Wyly Theater Visit
I recently had the good fortune to attend a behind the scenes tour of the Wyly Theatre in Dallas, given by the Artistic Director. Designed by REX/OMA, this is a building I’ve wanted to visit since it’s opening in late 2009. While the exterior is striking (designed to mimic the flowing nature of a stage curtain) it’s the interior that gets most of the attention. Unlike most theaters, which are limited by their stage/seating design (proscenium, thrust, round) the Wyly is designed something like an inside-out transformer. The stage floor, seating and components can all be manipulated, moved up, down, rotated etc to suite the particular needs of the play.
The comment I most take out of the tour came from the artistic director. He told the group that the experimental nature of the building has changed the way they act and produce plays – not just in this space, but everywhere they act. The building has changed them – made them open themselves to new ways of performing.
Buildings have effect on us – good or bad, rarely indifferent. The Wyly theater isnt’ just a great building: it’s made the troupe better artists!