The Alliance Theatre has released final design renderings of its theater transformation, which is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2017. This is the first major building reinvention for the theater since its construction in 1968 as part of the Woodruff Arts Center campus.
The Alliance Theatre will perform its 2017/18 season in 12 different locations in the metro Atlanta area, bringing live theater out into the community it serves. The Alliance plans to return to its new theater space for its 50th anniversary season in the fall of 2018.
The Alliance Theatre has retained the services of the New York City studio of Trahan Architects, led by founder, Victor F. “Trey” Trahan and partner Leigh Breslau to design the reimagined facilities of the Alliance. Between these two celebrated architects, featured projects include the Louisiana State Museum, the Dallas City Performance Hall, the Chicago Symphony Center, and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, renovated after Hurricane Katrina in seven and one-half months.
The project will include a complete transformation of the Alliance Stage, the theater’s rehearsal spaces, education spaces, and artist support spaces. The remodel of the Alliance Theatre will provide significant enhancements to patron experience, technology, and infrastructure.
• Patron Experience - The Alliance Stage will have world-class acoustics designed by the Talaske Group, comfortable seating will place the audience closer to the stage, and new staircases and terraces will create a better interior flow and sense of community. Special needs patrons will have more access to the theater, with wheelchair accessible seating on multiple levels, including the center of the house with much better proximity to the stage.
• Technology - Updates to technology will create a better audio experience for patrons, and upgrades to LED lighting and projections will allow the theater to conserve energy and resources. Backstage systems will be improved and include computerized motion control and the latest in stage lighting distribution.
• Infrastructure – the new theater will include lighting catwalks for the first time, creating a safer work environment for production staff who historically used bosun chairs to set overhead lighting. The renovation will also create more dressing room and green room spaces for actors and artists, move the Alliance costume shop to a 4th floor location in the Memorial Arts Building which takes advantage of existing skylights, and create two new spaces in closer proximity to the Alliance Stage for rehearsals, education classes, and cast and donor events.
“The design for the Alliance Theatre will transform the patron experience, fostering connectivity within the audience chamber, between performer and patron, and amongst the patrons themselves. The theater will truly be a one-of-a-kind place for creating community in the performance space,” said Trahan founder, Victor F. “Trey” Trahan. “In addition, the entire audience chamber, enhanced by state-of-the-art theatrical systems, is tightened and slipped closer to the stage, amplifying the sense of intimacy. This pursuit of innovation, authenticity and relevance will be found throughout the complete Alliance complex from lobby through costume shop.”
“Our patrons have become accustomed to emotionally transformative theater on our stage, and now through the exceptional quality of the design, our architecture will match and enhance that artistry,” said Alliance General Manager, Mike Schleifer. “The upgrades to the Alliance stage and audience chamber will inspire even more producing partners to bring projects to Atlanta for world-class world premieres.”
The Alliance Theatre’s renovation is part of Phase I of the Woodruff Arts Center’s Transformation Campaign. The $100 million Campaign has three goals: to strengthen the endowments of the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and High Museum of Art; to activate the campus through free community programming; and to transform the Alliance Theatre. To date, the Arts Center has raised $83 million towards the Phase I goal.
“Our theater was founded by, and continues to be supported by visionary community leaders – civic, corporate and philanthropic – and we have, yet again, been buoyed by that phenomenal generosity as we move toward successful completion of this first-in-Alliance-history campaign,” said Susan V. Booth, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director of the Alliance Theatre. “To dream enormous dreams and have your community say yes in such a visible fashion is a confirmation of Atlanta’s commitment to being a world-class city with world-class assets.”
THE 2017/18 SEASON
The Alliance Theatre will be committing its 2017/18 season to a celebration of the city that so ably supports it, by producing each of its 12 productions in 12 distinct spaces around Atlanta. The different venues will allow the theater to partner with some of Atlanta’s best loved cultural and educational centers, while producing work specially selected for its resonance with each venue and neighborhood. This approach will allow the Alliance to both go to its audience where they live, as well as to reach into neighborhoods and populations new to the theater.
The Alliance is currently in talks with several locations to host productions during the off-site season, including the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the Estate, the Conant Center for the Performing Arts at Oglethorpe University, Southwest Arts Center Performance Theatre, and many others.
In addition to off-site productions, the Alliance Education department will embed itself in the communities with which they’re partnering by offering acting classes, summer camps, and in-school residencies at select satellite locations. The expansion of Alliance Education programs into the greater Atlanta community will begin this season and pave the way for the large scale productions that will take place during the 2017/18 season. Classes and camps will also continue to be held at the Woodruff Arts Center during the off-site season.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to take the Alliance to Atlanta in a real, palpable and wildly inclusive fashion,” said Booth. “Our patrons have loyally supported us for decades by making the trek to our doors in Midtown; we’re delighted at the opportunity to return the favor by making the 2017/18 season a moveable feast of great theater for a great city.”
Season tickets and single tickets will be available for the 2017/18 season. More information, including the full list of productions and locations, will be available in 2016.
Images of the Alliance Theatre designs are available to view and download here –