Project Details

For more than 50 years, Market House Theatre has provided award-winning performing arts education and productions for adults and children throughout Western Kentucky. While the Theatre has been a catalyst for positive economic growth, we are poised to do even more as demand for our programming has exceeded capacity. Market House Theatre is bursting at the seams! After years of evaluation and planning, we have now embraced the challenge to make arts education even more accessible to our community. Please join us as we revitalize nearly two city blocks of historic space and significantly upgrade our programming!

Market House Theatre connects with tens of thousands of children and adults each year through our dramatic arts and education programs. 

  • We average up to 30 productions for adults, youth and young children each year.
  • We provide arts education on our campus and in schools, garnering 53,000 student interactions. 

In addition to producing high quality dramatic arts education and productions, the Theatre also serves as an economic generator for downtown redevelopment and vitality. 

  • We draw as many as 2,000 people during a busy week to Market House Square with our classes, performances, rehearsals and special events.
  • We utilize 10 historic buildings in downtown Paducah.
  • In 2015, our work supported $2.3 million in economic activity. 

The Next Stage will be one of the largest historic preservation projects performed in community history.

“As a former economic development professional, I stay impressed with the impact that the Market House Theatre has on downtown Paducah. From parents spending time in the coffee shop while their kids are in classes or rehearsals, to patrons dining before one of our many monthly performances, to volunteer activities and various performances, we account for a beehive of activity on our campus, which helps to sustain our corner of downtown Paducah.”   Kristin Williams, Campaign Co-Chair

The Next Stage is an estimated $5 million project which expands arts education and enhances the Market House Theatre’s current arts campus. Renovations will be made to nearly 44,000 square feet of historic space and will include significant upgrades to all 10 of MHT's historic buildings. To date the theatre has raised almost $2.5 million in pledges towards our $5 million goal.

Here is a snapshot of what we are trying to achieve:

    • Add 4 new wheelchair-accessible classrooms
    • Add 2 rehearsal spaces
    • Move the Studio Theatre to the Finkel’s building, creating a flexible performance space that doubles the current studio theatre stage and audience capacity
    • Renovate the lobby and expand the restrooms in the main Market House building
    • Create additional, event, reception, and gathering spaces
    • Create a fully-functional scene shop

“The Market House Theatre Board of Directors are behind this project 100% and are all financially invested in the campaign. The enhancements that this project allows us to implement will have a tremendous impact on arts education for adults and children in Western Kentucky.” Chip Bohle, Campaign Co-Chair

The Theatre has a solid history of fiscal responsibility and generates the majority of its budget from income-based activities. Since 1983, we have doubled our budget and programming with each decade leading up to the current 54th year of operations. The Next Stage business plan focuses on the phased growth of a sustainable multi-tenant arts campus in downtown Paducah. Under this plan, we will upgrade our rehearsal, classroom and performance spaces, as well as create additional revenue-generating opportunities that will help to sustain the Theatre for generations to come. 

The campaign is structured over a multi-year window of pledges and as many as 16 different ways to support this project.  To talk about making a pledge or gift to the campaign call Executive Director Michael Cochran or Development Coordinator Cindy Miller at 270-444-6828,  who will be happy to share with you the many different ways to consider support. 

It is an exciting time at Market House Theatre!