PlayhouseSquare and the Shepardson family will host a celebration of Raymond K. “Ray” Shepardson’s life and legacy on Tuesday, June 24 at 4 p.m. in the State Theatre Lobby. Those planning to attend are asked to indicate their intention to do so at playhousesquare.org/ray.
Call it luck or call it fate, Ray Shepardson was undoubtedly in the right place at the right time when, as an employee of the Cleveland Board of Education, he was looking for a suitable meeting space for teachers and came across a series of abandoned theaters. With incredible foresight and vision, he believed that restoring and revitalizing those theaters would transform downtown Cleveland. His powers of persuasion convinced others that the theaters were an irreplaceable resource. Following a grueling seven-year run of presenting 200-300 performances each year before the theaters were fully restored, Shepardson went on to play starring roles in theater restoration projects in Columbus, Detroit and St. Louis, and has consulted on more than 35 major restoration projects all over the country.
“We remain deeply grateful to Ray. He was a true visionary and were it not for his engaging personality and determination, PlayhouseSquare would not be in existence,” said PlayhouseSquare President and CEO Art J. Falco, “We are proud to carry on his legacy.”