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Vivian Beaumont Theater

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Title: Vivian Beaumont Theater  
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Vivian Beaumont Theater

Vivian Beaumont Theater
Lincoln Center Theater
Address 150 West 65th Street
New York City
United States
Coordinates
Public transit

Subway:

Bus:

Owner Lincoln Center Theater
Operator Lincoln Center Theater
Type Broadway
Capacity 1200
Opened 1985
Website
.org.lctwww

The Vivian Beaumont Theater is a theater located in the Lincoln Center complex at 150 West 65th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It is New York City's only Broadway-class theater (thus making its productions eligible for the Tony Awards) that is not located in the Theater District near Times Square.

History

The theater is named after James Earl Jones and Stacy Keach.

From 1965–66, the theater was operated by the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center, under the direction of Jules Irving and Herbert Blau; Blau, who directed Danton's Death, resigned that first year, while Irving remained as sole director through 1972. From 1973 until 1977, it was managed by the New York Shakespeare Festival, under the direction of Joseph Papp. Following a three-year period of inactivity, it reopened in 1980 under the auspices of the Lincoln Center Theater Company, directed by Richmond Crinkley. He had the ad hoc assistance of a five-member directorate consisting of Woody Allen, Sarah Caldwell, Liviu Ciulei, Robin Phillips, and Ellis Rabb, with Edward Albee as the company playwright.[1]

A contemplated $6.5 million interior reconstruction of the Vivian Beaumont led to its being closed between 1981 and 1983, but these plans, which would have changed its configuration from a thrust stage to a more traditional theater with a proscenium arch, were finally abandoned. However, other substantial improvements to the theater's acoustics and technical facilities have been made over the years.

On rare occasions the theater has been rented to commercial producers, such as Alexander H. Cohen and Hildy Parks, who presented Peter Brook's production of La Tragedie de Carmen in 1983.

Since 1985, the Vivian Beaumont has been operated by Lincoln Center Theater (now under the direction of André Bishop and Bernard Gersten).

In the lower level of the building is the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, originally known as the Forum and renamed in 1972,[2] an intimate, 299-seat venue in which Lincoln Center Theater presents its Off-Broadway-style plays and musicals.

In 2012, Lincoln Center Theater opened the Claire Tow Theater on the Beaumont's roof, a new third stage that features work by emerging playwrights, directors and designers, and for which tickets are only $20 each. It operates with an annual budget of about $2 million and stages three to four productions a year. The auditorium is named for Claire Tow, whose husband, Leonard, a board member, donated $7.5 million.[3]

Design

The structure was designed by Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen, and Jo Mielziner was responsible for the design of the stage and interior. The travertine-clad roof houses stacks of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts,[4] designed by Gordon Bunshaft.[5]

The Vivian Beaumont differs from traditional Broadway theaters because of its use of stadium seating and its thrust stage configuration.

Located on the Vivian Beaumont’s planted green roof, the Claire Tow Theater seats just 112 people in a fixed configuration.[5] Designed by Hugh Hardy and built at a cost of $42 million, the two-story, 23,000-square-foot glass box has the same width as the glass base of the Beaumont[6] and also houses rehearsal space, dressing quarters, offices, and a pocket lobby with a bar. The structure is wrapped inside a grille of aluminum louvers that help screen out the sun.[4] In designing the interior, Hardy used simple materials, stained oak for the lobby floors and walnut for the theater’s sloping walls.[3] The bar features Overture (2012), a sculpture by Kiki Smith.[6]

Production History

References

  1. ^ Carol Lawson (January 29, 1982), Design Dispute Holds Up Reopening Of Beaumont New York Times.
  2. ^ Albin Krebs (June 30, 1989), Mitzi E. Newhouse, Who Donated $1 Million for Theaters, Dies at 87 New York Times.
  3. ^ a b Robin Pogrebin (May 14, 2012), Lincoln Center Theater to Open a New Stage New York Times.
  4. ^ a b Michael Kimmelman (July 15, 2012), A Glass Box That Nests Snugly on the Roof – Hugh Hardy’s Tow Theater at Lincoln Center New York Times.
  5. ^ a b Robin Pogrebin (February 3, 2010), New Theater: Lincoln Center Raises the Roof New York Times.
  6. ^ a b Paul Goldberger (June 14, 2012), Hugh Hardy’s New Lincoln Center Space, the Claire Tow Theater, Is Pleasing, Deferential—and Barely Visible Vanity Fair.

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