Theaterartslaboratory Teaching 5tation

There ore many lypes of space facility which may be employed in the Theater-Arts program. The Theater Arts-Laboratory Teaching Station is primarily a classroom which is designed for, and specifically allocated to, the teaching of iheater-arts subjects. It is presumed that this room will probably be assigned to a single teacher, or to a small group of teachers, employed in o team teaching concept. With only slight expansion, however, it might serve in some instances as a very comfortable and pleasant place for public performances. It is not designed primarily as a replacement for a conventional school auditorium. Its existence, however, will emphasize the fact that the well-appointed auditorium is not essential for the successful pursuance of a theater-arts program. Under ideal circumstances, such o facility is employed on o day-to-day basis by the teacher in the normal progress of instruction, and therefore may be considered a supplement to the auditorium employed for the larger public performances. In addition to the normal doily class functions, if is entirely appropriate to employ the teaching station, on occasion, for public presenta Hon of material adapted to this space, if the seating will occommodate a small invited, or even paying audience.

Although some dimensional data are provided, it should be remembered that they represent only a suggested treatment and thatr in specific instances, a room might change its shape perceptibly and be increased or decreased in size. The basic concept of this room implies that its primary function is that of a classroom, and a continual enlargement of this facility approaching a small auditorium would be undesirable. The term "teaching station" is employed rother than "little" or "studio theater" in an attempt to emphasize Its classroom function.

Separate Service Facilities

If the school has separate auditorium facilities, it is recommended that the teaching station be nearby in order that some of the service areas might be employed by both of these theater units. As an example—it would be possible for the teaching station and the auditorium to use the

Architecture for the Educational Theatre, H, W, Robinson, 1970. Reprinted by permission. Copyright fci 1970 by University of Oregon.

Fig. 1 Functional and space relationships of auditorium to teaching station. It It highly desirable, as the text indicates, fa have both a stage-auditorium and a leaching station in art efficient academic theater plant. If bath are provided, it is not necessary to duplicate all of the support functions; avoiding unnecessary duplication will save space and construction costs. This diagram illustrates the desirable functional and positional relationships be* two en the two complementary theater forms.

some dressing rooms, the same lobby space, the same ticket offices, the same rest rooms, the same shop area, and some of the same storage area (see Fig. 1). Although it is true that on occasion both of these producing units might be in performance simultaneously, it is not probable that this would occur frequently enough lo warrant complete duplication of all these service areas. How ever, such support space is absolutely essential, and, if it is not provided in connection with some other function of the building, it will be necessary to plan it in connection with the teaching station. In the description which follows, if will be apparent that there are a number of advantages to having the teaching station accessible from four sides. The dimensional data suggest the possibility, but do not demand that the teaching station occupy space equivalenl in size and shape lo two standard classrooms. The recommended plan includes space for normal classroom function, space for arena-type presentation, space for proscenium and thrust stage presentations, ond allows all of this space to be converted to other multiple-theater purposes.

The area designated as the teaching station divides roughly into three parts (see Fig. 2), Part ones some fixed seating on an inclined floor accommodating about 30 students, with chairs equipped with movable tablet arms. Within some individual teaching practices the area might be preferred with 0 flat floor with movable chairs. Part two: an elevated stage, presumably at the opposite end from the fixed seating just described, and with the usual physical and electrical

Fig. 1 Functional and space relationships of auditorium to teaching station. It It highly desirable, as the text indicates, fa have both a stage-auditorium and a leaching station in art efficient academic theater plant. If bath are provided, it is not necessary to duplicate all of the support functions; avoiding unnecessary duplication will save space and construction costs. This diagram illustrates the desirable functional and positional relationships be* two en the two complementary theater forms.

equipment. When employed as a proscenium stage, there would be space for seating approximately 80 in the Fixed seating described combined with the temporary seating in Hie space next described. Part three, a fiat floor area between part one and part two for rehearsal, demonstration and arena staging, a playing area of at least 14 by 18 ft, and with the usual lighting and mechanical equipment. When Hrtts area is employed for arena staging, and all other areas adapted to seating, it can accommodate approximately 140- The minimum width of this room is 24 ft; widths up to 36 ft would prove additionally desirable. The total length of the room, if the areas described are laid end-to-end, is about 70 ft.

If the fixed seating plan is employed for some 30 to 50 seals, and if they ore on a raked (inclined) or terraced floor, it is recommended that there be al least a 5-in differential in ihe height of the rows. Back-la-back spacing of 36 in is recommended for rows, and 20-22 in for individual seal widths. Other seating to be provided should be of padded metal folding chairs with arm rests. Linkable chairs have some advantages in terms of ease of movement, for regrouping, and for cleaning.

The center area of the room is recommended for general demonstration, classroom space, and as an arena playing area for productions to be viewed from four sides. It is suggested that the recessed space might be twenty-one to twenty-four inches below that of the surrounding areas, including ihe service halls. This provides a depressed area for the arena stage with some seat ing at thai level, with other raised seating on all sides, and it also allows for the elevated proscenium and thrust stage to be above the central floor area. Although the raised stage at ihe end of the room may be employed as a proscenium stage, it should not be thought of as that exclusively. its design lends itself to other, flexible treatment. There is no fixed proscenium—the bounding edges of the opening are established by movable sections of wall or by a simple curtain framing. This stage space should be the full width of the room at that end, and should be at least 14 ft deep. Although more-than usual classroom height is desirable over the stage area, it is not necessary to provide the usual stage house or fly space. It is suggested that two levels (each 3 ft deep) running the full width of the stage be provided in front of the fixed platform area with one-third stage height differential for each, namely 7 or 8 in. These levels can be created by separate, collapsible, or nesting boxes and reemployed as terraced seating spaces for the arena concept, or as variable forestage space as suggested by the accompanying diagrams (see Fig. 4}.

A projection room may be provided at the end of the room opposite that of the fixed stage.

Fig. 2 The teaching »tation. The teaching station provide« »pace for oil theater function» such at work area», rehearsal areas, eta «room, and public »eating for oil three ba»ic theater forms: thrust, arena, and proscenium. It is multifunctional in term* of »pace, but can seldom accommodate more than one function at one time. The ba»ic concept call» for three major tandem space», A, B, C, and two flanking spaces, D; all are multifunctional. The dimensions of these spaces are optional (see laxt). This diagram shows the interrelationship of the »pacei and their function, and introduces the plan presented in Fig. 3.

to serve as a sound room and a fislening room, as well as to accommodate projection equipment.

The ceiling of this room should be approxi mately 14 ft above the stage level, and should provide, in addition to standard room lighting, other arrangements for the hanging of special stage lighting instruments and other hanging units. These supporting members can be exposed or concealed above a false ceiling. Lighting control may be located either in the offstage area on the fixed stage floor or in the projection room described above.

A walkway at least 42 m wide should be provided on the two long sides of the room which connect the stage level at one end with the entrance level at the opposite end. For classroom use, these levels will be employed as display and work areas at low table height. When the room is employed for arena staging, they serve as ele voted rows of seating on the two sides. For end staging, they serve as additional side stages or for walkways approaching the stage far entrance, tableau, or processional purposes. If slightly en-

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