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Release Date: June 28,2021

Akron Civic Theatre’s “Spirits of the Civic 2021 — The Great Gatsby Gala” to celebrate completion of capital project and grand re-opening

Presenting sponsors are PNC Bank, Sattler Machine Products, STEERE, Thomarios and the Akron Civic Theatre Women’s Guild

AKRON, Ohio (June 24, 2021) – The Akron Civic Theatre will host its annual gala, Spirits of the Civic, on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, beginning at 5:30 PM with a private VIP reception, followed at 6:30 PM by an immersive gala experience. The theme this year is The Great Gatsby Gala, celebrating the historic roots of the theater in the 1920s and its revitalization in the 2020s.

Sarah Thomarios of Thomarios, Inc., is this year’s gala chair. Brad Wright of Roetzel is corporate support chair. Honorary chairs are City of Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and County of Summit Executive Eileen Shapiro.

Guests are invited to step back to a time when this magical grand theater, which would first be known as Loew’s, was a dream about to be realized. It was a time when the jazz was strong, the gin was steamy and the dancing was hot. Live jazz and big band music will fill the air as the evening unfolds like a play with prologue and four parts.

Prologue: The evening begins at 5:30 pm with a soiree before the soiree: a special VIP champagne and caviar reception on the main auditorium stage. Guests will mingle, toast the success of the Civic’s Staging the Future capital project and enjoy artfully displayed charcuterie. 

Act I: At 6:30 pm the immersive gala begins. Guests are welcomed with signature cocktails, called Old Sport and The Daisy, and enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres while listening to the sounds of the era in the spectacularly restored grand lobby and entry arcade. The online auction will feature over 100 items, including unique travel, adventure and dining experiences.

ACT II: Dinner is served at 7:00 pm in an elegant strolling  style with the Italian flare of D’Agnese’s. Ambient music and outright amusements fill every room, from the mezzanine to the grand lobby to the new Knight Stage.

ACT III: At 9:00 pm patrons gather in the main auditorium for decadent desserts and an official celebration of the completed capital project and grand reopening. They’ll dance the night away on stage, under the stars with a big band orchestra or venture elsewhere in the complex for karaoke, or café seating to watch .  

ACT IV: You were part of history tonight, darling! Summon your Bentley and a little surprise awaits you. Keep us in your thoughts. Kiss-kiss.

Ticket prices are $250 for the VIP private reception and immersive gala and $150 for the immersive gala only. Attire is black tie optional. Ticket includes valet parking, off Bowery St. You must be 21 to enter. Tickets are available by calling the Akron Civic Theatre at (330) 535-3179 or visiting

Proceeds from the event will provide vital operating support as the Civic transitions to a new future, significantly expanding its Access for All performing arts programming that reflects the diversity and multitude of voices of the greater Akron community.  

“The 2021 gala is an especially important one for the Civic as the theater celebrates its grand re-opening the week of Aug. 9-15 and the completion of its capital project,” said Executive Director Howard Parr. “Guests will enjoy the many elements of the Civic’s transformation, from the restored grand lobby and entry arcade to the Knight Stage to the new deck that will overlook Lock 3 to the outdoor video wall to the fantastic public art, all of which makes the outside of the theater as much of an asset as the inside.

“The Civic’s renaissance will contribute to a renewed downtown Akron — as a beautiful visual anchor, a vital and vibrant cultural center and an important economic driver,” Parr continued.

The grand re-opening week will feature to-be-announced events every night on the main auditorium stage and in the Knight Stage; the gala on Saturday, Aug. 14; and a community open house on Sunday, Aug. 15 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Spirits of the Civic 2021 – The Great Gatsby Gala is made possible by DIAMOND PRESENTING SPONSORS: PNC Bank, Sattler Machine Products, STEERE, Thomarios and the Women's Guild of the Akron Civic Theatre. RUBY SPONSORS: Akron Children’s Hospital, EY, GPD Group, Knox Marketing, Maynard Family Foundation and Printing Concepts. EMERALD SPONSORS: Lisa Zeno Carano, Fifth Third Bank, Metis Construction Services, Metro RTA, Joseph & Kirby Palmisano, Roetzel, S.A. Comunale Co., Inc., Synthomer Foundation and The University of Akron. PEARL SPONSORS: The Berroteran Group, Huntington National Bank, Malco Products, Inc., Ralph & Barb Palmisano, Seifert Technologies, UH St. John Medical Center, United Way of Summit & Medina, Vorys and Welty Construction. CRYSTAL SPONSORS: Akron Community Foundation, Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau, ASW Global LLC, DeHoff Development Co., Harwick Standard, Lake Erie Electric, Nick Nicholis & Jennifer Schuster, SRT Sales & Service and Roger J. Stevenson.