Sep 23, 2014

PlayhouseSquare Names Gina Vernaci Executive Producer

Cleveland, OH – PlayhouseSquare has named Gina Vernaci “Executive Producer” to further the organization’s strategic programming initiative, a component of Advancing the Legacy, The Campaign for PlayhouseSquare. In her new role, Vernaci is charged with identifying new programmatic opportunities for the not-for-profit performing arts center and its neighborhood 365 days a year.

“As we look to the future of PlayhouseSquare, we are focused on growing our impact regionally, nationally and within the performing arts industry. One of the ways we will do that is by exploring new options for providing quality, inspiring performances and events,” said Art J. Falco, president and CEO of PlayhouseSquare. “Gina has incredible leadership and expertise in programming and so we are confident she will identify the best path forward for us.”

Vernaci envisions the next two years for planning and execution with results developing in the third year. “Performances – the stages – are at the core of what we do and who we are at PlayhouseSquare,” said Vernaci, “and I am honored and excited to be at the forefront of what is next for us in this area. It could encompass some level of producing projects for the stage and exploring the possibility of bringing existing festivals to PlayhouseSquare with the ultimate goal of having a steady flow of visitors all year.”

Vernaci joined PlayhouseSquare in 1984. In 1988, she was made Director of Programming and charged with the responsibility of booking all attractions in the newly refurbished Connor Palace (then known as the Palace Theatre), along with the State and Ohio Theatres. In 2005, she was appointed Vice President of Theatricals, encompassing programming, marketing and sales. She was named Senior Vice President of Theater Operations in 2011, adding PlayhouseSquare’s community engagement and education initiatives and front of house operations to her purview. Vernaci also serves as liaison to PlayhouseSquare’s five resident companies – Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and the Tri-C Jazz Festival.

Founder of the national concert network (TIPCON), Vernaci serves as president of the Independent Presenters Network (IPN), is a Tony Awards voter and sits on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of the Broadway League, working alongside Broadway industry leaders like Thomas Schumacher, Barry and Fran Weissler, David Stone and Kevin McCollum.

She holds a master’s degree in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs.  She and her husband Bill Hilyard enjoy exploring estate sales and sipping wine in their shady backyard garden with family and friends.


About Advancing the Legacy

“Advancing the Legacy, The Campaign for PlayhouseSquare,” led by chairs Thomas Adler, K.K. Sullivan and Daniel Walsh, is the largest philanthropic effort ever pursued by the organization with a goal of raising $100 million over the next three to five years. $35 million has been raised toward the campaign to date and its objectives are: capital improvements, endowment growth, neighborhood transformation, education programming and new productions.