2010 LHAT Awards Announced!

The League of Historic American Theatres
Presents 2010 Awards to 
  Playhouse Square and Andrea Rogers

BALTIMORE, MD (July 19, 2010) – The League of Historic American Theatres, Inc., celebrating excellence among historic theatres throughout North America during its 34th Annual Conference and Theatre Tour in San Antonio, TX, presented its 2010 Outstanding Historic Theatre Award to PlayhouseSquare in Cleveland, OH, and its 2010 Outstanding Individual Contribution Award to Andrea Rogers, long-time Executive Director of the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, VT. 

League President James Boese, Vice President of the Nederlander Producing Company of America, New York, NY, and announced the awards during the organization’s Annual Award Banquet on July 17, 2010 in the Regency Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel on San Antonio’s River Walk.

Presenting the Outstanding Historic Theatre Award to John Hemsath, PlayhouseSquare’s Director of Theater Operations, Boese acknowledged the organization’s significant accomplishments, inspiring excellence in the preservation, restoration and sustainable operation of American historic theatres.  Lance Olson, Associate Director, Arts Emerson at Emerson College, Boston, MA, who had nominated the organization for the award, praised PlayhouseSquare as “a model of community partnership for progress, serving as the best example of how a historic theatre can be a primary not-for-profit developer in the inner city.”

As the nation’s largest theatre restoration project and a leader in Cleveland’s arts and culture and economic development sectors, PlayhouseSquare is distinctive in its rich history, incredible return to prominence and dedication to continual improvement of its community.  By nurturing not only an appreciation of its own historical significance, PlayhouseSquare is a model for theater restoration and economic development using the arts.

With approximately 10,000 seats among its five historic theatres (Ohio, Palace, State, Allen and Hanna) and modern performing spaces, PlayhouseSquare is the largest performing arts center in the nation outside of New York and draws an average of one million guests each year. Presenting and producing a wide variety of performing arts, advancing arts education and creating a theatre district that is a superior location for entertainment business and housing, Playhouse Square has strengthened the economic vitality of the region.

PlayhouseSquare is home to constituent companies Cuyahoga Community College, DANCECleveland, Great Lakes Theatre Festival and Opera Cleveland. Hosting well over 1,000 performances and special events each year, employing more than 500 full and part-time staff members and drawing critical mass for surrounding businesses, PlayhouseSquare has an estimated $43 million annual economic impact on the region.  Additionally, PlayhouseSquare hosted the League’s annual conference and theatre tour in 2009, sharing its knowledge and experience with our field.

Theatre consultant Janis Barlow, Barlow and Associates of Toronto, ON, who joined Margaret Genovese, Genovese Vanderhoof and Associates of Toronto, ON in nominating Andrea Rogers for the Outstanding Individual Contribution Award praised Rogers’ “significant contribution to the field of historic theatre rehabilitation, not only by example but also by actively promoting the notion that historic theatres and town halls in every size of community could be re-utilized to host the arts.”  “Andrea Rogers has led one of the most successful historic theatres in America for 30 years,” said Barlow.  “Under Andrea’s leadership, the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts has become a national model for historic preservation, arts creation and presenting, arts education and fiscally responsible management.” 

 Quoting local media accounts that “no single individual has done more to shape Vermont’s cultural landscape over the past three decades,” Barlow said “those of us who work nationally and internationally in the field of historic theatres are richer for the long term legacy of Andrea’s work and her national reputation.  She took the moribund Flynn movie theatre and transformed it into the block-long Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in a small, not particularly philanthropic, New England city.  The Flynn and Andrea both represent vision and tenacity.  They are national treasures.”

Margaret Genovese described Rogers as a legend in the field, the driving force behind the Flynn Center since its inception. “She is a tough, organized, tenacious person who has not been afraid to get her hands dirty or pitch in wherever she has been needed, or to fight battles on the Flynn’s behalf.”  Genovese paid tribute to the Flynn’s international renown “for its eclectic and stimulating programming” under Rogers’ leadership, “its co-productions with major artistic innovators and producers, and its market’s appetite for things new, unusual, stimulating, and intellectually challenging.”   Genovese also explained how she has “heard over and over again from so many historic theatre people about Andrea’s willingness to be helpful to others. All sorts of arts professionals mentioned calling her for advice and wisdom and always having her dispense it both gracefully and positively.”

Recently, Rogers retired as Executive Director of the Flynn Theatre, having effectively led its development since 1983. In addition, she has served on numerous arts panels, on the steering committee of the local arts assessment project and the capital committee for Downtown Burlington, and is working to establish a downtown cultural district. Rogers is currently on the Board and Executive Committee of the New England Foundation for the Arts where she chairs the Creation & Presentation Fund and the Preservation Burlington Board.  Rogers received an honorary doctorate degree in the arts from St. Michael’s College in 1995 for her service to the arts and humanities and an honorary doctoral degree (of letters) from Burlington College in 1997.

 About the League of Historic American Theatres, Inc.

The League of Historic American Theatres, a non-profit association dedicated to sustaining America’s historic theatres for the benefit of their communities and future generations, is a growing network of more than 300 historic theatres across the U.S. and Canada.  Founded in 1976, the League has been making a strategic transition from an organization best known for a membership that helps save historic theatres to a membership increasing concerned with the tools, techniques and technologies of sustaining historic theatres.

The League serves members through educational programs, publications, specialized services and an annual conference and theatre tour, facilitating the exchange of information and resources for improving their historic theatres, their business and their communities.  

For additional information, visit the League’s web site at: www.lhat.org .

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