Patricia Heaton kicks off Playhouse fundraising
A generous donation by actress Patricia Heaton ("Everybody Loves Raymond," "The Middle") and her husband, David Hunt ("The Dead Pool," "24"), has been made to BAYarts in the amount of $50,000 to jumpstart the Playhouse renovation fundraising. Heaton hopes the seed money she donated will inspire other donors to follow suit to make the project a reality. In a letter accompanying her pledge, she wrote, "I was thrilled to hear that the Playhouse will get a second act thanks to the efforts of the BAYarts community and Cleveland Metroparks."
Heaton, who grew up in Bay Village, has a personal connection with the Playhouse. "The Playhouse has always held a special place in my heart as I took summer acting classes there and performed in the choruses of 'Bells Are Ringing' and 'Showboat' when I was 14; I also watched my sister perform in 'Bye Bye Birdie' and high school friends in 'Brigadoon.'"
The Playhouse's close proximity to the BAYarts campus will provide room for the cultural arts center to offer diverse, fresh programming. Besides the addition of much-needed classrooms, plans include a new gallery, performance area and artist studios. The surrounding beauty of the park will be highlighted for an outdoor event and gathering space. Local actors have been instrumental in keeping the theater community engaged and developing theater education programming.
"To think the Playhouse will continue to be a place of inspiration and nurturing for aspiring artists for generations to come, is something I would be proud to support," says Heaton, "BAYarts has proven to be a force when it comes to providing a beautiful venue for great programming that is unique to northeast Ohio; I am very proud to help it move forward with this new phase."
A kickoff fundraiser, aptly named "Encore!" will take place on April 28. Tickets can be purchased now on bayarts.net/events/upcoming.
Jessica Stockdale is the Marketing Manager at BAYarts.