Welcome to the future--where apparently Lincoln Center will always be a balmy 70 degrees and patrons will all be smiling and somewhat medically sedated.
Actually, like a slick ad graphic, the focus here is not meant to be the surroundings but that little rectangle on top of what we know as the Vivian Beaumont of Lincoln Center Theatre. It's the blackbox (or, should that be "whitebox"?) of the future! Or, in other words, the new home for "LCT3":
The new theater’s programming, called LCT3, will feature the work of emerging playwrights, directors and designers, and will be aimed at new audiences, with every ticket priced at $20. It has been a long time coming — André Bishop, Lincoln Center Theater’s artistic director, has wanted a black box space since he came to Lincoln Center Theater in 1992.
[...]The new theater will seat 131 in a fixed configuration — no thrust stage or moveable seats. Mr. Hardy has surrounded the seats with a curved wood enclosure. The addition as a whole, at 23,000 square feet, will include a lounge, rehearsal space, dressing rooms and offices. The second level is to have a green roof and the terrace.
Don't rush over there with your new script just yet--constructing is only just beginning next month and it won't be ready to open till probably two years from now, in early 2012.
Well that's too bad about the fixed seating, I guess. But otherwise, so far so good, I say. The $20 ticket price is essential. But I wonder whether LCT subscribers (or "members") will have first dibs. I've come to believe that any big subscription theatre that wants a developmental space for new work should NOT include it in the mainstage subscription. The new space is not just a chance to find new work, but a new audience--so why risk it by filling the house with the usual crowd that might be most resistant to new work anyway. You risk the advance income from subscriptions, but--you gain much hipness when young folk can enjoy sitting around other young folk at the theatre for a change. Make it a different "scene," man.
But hey, nice at least not to have to go down to another basement. Maybe the view will be nice.
Here's another rendering--with yet more of those spooky phantom patrons...