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Andrea Wedren

Karamu House




Cindi Szymanski

Playhouse Square



Playhouse Square Establishes “Affiliate Company” Relationship with Karamu House

Cleveland, OH – Playhouse Square is proud to announce Karamu House as its first “Affiliate Company,” a designation for established, professional Northeast Ohio arts organizations that are significant to our cultural life and have a relationship with Playhouse Square. “I’m so pleased we’ve established our Affiliate Company designation with the venerable Karamu House,” said Playhouse Square President & CEO Craig Hassall. “This gives both organizations the opportunity to explore a deeper creative partnership, but this does not mean Karamu House is moving to Playhouse Square. They will remain in their beloved home. Our goal is to introduce Playhouse Square audiences who may not be familiar with them to their work, and in turn, to introduce their audiences who may not have been here before to Playhouse Square.” Tony F. Sias, President & CEO of Karamu House, said, “It is truly an honor for Karamu House to be Playhouse Square’s first Affiliate Company. As the oldest Black producing theatre in the nation, this alliance provides many opportunities for Karamu to expand our audience, share resources and have an ongoing presence at the acclaimed Playhouse Square, as we continue to produce theatre and events at our home in the Historic Fairfax District. Ultimately, this affiliation will enhance the patron experience for both organizations.” Karamu House has performed the soul-stirring gospel celebration Black Nativity at Playhouse Square during the previous two holiday seasons and will do so again this year.

Playhouse Square intends to establish additional associate company relationships in the future. The designation of “resident company” remains in place for the eight organizations who hold the majority or all their performances or events at Playhouse Square. More information about Karamu House is available at karamuhouse.org.


About Karamu House

Recognized as the oldest Black performing arts institute in the nation, Karamu House is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and featured in the Smithsonian’s African American Museum. Legendary artists including Langston Hughes, Ruby Dee, Robert Guillaume, Ron O’Neal, Bill Cobbs, James Pickens, Jr., Vanessa Bell Calloway, and Imani Hakim have been associated with the 107-year-old “place of joyful gathering” (the meaning of “Karamu” in Swahili.) Today, Karamu is a beating heart for the entire community, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identification, or age. Core programs include socially relevant and professional quality theatre; arts education programming for all ages; and community programming, such as comedy, live jazz, and spoken word performances, that invites participation and engagement, reflection, and a recommitment to cultural values.

About Playhouse Square

Playhouse Square, home to the largest Broadway season ticket holder community in North America, is Northeast Ohio’s destination for entertainment. A not-for-profit performing arts center, Playhouse Square is a champion of arts education and downtown Cleveland, and proud to be the home of The City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland International Film Festival, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland State University Department of Theatre and Dance, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theater and Tri-C JazzFest.

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