Modern Theatres 1950 – 2020  book cover
1st Edition

Modern Theatres 1950 – 2020

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 19, 2021
ISBN 9781138484382
April 19, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
512 Pages 432 Color Illustrations

SAVE ~ $15.99
was $79.95
USD $63.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Modern Theatres 1950 – 2020 is an investigation of theatres, concert halls, and opera houses in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America.

The book explores in detail thirty of the most significant theatres, concert halls, opera houses, and dance spaces that opened between 1950 and 2010. Each theatre is reviewed and assessed by experts in theatre buildings, such as architects, acousticians, consultants, and theatre practitioners, and illustrated with full-colour photographs and comparative plans and sections. A further twenty theatres that opened between 2011 and 2020 are concisely reviewed and illustrated.

An excellent resource for students of Theatre Planning, Theatre Architecture, and Architectural Design, Modern Theatres 1950 – 2020 discusses the role of performing arts buildings in cities, explores their public and performances spaces, and examines the acoustics and technologies needed in a great building.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1.00: Aspects of Modern Theatres 

1.01. Edwin O. Sachs – A British Theatrical Enigma 

David Wilmore 

1.02. Cities, global and regenerating 

David Staples 

1.03. Theatres and publicness 

Bostjan Vuga 

1.04. Prevailing Themes in 20th Century Theatre Architecture 

Joshua Dachs 

1.05. Towards a new theatre architecture: developments in Britain after 1950 

Alistair Fair 

1.06. Front of House moves to the forefront 

Robert Shook 

1.07. Concert Halls, Music, and Audiences 

Chris Blair 

1.08. The Modern Opera House 

Nicholas Payne 

1.09. Playhouses and spaces for drama 

Tim Foster 

1.10. Stage Engineering Systems 

Mark Ager 

1.11. Stage Lighting 

Mark White 

1.12. Sound, and Opera’s Dirty Little Secret 

Chris Full 

1.13. New Technologies and Performance 

Raj Patel 

1.14. Acoustics and the Modern Theatre 

Sebastien Jouan 

Chapter 2.00: Thirty Significant Theatres 1950 to 2010 

Chapter 3.00: Fifties 

3.01. Royal Festival Hall, 1951, London, UK 

Miles Glendinning and Sebastien Jouan 

3.02. Festival Theatre, 1957, Stratford, Ontario, Canada 

Gary McCluskie 

3.03. Kalita Humphreys Theater, 1959, Dallas, Texas 

David Staples 

3.04. Musiktheater im Revier, 1959, Gelsenkirchen, Germany 

Elain Harwood 

Chapter 4.00: Sixties 

4.01. Arena Stage, Washington, DC, USA 

Joshua Dachs 

4.02. Bunka Kaikan, 1961, Tokyo, Japan 

Shozo Motosugi 

4.03. Philharmonie, 1963, Berlin, Germany 

Karin Winkelsesser 

Chapter 5.00: Seventies  

5.01. Finlandia Hall, 1971, Helsinki, Finland 

David Staples 

5.02. Sydney Opera House, 1973, Sydney, Australia 

David Staples 

5.03. Teatro Regio, 1971, Torino, Italy 

David Staples and Simone Solinas 

5.04. Royal National Theatre, 1976, London, UK 

Patrick Dillon 

5.05. Royal Exchange Theatre, 1976, Manchester, England 

Andy Hayles 

Chapter 6.00: Eighties 

6.01. Schaubühne at Lehniner Platz, 1981, Berlin, Germany 

Reinhold Daberto 

6.02. Arts Centre Melbourne, 1982, Melbourne, Australia 

Tim Brinkman 

6.03. Joyce Theater, 1982, New York, NY, USA 

Elizabeth Bradley 

6.04. Derngate, 1983, Northampton, England 

Roger Hopwood 

6.05. Lucent Danstheater, 1987, The Hague, Netherlands 

Eric Blom and Lian The 

6.06. Opéra Bastille, 1989, Paris, France 

Michel da Costa Gonçalves 


Chapter 7.00: Nineties 

7.01. Sadler’s Wells Theatre, 1998, London, UK 

Richard York 

Chapter 8.00: New Millennium 

8.01. The Lowry, 2000, Salford, United Kingdom 

Alistair Fair 

8.02. Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, 2002, Singapore 

Gaurav Kripalani 

8.03. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 2003, Los Angeles, California, USA 

