Plans for the Allen Theatre's futureApril 26, 2010
The Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare will soon house the Cleveland Play House, America’s longest running regional theater, and Cleveland State University's performing arts program.
The Cleveland Play House, America’s longest running regional theater, and Cleveland State University have begun discussions to partner in the reconfiguration and joint occupancy of the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare, the largest performing arts center in the country outside of New York City. The agreement to pursue plans for the partnership was announced by Peter A. Kuhn, Chairman of the Board of The Cleveland Play House, Michael Schwartz, Cleveland State University President, Thomas W. Adler, Chairman of the Board of PlayhouseSquare and Art J. Falco, PlayhouseSquare President and CEO.
The partnership will provide a number of benefits for the Northeast Ohio community and the three participating organizations, including:
- An additional 100,000+ audience members visiting downtown Cleveland each year
- Creation of a unique collaboration between CSU and The Play House to foster technical theater education at the undergraduate level
- Operational cost-savings for The Play House
- Enrichment of PlayhouseSquare’s mission to present a wide variety of quality performing arts, advance arts education and create a destination for entertainment, business and housing
- The Play House and the CSU program of Dramatic Arts will become resident companies at PlayhouseSquare, sharing in existing resources while managing their own staff, office space and business affairs
The Allen Theatre will be reconfigured from a 2,500 seat theater into two individual theaters with respective seating capacities of 550 and 300 for flexible use that can best accommodate the performance, set, costume design and technical needs of The Play House, CSU and PlayhouseSquare. A third 175-seat black box theater will be constructed immediately adjacent to the Allen Theatre.
The modifications, led by Cleveland-based architectural firm of Westlake, Reed, Leskosky, are set to begin in June of 2010 with completion in the fall of 2011. The project, while still in the early conceptual stages, will be in the $30+ million range. All three organizations will be procuring the funding from foundation and private sources, having already received some commitments. The specifics of the fundraising campaign and current pledges will be announced at a later date.