NEW YORK (AP) — This year's Regional Theater Tony Award will go to the Cleveland Play House as it embarks on its centennial season.
The Play House was founded in 1915 and has entertained some 12 million people over 1,300 productions. Its alumni include Paul Newman, Tony Award-winner Joel Grey and "The Wizard of Oz" wicked witch Margaret Hamilton.
"This is thrilling," said Laura Kepley, the artistic director of the Play House. "We're so proud and happy for the recognition. Obviously, it's in recognition of our great legacy and our forward-looking vision."
Plays that have made their premiers at the Playhouse include Tennessee Williams' "You Touched Me"; Bertolt Brecht's "Mother Courage"; "The Pleasure of Honesty" by Luigi Pirandello; and Arthur Miller's "The Archbishop's Ceiling."
The theater company has nurtured the Broadway-bound "A Night With Janis Joplin" and Pulitzer-prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes. Next season it will offer a new play by Rajiv Joseph and a world premiere of a new Hudes piece for actors and musicians.
In 2011, it moved into its new 500-seat home at Playhouse Square. It also runs two smaller venues, the Outcalt Theatre and the Helen.
Kepley said the award is also a reflection of her city's revitalization and transformation.
"The same collaborative spirit and hardworking spirit that fuels our region, is fueling us," she said.