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Arena Stage / Kreeger Theatre

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1961–1970, Harry Weese and Associates. 6th and M streets SW

Harry Weese designed the Arena Stage / Kreeger Theatre complex in response to the collective experience of members of the local repertory company who were then housed in a former brewery. Weese, who had never designed a theater, came to the project without preconceived ideas about the building type, an advantage to the company. The first phase, Arena Stage, was designed as a theater-in-the-round with four tiers of seats placed around the stage and housed within an octagonal structure. An adjacent elongated administrative wing, set off from the theater by a glass bay, provides space for the theater and ticket offices. A decade later, the fanshaped Kreeger Theatre was appended to the rear of the administrative wing. This theater, with its centerpiece a pie-shaped stage, provides an intimate setting for experimental productions.

Both buildings were constructed of poured concrete frames and gray-buff brick crowned with dark gray sheet-metal roofs. Their appeal lies in the forthright expression of the functions housed within. In form and materials, the complex further offers itself as a compatible neighbor to the Southwest Quadrant's housing clusters.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee
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Citation

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Arena Stage / Kreeger Theatre", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/DC-01-SW22.

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 244-245.

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