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April 20, 2012

Historic Cleveland Play House Stages

The historic stages of the Cleveland Play House, from it’s inaugural year in 1915 through the closing of the East 86th Street complex in 2011, were created for and adapted to the changing needs of the theatre.

Early Play House productions were staged in buildings located on the estate of Francis E. Drury near E. 86th Street and Euclid Avenue.

Growing attendance at increasingly ambitious productions led to the purchase and renovation of a church building at East 73rd and Cedar in 1917. Ten years of continued growth brought a need for a much larger, professionally designed physical plant. In 1927 the Play House returned to the site at East 86th Street to build a new home, unique for it’s two theatres (Drury and Brooks) under one roof.

An increased emphasis on educational activities fueled the acquisition and renovation of another church building in 1949. Located at East 77th Street and Euclid Avenue, this location would also host the Play House Club from 1960-1983.

Open Stage at 77th St. & Euclid Avenue. This model of the "open stage" amphitheater, based on the design of Frederic McConnell, was new and revolutionary. Without curtain or proscenium it allowed the actors and the audience to interact in harmony.

Planning for consolidation of all Play House activities at the 86th Street location began in 1975 and culminated in the 1983 opening of the Cleveland Play House complex designed by architect Philip Johnson.

For more information contact Special Collections

Posted by exo2 at April 20, 2012 02:20 PM

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