Sidney Harman Hall (Shakespeare Theatre Company)

The Shakespeare Theatre Company in downtown Washington, DC, has added a second theatre to create the Sidney Harman Center for the Arts. The new 776-seat theatre, designed to address the Shakespeare Theatre’s expanded programming mission, makes possible a wide variety of staging configurations as well as presentation of dance and music events. The space is easily adapted for chamber music as well as live, amplified or recorded sound.

The theatre occupies the first five and a half floors of an 11-story office tower. A variety of stage configurations – proscenium, end-stage, and three-quarter thrust stage – give the Company a totally flexible space. Simple technically advanced stagecraft include: a retractable proscenium that can be stored in the fly space; a series of seating units on movable wagons for three-quarter or “in-the-round” viewing; and a series of movable acoustical wall panels, arranged in a semi-circle in front of the proscenium for chamber music or solo recital concerts. This new theatre joins the Shakespeare’s existing 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre to make up the enlarged Harman Center.

After five years in the new space, The Shakespeare Theatre Company won the 2012 Tony Award for Regional Theatre.

  • Client: The Shakespeare Theatre
  • Architect: Diamond + Schmitt Architects
  • Arch. of Record: Smith Group (Bldg Shell)
  • Completion Year: 2007
  • Location: Washington, Dist of Columbia
  • Acoustician: The Talaske Group
  • Capacity: 776 seats

  • 2008 Good Design is Good Business Award, Business Week /Architectural Record
  • 2008 Honor Award, AIA Maryland Chapter Design Awards
  • 2008 Award of Excellence, AIA DC Chapter

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