Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Announces the Debut Season at The Otto M. Budig Theater Bringing a Brand New Theatrical Experience Within Reach!

The region’s newest and most unique theatrical experience is now within reach.


Sara Clark as Puck in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

CINCINNATI (February 1, 2017) – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC) announced the titles for its Debut Season at The Otto M. Budig Theater in an event on February 1. This Summer, CSC will move into the custom-built Otto M. Budig Theater for the 2017-2018 season with the Grand Opening on September 8, 2017. CSC’s 2017-2018 Season is generously sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation and all productions will feature Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Resident Company of Actors.


Miranda McGee as Lucy and Giles Davies as Dracula in DRACULA. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

“It is my immense pleasure to introduce the titles of our Debut Season at The Otto M. Budig Theater,” said Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips who is celebrating his 15thAnniversary as leader of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. “These universal classics of the stage and innovative literary adaptations complement our favorite playwright, William Shakespeare, and his timeless tales of love, betrayal, desire, despair and exaltation.  Because we will be bringing you closer to our performance and our actors than ever before, all of the passion and power of our stage is within your reach.”


Cary Davenport as Tom Sawyer in THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

The Early Bird presale over the past few weeks before the titles have been announced was the largest on record for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. There were 3 times as many subscriptions purchased in this time frame vs. last year!  Audiences are encouraged to subscribe now to secure their seats before single tickets go on sale to the public March 1, 2017.  Subscription information can be found at 


Darnell Pierre Benjamin as John Prentice in GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

World Class Productions Within Reach

The inaugural production in The Otto M. Budig will be William Shakespeare’s “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” playing September 8- 30, 2017.  “This is the perfect Shakespeare comedy to welcome old audiences and new into our new home” said Mr. Phillips. “The play celebrates the power of love to transform and it will be a delight to present this magical comedy as our company transforms.”


Maggie Lou Rader as Maggie in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

The remaining 2017-2018 Season line-up is as follows, including a statement from Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips explaining his selection: 

Special Event*
By Steven Dietz
From the novel by Bram Stoker
October 13- November 4, 2017

  • To thrill!  “This roller coaster of an adaptation moves like an action movie and will be the perfect ‘theatrical haunted house’ during the Halloween season.”

by Laura Eason
Adapted from the novel by Mark Twain
November 17- December 9, 2017

  • To gather!  “This play is a celebration of childhood, adventure, and imagination.  It is the perfect evening to spend with the entire family and reflect on a childhood past or inspire a childhood in progress.  We are also excited to be presenting our first play based on a work by Mark Twain on our stage.” 

Special Event*
by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez
December 21- 31, 2017

  • To make merry with everyone!  “This will be the 12th anniversary production of this beloved holiday classic but now reimagined on our brand new stage.  This play is not only a tradition for many but it also welcomes new people every year to come and make merry with us.”

By Todd Kreidler
Based on the screenplay “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” by William Rose
January 26- February 17, 2018

  • To engage!  “CSC wishes to continuing feeding the dialogue surrounding inclusion on stage and off.  This is a friendly play that challenges the audience to debate how far we have come since 1967 in our ideas surrounding inclusion when it comes to marriage and family.”

William Shakespeare’s
March 2-24, 2018

  • To inspire! “The intimate nature and contemporary themes of this Shakespeare tragedy provides a great opportunity for us to show our audience how relevant the Bard is today.  A contemporary setting will inspire innovative staging and design, as well as reveal to our audiences why Shakespeare is for and about everyone.”

By Tennessee Williams
April 6-28, 2018

  • To challenge! “This American classic about one man’s struggle to be who he is, and confront his father about that reality, is a provocative drama by one of America’s greatest playwrights.”

By Michael Frayn
May 18- June 9, 2018

  • To laugh!  “This is one of the funniest comedies of all time and has been a long time dream of mine to produce at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.  This crowd pleaser will feature seating on the thrust stage and really show off the flexible nature of our new theater!”

*Not part of the subscription package. 

The Best Seats in the House are Within Reach
“One of the things we are known for is a high level of intimacy- our audience feels that with our Resident Company of actors as well as their proximity to the stage,” said Mr. Phillips.  “In the brand new Otto M. Budig Theater, all seats are less than 20 feet from the stage. This means that the best seats in the house are within everyone’s reach.  And because every seat is going to be a wonderful experience, all of them will have the same price.”

One of the features of The Otto M. Budig Theater is an Upper Gallery. This is a row that is above the Lower Galley, sometimes referred to as a Balcony or Mezzanine level. The Upper Gallery overhangs the Lower Gallery at Row E on the sides and Row F in the center. Even sitting in Row G in the Upper Gallery, you are still within 20 feet from the stage!

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will now have a stage experience like Cincinnati has never seen before. Action will be taking place on the thrust of the stage (the portion that projects into the house) as well as deep into the stage space. Actors will also be performing in the aisles and in the Upper Gallery. “Directors are adept at creating an experience that is immersive and takes into consideration each vantage point for all patrons,” said Mr. Phillips. “We are encouraging our patrons to try different locations during the season throughout the theater to find their new favorite seat!” 

