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

by Michael Eddy
Artistic Director Blake Robison in front of the Vontz Theatre Center. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography
Artistic Director Blake Robison in front of the Vontz Theatre Center. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography

CINCINNATI, OH—Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's Artistic Director Blake Robison has announced the Playhouse will remain in Eden Park and will move forward with a major capital campaign to replace the current mainstage with a new state-of-the-art facility commensurate with the Playhouse’s artistry and national reputation. No major improvements have been made to the Marx Theatre, since its construction in 1968, nearly 50 years ago. It is the oldest un-renovated mainstage facility of any regional theatre in the country. 

Further information from Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (

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. 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. 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.

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.