Double the fun

Playhouse in the Park
Playhouse in the Park

Playhouses in the Park doesn’t have the same ring to it, but it would be more accurate because Playhouse in the Park is not just one, but two theaters. The original Thompson Shelterhouse theater celebrated its opening night in 1960 and was followed by the Robert S. Marx theater, which premiered in 1968. Operating two theaters simultaneously allows the Playhouse to offer dual productions at the same time, which it does 10 months out of the year. The Marx theater is the larger of the two, seating 626, with the Thompson Shelterhouse being more intimate, seating 225. In both theaters, patrons are never more than 7-13 rows back from the stage, guaranteeing a great view and up-close appreciation of the action.

Made in Cincinnati

A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol
Sets and costumes are built and developed in-house at the ‘scene and prop shop’ on Gilbert Avenue in Walnut Hills, which means that by attending a Playhouse show, you are supporting local workers and their livelihoods. Supporting the arts community (and a nonprofit like the Playhouse) is always fantastic, and the Playhouse employs 75 people full-time, year-round – necessary staffing when sets and props are being built at the same time for different productions. Set builds can take over a month, with development and concepting starting eight or more months prior. The perennial favorite production, A Christmas Carol, features hundreds of costumes, local talent, special effects and a detailed set that has its own ‘guidebook’ of specifications and details.

Top talent & production

Shakespeare In Love, Playhouse in the Park
Shakespeare In Love, Playhouse in the Park

Top talent from Broadway shows on a national level graces the stages of the Tony award-winning theater. The actors, set designers and directors are all sourced from award-winning performances and theaters across the country, and actors are members of Actors' Equity Association – cast primarily in New York City – and brought to Cincinnati for specific productions. The Playhouse has more than 50 seasons under its belt and nearly 200,000 patrons enjoy shows every year.

Fun for all ages

Playhouse in the Park, Three Musketeers
Playhouse in the Park, Three Musketeers

When people can’t make it to the Playhouse, the Playhouse comes to them. The Education Outreach department of the playhouse travels to schools for workshops, presentations and productions off-site to expose over 57,000 students to the arts each year. The theater also offers a weekday matinee option for field trips and a theater summer camp open to students of all skill levels. There are programs for adults too – from private acting lessons to workshops throughout the season.

Mix of urban theater in rural setting

Playhouse in the Park
Playhouse in the Park

The Playhouse’s location – in the park – sets it apart from other theaters in the region. With the Cincinnati Art Museum nearby, Krohn Conservatory right around the corner and Eden Park right down the hill, attending a show can be accompanied by an extravaganza of culture nearby. Wine pairings and a specialized tasting menu prior to shows also make for a memorable evening. Theaters and various spaces throughout the building are available for rental, making for a unique event surrounded by picturesque parks.