SECOND STAGE Celebrates Its New Broadway Home with Star-Studded Lighting Ceremony
SECOND STAGE THEATER
OFFICIALLY UNVEILS ITS NEW HOME,
THE HAYES THEATER,
ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5
AT STAR-STUDDED LIGHTING CEREMONY
OFFICIAL OPENING FOR
THE ONLY BROADWAY THEATER DEDICATED EXCLUSIVELY
TO LIVING AMERICAN PLAYWRIGHTS
GUESTS INCLUDED COMPANY MEMBERS OF LOBBY HERO -
MICHAEL CERA, CHRIS EVANS, BRIAN TYREE HENRY, BEL POWLEY, KENNETH LONERGAN, TRIP CULLMAN
Artistic Director CAROLE ROTHMAN
Architect DAVID ROCKWELL
Board Members TONY GOLDWYN, LYNN NOTTAGE, BROOKE SHIELDS
Speaker of the NYC Council COREY JOHNSON
Manhattan Borough President GALE BREWER
NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner TOM FINKELPEARL
NYC Council Member JIMMY VAN BRAMER
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SECOND STAGE RECEIVES OFFICIAL CITY PROCLAMATION
MAKING MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5
“SECOND STAGE ON BROADWAY DAY”
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For photos of the event please click here.
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This morning, Monday, February 5, 2018 at 10:00am, Second Stage Theater (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director; Casey Reitz, Executive Director) hosted the official lighting ceremony for its new Broadway home, The Hayes Theater (240 West 44th street). Designed by David Rockwell of Rockwell Group, this landmarked, newly renovated venue has become, under Second Stage’s ownership, the first Broadway theater dedicated exclusively to living American playwrights.
To officially commemorate the opening of The Hayes, Second Stage was presented with an official proclamation from Mayor de Blasio declaring February 5, 2018 “Second Stage on Broadway Day.”
This event was hosted by Artistic Director Carole Rothman, Executive Director Casey Reitz, and the Second Stage Board of Directors, including Board Chairman Stephen C. Sherrill. Invited guests participating in the celebration included the cast and creative team of Second Stage’s upcoming inaugural Broadway production of LOBBY HERO - Michael Cera, Chris Evans, Brian Tyree Henry, Bel Powley, playwright Kenneth Lonergan and director Trip Cullman; theater architect and LOBBY HERO scenic designer David Rockwell; Second Stage Board Members Tony Goldwyn, Lynn Nottage, and Brooke Shields; Speaker of the NYC Council Corey Johnson; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl; and NYC City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.
Second Stage’s renovation of The Hayes Theater was made possible, in part, by $14 million in generous capital support from the City of New York.
Celebrating with Second Stage were artistic alumni Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Paula Vogel, Kenny Leon, Tony Shalhoub, Judith Light, Billy Porter, Sherie Rene Scott, Michael Greif, Derrick Baskin, Adam Kantor, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Anita Gillette, and Tom Kitt, among others.
“This day has been many, many years in the making and I am thrilled to begin this next phase in Second Stage’s life,” said Second Stage Founder and Artistic Director Carole Rothman. “The Hayes will be dedicated exclusively to living American playwrights – the only venue on Broadway doing only contemporary works from the finest playwrights our country has to offer. We are extremely grateful to the many donors, board members, artists, and tireless staff members who have worked to make this theater a reality and to ensure that these American playwrights have a continuing voice in the Broadway landscape. We can’t wait to welcome audiences – both new and old – to this beautifully restored venue.”
“The Hayes Theater has been a crucial part of the Broadway scene for over a century, and I am excited to see how Second Stage Theater will breathe new life into the renovated space,” said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “My district in particular is rich with the history of Broadway, and I look forward to continuing to support the arts across New York City.”
“The Hayes may be the smallest theater on Broadway, but as the new home for Second Stage, it’s going to provide a major new platform for contemporary American voices in theater,” said NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “The City is proud of its support for the transformation of the Hayes, restoring this landmark building into a more open, engaging, and accessible space in the heart of the greatest theater district in the world.”
