Cincinnati Shakespeare Company / Otto M. Budig Theater


Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Scope: Complete Architectural Services

Size: 277 Seats

The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC) connects audiences to Shakespeare and the exhilarating experience of live theatre. Their new home also needed to connect to state of the art technology, new patrons, students, and the community.

CSC’s modern new theatre along Cincinnati’s historic arts corridor not only plugs them into a venerated and vibrant arts scene, it opens a dialogue between CSC, activity at Washington Park, SCPA, and OTR’s growing population of young-professionals, visitors, and tourists. 

Expansive lobby windows reveal pre-performance buzz around the bar. Pendants hang from the ceiling and twinkle through the perforated exterior skin. Thirty-eight steps, one for each Shakespeare play, ascend to a second-floor rehearsal and event space overlooking the park. Its prominence invites street side pedestrians to look up and catch a sneak peek of swordplay or a soliloquy. Seating capacity was increased from 150-250, yet every seat is 20 feet or less from the thrust stage. This allows patrons to engage with the onstage action and each other. CSC shows have always been intimate; that intimacy is now enhanced with the latest technology and a sophisticated, comfortable, acoustically rich house. 

Materials reflect the company’s integrity and personality, with a twist: reclaimed wood harkens back to the original Globe; mirror fragments embedded in the concrete floor glint underfoot, fabrication marks of rolled steel are left visible—a constant reminder that CSC makes something new with every performance.