The Eloise Covert Smith Theater is the main performance venue at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. It contains 1137 seats at full capacity. An attractively painted acoustically transparent scrim can be lowered to partition off the front and back seating sections to provide a more intimate experience.
All the performance spaces in the Vern Riffe Center were designed by the famed George Izenour. The Covert Smith Theater is specifically designed to enhance the sound in the space: voices, instruments and audio playback. At the same time, great effort was put into minimizing extraneous noise produced by the heating and cooling system so that audiences could enjoy performances with minimal interruption. Whether you attend a performance of a Broadway tour, play, performance by a single musician or an entire orchestra, you should have a quality experience.
The theater was named for Eloise Covert Smith in November 2013. Mrs. Smith was a graduate of Portsmouth High School and dedicated much of her life to education. She taught elementary school in New Boston and Wheelersburg. After retirement, she remained an advocate of higher education and was a supporter of Shawnee State University. She and her husband Sam Kenyon were close friends of Cyrus and Alma Kahl for whom the Kahl Theater is named.