FIRST LOOK: A New Home for The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati

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This half-finished construction project on Red Bank Road represents a big get for the Cincinnati arts community: Brand new theater, rehearsal, and office space for The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.

The new Red Bank Road building
The new Red Bank Road building

Photographs by Brittany Dexter

The 91-year-old organization is known for its popular stage shows geared towards kids and families—like this year’s Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR.—and currently operates from a cramped office on Oaklawn Drive in Madisonville, just a few miles away from the new site. When finished, the building will triple The Children’s Theatre’s work space and dramatically improve its programming capabilities.

Lopez Studio Group's rendering of the CTC's new building
Lopez Studio Group’s rendering of The Children’s Theatre’s new building

Image courtesy The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati

You can still expect to see Mainstage productions at the Taft Theatre downtown, but the new facility will be home base for The Children’s Theatre’s extensive community outreach work. Currently, these performing arts classes are housed in a single, over-scheduled space. The new building will have a performance theater and dedicated studios for vocal, drama, and dance, which will be kitted out with industry-standard features like sprung flooring and Bluetooth-equipped technology. It will also have a private green room and dressing room spaces, laundry facilities, a costume shop, and even separate, ventilated rooms for a spray paint booth and wig storage.

The unfinished theater space
The unfinished theater space
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Unfinished space at the building’s entrance

In addition to these upgrades, the new building will be LEED Silver Certified and equipped with a greywater system (the only one of its kind in Cincinnati), which captures wastewater from sinks and showers and recycles it for functions such as toilet flushing.

Even though the new space will drastically improve the work experience for staff, cast, and crew, it’s ultimately about the community. The Children’s Theatre’s mission is to make the arts available to kids in the city—particularly those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to it. Often, Children’s Theatre shows are a child’s very first introduction to drama and musical theater, and can spark a life-long interest. Says Managing Director & CEO Kim Deaton: “We like to say that we are creating the future arts patrons for the city.”

Classes start January 10. Public open house: June 18, noon–4 p.m. 4015 Red Bank Road, Madisonville, thechildrenstheatre.com

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