The Madison Civic Center includes the Oscar Mayer Theatre, the Isthmus Playhouse and several small performance spaces. The Madison Symphony Orchestra and the Madison Opera are major users of the OMT. The Civic Center also books a wide variety of events on its own, including orchestras, opera companies, chamber-music ensembles and recitalists.
The 2200-seat OMT was once a cinema. Its seating is distinctly uncomfortable, especially for anyone taller than 5'5", and its acoustics are at best spotty. Its future as a concert venue is expected to be brief, thanks to the Overture Center project.
Sparked by a $100 million gift from the Overture Foundation for the development of a major downtown arts district, musical Madison is very much looking forward to a new multi-purpose concert hall, the Overture Center, which is currently under construction and expected to open in the spring of 2004.