The Signature Theater Company’s New Space
Courtesy Signature Theater.
New York’s Signature Theater Company has long been known as a kind of playwright’s utopia, with a tradition of offering emerging playwrights intensive residencies and, more unusually, devoting entire seasons to the work of a single playwright. (The 2010-2011 season, for instance, staged only works by Tony Kushner, from a revival of his Pulitzer Prize-winning Angels in America to a new piece called The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key To The Scriptures.)
After 20 years of moving from theater to theater, the company is now opening the doors to its permanent home: the Signature Center, a 70,000 square-foot space on 42nd Street, in Manhattan, that was designed by Frank Gehry. The space features three theaters with various and flexible seating arrangements, all occupying the same level as the vast lobby and central plaza, which contains a café and a bookstore. “I wanted to create a space that celebrates and enhances the intimacy between the performer and the audience,” said Gehry, “while encouraging the innovation that Signature is known for.”
The new season kicks off January 31 in the new building (we hope the paint is dry!) with Blood Knot, which is by this year’s playwright-in-residence, Athol Fugard. A restaging of Edward Albee’s The Lady From Dubuque will follow on February 14. But first: a properly grand opening gala on January 30, where attendees can roam from theater to theater enjoying champagne, hors d’oeuvres and various performances. The VIP ticketholders especially are in for a treat: an intimate, pre-gala cocktail hour with honoree Edward Norton and Frank Gehry himself. Tickets from $1000; Single VIP tickets, $2500, VIP parties of ten, $25,000; 480 West 42nd Street, 212-244-7529; signaturetheatre.org.