Cincinnati Playhouse Announces New Building Campaign, Will Stay in Eden Park


Artistic Director Blake Robison. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

CINCINNATI– Artistic Director Blake Robison announced today that Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park will remain in Eden Park and move forward with a major capital campaign to replace the Playhouse’s current mainstage with a new state-of-the-art facility commensurate with the Playhouse’s artistry and national reputation.

Board of Trustees President Jack Rouse explained that “after more than a year of insightful research and analysis, the Board approved the capital campaign and the plan to build a brand new theatre complex. We remain committed to Eden Park and to the Mt. Adams neighborhood for the long term.”

While still in the earliest stages of planning and development, the building project will feature a new, and even more intimate, mainstage theatre with support facilities including new dressing rooms, a rehearsal room, green room, costume shop and backstage areas. The new theatre will enhance audience experience with better comfort, sightlines, acoustics and entry/exit and expand what can be done on stage.

Details of the building project design, campaign goal and construction timeline will be announced at a later date. The new mainstage theatre complex is projected to open in the Fall of 2020.

“Our campaign leadership is now launching the quiet phase of the campaign,” said Woody Taft, vice president of the board and chairman of the campaign. “We will focus on lead gifts for the next six to nine months before launching the public campaign.”

The Playhouse has hired Rachel Kirley as its Capital Campaign Director. In this added staff position, she’ll dedicate 100 percent of her time to the capital campaign. Additionally, the Playhouse has retained the national firm Arts Consulting Group as campaign counsel to work with Kirley and help guide this effort.

The new Mainstage Theatre Complex is Phase One of a Facility Master Plan. Future phases will include additional capacity for increased initiatives in community engagement and educational outreach across the region.

No major improvements have been made to the Marx Theatre since its construction nearly 50 years ago in 1968. It is the oldest un-renovated mainstage facility at any regional theatre in the country. The Playhouse’s last capital campaign was from 1994 to 1996 and culminated in a major renovation to the public and production support areas in 1997, but did not include any significant improvements to the two theatres.

Winner of two Tony awards, the Playhouse is the region’s preeminent professional theatre with unequaled access to the nation’s finest actors, directors and designers.

“The new state-of-the-art mainstage positions the Playhouse for the future,” Robison explained. “It will enhance our patrons’ experience and give our artists the modern technologies to achieve 21st century production values that are on par or exceed those in New York and London.”

The Playhouse is supported by the generosity of more than 40,000 contributors to the ArtsWave Community Campaign. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Playhouse with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Playhouse also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.



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