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The Building


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The Building


 

A PERMANENT HOME

“A building that draws the eye and evokes curiosity. A place that invites, hints at the unusual, suggests, something significant will happen here..."

– Vision Statement

TheatreSquared’s new 50,000 square-foot home unites two state-of-the-art theatres, the company’s first dedicated rehearsal space, offices, education and community space, on-site workshops for scenery, props and costumes, eight dedicated guest artist apartments, outdoor terraces at three levels, and an open-all-day café/bar at the active corner of West & Spring. 

Board-formed architectural concrete wraps both theatre volumes. The theatre's mainstage is designed for perfect acoustic isolation from even the blast of a freight train’s horn one block away. 

In Marvel Architects’ innovative design, the artistic spaces, far from hidden, actually project from the facade. The studio, rehearsal space, and mainstage are all plainly visible from the street, so that no matter where you stand outside, it's clear the building's purpose is to create and experience live theatre. 

Sustainable through-and-through, the project exceeds national standards with repurposed building materials, all-LED lights, furniture milled from trees on site, enhanced commissioning, and efficient systems. Behind the building, the outdoor patio serving T2’s new dedicated guest artists’ apartments is constructed out of reclaimed brick from a 150-year old structure that once stood near the old Fayetteville Depot.  

 
 
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The Stage


The Stage


INTIMATE AND IMMERSIVE

“In the beating heart of the building are brilliant performances, intimate and unmediated, celebrating the joys and struggles of what it means to be human..."

– Vision Statement

The process of creating a design for a new home actually began at the building's core. Through dozens of artist and audience conversations, Charcoalblue worked to identify the key qualities that make TheatreSquared's performances, in the words of one 10 year-old audience member, "exhilarating." The new designs would amplify the virtues of T2's current space, while adding perfect acoustics, unmatched sightlines, and the modern production tools of a state-of-the-art theatre. 

In TheatreSquared’s intimate new mainstage, the front row has moved even closer to the stage, while the back seating row is just one row deeper than in T2's former space. Audience members enter at a shared level with the performers. Two rows wrap around the top to create a new circle level with some of the best views in the house. The custom seats are self-rising, creating ample room for patrons to circulate. A third tier of seating can be activated for additional capacity as needed. And the walls of the audience seating section are clad in warm-hued, repurposed wood.  

 
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State of the Art


State of the Art


Fan, extended stage, courtyard, and in-the-round setups.

FLEXIBILITY

Behind the scenes, dedicated wing space, on-site production workshops, twelve feet of depth below stage, and a state-of-the-art rigging system mean that, for the first time, TheatreSquared’s designers and production team have access to a full artistic palette to create any imaginative world onstage.

With an innovative, flexible design, the theatre’s capacity is expandable from a typical setup for 275 to 360 for a special occasion. The stage can shift from partial thrust to full Shakespearean courtyard, from traditional proscenium to an in-the-round stage. And the back wall of the stage house can portal open to the company’s on-site scenic workshop to create an extremely deep stage effect.

 
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The Commons


We see a gathering place—a theatre commons—that is welcoming and fascinating, alive with activity..." 
– Vision Statement

The Commons


We see a gathering place—a theatre commons—that is welcoming and fascinating, alive with activity..." 
– Vision Statement
 

OPEN ALL DAY

TheatreSquared’s new Commons Bar/Café is open all day — for espresso, craft pizza, a savory hand pie or a cocktail—whether or not you’re attending a show. 

A sculptural stair frames the entrance, connects two levels of the lobby, and functions as seating for pop-up, flexible performances inside the most visible corner of the building.

The box office and entrances to both theatres are just a few steps away from the entrance. From the stair’s landing between the first and second levels, audience members can look down on a café/bar that spills out onto a Spring Street patio, or up to a community meeting room and an upper-level seating bridge that leads to an outdoor bar terrace.

Hardwood floors create a warm contrast with the board-form concrete, augmented by the red and copper hues of clustered lights. A three-story skylight brings natural light into the building’s core, and illuminates the wall of the main stage.

 
 
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Groundbreaking


On June 23, 2017, at 4pm, TheatreSquared broke ground on the region’s first dedicated, permanent home for professional theatre and publicly launched the Our Next Stage Campaign, a $34 million effort to fully fund construction and establish an artistic, operating and education reserve. The region’s new 50,000 square-foot, two-venue facility, was designed by international design award recipients Marvel Architects and Charcoalblue.

Groundbreaking


On June 23, 2017, at 4pm, TheatreSquared broke ground on the region’s first dedicated, permanent home for professional theatre and publicly launched the Our Next Stage Campaign, a $34 million effort to fully fund construction and establish an artistic, operating and education reserve. The region’s new 50,000 square-foot, two-venue facility, was designed by international design award recipients Marvel Architects and Charcoalblue.

