There was a lot of buzz last week about the unveiling of a proposal to build a new Downtown soccer stadium — which was downplayed with an update the following day — but within that proposal was the inclusion of a new Children’s Theatre space that would have brought a dose of the arts to a sports-centric development.
And while the stadium is looking like a no-go, the theater development is still being considered.
“There are a number of different sites being discussed, but the Columbus Children’s Theatre is dedicated to remaining in the Downtown core,” stated CCT Executive Director Susan Pringle during a phone call with Columbus Underground last week. “The Columbus Foundation has been involved actively in that process for six months now, and they certainly understood our need for a new theater prior to that.”
Pringle said that the company has nearly outgrown their 170-seat performance space at 512 Park Street where approximately 70 percent of their shows sell out. Additionally, at least one CCT show per year is hosted at the 560-seat Lincoln Theatre.
“We do 250 shows per year, so that’s a very high percentage of tickets sold,” she explained. “We definitely recognize that there is an opportunity to reach a broader age range of students, and we’d like to increase our number of classes offered during the academic year.”
Currently, CCT offers most of their classes from space in a separate building at 177 E. Naghten Street, where their administrative offices are also located. A deciding factor in a new location would be the ability to house all operations under one roof.
“There are a number of options on the table — some are new-build, and some would retrofit an existing site,” said Pringle. “At this point, we are interested in a solution that best suits our longterm needs and facilitates a reasonable trajectory for CCT.”
Currently, there’s no timeline on when CCT would be making a decision on a relocation or an announcement.
“I’ve been Executive Director for less than a year, so what were trying to assess is our ability financially and artistically to take on a large scale project like a new facility,” stated Pringle. “That’s not an undertaking that we want to underestimate.”
For more information, visit www.ColumbusChildrensTheatre.org.