“It is a great honor to be a part of the re-opening of the Hayes Theater,” said David Rockwell, founder and President of Rockwell Group. “Broadway is constantly reinventing itself, so reinvigorating existing theaters by making them more modern and timely is essential to the vitality of the Theater District. The new Hayes Theater celebrates the ritual of attending live performance — transporting the audience to a different world from the moment you step off the street. We hope that the new space will be enjoyed by generations of artists and audiences for many years to come.”
SECOND STAGE THEATER ON BROADWAY
The first Broadway production at The Hayes will be LOBBY HERO, written by Academy Award-winner Kenneth Lonergan, directed by Trip Cullman, and starring MICHAEL CERA, CHRIS EVANS, BRIAN TYREE HENRY, and BEL POWLEY. Previews begin March 1 and the production officially opens on Monday, March 26. LOBBY HERO is sponsored by American Express.
Second Stage’s second Broadway production will be Young Jean Lee’s STRAIGHT WHITE MEN, directed by Anna D. Shapiro, and starring ARMIE HAMMER and TOM SKERRITT. Previews are scheduled to begin on Friday, June 29 and the official opening night is Monday, July 23.
ABOUT SECOND STAGE AT THE HAYES
After several years of searching for a permanent home, in April 2015 Second Stage Theater purchased the Helen Hayes Theater in the heart of the Broadway Theater district. This intimate space was originally built as “The Little Theatre” and dedicated to presenting new playwrights and experimental dramas deemed too risky to stage in large Broadway theaters. With 589 seats, it remains the smallest theater on Broadway today.
With its unusual Neo-Georgian design, the Hayes is a striking presence on 44th Street. Second Stage has worked with celebrated architect and theatrical designer David Rockwell and Rockwell Group on the design and renovation, which focuses on three key areas: public spaces and audience comfort; ADA accessibility; and design and infrastructure.
Public Spaces & Audience Comfort
Over the years, the building has been used as a theater, television studio, and town hall. Because of this, many of the public areas have been repurposed, diminishing their open, inviting nature. The new design restores these spaces while preserving and protecting their historic landmarked features.
The lower lobby, which previously housed dressing rooms, has been reestablished as a gathering space and concessions area for theatregoers. This will be one of the theater’s most visible and well-used public spaces, where audiences can mix and mingle before the show and during intermission. Rooms previously used as private offices on the third floor have been reclaimed for the artists, including expanded dressing rooms and a green room. A new multipurpose room has also been added for hosting play readings during the day. Additionally, the number of restrooms in the building has been doubled.
A full-service elevator has been installed, allowing audiences and artists the ability to move freely between all four levels of the theater, including the lower lobby, the stage, the dressing rooms, and the mezzanine. The new design also adds an ADA-accessible building entrance, an accessible window at the box office, four new accessible unisex restrooms, more wheelchair positions in the orchestra level, and new wheelchair positions in the mezzanine, allowing mobility-impaired guests the same freedom of movement and choice of seats as everyone else.
Design & Infrastructure
The auditorium has been transformed to give it a fresh look that blends the theater’s history with Second Stage’s modern style. When the theatre first opened, reproductions of a French tapestry by Rococo artist and theatrical designer François Boucher (1703–1770) adorned the walls. A new hand-painted environmental mural, conceived and created by Rockwell Group and executed by EverGreene Architectural Arts, pays homage to the past by enlarging a scene from Boucher’s “The Loves of the Gods” depicting Dionysus—the Greek god of theater.
The HVAC system has been completely overhauled on all floors for greater comfort. And the stage’s technical capacity has been improved, allowing the creative teams a better platform to make their artistic visions a reality. Upgrades include a modern rigging system and a trap room below the stage, providing our designers greater flexibility and efficiency.
The renovation has achieved LEED Silver certification through the use of renewable energy, sustainable materials, and energy-saving designs and technology.
For more information, please visit www.2ST.com
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