The Pershing Square Signature Center is the permanent home of Signature Theatre, an Off Broadway theatre company which exists to honor and celebrate the playwright. Signature produces fully staged works by Playwrights-in-Residence that provide the audience with an immersive journey into a particular writer’s body of work. The company also offers every ticket during a production’s initial run for an affordable price through the Signature Ticket Initiative. This dual commitment to artists and accessibility permeates every aspect of the vision for the Center. Signature worked closely with Frank Gehry to design a series of theaters and spaces where Signature artists and audiences can interact and collide in unique and intimate ways.
The Pershing Square Signature Center opened on January 31, 2012. This cultural destination spans an entire block on West 42nd Street and is a part of the revitalization of Manhattan’s west side. Every single person coming into the Center enters through from the sidewalk on 42nd Street under an evocative glass canopy. Five 70 inch digital signage displays with rotating images are also located at the building’s exterior entry point. Upon entering the Center, the modest materials that dominate the finished surfaces, primarily plywood and concrete, create an accessible, visually captivating, and inviting atmosphere. The street level Atrium is compact and visually dominated by the plywood clad Diller – von Furstenberg Grand Staircase that leads to the gracious Lobby connected to all three theatres.
The Lobby provides a dynamic forum for all visitors to engage with one another. This 6,500 square foot space features a café/bar, bookstore, and media wall. Each of the three theatres possesses its own unique character. The Irene Diamond Stage has 294 seats and a generous stage that is as large as the house itself. The shaped wood panels wrap around the walls of the theatre and gradually flatten and fade to black as they approach the stage, creating a transition from the architecture of the room to the scenic space of the play. The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre is a 199 seat flexible theatre. The Linney can be used in an end stage format, as a modified thrust stage, a runway center stage configuration, or in a flat floor format for experimental work. The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre is a 191 seat end stage theatre. The Griffin has a fly tower with a fully powered flying system. The Griffin has the most articulated architectural expression with shaped plywood panels framing the proscenium, wrapping around the balcony front, and creating a ceiling under the lighting bridges above the house. Sound reinforcement and playback systems are a key part of each performance space. Facility-wide video and production communication systems ease communication during performances between production staff and front of house staff, in green rooms and the public spaces.
The Center also features a Studio Theatre with a complete stage lighting system, which can be used as a 99-seat performance space or a rehearsal space, a Rehearsal Studio, a Prop Shop, a Wardrobe Shop, and Administrative Offices.
- 11 Dimmer racks
- 988 Sensor dimmers
- 1 Eos and 2 Ion Control Consoles
- Rigging: (Stage Technologies)
- 32 Big Tow BT300LT winches
- 156 stage infill platforms
- 420 custom Ducharme seats
- 244 loose Wenger chairs
- Allen & Heath iLive consoles
- Meyer Sound loudspeakers
- Riedel digital & wireless intercom
- Leon Audio cue lights
- Crown amplifiers
- JBL and OWI ceiling speakers
- Contemporary Research QAM modulators
- Samsung video displays
- Gehry Architects, New York – Design Architect
- H3 Hardy Collaboration – Architect of Record
- Auerbach Pollock Friedlander – Theatre Consultant
- Akustiks – Acoustician
- ICOR – MEP
- Rosenwasser Grossman – Structural