Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park Finalizes Designs And 99-year Lease For New Mainstage Theatre Complex

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With final designs and a new 99-year lease approved by the Cincinnati Park Board and the City of Cincinnati, Playhouse in the Park's new mainstage theatre complex will begin preparatory site work in the spring of 2020.

Capital Campaign Co-Chairmen Woody Taft and Rob Reifsnyder announced today that $35 million is already available for the project and fundraising efforts have broadened to the Playhouse's subscriber base. The campaign goal is $49.5 million. The building will cost $46.3, and the remainder covers transition and other expenses.

"The new mainstage theatre complex is a game-changer for the Playhouse and Greater Cincinnati," said Taft. "We are 70 percent of the way to funding this once-in-a-generation project. Now that we have the lease, we are in a race to close the funding gap, and we need the entire community to pitch in."

The Playhouse has been working collaboratively with the Park Board and the City on the new lease for the property in Eden Park. With the expansion of the facility, the Eden Park grounds leased by the Playhouse have been expanded and the lease term extended to 99 years. The final project designs and lease were approved by the Park Board at their Oct. 17 meeting. The lease then went through a three-step process with the City, culminating in approval by the City Council on Oct. 30.

"The Park Board and City were excellent partners in getting our new lease completed," said Buzz Ward, Managing Director. "Together, we've secured the Playhouse's home for the next 99 years."

The new mainstage theatre complex, including "Moe and Jack's Place - The Rouse Theatre," is anticipated to open in late 2022. The Rouse Theatre will replace the current Marx Theatre, the oldest, un-renovated mainstage facility at any regional theatre in the country.

"The transformative nature of our expansion and renovation has generated great enthusiasm," said Blake Robison, Artistic Director. "The new mainstage theatre brings the facility into the 21st century. It enhances the patron experience, expands artistic capabilities and welcomes new audiences to our home in Eden Park."

Site work will begin in spring of 2020 and groundbreaking on the theatre is expected later in the year. The first phase of the capital project was completed with the renovation of the Rosenthal Shelterhouse Theatre, which opened in September and features more leg room, comfortable new seats, and improved accessibility to the Playhouse's beloved, original space.

In addition to the new 539-seat Rouse Theatre, the new complex will include enhanced support facilities such as new dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, green rooms and backstage areas, as well as a new costume shop. It will expand what can be done on stage with state-of-the Art Theatre technology. The new theatre will also enhance the audience experience with better comfort, sightlines, acoustics and entry/exit.

The Playhouse is supported by the generosity of almost 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.

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