Playhouse Square believes in supporting the rich community of local artists in Northeast Ohio and the cultivation of new work for young audiences. We do this through our Launch program, which is divided into three tiers of support. Here’s how it works:

Tier One

Open submission policy.

Local artists may submit a written proposal requesting donation of Playhouse Square space for the development of a specific project. Performance-based projects of all kinds are eligible for consideration.  

Idea Center spaces available for Tier One Launch support include: the Brown and Nord Labs; the George Gund Dance Studio; the Miller Classrooms; the PB&J Lounge; and the Westfield Studio Theatre. Occasionally, the Red and Green Rehearsal Halls may become available for space donation on a limited basis. Space donations can be for as little as one day or for as long as several weeks, pending application approval and space availability.

Please allow 30 days for response to Tier One Launch proposals. Requests that include a workshop performance must be submitted 60 days prior to the desired workshop performance date(s). Recent recipients of Tier One Launch support include: Ray Caspio, Inlet Dance Theatre, Karamu House, Meg Louise, Progressive Arts Alliance, and Eric Schmiedl.

Launch is intended to support new or developing work, therefore applications that include workshops, performances or activities for which there is a price to participate cannot be considered for Launch Tier One. Space for these types of activities may be available to rent at Playhouse Square.



Tier Two

By invitation only.

Tier Two Launch support includes the free donation of space to accepted local artists, as well as financial assistance ranging from$1,000 - $8,000 per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) to promote the development of an education-based work which might, over time and given the appropriate circumstances, become suitable for presentation by Playhouse Square’s Education Department to family audiences. Recent recipients of Tier Two Launch support include Inlet Dance Theatre.

Tier Three

By invitation only.

Tier Three Launch support provides up to $25,000 in support for work designed to be suitable for presentation in the Ohio Theatre as part of the Playhouse Square Children Theater Series presented by University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, which serves a target audience in the age range of 3-8. Recent recipients of Tier Three Launch support include Paige Hernandez (Havana Hop), Acrobuffos (Air Play) and Ashli St. Armant (NORTH).

For Tier Two and Tier Three Launch projects, Playhouse Square typically seeks out artists with projects that meet the following criteria:

1. Work of the highest artistic integrity

2. Work suitable for audience members ages 3-8 years old

3. Work that can fill a 1,000-seat proscenium house, both technically and in performance (For Ohio Theatre technical specs, visit:

4. Positive, upbeat, child-friendly work is easier to consider than dark, introspective brooding work

5. Work that is not didactic and does not talk down to young audiences is essential

6. Curriculum-based work, or work based on known publications may have an advantage over original work, or work based on unfamiliar titles

7. Dedicating one performance as sensory-friendly for guests on the autism spectrum is helpful

8. Granting permission to record one performance for closed-circuit transmission at a local children’s hospital for patients who cannot attend live theater during their treatment

9. Artists willing to participate in media interviews, donor events, meet-and-greets, etc.

10. Artists seeking or having agent representation 

Looking for more information about education programs at Playhouse Square?