Playhouse Square

Playhouse Square - photo Bob PerkoskiPlayhouse Square - photo Bob Perkoski

Playhouse Square is Cleveland’s entertainment district, home to the second largest performing arts center in America. But it also increasingly is a neighborhood, adding residents by the bushel just like the rest of downtown. So now, in addition to the five grand theatres playing host to Broadway shows, classical and contemporary theater, cabaret, comedy and spoken word, there are new bars, restaurants and retail that make urban living a reality. Home base for tech, arts education and programming is the state-of-the-art Idea Center building, home not only to WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN, but also a handful of high-tech companies. New streetscapes and lighting have added a level of polish not seen around here since the Roaring 20s. 

CIFF lights up Playhouse Square: Opening night highlights, what to catch this week
The 48th annual Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) lifted the curtain to a packed house last Thursday, April 4 in Playhouse Square's Connor Palace Theatre with the unveiling of the annual CIFF trailer and a screening of the action/comedy “Thelma.” Read about opening night and learn what to catch this week at CIFF.
Our CIFF48 picks: Two films with local connections
With hundreds of feature and short films to choose from at the upcoming Cleveland International Film Festival, We chose two films with Cleveland ties to highlight: "What's Next?," the story of a 101-year-old physician, and "American Delivery," a documentary on the vital work of nurses in addressing the country's maternal mortality epidemic. The MetroHealth System is featured and Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing worked on the film's advisory team.
A chaotic evening with villains: An account of Playhouse Square’s 2024 Jump Back Ball
As a youngster, Addie Balester participated in many of Playhouse Square Education Department's programs. As an adult, she experienced her first Jump Back Ball last week, hosted by Playhouse Square Partners. She shares her experiences during the themed evening of Villains Unleashed: A Night of Chaos.
Unleash the villains: Playhouse Square Partners team plans for Jump Back Ball
For more than seven months, the Playhouse Square Partners young professional group has been planning, plotting, and building sets for the organization's annual Jump Back Ball—an evening of dancing, drinks, and music to raise money for Playhouse Square's Education Department. This year's theme is "Villains Unleashed: A Night of Chaos." Find out more about what goes into the planning of this signature event.
Access for all: Playhouse Square’s sensory-friendly performances foster inclusion
For more than a decade, Playhouse Square has hosted Sensory-Friendly Programming designed to increase access and inclusion for children and adults of all ages, perspectives, and abilities, including those with autism.
Cleveland Greyhound Bus station: The ideal of streamline moderne style
Cleveland Masterworks: Louisville-based architect William Arrasmith established himself in the 1930s and 1940s by designing Greyhound Bus Stations across the country in a Art Deco Streamline Moderne design—using long, horizontal lines and curving forms with a somewhat nautical look to create a sleek, almost futuristic architectural style that was the hot trend for the time. The Cleveland Greyhound station is one of his most celebrated of the 60 Greyhound stations Arrasmith designed and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
BorderLight Theatre Festival opens 2024 Call for artists
The BorderLight Fringe Festival will return this summer to Playhouse Square, and organizers have put out a call for artists to apply for this year's festival. This year's four-day event will emphasize diversity, thanks to support from the Cleveland Foundation, and application clinics are being held in Cleveland neighborhoods throughout January. Find out how to apply here.
Sneak peek: A look at a Cleveland Ballet rehearsal before ‘The Nutcracker’ debut
The Cleveland Ballet will open "The Nutcracker" this Thursday at the Connor Palace in Playhouse Square. FreshWater contributor Tricia Chaves attended a recent rehearsal to witness the behind-the-scenes preparations.
Broadway Buzz: Joe Garry gives the inside scoop on Playhouse Square productions
For nearly two decades, retired Cleveland State University theater studies professor Joe Garry has been hosting classes in Playhouse Square's Upper Allen—providing audiences with behind-the-scenes tidbits and insights into the productions they are about to see at the Allen, Hanna, KeyBank State, Mimi Ohio, or Connor Palace Theatres.
Cultural pride: Hispanic arts and culture organizations celebrate Latino pride through art
National Hispanic Heritage Month occurs earlier in the fall, but Cuyahoga Arts & Culture celebrates Cleveland's Hispanic arts and cultural organizations all year long. Here's a look at five organizations—Cleveland Orchestra, LatinUs Theater, Julia De Burgos, MoCa Cleveland, and Abrepaso Flamenco—focused on Latino pride through the arts and culture programs they produce.
Cleveland Play House presents adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for Halloween
Just in time for Halloween, Cleveland Play House presents a reimagined adaptation of “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”—a haunting and highly theatrical adaptation of the classic horror story.
Playhouse Square announces schools participating in 2024 Dazzle Awards
Students from 38 regional high school are already preparing for Playhouse Square's May Dazzle Awards—which honors the hard work, dedication, and excellence seen in the region’s high school theater programs.
Light it up: Playhouse Square's new theater marquees in photos
Last week, Playhouse Square unveiled the theaters' new marquees and technology upgrades during Marquee Mondays in a dazzling display of lights and color. Bob Perkoski documented the evening in this photo essay.
Thrive: FutureLAND founder finds inspiration in his father’s grit and drive
The entrepreneurial spirit, curiosity, and determination Kumar Arora learned from his father has led to a successful business career and the cofounding of the upcoming FutureLAND—a celebration of diversity in tech and entrepreneurship in Playhouse Square to help drive economic growth in the area.
Photo Essay: BorderLight Fringe Festival
FreshWater managing photographer Bob Perkoski checked out BorderLight Fringe Festival last weekend and documented the entire weekend for our readers. Enjoy!
Dramatic history: Former Karamu director Terrence Spivey aims to bring his latest work home
Terrence Spivey hasn't missed a beat since he stepped down from his position as Karamu House artistic director in 2016. Now he has been invited to stage his latest play about the slave ship, the Clotilda, "An Ocean in My Bones," in Cleveland.
On the fringes: Playhouse Square streets, venues become stages at BorderLight Fringe Festival
The BorderLight Fringe Festival kicks off this Thursday, with more than 110 performances in the streets and and venues of Playhouse Square.
Euclid Avenue Opera House: One of the most beautiful theaters in the country in the 1800s
The Euclid Avenue Opera House was known for its elegance and was considered one of the finest in the country. Led by John Ellsler and his stock theater group before Marcus Hanna bought the property, the Hanna Theatre is considered its successor.
Regional high school theater programs honored at Playhouse Square’s Dazzle Awards
Area high school thespians were honored last weekend at Playhouse Square's Dazzle Awards competition. Read who the winners were here.
Playhouse Square announces the 2023-2024 KeyBank Broadway Series lineup
Playhouse Square announced yesterday, Tuesday, March 28, that seven shows will be featured on the upcoming 2023-2024 KeyBank Broadway Series, including the official North American tour opening of Back To The Future: The Musical.