Updated 08/06/2012 03:11 PM
Brooklyn Theatre Troupe's New Digs Rise
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One of the city's premiere theater troupes celebrated a milestone Monday as construction at their new Brooklyn home was topped off.
Theatre for a New Audience's state-of-the-art venue in Fort Greene will house the company's widely acclaimed interpretations of Shakespeare and other classical dramas.
Construction is about half of the way complete on the new 27,500 square foot facility, which is the first classical theater built in the city in four decades.
It's being built at the heart of a growing cultural district surrounding the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
"We have never had a place. We have had work, we finally have a place in a community," said Theatre for a New Audience Founding Artistic Director Jeffrey Horowitz.
The $62.5 million project is being paid for with a mix of city, state and private funding.
When it's complete, the building will feature a three-level, 299-seat theater, along with a rehearsal room, lobby and various sporting spaces.
"We're here to celebrate the iron workers and the masons who have brought us to the construction but it's also a great time to celebrate all of our partners that have helped bring us here," said Theatre for a New Audience Executive Director Dorothy Ryan.
"They were looking for kind of a high-tech theater workshop - somewhere where they put on a lot of classical plays, a place where they could experiment, try new things, look into new things, move the room around," said Architect Geoff Lynch.
One big challenge to building on the location, Lynch says, are the subway lines that lie right below.
"The front two-thirds is actually sitting, all sitting on eight inch thick rubber pads," Lynch said. "It's hard to believe but it's true... like the whole thing is kind of floating on pads, then the back of the building is separated by two inches, so it actually doesn't even touch the front of the building at all. So all the vibrations from the subway kind of die in the rubber pads before they get into the auditorium."
The company was founded in the city 33 years ago and puts on about three to five productions each season.
The new theater is set to open in the fall of next year.