Playhouse Square appoints replacement for CEO Gina Vernaci | Arts & Culture

Opera theater

Live from London, Playhouse Square has appointed its new CEO. Craig Hassall has run the Royal Albert Hall since 2017. He will come to Cleveland early next year. The theater veteran has also held leadership positions with Opera Australia and the English National Ballet.

Hassall replaces Gina Vernaci, who announced her retirement last year. Vernaci began as an intern at Playhouse Square in 1984, when it contained only two theaters. Since then, it has expanded to 11 performance spaces, including the Idea Center, home of Ideastream Public Media. Playhouse Square is the second largest performing arts center in the country, eclipsed only by New York’s Broadway theater district.

Craig Hassall has been CEO of the Royal Albert Hall since 2017 and previously held several artistic director positions, including at the 2000 and 2012 Olympics in Sydney and London, respectively. [Andy Paradise / Playhouse Square]

Earlier this spring, Vernaci said Ideastream Playhouse Square lost 8,000 Broadway season subscribers during the pandemic and would seek to replenish about 48,000 subscribers.

Hassall appeared on this Paul Weller fan podcast last year, discussing the Jam frontman’s many shows at the Royal Albert Hall.

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