For years Cincinnati Shakespeare presented wonderful productions and built a loyal audience in a tiny storefront theater. Today, they perform in a theater that matches the quality of their work and presents it without compromise. The building benefited from detailed input from the Cincy Shakes technical and artistic team and through careful management of limited funds which gave them an efficient building with just what they needed. This includes the trust theater along with shops, dressing rooms, lobby and a rehearsal room.

A high-quality audio system was designed for effects, playback, and amplification, but the natural acoustics allow the actors’ natural voice to be heard clearly no matter where they are facing. This is achieved by textured concrete walls enclosing the theater, scattering the sound that reflects off the walls and protecting the performances from outside noise. Rough-sawn wood on the face and underside of the balcony is angled to direct sound usefully while avoiding confusing echoes. Sound-absorbing treatments on the ceiling and catwalk-level walls are carefully placed to eliminate echoes while still providing useful reflections. A partial wall covered with felt is specifically designed to avoid cross-room echoes, a typical problem in thrust theaters.

Project Details
Audiovisual Systems Design
Mechanical Noise Control
Room Acoustics Design
Sound Isolation
GBBN Architects, Cincinnati, OH Steve Karoly 513.241.8700
Schuler Shook, Chicago, IL, Theatre Consultant
24,040 New Construction + 16,790 Renovation
277-seat thrust theatre Rehearsal / performance studio
$17.5 million