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For the Record
‘Ideal’ Theatre Goal of Architecture Competition

Teams of theatre students and their architectural counterparts are being challenged to design the Ideal Theatre as part of the third annual design competition created by USITT’s Architecture Commission, supported for 2009 by Serapid, Inc. and Boldt Construction, and managed by HGA Architects.

The competition requires teamwork, with theatre students serving as the client and teams which include architecture students as designers of the space. Rules allow the teams to decide who is best to help create the final project and encourage input from students with a wide range of expertise.

General information about the competition is available here. To assist in the project, a detailed outline of what could and should be included in the space, budgeted at $25 million with a construction cost of $350 a square foot, is available here. Final submissions for the competition will include documentation of the design and the design process, and will be discussed and displayed at the USITT 2009 Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Cincinnati, Ohio in March.

Scott F. Georgeson, AIA, is chair of the competition and is available to answer questions at

The goal of the competition is to encourage open communication between users and designers for a successful collaboration on “the most complex buildings that we design and construct.” They are described as three dimensional puzzles with intricate building systems, rigid functional requirements, special acoustical needs, and strong architectural characteristics. Bringing together future theatre professionals and theatre designers will help all develop an understanding of the complex issues needed to ensure a successful building for users and audiences.

The adjudication process starts with a professional jury of architect John Prokos, FAIA, of Gund Partnership; acoustician Mark Holden of JaffeHolden; and theatre consultant Benton Delinger of Theatre Projects Consultants. The jury will select finalists who will be notified in early February. Those finalist teams will receive $1,000 in financial support for travel and two paid registrations to help them attend the conference and present their designs at a special Architecture Commission session where the winning entry will be determined.

The winning team will receive an additional $500.

Those interested in participating for 2009 are urged to submit an intent to enter the competition e-mail to Mr. Georgeson by November 17, and all entries must be submitted by January 15, 2009.

A special feature of the competition is that all teams will receive feedback from the jury in April 2009 at the conclusion of the process.

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