Wednesday, November 25, 2009


We went to see A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Dallas Theater Center earlier this month. It was so so so fantastic. All of Shakespeare's witty text was mixed with very contemporary, urban costumes, tone, design and music.

And chalk! The theater opens to a stark black set. As the actors kick off Act I, they begin decorating with chalk eventually filling every space available. Claire and Benjamin added some of their own work during intermission. How fun is that?!
This is the first production in the new theater designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Rem Koolhaas. (It really is a "cool house." He he he.)

The Pritzker Prize is an annual award given to "a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture." It's all very contemporary, including the light fixtures in the lobby.The amazing practical aspects of the building are as significant as the design. The entire theater space including the seats, balconies and stage are all completely movable. The space will be configured differently for every production. Pretty amazing.

I'm interested in all this architectural discussion and theory. In fact, I recently discovered that Dallas has five buildings designed by Pritzker Prize winners. (Are there any in your city?)

I'm not sure I loved the building (though I did love the production). I was particularly turned-off by the odd placement of the restrooms. They are practically the first thing you see when you come into the lobby. They have odd contemporary male and female symbols on the doors. And the entry hallways to the restrooms are totally green -- floors, walls, ceiling.
I like green, but... I don't know, it was a bit much.

We didn't let it bother us.I am so thankful to live in a city with such great cultural opportunities -- and to share them with my family.
The show ended with a big dance party and the audience spilled out into the back stage area filled with balloons, bubbles and music. So fun!


Linda Robertus said...

Koolhaas is actually 'cabbage hare'. Cool house would be Koelhuis ;-).
(sorry, couldn't resist it!)
Happy thanksgiving! Greeting from Brisbane, Australia.

sophie said...

I saw the play a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it, too. What a cool, fresh interpretation. I also enjoyed watching everyone's reaction to the new space and eavesdropping on their commentary . . . the new theater is interesting, but there are definitely some elements that make you go hmmmm.