Access for all is Within Reach
“We are immensely proud of the improved accessibility the new Otto M. Budig Theater offers our community,” says Mr. Phillips. “There are 5 wheelchair accessible seats in the new theater located in the Lower Gallery and in the Upper Gallery to offer varied options.”  There is a ramp to enter the Lower Gallery and an elevator to reach the Upper Gallery. “We also have included gender neutral restrooms on the 2nd floor of the building,” continues Mr. Phillips. “The comfort and access to ALL people was of paramount importance in the design of this state-of-the-art new facility.”

For more details on seating information as well as additional detailed information on accessibility features, please visit:

Internationally Influenced Design Within Reach
The Otto M. Budig Theater boasts many state-of-the-art features that were heavily influenced by venues across the globe.  The stunning interior and exterior draws inspiration from some of the greatest theaters in the world including the Royal National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe in London, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, and The Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. “You’ll also see a glass entrance and glass that wraps most of the lower level helping create an engaging facade that activates the street corner,” says Mr. Phillips. The glass walls at the entrance also give transparency for pedestrians to view activity inside and for patrons to look out on the green space of Washington Park.

Inside the highly visible area of the elegant and dynamic entrance, is the bar and gathering space.  This lobby offers a space to socialize before and after shows and during intermissions.  The bar structure will be fully clad in reclaimed barn wood and the social space will be illuminated with lighting inspired by a starry night, giving a nod to the original practice of Shakespeare being performed outdoors.

Situated in the beautiful lobby of the new theatre, the Grand Stair has 38 steps to represent the 38 plays in Shakespeare’s Canon and to commemorate CSC’s Completion of the Canon in 2014 as one of the 1st 5 theaters in the U.S.  Pre and post show talks with students and patrons will be held in the lobby with the Grand Stair serving as additional casual seating. The staircase also brings patrons to the second level balcony, actors and students to the Education Performance Studio, and connects the lobby to the upper level which doubles as an event space for patron dinners, opening night receptions, community organization meetings and various other functions.  The rehearsal space will be visible from outside bringing exciting energy to the corner of 12th and Elm. 

A Vibrant Community Within Reach
The stunning new Otto M. Budig Theater anchors the Classical Arts Corridor of Cincinnati’s thriving Over the Rhine (OTR) neighborhood. The cities most exciting restaurants, breweries, pubs, distilleries, shops, galleries, and more are enticingly close to the theater, making a unique and intimate evening well within your grasp.  There is ample parking available as well as direct access to two different Streetcar Stops. 

A Flexible Season Subscription is Within Reach
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company continues to offer audiences great value with affordable, flexible subscriptions that include six flexible tickets that can be used in any combination for any performance. Adult Subscriptions are $266, Senior Subscriptions are $237, and Student Subscriptions are $142.  Budget-conscious patrons can also subscribe to the company’s preview series.  A Preview Subscription is just $163 and includes six tickets that can be used for any preview performance, typically Wednesday and Thursday evenings before Opening Night (ForMidsummer, preview subscriptions are valid on Sep. 14 or 15 only).  All subscriptions are currently on sale now and may be purchased through the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company website or box office by calling 513-381-BARD (2273) ext. 1.  Single tickets for all shows will go on sale March 1, 2017 but the recommended way to get the best price and first access to seats is by becoming a subscriber!  There are also discounts available for students, seniors, local residents, and community partners.


About Cincinnati Shakespeare Company:
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing Shakespeare and the classics to life for audiences of all ages.  Currently located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, CSC produces a dozen mainstage productions each season.

In September 2017, CSC will open a new theatre- The Otto M. Budig Theater- at 12th and Elm Streets, in the heart of Over-the-Rhine. The new facility incorporates space for modern theatrical technology, increased seating capacity and lobby, expanded education and community outreach opportunities, as well as on-site production areas and administrative offices. The theatre is the “finale” of the “Classical Arts Corridor” connecting Music Hall, Memorial Hall, the School for Creative and Performing Arts, and Washington Park.

CSC’s repertoire is made up of the works of William Shakespeare, literary adaptations, and contemporary classics. CSC performs on a Small Professional Theatre contract with Actors’ Equity Association. Cincinnati Shakespeare is a member of the Theatre Communications Group and the Shakespeare Theatre Association.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Education and Outreach Programs reached over 50,000 young people and underserved community members each season by taking Shakespeare into schools, parks, community centers and by hosting educational matinees of mainstage productions.  In 2014, CSC was proud to become one of the first five theaters in the United States to “Complete the Canon” by producing all 38 plays by William Shakespeare. CSC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is proud to be Cincinnati’s stage for the classics! 

About The 2017-2018 Season:
This season is generously sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company receives operating support from The Ohio Arts Council, the Shubert Foundation and is supported, in part, by the generosity of thous  ands of individuals and businesses that give annually to ArtsWave. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program/organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Production dates and information on the season are available online at


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