Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Play House Near CSU to Be Culture Center

Cleveland Press July 1, 1965

The new Play House, to be built adjacent to Cleveland State University, will be more than a new theater. It will be in fact, a downtown cultural center.

Kenyon C. Bolton, Play House president, last night told the annual meeting of the Play House Corp. that the new theater is still three years away but when completed will be a cultural center, which may include a museum of modern art.

"We've been approached by several groups interested in a downtown museum of modern art," Bolton said after the meeting. "This would be a museum with both a permanent collection and touring exhibits. The facility would go far beyond the present Play House Gallery."

Bolton said that since the announcement of the project, every major architect in the community along with a number of out-of-town architects have approached the Play House with proposals to design the structure.

Last night's meeting marked the end of the Play House's 49th year. [The] speaker was Jules Irving, new co-director with Herbert Blay of the Lincoln Center Repertory Theater in New York. Irving and Blay founded and ran for 13 years the famous San Francisco Actor's Workshop.

Irving told the corporation members that linking of a professional theater and a university, as the Play House and CSU plan to do, is vital to the training in drama.

"There is a sad gap in our university training because of a lack of professional experience," he said.

Irving said that he spoke with the experience of 14 years as a university professor.

He called the Cleveland Play House "the grand-daddy of American Regional theater." [He] noted that in spite of its age the Play House shows no signs of complacency.

He said that theater, particularly regional theater, is an important part of our new interest in culture, that we are developing from an industrial democracy to a cultural democracy, that subsidies for cultural activities will become as important in our thinking as subsidies for industries once were.