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Wyly Theatre and Winspear Opera House Get Final Touches

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Wyly Theatre and Winspear Opera House Get Final Touches
Connecticut-based Theatre Projects is putting final touches on two performing arts spaces: the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre and the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, as last-minute preparations continue for the October 15 grand opening of the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas.

Theatre Projects is an international team of theater designers and planners creating extraordinary performance spaces around the world. They are serving as the theater design consultant for both the Opera House, designed by Foster + Partners, and the Wyly Theatre, designed by REX/OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus (partner in charge) and Rem Koolhaas. The Wyly and Winspear are widely regarded as the capstones of the Dallas Arts District.

As creators with Sasaki Associates of the original master plans for the Dallas Arts District, and as design consultants for the AT&T Performing Arts Center—Theatre Projects celebrates over two decades involvement in the planning and building of one of the country's most ambitious new centers for the arts.

"It's been an amazing journey working with the City of Dallas, the opera and theatre companies, and the Foundation since the creation of the Arts District in 1984," says Richard Pilbrow, Theatre Projects' founder and chairman emeritus. "It's been our privilege to guide the theatrical design to create two unique theatres, each attuned to the heritage of the principal user companies, that will place Dallas at the cutting edge of international theater."

The Winspear Opera House features the 2,200-seat Margaret McDermott Performance Hall, a 21st century reinterpretation of the traditional 'horseshoe' opera house. It also includes the 200-seat Nancy Hamon Education and Recital Hall for smaller performances, as well as classes, rehearsals, meetings, and events.

"We've brought a European-style opera house to Dallas and given it an American twist," says Benton Delinger, Theatre Projects' principal in charge for the Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theatre. "It's been designed specifically for The Dallas Opera. A world-class company deserves a world-class home."

The Wyly Theatre includes the 575-seat, glass-walled Potter Rose Performance Hall, a multiform courtyard theater that can be easily arranged in a variety of configurations including proscenium, thrust, flat floor, and traverse. In addition the interior balcony structure and the main seating can be removed to create an entirely open space.

"With REX/OMA, we created a new home for the Dallas Theatre Center that addresses their needs for adaptability," says John Coyne, Theatre Projects' designer for the Wyly. "The Wyly rethinks the traditional theatre building form in a spectacular way."

In 1984, Theatre Projects conducted an extensive study for the City of Dallas in which they recommended the performing arts facilities that should make up the Dallas Arts District. With Sasaki Associates, they envisioned an urban arts district that would attract crowds of concert, theatre, and festival goers to the heart of downtown Dallas. Theatre Projects developed the program and concept designs for a variety of performing arts venues, including what have become the Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theatre.

The new AT&T Performing Arts Center is the final piece to complete the Dallas Arts District, a unique, 68-acre, 19-block neighborhood for the arts in Dallas. The Dallas Arts District also includes the Dallas Museum of Art, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, and the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

The $354 million AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas opens with a weeklong celebration from October 12 through 18.

 

Nielsen Business Media 

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