Cleveland Play House Managing Director Kevin Moore Dies at 59

Kevin Moore [Cleveland Play House]

Cleveland Play House Managing Director Kevin Moore died possibly of a heart attack early Saturday morning. He was 59.

Since taking the post in 2007, Moore helped guide CPH through two periods of extreme financial crisis that threatened the very existence of the century-old theater company. His tenure also included the nationally celebrated institution landing a Tony award for its long history.

A news release issued this morning credits Moore with shepherding CPH's move from its decades-long home at East 85th Street to Playhouse Square in the wake of the great recession of 2008. He is also cited as a key figure in building the Outcalt and Helen theatres and renovating the historic Allen Theatre in CPH’s new home.

In 2015, Moore and CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley attended the Tony Awards ceremony in New York to accept the Regional Theater honor. Kepley said in an email statement, “I will cherish that memory forever. Kevin was my trusted loyal colleague and dear friend."

In a phone conversation Monday afternoon, Kepley recalled a moment from the Tonys that has stuck with her ever since.

“Kevin told me later that he was most concerned about stepping on the train of my dress and causing me to trip,” she said. “So, you know, I mean, that just shows what a sweetheart he was. In this huge moment, he was still looking out for me. He had my back.”

More recently, Moore was focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and all of its logistical and financial challenges for theater operations.

Moore came to Cleveland after nine years managing the Wooly Mammoth Theater in Washington, D.C. He parlayed his real-life experiences into theater management with teaching posts at both Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State.

Moore is survived by Baryn Yoon, his partner of 16 years and husband for five years.

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