Signature Theatre will open Signature Center, its new, permanent home designed by Frank Gehry, in February 2012. Spanning an entire city block at 42nd Street between Dyer and 10th Avenue, Signature Center is the largest non-profit performing arts center to be built in New York since Lincoln Center opened more than 50 years ago. Featuring three intimate theatres, a studio theatre, rehearsal studio, and a public cafe and bookstore, the Center will be both a theatre community hub and a neighborhood destination, and has been designed to foster interaction among playwrights, collaborators, and the public. The $66 million project is being funded through a public-private partnership and will be staffed by more than 400 people annually.
Signature Center will allow the 20-year-old theatre company, critically acclaimed for its programs that celebrate the playwright's body of work, to expand and enhance its programming, introduce new initiatives, and build audiences. Signature Center will serve as the artistic home for as many as 11 playwrights at any one time, fostering a dynamic creative community where playwrights will engage directly with audiences and one another. Each season, the Company will present up to nine plays at Signature Center, encompassing both new work and new productions of existing work mounted in close collaboration with each playwright.
"By expanding both our physical space and our audiences, the opening of Signature Center will allow Signature to complete the transformation from a theatre company to an institution dedicated to nurturing playwrights at every stage of their careers," noted James Houghton, Founding Artistic Director of Signature. "Signature Center has been specifically conceived to foster orchestrated collisions between playwrights, artists and audiences, which will create a dynamic new culture for theatergoing that goes far beyond the work on stage."
Images Courtesy of Gehry Partners, LLP
Entrance Rendering by Daniel Black