PlayhouseSquare Honors Founder with Special Tribute

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Ray Shepardson MarqueeCLEVELAND — Tuesday, PlayhouseSquare held a special tribute for its founder, Raymond “Ray” Shepardson, who passed away Monday.

Shepardson was an employee of the Cleveland Board of Education when he first came across the series of abandoned theaters while searching for a meeting space for teachers.

Following a seven-year run of 200 to 300 performances each year before the theaters were fully restored, Shepardson went on to play starring roles in other restoration projects in other cities.

He was also involved in more than 35 restoration projects across the country.

Ray Shepardson

Photo Credit: PlayhouseSquare

“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 in a statement released Tuesday. “We are proud to carry on his legacy.”

Tuesday, PlayhouseSquare honored Shepardson with a special message along the marquee, reading “Visionary, Founder, Legend, Friend.”

The lights on the marquee were also dimmed in tribute.

Plans for a memorial service for Shepardson will be announced at a later date.