PlayhouseSquare founder dies; marquee lights will dim Tuesday ev - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

PlayhouseSquare founder dies; marquee lights will dim Tuesday evening

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The Marquee at Playhouse Square has a special message to remember founder Raymond Shepardson. The Marquee at Playhouse Square has a special message to remember founder Raymond Shepardson.
The lights have been dimmed at Playhouse Square in remembrance of Founder Shepardson, in traditional theater style. The lights have been dimmed at Playhouse Square in remembrance of Founder Shepardson, in traditional theater style.
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

PlayhouseSquare is heartbroken to learn of the death of founder Raymond K. "Ray" Shepardson on Monday, April 14, 2014. 

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."
 
In the theater tradition, PlayhouseSquare will dim the marquee lights in honor of Ray Tuesday evening, around 8 pm. There will also be a special tribute message running during that time. 
 
Plans for a memorial service will be announced later this spring.
 
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