Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park Gets $3 Million Gift from Local Couple

Digi and Mike Schueler's $3 million pledge to help fund the construction of the mainstage theater complex and support artistic programming comes with lobby naming rights for the new facility

click to enlarge A rendering of the new theater complex - Photo: Provided by the Playhouse in the Park
Photo: Provided by the Playhouse in the Park
A rendering of the new theater complex

Cincinnati couple Digi and Mike Schueler have pledged a $3 million gift to the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park to support the construction of the theater's new mainstage complex and to help fund artistic programming at the Playhouse for the next five years, according to a release. 

“Digi and Mike’s extraordinary gift leads us into the homestretch of our capital campaign,” says Blake Robison, Playhouse artistic director. “And making a five-year commitment to our future artistic programming speaks volumes about their love of the Playhouse and the confidence they have in work we put onstage for the community. We can’t thank them enough.”

click to enlarge Digi and Mike Schueler - Photo: Provided by the Playhouse in the Park
Photo: Provided by the Playhouse in the Park
Digi and Mike Schueler

The Playhouse is building a new complex on the theater’s existing home site in Eden Park and has secured $41.5 million toward the project's projected $49.5 million with the new donation.

The current Marx Theatre mainstage will be replaced with the “Moe and Jack’s Place – The Rouse Theatre,” named for benefactors Jack and Moe Rouse. The Playhouse’s smaller stage was renamed the Rosenthal Shelterhouse Theatre in honor of another generous gift and will also undergo renovations. It is the original structure — a onetime park shelterhouse — that first housed Playhouse productions in the 1960s. The new theater will include seats with more legroom and improved accessibility.

The new mainstage complex, which will include the Rouse Theatre, is expected to open in late 2022. It will include new dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, green rooms, a costume shop and backstage areas. The new theater will incorporate state-of-the-art technology and enhance the audience experience with better comfort, sightlines, acoustics and entry and exit spaces. 

Included in the new pledge from the Schuelers is naming rights to the mainstage complex's lobby.

“Digi and I hope our gift inspires others to join us in helping deliver this project to the community,” says Mike Schueler, who is chairman and CEO of real estate, development and construction company The Schueler Group.

Site prep began for the renovation project this spring and groundbreaking is slated to take place in late fall 2020.

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