Frank Gehry’s Pershing Square Signature Theatre Center opens in Hell's Kitchen
Signature Theatre yesterday opened The Pershing Square Signature Theatre Center, its new permanent home designed by architect Frank Gehry. Spanning an entire block at 42nd Street between Dyer and 10th Avenues, the Center features three intimate theatres, a studio theatre, rehearsal studio, and a public café, bar, and bookstore. Whilst first and foremost a theatrical theatre, the project is also a neighborhood destination.
Working in conjunction with H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, the Architect of Record for the project, Gehry designed the 70,000 sq ft Center with three theatres of distinct character and configurations, providing playwrights great flexibility to perform their works. The three theatres include a 199-seat proscenium theatre modeled after a traditional opera house, a 199-seat flexible theatre, and a 299-seat End stage Theatre. With tickets priced at $25 for the inaugural season, access is remarkably affordable.
On hand for Tuesday’s opening were New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg; James Houghton, Founding Artistic Director of Signature; Frank Gehry; and actor Ed Norten, a Signature board member. “I started with this company in 1994 when I was 24 and we were in a 99-seat black box theatre down on Bond Street”, said Norten. “To work with Jim Houghton, who I think is one of the authentic theatre visionaries of my generation, to establish a new ‘legacy institution’ for New York is one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had in 20 years living in this city.”
The Pershing Square Signature Center is housed within MiMA, a new high-rise mixed-use development project in Hell’s Kitchen. The 63-storey glass tower is also home to rental apartments and the YOTEL New York hotel. MiMA developer, Related Companies, provided the seed funding for the $66m Center.
Completed images to follow shortly.