Three Openings in Three Weekends

October 31, 2007

September was an exciting month for the team at Theatre Projects Consultants (TPC) with the opening of three major projects: the Auditorio Telmex (September 1st), the Tempe Center for the Arts (September 8th), and the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (September 15th). Theatre Projects collaborated on the design, planning, and equipment specifications for all three facilities providing services from programming through construction. With a diverse set of requirements and functions, each of these new facilities meets specific needs for these growing communities.

The largest theatre to open in September was the Auditorio Telmex, constructed in conjunction with the University of Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico at a cost of 450 million pesos (US$40 million). Design architect Moyao Arquitectos (Mexico City) and TPC have created an auditorium that easily adjusts to accommodate between 3,000 and 10,000 audience members. The flexibility is due in part to the motorized balcony seating towers which are a highlight of the project. The seating towers track into the auditorium, adjusting the fan shape of the theatre from 100 degrees to 80 degrees. The venue is designed to accommodate both large touring concerts as well as smaller-scale productions such as children's theatre and dance performances.

Theatre Projects, design architect Barton Myers Associates (Los Angeles), and executive architect Architekton (Tempe, AZ) have created one of the most engaging spaces for the arts in the southwest. The $63 million Tempe Center for the Arts, located in the Phoenix Metropolitan area, features a 600-seat multipurpose proscenium theatre and a 200-seat studio theatre. In addition to the two performance spaces, there is a 3,400 square foot multipurpose meeting and reception room which overlooks a scenic landscape of lakes and mountains. The facility also caters to the visual arts by offering classes and featuring a rotating art gallery which exhibits both local and international works.

The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, located northwest of Atlanta, presented an exciting opportunity to Theatre Projects and the architectural firm Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates (Atlanta). A recent trend in the US is suburban arts centers that allow more people access to the arts. The Cobb Energy Centre made use of available land and resources to construct a state of the arts facility easily accessible from downtown Atlanta and the outlying communities. In the case of the opening performance of the Atlanta Opera's production of Puccini's Turandot, the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority estimated that as much as 40% of the audience was seeing an opera for the first time. At $106 million, this performing arts center features a 2,750-seat multipurpose theatre and a 10,000 square foot ballroom with an adjoining three-story lobby. In addition to the current space, Theatre Projects has provided design and planning for a future outdoor amphitheatre that will complement the new arts center.

These new facilities are only the beginning in a series of openings for Theatre Projects before the end of the year. A new visual and performing arts center at River Campus for Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Giradeau, MO) celebrated its opening on homecoming weekend on October 20th. On October 22nd, the Philadelphia Theatre Company kicked off its inaugural season in the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. The Cleveland Institute of Music will welcome the opening of its new recital Hall, Mixon Hall, on November 11th. Finally, the renovation of the Stanley Theatre (Utica, NY) ushers in a new chapter in the history of the 79-year old facility on December 31.

Three Openings in Three Weekends
Credit: Theatre Projects
Three Openings in Three Weekends
Credit: Michael Masengarb/Architekton
Three Openings in Three Weekends
Credit: Paul Warchol