High atop one of the city's Seven Hills lies Cincinnati's Playhouse in the Park, a musical theater venue unique in its offerings. Situated in posh Mt. Adams, the Playhouse overlooks picturesque downtown, and neighbors historical Eden Park. Founded by University of Cincinnati student Gerald Covell in 1959, this theater has become a renowned spot for creative talent. Playhouse is a winner of two highly coveted Tony awards (including Best Regional Theatre), receiving nation-wide recognition of its excellence. Playhouse in the Park is home to the Thompson Shelterhouse Theatre, which seats 225, and the Robert S. Marx Theatre, a larger 600+ person theatre added in 1968. Playhouse is a performance haven, being a producer of works in comedy, drama, and musicals, and is host to nation- and world-wide premieres and performances such as Angus MacLachlan's The Dead Eye Boy and Russell Lees' Nixon's Nixon.
Aside from the professional performances and high regard in the theater world, this non-profit organization invites involvement by the community and creates easy access to the theatre and dramatic arts. Playhouse in the Park holds year-round acting classes, sponsors a Young Actors internship program, and offers discounted student matinees to area schools. In addition, the Playhouse offers a number of special events throughout the year.
Schedule a visit on one of its many opening nights and enjoy the post-show party, complete with Karlo's Bistro's hors d'oeuvres and appearances from the cast. Prior to select performances, audience members are welcome to attend the pre-show lectures, "Perspectives Series," at no extra charge. Not planning on seeing a show? Groups of 10 or more can enjoy the Playhouse by scheduling a behind-the-scenes tour, which includes information on the history and ins-&-outs of the venue. Tours typically last 30 minutes and are $3.50 per person (contact the theater for more information). The Playhouse also serves as an ideal place for banquets, events, weddings, and parties; its many rooms, lobbies, and even the theaters are available to rent for any occasion. Between its active involvement in community programs and promotions, and its accessibility to visitors of all ages, Playhouse in the Park is an important element in the arts community and Cincinnati.
Because it is a seasonal venue, open officially September to June, make sure you check performance dates and times. However, the theater accommodates local youth by offering a summer camp focusing on dramatic arts, with acting workshops and activities throughout June and July.
Beginning its fifth decade, Playhouse in the Park is a must-attend in Cincinnati. From the variety of performances to the many options of community-engagement, the extra event offerings and even the supreme location, you will not want to miss out on a visit to this Cincinnati staple.
- Regular Season Hours (September through June)
- Monday: 10am to 5pm
- Tuesday through Saturday: 10am to 9pm
- Sunday: 12pm to 8pm
- Prices vary; Tickets can be purchased online or via the Playhouse box office either by phone or in person.
- Location: 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH
- Box Office: 513-421-3888
- Toll Free (OH, KY and IN only): 800-582-3208
- Telecommunication Device for the Deaf: 513-345-2248
- Group Tours: 513-345-2242
- Website: www.cincyplay.com