Cleveland Play House Will Receive 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award

News   Cleveland Play House Will Receive 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award
 
The Tony Awards Administration Committee announced April 24 that it will present the 2015 Regional Theatre Award to Ohio's Cleveland Play House, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Play House spokesperson Ed Gilchrist told Playbill.com, "We are thrilled and honored."

Each year, the Tony Awards Administration Committee presents a Tony Award to a regional theatre on the recommendation of the American Theatre Critics Association.

This year's honoree is one of the oldest still-operating regional theaters in the U.S. Founded in 1915, Cleveland Play House has hosted an estimated 12 million people in its more than 1,600 productions. The Play House will stage its 100th consecutive season in 2015-16, described by the Tonys as "an unprecedented milestone in American theatre."

CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley said, "This is a thrilling moment for Cleveland and Cleveland Play House. This is the highest honor a regional theater can achieve. We are very proud to bring this honor to Cleveland. It is another feather in Cleveland's cap and we are thrilled to be a part of the revitalization and transformation of our region. The same spirit of creativity, collaboration, and innovation that is fueling our region drives Cleveland Play House to create thrilling, provocative, socially relevant and necessary plays and theater education programs. The award recognizes our great legacy and our forward-looking vision. Most importantly, the award is a testament to our community that has supported us for 100 years. Our greatest honor is our daily interaction with audience members and students as we theatrically explore the concerns, struggles, and joys of being a human being in the 21st-century."

Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, issued a joint statement saying, “Cleveland Play House is an exemplary institution in the American theatrical landscape with its long history of successful seasons and its commitment to fostering the next generation of playwrights and actors. We are thrilled to honor the Play House as it embarks on its centennial season,” said. Cleveland Play House (CPH), currently operated by Artistic Director Laura Kepley and Managing Director Kevin Moore, issued a statement saying that it "showcases the best in contemporary playwriting and fresh, imaginative productions of classics. In Kepley’s words: CPH strives to be 'welcoming, fun, provocative, thrilling and necessary.' CPH has long championed new work, having produced Tennessee Williams even before The Glass Menagerie. Recent premieres include plays by Deborah Zoe Laufer, Lee Blessing, Ken Ludwig and Eric Coble; developmental workshops of plays by Jordan Harrison, Heidi Schreck, and Pulitzer-prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes (who is also working on a commission to be premiered in the Centennial Season); and originated the 2013 pre-Broadway national tour of A Night With Janis Joplin.

"Education programs are of paramount importance to CPH and have been for decades, with alumni ranging from Tony Award-winner Joel Grey to Case Western Reserve University / CPH MFA alum and 2011 Tony-nominee Elizabeth A. Davis. In the past two years, CPH was awarded a US Department of Education grant to develop social emotional learning curriculum for national distribution and a United Way grant to work in three of Cleveland’s most challenged schools. Even at age 100, CPH is an innovative and exciting company focused on producing excellent, important work in and for its community."

The 2015 Tony Awards, which are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS television network June 7. For more information visit TonyAwards.com. For more information on Cleveland Play house visit their website.

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