations, individuals and corporations and has also received $6 million in New Market Tax Credits to create three new state-of-the-art theatres in PlayhouseSquare, the country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York City. This complex will be home to Cleveland Play House, America’s first regional theatre company, and Cleveland State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, a rapidly-growing program in a university that truly and visibly embraces its role in downtown Cleveland’s revitalization.

The capital campaign is led by a steering committee comprised of representatives from all three institutions, under the direction of co-chairs Alec Pendleton and Walter Kalberer, both vice-chairs of the board of CPH.

“Every donor, and particularly these lead donors to this most innovative arts and education project, has our deepest gratitude. We hope they are proud of what their foresight and generosity is producing,” Pendleton said on behalf of the co-chairs.

Eleven $1 million dollar-plus gifts make up 42% of total contributions made thus far. These leadership donors are: The Cliffs Foundation, The Richard J. Fasenmyer Foundation, Char & Chuck Fowler, The George Gund Foundation, Walter & Jean Kalberer, KeyBank Foundation, Peter B. Lewis and Toby Devan Lewis in honor of Peter’s mother Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky, the Milton and Tamar Maltz Family Foundation, Barbara & Stanley Meisel, Parker Hannifin Foundation, and the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation. Other notable contributions come from the board of directors of Cleveland Play House, whose combined gifts total $6 million (four $1 million gifts among that total).

“We are thrilled to see the wide range of generous support for The Power of Three: The Allen Theatre Project,” says Kevin Moore, managing director of Cleveland Play House. “The CPH board of directors, foundations, corporations and individuals that have supported this effort demonstrated their belief in the cultural, educational and economic benefits of the project, as well as the deep collaboration between CPH, CSU and PlayhouseSquare that made it possible. All three institutions look forward to completing the campaign over the next year, and to working together to serve our community long into the future.”

The Allen Theatre complex will include the 500 seat Mainstage theatre nestled in the historic environs of the Allen theatre itself, and two new theatres built from scratch: a 300-seat flexible Second Stage and the 150-seat Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre, all to be shared by Cleveland Play House (including its Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program), Cleveland State University’s undergraduate drama and dance department and PlayhouseSquare.

“We are very grateful to the many generous donors who are helping to make this one of the most exciting and engaging undergraduate theater programs in the country,” said CSU president Ronald Berkman. “The Allen Theatre will be the centerpiece of CSU’s emerging arts campus in PlayhouseSquare.”

Also included in the new construction is the dramatic new KeyBank Concourse to guide patrons from the PlayhouseSquare garage via a new entrance and through the center of the Allen Theatre complex, serving as a gateway to all theaters, restaurants and offices that make PlayhouseSquare such a destination.

“We anticipate that more than 150,000 additional guests will visit the PlayhouseSquare District each year. In addition, employees of Cleveland Play House and faculty from Cleveland State University arts programs will work in the district and CSU students will have classes and attend performances. All of this adds to the excitement at PlayhouseSquare,” explains Art J. Falco, president and CEO of PlayhouseSquare. “This partnership is a point of pride for the Northeast Ohio community because it benefits our students, our economy, and our stature as a vibrant, forward-thinking city.”


December 3 marks Celebration! Create - Collaborate - Educate, a collaborative benefit for The Power of Three campaign at PlayhouseSquare. Entertainment headliner: Tony-nominated performer Raul Esparza. Chairs: Char Fowler, Ellen Stirn Mavec, K.K. Sullivan. Honorary chairs: Lainie Hadden, Chloe Oldenburg, Michael Schwartz. Vice Chairs: Julia Bolton, Jenny Brown, Mebby Brown. For more information visit

In January 2012, The Power of Three will announce the public phase of the campaign, which will feature a broad-based appeal and will seek community-wide participation.

For more information about supporting The Power of Three campaign, contact Director of Annual and Campaign Development Jack Stinedurf at 216-795-7000

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