Playhouse in the Park is adding a new mainstage theatre complex to its Eden Park location. The new stage, Rouse Theatre, will replace Marx Theatre. Patrons seated in the new theater will have a new balcony, entry and circulation, and improved sight lines, acoustics, and egress. In the back of house, performers + supporting professionals will have access to updated backstage areas including dressing rooms, green rooms, rehearsal rooms + costume shop. The new complex is predominantly a steel structure supported on concrete basement retaining walls of varying tiers as the building cuts into the side of the hilly terrain of Mt. Adams.
The site posed a number of construction + design challenges including access for construction equipment + material laydown. Keeping the Marx Theatre operational throughout construction of the new complex led the team to two phased efforts. First, the team excavated the hillside + substantially completed the new theater. Second, the Marx was demolished, and the new lobby, box office, and grand arrival are being built in its place. The structure will consist of a full fly grid + galleries, forestage grid, two-story removable theater trap, several long-span steel trusses, cantilever balconies, and curved, sweeping elements.
Schaefer was also a part of the team that renovated the historic Rosenthal Shelterhouse Theatre with new seating + improved accessibility. Before work could begin, Schaefer performed a structural assessment of the theater and provided remediation recommendations.