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Construction


Following groundbreaking in June 2017, earthwork began immediately with demolition of the parking lot and excavation of the basement to house the West Theatre’s trap level below the stage. Evidence of the site’s past as a turn-of-the-century barrel-making factory, ‘30s service station, and ‘70s alternative school soon surfaced, including the intact wheel rim of a 1928 Ford Model T and a well-rusted pair of scissors.

In October, a tower crane arrived on site and builders began erecting formwork to pour the theatre’s concrete walls. A test was finished at the cellar level to explore different board-form techniques, and architect Jonathan Marvel selected soda-blasted Arkansas pine as the material to produce an ideal, sculptural wall finish. In November and December, an extensive underground blueduct system was installed to supply soundless heat and air to the mainstage.

In early May of 2018, steel arrived on site and began to form the skeleton of the backstage and commons areas, linking the completed board-form concrete theatre volumes together. A one-inch air gap was kept clear to separate the concrete volumes from the steel structure, helping acoustically isolate the two theatres from any vibration that would carry through. As board-formed walls were completed, the formwork boards—now heavy with concrete—were recovered, wire brushed, and stained to be used as the interior cladding of the Spring Theatre and the Walker Rehearsal Room.

Once the building’s waterproof envelope was completed, hundreds of electricians, A/V, HVAC, and theatrical specialists arrived to begin laying more than 8 miles of cable and conduit throughout the buildings. At the same time, charred shou sugi ban boards began wrapping the rehearsal room and backstage spaces. In July 2018, framing began for the new artists’ residences on West Avenue, moving at a rapid pace — to be completed in time for artists to arrive for the Arkansas New Play Festival in March 2019.

Across town at Modus’s prototyping workshop in Fayetteville, architects, carpenters, and metalworkers kiln-dried wood from the trees that were previously a part of the parking lot on the building site. They joined this wood with blackened steel to create conference tables, cafe tables, benches, charcuterie boards, and drink rails for use throughout the new Commons. Theatrical seating, interior finishes, paint, blackened steel, and furniture soon arrived on site after the new year in 2019. Close-out teams arrived to work into the evening installing seats, interior siding, and fixtures and finishing touches juset in time for the opening event in June of 2019 — followed by a ribbon cutting, attended by nearly 600 community members, in August.

Construction


Following groundbreaking in June 2017, earthwork began immediately with demolition of the parking lot and excavation of the basement to house the West Theatre’s trap level below the stage. Evidence of the site’s past as a turn-of-the-century barrel-making factory, ‘30s service station, and ‘70s alternative school soon surfaced, including the intact wheel rim of a 1928 Ford Model T and a well-rusted pair of scissors.

In October, a tower crane arrived on site and builders began erecting formwork to pour the theatre’s concrete walls. A test was finished at the cellar level to explore different board-form techniques, and architect Jonathan Marvel selected soda-blasted Arkansas pine as the material to produce an ideal, sculptural wall finish. In November and December, an extensive underground blueduct system was installed to supply soundless heat and air to the mainstage.

In early May of 2018, steel arrived on site and began to form the skeleton of the backstage and commons areas, linking the completed board-form concrete theatre volumes together. A one-inch air gap was kept clear to separate the concrete volumes from the steel structure, helping acoustically isolate the two theatres from any vibration that would carry through. As board-formed walls were completed, the formwork boards—now heavy with concrete—were recovered, wire brushed, and stained to be used as the interior cladding of the Spring Theatre and the Walker Rehearsal Room.

Once the building’s waterproof envelope was completed, hundreds of electricians, A/V, HVAC, and theatrical specialists arrived to begin laying more than 8 miles of cable and conduit throughout the buildings. At the same time, charred shou sugi ban boards began wrapping the rehearsal room and backstage spaces. In July 2018, framing began for the new artists’ residences on West Avenue, moving at a rapid pace — to be completed in time for artists to arrive for the Arkansas New Play Festival in March 2019.

Across town at Modus’s prototyping workshop in Fayetteville, architects, carpenters, and metalworkers kiln-dried wood from the trees that were previously a part of the parking lot on the building site. They joined this wood with blackened steel to create conference tables, cafe tables, benches, charcuterie boards, and drink rails for use throughout the new Commons. Theatrical seating, interior finishes, paint, blackened steel, and furniture soon arrived on site after the new year in 2019. Close-out teams arrived to work into the evening installing seats, interior siding, and fixtures and finishing touches juset in time for the opening event in June of 2019 — followed by a ribbon cutting, attended by nearly 600 community members, in August.

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Our Next Stage


Our Next Stage