The Production Stage : An extension of city typology to innovate performance spaces
Challenging what a theatre needs to be, The Production Stage is an ever-changing collaborative space between city and theatre. At the site of the old Dundee Rep, the space encompasses past, present, and future typologies of the performance industry. Inspired by the city that made the Rep what it is today, the space acts as an annex and rehearsal space for the current Dundee Rep. The Production Stage is an extension of the street, a seamless flow from exterior to interior, the language of the city is reflected within; familiar street furniture furnishing the interior. The original geometry of the site has been stripped back to create a safe space for performers and citizens; street boundaries have been introduced to allow for a dynamic and multi-sensory site.
Performance is everywhere in a city, appearing in different scales throughout streets and dwellings. Citizens can access the space free of charge, performance is always encouraged. Utilising the site’s characteristics of a crescent, the street is pedestrianised, creating more opportunities for performance. The Production Stage expands over a block, proposed residential spaces created for actors, crew and visitors as well as space for props and equipment. All demographics are encouraged to get involved to further connections with each other and the city.
Following the rhythm of the turrets on the façade of the site, combined with tactile paving, The Underpass is protected with dynamic columns. Raising like a theatre curtain the southern façade lets people and sun into the sheltered performance space. Within are traditional theatre columns holding up the structure and dividing the space into different performance spaces. Just as someone waits at a bus stop, seating hollowed out in the northern wall plays host to people watching passers-by. A tunnel through The Underpass links Rattray Street and Nicoll Street for visitors to pass between the block.
At The Crossroads visitors have the option to which direction they go, forwards to the auditorium, left to the balcony or right for the shortcut to the junction. Repeating both the prominent arch on the front façade and the archways on a city building, new archways creating flow into the auditorium. The space can be adapted to be a simple rehearsal space or rearranged to showcase a performance. Staggered chairs folds down from the wall to create a pop-up theatre, seating a small audience.
Much like a street junction, The Junction is a space where multiple experiences are linked. Projecting Dundee city centre roundabouts onto the floor, citizens can experience city geometry on a smaller scale. The roundabouts a dress circle to the performances below. Bringing city benches in, visitors can listen to the audio of performances, enhancing the senses and bringing an extra dimension to the performances. On further outdoor benches, visitors link past present and future performances, creating new archives and memories in the form of discussions and collages.
On the roof of the site is The Overpass, with no protection from the elements the space relies on good weather conditions to be open. Here the city is the set. Performers act in front of the city skyline, an open theatre that requires a unique perspective. Angled like a gradient road sign, visitors must climb a slight incline to raise themselves above the rooftops to enjoy the performance. At the top of the lift is the gallery, the highest theatre seating visitors get a panoramic view of the city, the best seats in the house.
The City is the Set : The Community are the Audience and Actors
A b&w film series focusing on interiors and exteriors performance spaces in a city. Hand developed.