Located at 59 East 59th Street in Manhattan, the complex has three performance spaces: Theater A (199 seats), Theater B (99 seats) and Theater C (50 seats). It was built to help fulfill the goal of The Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation "to provide new and well-equipped theater spaces for not-for-profit companies at reasonable prices."
Amidst tours of the facility yesterday, a press conference was held in Theater A. Elysabeth Kleinhans expressed her happiness that Primary Stages would be the main stage's resident company and noted that construction on theaters B and C would be finished "in a couple of weeks." Casey Childs, executive producer of Primary Stages, said that the company enjoyed its previous home on West 45th street but that the facility was inadequate in terms of restrooms and dressing rooms, which is certainly not the case at 59E59. And Terrence McNally praised the Kleinhans foundation for "diversifying the theater district by opening in such a unique location."
The complex is the first major theater project of architect Leo Modrcin. According to a press release, "the building's architecture has the ambition of a small-scale landmark amongst its high-rise neighbors. Its steet facade is a glazed curtain of metal and laminated wire glass that announces the theatrical events concealed inside. Audience members reach the theaters through the multi-level stairway and behind the glass curtain, thus becoming themselves animated performers when viewed from outside on 59th Street." No photographs of the facade were possible yesterday as it is still covered by scaffolding because, according to Elysabeth Kleinhans, an adjacent construction project is not finished.
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