“Good theatre draws the energies out of a place and gives it back as joie de vivre” – Joan Littlewood
>> Importance of Theater <<
Theater is the place where the wildest, quietest, funniest, and the most outspoken people are family. It is the place where you will make friends you never would have thought had the same interest as you, and the place where friendship will never die out. I call this place my home. Since the beginning of sixth grade, I fell in love with this sense of community that was offered within the theater world. During my first high school production, I was exposed to my first wave of emotional senior speeches; tears were spilled, hugs were thrown, and farewells were made. Currently a sophomore at Park Tudor, I plan to make the most out of the two years I have left.
A redesign for my school’s theater will allow me to share this same feeling I have with the audience and create more accessibility for the audience in a new efficient modern way.
My school founded in 1902 is a small institute that hasn’t updated its theater to fit modern needs today. The redesign of my school’s theater will incorporate a whole new seating area along with minor changes to the exterior and lobby. The addition of a seating area in the front two rows allows better access for welcoming wheelchair users during school shows, assemblies, or guest speaker presentations. The created balcony above the main seats, will expand the small theater maximum occupancy of roughly 1-200 to almost double creating the perfect number of seats for my school. These extra seats will solve the issue of teachers having to stand/sit on the stairs during 70minute guest speaker’s/fellow peer’s presentations. Minor changes will also have to be met to accompany these two massive changes to the building. The right are pictures of my current school theater.
My Visual Designs
Before I began even thinking of the layout, I researched other auditoriums and theaters and I was blown away. From my mass model of the interior (far left pictures) I have incorporated a similar design of the Aix en Provence Conservatory of Music’s balcony layout (top right). To complete the overall concept of the design I have taken a combination of the accessibility service in the Brooklyn Center for the Preforming Arts (bottom right) in New York to finally create a designated easy access handicap seating area. >> inspiration <<
For materials and the overall structure, I want to keep its foundation and roots in the design but add a new edge to separate the structure from the rest of the buildings on campus. For the lobby, I plan to use full paneled translucent building skins. Unlike regular windows, these will hopefully minimize the blistering brightness of the sun during summer days but still allow natural light to fill up the space. >>materials inspiration <<
stone/brick (exterior walls)
concrete (for paths leading to entrances)
translucent skins (windows)
wood (design on upper deck for cat walk )
metal ( railings for fly and support for overall structure)
carpet (seating areas)
Interior Seating Details
The two elevated panels and elevated rectangle panel on the surrounding edges represent the balcony seating area similar to the Aix en Provence Conservatory of Music one. People will be able to access all balcony areas through wide paths existing on both far edges of the seats. There will also be an additional wheelchair pulling system (inspired by Imperial Theater right) running along the path for wheelchair access in-between the top balcony and sides. In addition to these wheel chair seats, the front two rows of the whole structure will incorporate ramps leading to wheelchair seats. The two center panels will be the main seating area for smaller gatherings.
The sound and light booth for the theater will be located high above the balcony parallel to each other. Access doors to the main seats will be located in a back panel toward the back of the seats. Addition doors will be placed on the side ground floor walls and at the sides of the balcony walls. Access to the light and sound booth will be from stairs located in the lobby, not present in the interior model. Ramps will also be installed on the exterior of the building leading to the lobby doors and the door of the left ground wall.
[Pink = handicap seating | Yellow = paths | Grey = seating areas | Blue = doors
Along with having my idea, it is important to also get the school’s community input on my design and what they had for suggestions. After reviewing the comments, many wanted to make sure that the proximity between the areas of the buildings were close. To show that I have taken their comments into my design, I have created a bubble diagram showing the close proximity between the different rooms & spaces in the building.
all the aspects to make the show run from a tech standpoint (light booth, sound booth, fly system, shop area, props and costumes area
area for the actors/actresses to wait until they get on stage
changing rooms and places to organize the multiple custom sets of the actors/actresses
seating area for the audience
lobby/waiting area for the audience before the show starts
space around the actual stage and in the back hallway
allow more visibility from the audience standpoint
quicker accessibility from dressing rooms to the stage
enough room on the wings of the stage so it is not crowded at times
easier way to get out of the theater (direct the walkways)
Your Input & Feedback
Here, you can give me either direct feedback with my email address or complete the survey. This would be extremely helpful to see what you, the viewers, are thinking. Thank you! ? The Discussion link will allow you to post any additional comments for everyone to respond and comment on.
>> Survey <<
>> Discussion <<
>> Email: firstname.lastname@example.org <<
I would also encourage you to comment #theaterforchange on any social media site if you find any theater that looks/needs like it could use a new design.