A live performance theatre for a small city
Hidalgo, Melissa Sue
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It has not been until the late 20 th century that appropriate attention has been paid to the structures which house live performance theatrical events. In the past, these buildings typically lacked artistic influence architecturally; most of the attention was focused on ornamentation. Essentially, theatres were merely boxes that provided indoor performance space. Today, another dilemma that surrounds this topic is the fact that many artistically influenced theatres have been designed by architects who are uninformed about the operations which are essential to a theatre's functionality. Design efforts have been based on the architect's personal vision that leaves little or no room for the technical requirements that are crucial for a live performance venue. This thesis discusses the need for intimate live performance theatre within the city of Middletown, New York. It elaborates on how such a venue, as a complement to the existing 1200 seat proscenium stage Paramount Theater, can not only provide the community with an intimate space suitable for smaller events but also address issues encumbering theatre architecture. The goal of this thesis is to create theatre architecture that not only becomes part of the cultural event but simultaneously respects and glorifies the theatrical profession. This project determines if intimate theatre architecture within a small city can be artistically influenced in design, be flexible for community use, yet remain functionally, operationally and technically responsive to the needs of the theatrical performances it houses. The theatre is a vortex; it becomes the engagement between the world of fantasy and the world of reality. It is the mediator that provides a graceful yet mysterious entrance and exit for all.