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CPH announces “Lights Up!” Campaign to support Live Theatre

Posted June 15, 2021 in Press Releases

(Cleveland, OH) Cleveland Play House presents the Lights Up! campaign, a $5 Million fundraising initiative to support equity, access, flexibility, safety and innovation. The campaign seeks community support to sustain and enhance the institution’s core commitment to producing inspiring theatre and educational programming, while implementing the lessons learned in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and heightened social justice awareness.

The campaign will help obtain vital funding that will enable CPH to creatively deliver thought-provoking, necessary and urgent theatrical productions and education programming, while also offering accessibility to diverse audiences throughout Northeast Ohio. Lights Up! will provide CPH the resources for talent acquisition and offer rigorous and robust equity, diversity and inclusion training for staff and board members.

Cleveland Play House is grateful to Dr. Nancy-Clay Marsteller, a member of the CPH Board of Directors for 27 years, who made the first grant to Lights Up! in the amount of $500,000 from The Marsteller Charitable Foundation. This generous support will be recognized with The Nancy-Clay Marsteller Teaching Artists Program.

CPH Board Chair Anne Marie Warren says, “We were overjoyed to share the news of Dr. Nancy-Clay Marsteller’s grant to our Lights Up! campaign.” Warren says, “We are also grateful to the foundation’s trustees, Malcolm P. Alders and Alan Rauss, for this thoughtful and groundbreaking philanthropy.”

Additionally, support for the Lights Up! campaign comes from The Cleveland Foundation with a $200,000 grant in support of the development of a human resources program. This grant will enable CPH to build a robust Human Resources department to support staff and guest artists.

CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley says, “There is nothing like that moment in the theatre when the houselights go down and the curtain slowly rises. The anticipation. The excitement. The sense that anything is possible. At the end, when the houselights come up, we feel renewed and we feel full, blissfully aware that we are not alone.” Kepley says, “I long to return to creating these experiences for the Northeast Ohio community that I love. To work with the best local and national directors, designers, actors, technicians, craftspeople, teaching artists, and more to create thrilling, thought-provoking and awe-inspiring experiences that uplift and unite us. Please help us make this magic happen.”

The Lights Up! campaign launches today, June 15, to prepare for Cleveland Play House’s return to live in-person productions and education programs in the Fall of 2021.

For more information about Lights Up!, please contact Jon-Paul Schaut, Campaign and Event Project Manager, at

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