January 31, 2012
by MARK KENNEDY
NEW YORK (AP) – In a season where little grows in the Northeast, something in Brooklyn is doing just that, foot by foot.
The metal guts of what will be a sleek three-tiered glass box surrounding the Theatre for a New Audience’s 299-seat stage have gone up in a former parking lot as part of the city’s ambitious plan to create a new $650 million cultural district.
“It’s going to be a destination,” said Jeffrey Horowitz, the founding artistic director of the company, during a recent tour of the work site in the Fort Greene section of the borough.
When opened in 2013, the $48-million theater will represent a milestone for Theatre for a New Audience and the city: It will be the first new stage designed expressly for Shakespeare and classic drama since 1965, and it will be the first permanent home for the itinerant company.
“We need a place to gather our activities, to set down roots in a community,” said Horowitz, who founded the theater company in 1979. “Would you go to a doctor or a lawyer whose office kept changing?”
The construction site is one of several at city theaters this winter, including the building of Signature Theatre Company’s new $66 million Frank Gehry-designed home on 42nd Street, a $57 million renovation of New York City Center and a $41 million theater being built on the roof of the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center Theater.
In addition to a 299-seat theater, the 27,500-square-foot Theatre for a New Audience’s home will house a 50-seat rehearsal space and a lobby cafe. It will overlook a new public garden plaza and sit along a walking path between BAM’s Opera House and Harvey Theater.