West Side theater icons merge operations

Rendering of the future Madcap Center

Rendering of the future Madcap Center

Cincinnati Landmark Productions and Madcap Puppets announced on Thursday a merger of operations, creating a multifaceted performing arts organization serving patrons of all ages.

CLP operates Covedale Center for the Performing Arts in West Price Hill and the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater in East Price Hill, where it offers a wide variety of classic theater to primarily adult audiences. Madcap Puppets, founded in 1981, presents more than 600 performances of children’s programming each year, in Cincinnati and across 15 states.

In addition to potential administrative efficiencies and savings, the merger expands CLP’s reach into performing arts education opportunities, with the addition of the previously announced Madcap Education Center in Westwood. For Madcap, the alliance provides a structure through which the organization can increase awareness of puppet theater beyond in-school performances. According to Dylan Shelton, Madcap artistic director, “The growth potential is very exciting.”

Representatives from Cincinnati Development Fund and WestCURC – Westwood’s urban redevelopment corporation – also announced a partnership to utilize federal and state New Markets Tax Credits for Madcap’s facility. If successful, the project would be completed in concert with the City of Cincinnati’s $4 million investment in the Westwood Town Hall property, where Cincinnati Landmark Productions was born as Cincinnati Young People’s Theater in 1982.

“It truly is a homecoming for this newly merged company,” said CLP executive artistic director Tim Perrino.

This additional funding for the Madcap facility takes the $4.2 million project from roughly 20 percent funded to more than 90 percent. Previous fundraising efforts account for roughly $1 million raised and expected New Markets Tax Credits net proceeds are estimated at $2.2 million. Cincinnati Landmark Productions and Madcap are contributing assets of roughly $600,000 toward the project. The project funding gap is estimated at $400,000.


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