Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park revealed plans for its new theater late Thursday, which will see its main stage move from the current Marx Theatre to a new building in northern Eden Park.
The building of a new theater allows for performances to continue at The Playhouse’s current location. The company, which first announced plans for a new theater in February 2017, initially believed performances would have to take place off-site during construction.
“This is a huge positive for our patrons,” Artistic Director Blake Robinson said in a statement. “Not only will they be able to enjoy productions in our familiar location, but also they’ll witness the creation of the new main stage as it’s being built.”
At a cost of $39.5 million, the new theater will feature a more “intimate” main stage, more comfortable seating, better sight lines and acoustics, and easier vehicular entry and exit. Employees will see new facilities in dressing rooms and rehearsal spaces, as well as a green room, costume shop, and backstage. The new building is being funded by a capital campaign comprised of leadership gifts, the board, as well as an endowment.
Marx Theatre hasn’t seen improvements since its construction nearly 50 years ago in 1968, though it did see a renovation of the public and production support areas in 1997. The Playhouse plans for Marx Theatre to be demolished after construction of the new building is complete.
“We view this as a civic project that will bring benefits to the whole region,” Woody Taft, The Playhouse’s campaign chairman, said in a statement. “The Playhouse already provides our city with significant economic impact and national recognition that helps bring people to live and work here.”
The projected opening date for the new theater is fall 2021. The Playhouse expects to announce a finalized construction timetable and finished project designs later this year.