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John Kenley, longtime summer theatre producer in Ohio, dies at 103

CLEVELAND - John Kenley, a longtime theatre producer who ran a legendary summer stock circuit in Ohio beginning in the 1950s, has died. He was 103.

CLEVELAND - John Kenley, a longtime theatre producer who ran a legendary summer stock circuit in Ohio beginning in the 1950s, has died. He was 103.

Family friend Anita Dloniak says Kenley died Oct. 23 at the Cleveland Clinic from complications of pneumonia. Kenley produced hundreds of plays and musicals. His Kenley Players, a summer stock circuit that began in Dayton, Ohio, in 1957, attracted actors such as Burt Reynolds, Billy Crystal and Canadian stars William Shatner and Robert Goulet.

He later opened other Ohio-based theatres in Warren, Columbus and Akron before moving into the Playhouse Square Center in downtown Cleveland in 1984.

Kenley began acting in theatre in New York City in the 1920s and once served as an aide to famed producer Lee Shubert.

 
 
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