Redefining a relationship between street and theatre: The Austin live theatre
Hertner, Hans P.
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Many people have attempted to "improve" the spatial relationship between stage and auditorium. It is unlikely, however, that anyone will ever invent any unique new developments in this relationship, simply because the theatrical experience is based on the premise that the actors need a space in which to perform where the audience is in a position to see and hear them. When the physical form of the theatre is thought of in this context, it becomes apparent that there are really no different types of theatre, just only variations on a basic theme. But this is not to say that the architecture of a theatre is a relatively unimportant issue, rather, the majority of theatres built in the last thirty years are basically "black boxes" that lack sensitivity and conceal there intention, function, and liveliness. It is unfortunate that the casual observer can not read or identify the idea of "theatre" in these structures. This is in contrast to the magnetism, celebration, and majesty attributed to the theatres and theatre experiences of the past, e-g., the theatres of the street, and I contend that there is no reason that this could not be so of todays theatres. I will attempt to achieve this goal by symbolizing or synthesizing a "theatre of the street" idea into my project in part by three ways: through a composition of archetectonic elements symbolizing and representing the underlying order or elements of drama i n the street; by creating a "dressed stage" of the theatre building in its site, so as to bring some of the life of the theatre out into the street and vice versa, or by perhaps creating its own street, where people encountering the theatre, themselves become the actors in a production put on by the designer; and by opening up the "fort" or "bunker" so to speak;, with increased useage of fenestration as much as is functionally reasonable and possible. In this I seek to afford more natural lighting to interior spaces as well as viewages of activities to and from the various theatre spaces.