DUAL designed a 200-seat proscenium-stage performance space with a bar and cabaret, a multipurpose event area, and staff offices within a former two-story commercial building on a classic village main street.
The project increases accessibility, opens new revenue sources, and significantly improves both audience and performer experience. (The group currently operates out of a narrow, one-story rental.) The new theatre will also bring back to life a prominent facade on a once-bustling commercial strip, decimated by the suburbanization of retail in the 1970s.
The scheme is common to many contemporary theatre projects: a box (the theatre) within a box (the building). The space between is open to wander, sit, talk, have a drink. While the clients needed an entry from the rear parking lot, DUAL suggested opening the two-story lobby and event space to the street by opening up the former display windows and reinstalling full glazing above. Since the theatre was being marketed as an economic as well as cultural project, making this the principal entry would be critical to reengaging with Main Street.
DUAL studied several factors studied including seating options, stage orientation, backstage access, balcony placement, and the communication between the theatre space and the lobby. In less than 3 months, DUAL completed a full schematic design for fundraising and grant application purposes. A two-story volume to hold the theatre strategically repurposed an existing grand-stair floor opening, and required the removal of just three columns.