Introduction

Modern Theatres 1950 – 2010: an idea for a book

The International Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference (ITEAC) is a series of meetings held at four yearly intervals (2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014). Planning for ITEAC 2018 has commenced and consideration is being given to research leading to a publication prior to the conference.

Edwin O Sachs authored Modern Opera Houses and Theatres which was published in three volumes from 1896 to 1898. It is a remarkable study of largely 19th century European opera houses and theatres. Sachs produced possibly, the definitive work on theatre buildings from his era. It was published over three years from 1896 to 1898.

There is an opportunity over the next two years, to research and prepare a publication that could inform the next conference. The conference will be held in 2018, the 120th anniversary of the publication of Sachs Modern Opera Houses and Theatres.

Modern Theatres 1950 to 2010 (the concept summarised in eight bullet points)

  1. A collaborative effort involving people engaged in the planning, design, construction and equipping of theatres.
  2. The team would identify (say) 36 of the most significant theatres, concert halls and opera houses completed in the period. Examples would be drawn from around the world – Sydney Opera House; Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto; Royal National Theatre, London; Kalita Humphreys Theater, Dallas, Texas; Suntory Hall in Tokyo; Philharmonie in Berlin; Auditoria Ibirapuera, Sao Paulo, Brazil; MGM Theater Ka, Las Vegas, etc.
  3. Each building would be reviewed by a knowledgeable, informed, objective, professional to produce an article/chapter following a template exploring – the genesis of the theatre, its design and construction, initial reactions, the subsequent development and evolution of the building, its role today and lessons for the future.
  4. Each article/chapter would include text, photographs, drawings, archive material, etc.
  5. The book would also include a number of essays on specific topics for example – auditorium design, theatre technologies, acoustics of concert halls, etc.
  6. Publication – some of the articles would be initially published as partworks in relevant journals – Bühnentechnische Rundschau in Germany, Sightline in the UK and Theatre Design and Technology in the USA. All would be brought together into a new book to be published to coincide with and inform the conference.
  7. Target readers include those attending the conference, architects, engineers and others involved in planning of new performing arts buildings. Those with an interest in theatres.
  8. The significant projects would be presented to delegates at the conference who could vote to select the three most significant theatres opened from 1950 to 2010.

Responses and input to this draft is welcomed by

David Staples
dstaples@moderntheatres.org
+44 7770-523256

Click here to see a mock-up of the book