Whether stand-alone or incorporated into civic or educational institutions, theaters present complex design challenges that require specific expertise and an understanding of many design considerations. From elaborate, traditional theaters with fly towers, orchestra pits, and full proscenium stages to flexible black box spaces and lecture halls, the integration of acoustics, audiovisual, rigging, lighting, and overall layout results in a well-planned, elegantly functioning space.
Cavanaugh Tocci’s collaborative approach to theater design means the team is involved early in the process to work with end-users, architects and engineers at optimizing the space for the highest level of production appropriate to the venue. A high school theater, for example, must serve as an assembly space as well as a teaching lab for students studying drama and theater tech. Designing professional-quality rigging, lighting, controls, and stage machinery systems, while keeping the safety of novice users in mind, is a hallmark of Cavanaugh Tocci’s approach to theater design.
Flexibility and nimble design were key factors in the success of Duxbury Middle/High School’s new Lecture Hall, in which a fully-outfitted black box theater is linked to a 250-seat lecture hall. The spaces function independently, with appropriate lighting, rigging and audiovisual systems and when open together, provide a professional-quality theater for lectures and student performances. Cavanaugh Tocci played a major role in identifying the primary uses of the space, the key stakeholder’s interests and, working with the architect, developing a theater design that would satisfy all parties, while fitting into the overall building design and remaining within the tightly programmed square footage.