Theater Planning: Facilities for Performing Arts and Live Entertainment (Paperback) book cover

Theater Planning

Facilities for Performing Arts and Live Entertainment

By Gene Leitermann

© 2017 – Focal Press

332 pages | 128 B/W Illus.

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About the Book

This book introduces theater planning to students and practitioners of each field, and provides a detailed guide to the process and the technical requirements particular to theater buildings. Part I is a guide to the concepts and practices of architecture and construction, as applied to performing arts buildings. Part II is a guide to the design of performing arts buildings, with detailed descriptions of the unique requirements of these buildings. Each concept is illustrated with line drawings and examples from the author’s extensive professional practice.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Part I Context and process

1 Theater buildings

2 Project roles

3 Project phases

4 Project delivery methods

5 Pre-design process

6 Design process

7 Building regulations

8 Project budgets

Part II Planning

9 Proscenium stages

10 Forestage zone

11 Other stage forms

12 Audience sightlines

13 Audience seating

14 Auditorium design

15 Technical elements

16 Public spaces

17 Back-of-house spaces

 

List of Figures

Chapter 1

Figure 1.1 Drama theater forms

Figure 1.2 Fichandler Theatre, Arena Stage, Washington, DC

Figure 1.3 Ruth Caplin Theatre, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Figure 1.4 Studio, Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe, Arizona

Figure 1.5 Kay Theatre, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, College Park, Maryland

Figure 1.6 Studzinski Recital Hall, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine

Figure 1.7 Laura Turner Concert Hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, Tennessee

Figure 1.8 Helzberg Concert Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Missouri

Figure 1.9 Oslo Opera House, Oslo, Norway

Figure 1.10 Dance Theatre, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, College Park, Maryland

Figure 1.11 Overture Hall, Overture Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Figure 1.12 Dolby Theatre (formerly Kodak Theatre), Hollywood, California

Chapter 2

Figure 2.1 Primary contractual relationships

Figure 2.2 Simple owner structure

Figure 2.3 Owner with program manager

Figure 2.4 Core design team working for the architect

Figure 2.5 Core design team working for owner

Chapter 3

Figure 3.1 Comparison of project phases

Figure 3.2 Opportunity for savings versus design fees spent

Chapter 4

Figure 4.1 Design-bid-build

Figure 4.2 Design-bid-build versus fast track

Figure 4.3 Multiple prime contracts

Figure 4.4 Design-build

Figure 4.5 Agency construction manager

Figure 4.6 Construction manager at risk

Figure 4.7 Integrated project delivery

Chapter 5

Figure 5.1 Needs assessment example: Overture Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Figure 5.2 Area definitions for performing arts buildings

Chapter 6

Figure 6.1 Options for 400-seat theater form

Figure 6.2 400-seat theater footprint and volume study in Broadway form

Figure 6.3 400-seat theater conceptual diagram

Figure 6.4 400-seat theater plan and section drawings

Figure 6.5 400-seat theater geometry study

Figure 6.6 400-seat theater material and finish study

Figure 6.7 Completed 400-seat theater

Figure 6.8 Site plan showing context

Figure 6.9 Conceptual site plan

Figure 6.10 Functional site diagram

Figure 6.11 Site plan

Figure 6.12 Block model

Figure 6.13 Site rendering

Figure 6.14 Site rendering

Figure 6.15 Site model

Figure 6.16 Site rendering

Figure 6.17 Completed building

Figure 6.18 Planning diagrams

Figure 6.19 Planning diagrams

Figure 6.20 Floor plans

Figure 6.21 Plan and section diagrams

Figure 6.22 Lobby rendering—schematic design

Figure 6.23 Lobby rendering—design development

Figure 6.24 Completed lobby

Figure 6.25 Crossover material and finish studies

Figure 6.26 Completed crossover

Chapter 9

Figure 9.1 Golden rectangle

Figure 9.2 Stage plan and transverse section

Figure 9.3 Acting area (after Burris-Meyer and Cole)

Figure 9.4 Scenery area (after Burris-Meyer and Cole)

Figure 9.5 Circulation and work area (after Burris-Meyer and Cole)