Carl Giegold 

8.04. KÀ Theater, 2004, MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, AZ, USA 

David Barbour 

8.05. Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre, 2004, Matsumoto, Japan 

Shozo Motosugi 

8.06. Casa da Música, 2005, Porto, Portugal 

Maria Rita Liberal Arnaut 

8.07. Auditório Ibirapuera ‘Oscar Niemeyer’, 2005, São Paulo, Brazil 

Claudia Toni 

8.08. National Center for the Performing Arts, 2007, Beijing, China 

Jörg Kümmel 

8.09. Operahuset, 2008, Oslo, Norway 

David Turnbull  

8.10. National Opera House, 2008, Wexford, Ireland 

David Staples 

8.11. DR Koncerthuset, 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark 

Allan Xenius Grige 

8.12. Guangzhou Opera, 2010, Guangzhou, China 

David Staples 

Chapter 9.00: Snapshots of twenty theatres – 2011 to 2020 - David Staples 

9.01. Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, 2009, Dallas, Texas, USA 

Karin Winkelsesser 

9.02. Onassis Cultural Centre, 2010, Athens, Greece 

Karin Winkelsesser 

9.03. New World Center, 2011, Miami, FL, USA 

Karin Winkelsesser 

9.04. Royal Opera House, 2011, Muscat, Oman 

Karin Winkelsesser 

9.05. Harpa, 2011, Reykjavik, Iceland 

David Staples 

9.06. Royal Shakespeare Theatre, 2011, Stratford-upon-Avon 

Alistair Fair 

9.07. Heydar Aliyev Center, 2012, Baku, Azerbaijan 

David Staples 

9.08. `A`ali`ikūhonua Creative Arts Center, 2012, Seabury Hall, Maui, USA 

David Staples 

9.09. Musiktheater am Volksgarten, 2013, Linz, Austria 

Karin Winkelsesser 

9.10. Everyman Theatre, 2014, Liverpool, UK 

Alistair Fair 

9.11. Han Show Theatre, 2014, Wuhan, China 

Karin Winkelsesser 

9.12. Harbin Opera House, 2015, Harbin, China 

David Staples 

9.13. Dubai Opera, 2016, Dubai, UAE 

Karin Winkelsesser 

9.14. Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, 2017, Athens, Greece 

Karin Winkelsesser 

9.15. Boulez Saal, 2017, Berlin, Germany 

Karin Winkelsesser 

9.16. Elbphilharmonie, 2017, Hamburg, Germany 

Karin Winkelsesser 

9.17. Bridge Theatre, 2017, London, UK 

David Staples 

9.18. National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts, 2018, Taiwan 

Karin Winkelsesser 

9.19. The Shed, The Bloomberg Building, 2019, New York 

David Staples 

9.20. Xiqu Centre, 2019, Hong Kong 

David Staples 

Chapter 10.00: Conclusions 

10.01. Postscript – "The Ghost Light" 

Chapter 11.00: Modern Theatres contributors 

View More



David Staples has been a theatre consultant for over forty years, working on opera houses, concert halls, and theatres in 67 countries. His projects include the Oslo Opera in Norway, Esplanade in Singapore, Lowry in England, and Portland Center for Performing Arts in Oregon, USA. He has lectured on every continent except Antarctica and is a former chair of the Society of Theatre Consultants, as well as a member of the International Society of Performing Arts, of Opera Europa, and of the Association of British Theatre Technicians.