“Ideal Theatre” Design Competition
The Architectural and Theatre Students “Ideal Theatre” Design Competition requires teamwork. Theatre students serve the role of “the Client” and architectural students function as “the Designer” to create their university’s “Ideal Theatre.” Teams can be part of a class or be independent students.
The United States Institute for Theatre Technology, Inc. (USITT) Architecture Commission is organizing
this Architectural Design Competition to promote the teaming of college and university students enrolled
in professional architectural and theatre programs. The Architectural Commission will exhibit the entries
and honor the winners at the 2011 USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina
March 9-12, 2011.
The competition poses the design question, “What is the Ideal Theatre for teaching professional theatre”?
This question is to be explored and answered by a “Team” composed of at least one theatre student
currently enrolled in a college or university theatre program and one architectural student enrolled in an
accredited architectural college or university program.
Each team member has a defined responsibility. The theatre students will act as the “Client” and the
architectural students as the “Designer”. The “Client” is responsible to teach the “Designer” about the
workings and artistry of Theatre. The “Client” will define the detail needs of the theater complex and
provide at least one critique of the design produced by the “Designer.” It is desired that that the “Client”
will remain an active member of the design process. The design solution MUST be the result of a
“Conversation” between the “Client” and “Designer”. History proves the most successful theatre design
solutions take into account all aspects and needs of theatre production, artist presentation and audience
Larger teams are encouraged. For example, the “Designer” team could be expanded to include students
of engineering, acoustics and construction technology. The “Client” represent all areas of theatre study,
including; actors, directors, lighting technology, stage crafts, costume design, makeup, stage managers,
etc. In addition the front-of-house needs of the audience and the overall fit to site must be addressed. The
“Client” should also define the type of live performance venue (opera, dance, drama, music, etc.) which
fits their particular educational program.
The “Team” can enter as individuals or as part of a structured class. Team members can be at any level
in their college or university careers. The students’ experience and knowledge of their chosen area of
study will be an asset in developing the team’s solutions. Upper level and graduate students are
encouraged to compete.