Playhouse in the Park Selects BHDP to Lead Design of Capital Renovation 

BHDP Messer TriVersity Playhouse2

President and CEO of Messer Construction Co. Tom Keckeis; Playhouse Artistic Director Blake Robison; Playhouse Capital Campaign Chairman Woody Taft; BHDP Architecture CEO Mike Habel; and Playhouse Managing Director Buzz Ward.

Messer, TriVersity named as construction partners

CINCINNATI (Aug. 31, 2017)—Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s board of trustees approved today the selection of BHDP Architecture as the architectural firm to design the new, state-of-the-art Mainstage Theatre complex, which is the centerpiece of the Playhouse’s major capital renovation. Construction is expected to begin in spring of 2019 and be completed for opening in the fall of 2020. Officials also announced Messer Construction Co. and TriVersity Construction as construction partners for the project.

“After reviewing the qualifications of architectural firms throughout the country, BHDP was the clear choice to lead the future design of the Playhouse,” stated Blake Robison, artistic director. “They have the capabilities and the creativity to provide an imaginative and memorable design that will integrate the space with our iconic location in the park and provide a state-of-the-art theatre that brings an intimate experience to our audiences.”

BHDP is an award-winning international architectural firm headquartered in Cincinnati with offices in Columbus, OH; Atlanta, GA; Pittsburgh, PA; and Raleigh, NC. They are recognized for intelligent, innovative and inspiring solutions in architecture, planning, interior design, project management, strategic consulting and facilities management.

“BHDP is pleased to be selected to design such a high-profile project as Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park. Our goals are to honor Eden Park’s historic Shelterhouse Theatre and connect with the unique Mt. Adams hillside neighborhood while creating an inspiring and memorable experience for all the Playhouse patrons, company members, and staff,” said Mike Habel, BHDP’s CEO.

The Playhouse previously chose Messer and TriVersity as the construction firms to complete the project.

“The design firms in this city are second to none, so while this was a difficult choice to make, BHDP impressed everyone with their artistic vision and solutions-focused approach,” said Tom Keckeis, president and CEO, Messer Construction Co.

In the last five years, Messer has built and renovated world-class performing arts facilities in Cincinnati valued at more than $100 million and a combined 330,000 square feet of space, emerging as the local leader in performing arts construction management. Messer brings to the table a focus on safety, quality, cost control, and inclusion, as well as an award-winning project team, which includes project management personnel from TriVersity, a long-time partner of Messer.

“We’re pleased to add our project management expertise and commitment to safety, quality and diversity to the Playhouse partnership with Messer and to support such an important cultural asset,” TriVersity CEO Mel Gravely added.

The Playhouse announced a capital campaign earlier this year to replace the current Marx Theatre with a brand-new Mainstage Theatre complex, including improved production support spaces and enhanced patron amenities. It is phase one of a Facility Master Plan with future phases to include additional capacity for increased initiatives in community engagement and educational outreach across the region.

“One of BHDP’s strengths was their ability to envision a space where we could make significant facility improvements in the first phase of construction, with seamless additions to the design in future phases as part of a facilities master plan,” explained Buzz Ward/Woody Taft.

The capital campaign itself remains in the quiet stage; an exact fundraising goal along with designs for the future spaces will be announced in early 2018.


About Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
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 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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