MCC Theater was founded in 1986 by a collective of young actors, writers and directors, and is now one of New York’s leading off Broadway theater companies. MCC asked us to create a home for their community of artistic directors, playwrights, actors, technicians, youth program, and patrons. They wanted a facility that allowed for collaboration and synergy between its members. Flexibility to run multiple productions simultaneously and spaces allowing for them to expand their range and ambition was critical.
We worked together to develop a program, which included a 250-seat proscenium theater and a 99-seat flexibly configured performance space. The lobby was imagined as a landscape to be fully used throughout the day, by the entire MCC community. Rehearsal, workshop, dressing room and back of house spaces were provided to support the performance spaces. And administrative and co-working spaces for a staff of forty were provided for MCC’s full time staff.
We set out to make the theater spaces warm, adaptable and intimate, with optimum acoustics and excellent sight lines. The raw, frank appearance belies the intimate nature of the experience within. We wanted the architecture to demonstrate a complex resolution achieved through a careful and nuanced acceptance of the given environment itself. We saw in this a relationship to the process by which MCC makes emotionally honest contemporary theater.