Figure 9.6 Percentage of audience with full view of backdrop

Figure 9.7 Proscenium widths of Broadway theaters

Figure 9.8 Modern dance footprint

Figure 9.9 Classical dance footprint

Figure 9.10 Opera house stages

Chapter 10

Figure 10.1 Forestage zone

Figure 10.2 Orchestra pit geometry and sightlines

Figure 10.3 Orchestra pit configurations

Chapter 11

Figure 11.1 Thrust stages

Figure 11.2 Open stages

Figure 11.3 Arena stages

Figure 11.4 Recital halls

Figure 11.5 Concert halls

Figure 11.6 Orchestra accommodation in proscenium theaters

Chapter 12

Figure 12.1 Seated spectator

Figure 12.2 Horizontal sightlines

Figure 12.3 Vertical sightlines

Figure 12.4 Constant rise sightlines

Figure 12.5 Isacoustic (isodomal) rise sightlines

Figure 12.6 First and second row vision

Figure 12.7 Three approaches to chair layout

Figure 12.8 Effect of v and h values

Figure 12.9 Venues without balconies

Figure 12.10 Crossaisle sightlines

Figure 12.11 Oblique sightlines

Figure 12.12 Playhouses with balconies

Figure 12.13 Concert halls and opera houses

Figure 12.14 Multipurpose theaters

Chapter 13

Figure 13.1 Fixed auditorium chairs and wheelchairs spaces

Figure 13.2 Fixed auditorium chairs on (a) shallow slope and (b) steep slope

Figure 13.3 Catchment area example (after NFPA)

Figure 13.4 Catchment area example with crossaisle

Chapter 14

Figure 14.1 Typical seating density in (a) early twentieth century auditorium and (b) early twenty-first century auditorium

Figure 14.2 Globe Theatre, London

Figure 14.3 Corral de Comedias, Almagro, Spain

Figure 14.4 Symphony Hall, Boston

Figure 14.5 Laura Turner Concert Hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, Tennessee

Figure 14.6 Philharmonic Hall, Szczecin, Poland

Figure 14.7 Teatro Argentina, Rome

Figure 14.8 Paris Opéra (Palais Garnier), Paris

Figure 14.9 Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Figure 14.10 Ford’s Theater, Washington, DC

Figure 14.11 Auditorium Theatre, Chicago

Figure 14.12 Lyceum Theatre, New York

Figure 14.13 Detail of a Medieval scaffold stage

Figure 14.14 Theater of Epidaurus, Greece

Figure 14.15 Roman theater at Aspendos, Pamphylia, (modern Turkey)

Figure 14.16 Teatro Farnese, Parma, Italy

Figure 14.17 Fichandler Theatre, Arena Stage, Washington, DC

Figure 14.18 Berliner Philharmonie, Berlin

Figure 14.19 Helzberg Concert Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Missouri

Figure 14.20 Bayreuth Festspielhaus, Bayreuth, Germany

Figure 14.21 Well’s Theatre, Norfolk, Virginia

Figure 14.22 Shubert Theatre, New Haven, Connecticut

Figure 14.23 Malmö Opera (formerly Malmö Stadsteater), Malmö, Sweden

Figure 14.24 Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, Seattle, Washington

Figure 14.25 Five approaches to side wall architecture

Figure 14.26 Overture Hall, Overture Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Figure 14.27 Radio City Music Hall, New York

Chapter 15

Figure 15.1 Controls rooms at rear of main seating level

Figure 15.2 Control room sightlines

Figure 15.3 Sound cockpit lift and wagon arrangement

Figure 15.4 Followspot room sightlines

Figure 15.5 Front-of-house catwalk study

Figure 15.6 Front-of-house lighting provisions

Chapter 16

Figure 16.1 Standard body ellipse

Figure 16.2 Standard body ellipse in 10-square-foot area (typical lobby benchmark)

Figure 16.3 Lobby density expressed as net square feet per seat

List of Tables

Chapter 1

Table 1.1 Typical theater forms and seat counts by performance type

Chapter 2

Table 2.1 Owner and user example: Overture Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Table 2.2 Design team example: Overture Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Chapter 3

Table 3.1 CSI MasterFormat Divisions

Table 3.2 Contract Document Drawing Volumes: Overture Center, Madison Wisconsin

Chapter 5

Table 5.1 Example space list

Chapter 7

Table 7.1 Accessibility legislation affecting the design of performance facilities

Chapter 8

Table 8.1 Typical project cost components

Table 8.2 Simplified project budget

Chapter 9

Table 9.1 Stage dimension ratios

Table 9.2 Broadway theaters

Table 9.3 Regional theaters

Table 9.4 Dance theaters

Table 9.5 Opera houses

Table 9.6 Multipurpose halls

Table 9.7 School halls

Chapter 13

Table 13.1 Required number of wheelchair spaces

Table 13.2 Minimum aisle widths per IBC 2015 in inches

About the Author

Gene Leitermann is co-founder of Nextstage Design, a theater design consulting firm with a national practice. He has been the lead theater designer on more than 100 buildings. A faculty member at Yale School of Drama since 1998, Gene has also lectured internationally. He has provided public testimony, code change proposals, and written commentary to the National Fire Protection Association, International Code Council, and United States Access Board. Gene is a member of the American Society of Theatre Consultants (ASTC).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARC011000
ARCHITECTURE / Buildings / Public, Commercial & Industrial
PER011000
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General