Mike and Riley Kushner

On February 17, Playhouse Square Partners – its official young professionals group —hosted its annual Jump Back Ball (JBB), a fundraiser to support the not-for-profit mission of Playhouse Square and its educational programming. A sold-out crowd of more than 800 attendees enjoyed “Villains Unleashed: A Night of Chaos” at the KeyBank State Theatre. The event was chaired by Partners Board Members Alexis Fender, Ryan Herman and Lindsey Jump.
Playhouse Square Partners engages young professionals in leadership, volunteer and social activities, and provides members with unique opportunities to grow as leaders, make lifelong connections and engage with one of Cleveland’s most respected institutions.
Revelers enjoyed an evening of mischief in the theater lobbies and stages. For this wonderfully wicked affair, guests donned creative villainous costumes. In attendance were the Joker, Zeus and Hera, Thor, Loki, Maleficent, Draco Malfoy, Harvey Dent, Mystique and more. Craig Hassall, Playhouse Square’sPresident and Chief Executive

Mike and Katie Fordosi

Officer, dressed as Pittsburgh Steelers’ former quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, a long-time villain to Cleveland Browns fans.
Jeremiah Guappone, Partners’ Encore Society Co-chair, shared that it’s important for Jump Back Ball to provide a new experience for attendees to see and experience the theaters from a new perspective — by being on stage as performers usually are.
Life-sized scary trees dangled with poisonous apples, walls decorated with graffiti, and solid gold bars and sacks of cash made for fun props.
Partygoers enjoyed buffet-style hors d’oeuvres prepared by Driftwood Catering, and espresso martini cocktails were served as a signature drink. Villains indulged in cocktails, live entertainment, dancing, games of chance, a raffle, silent auction and dessert.
The band Apostle Jones entertained VIP’s in the Connor Palace Lobby. And KC & Company played hits while the crowd danced wickedly on the KeyBank State Theatre Stage. DJ NicNacc served as the Late Night DJ in the KeyBank State Theatre Lobby as revelers partied until the witching hour.
If you are between the ages of 21-40 and like supporting the arts, volunteering and networking with Cleveland’s young professionals and business leaders, join Partners today. Donations are 100% tax deductible and members receive exclusive ticketing benefits, such as advance notice and priority ticketing to theater performances. Email Katie Remark, Partners Coordinator, for details: katie.remark@playhousesquare.org. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANDREA C. TURNER