Maybe it’s because the summer is nearly at its end and everyone has been forced back indoors, but this is apparently the week to unveil projects. Lots to share, so let’s get started, shall we? Back in 2009, during a period where New York seemed not to be liking starchitect Frank Gehry as much as they have been lately, one of his few shining beacons on the horizon seemed to be his landing the commission to design a new space for the Signature Theater Company. Residing inside of the much larger, Ismael Leyva and Arquitectonica-designed Signature Center, the theater now has an opening date set, or at least an opening month: February 2012. Occupying a full city block, situated on 42nd St. between Dyer and 10th Ave., the $66 million project is described as “the largest non-profit performing arts center to be built in New York since Lincoln Center.” With all that space, the company is expecting to host a large collection of playwrights and put up a whole ton of shows each season. Here are few of the details:
Featuring three intimate theatres, a studio theatre, rehearsal studio, and a public café and bookstore, the Center will be both a theatre community hub and a neighborhood destination, and has been designed to foster interaction among playwrights, collaborators, and the public. The $66 million project is being funded through a public-private partnership and will be staffed by more than 400 people annually.
Signature Center will serve as the artistic home for as many as 11 playwrights at any one time, fostering a dynamic creative community where playwrights will engage directly with audiences and one another. Each season, the Company will present up to nine plays at Signature Center, encompassing both new work and new productions of existing work mounted in close collaboration with each playwright.