The experience of attending the theatre has been socially scripted into society. Our bodies know how to experience it: how to enter, sit, absorb, leave, and wake up the next morning for whatever monotonous activity life has to throw at us. This cultural attitude leaves the spectator lifeless, limp and complacent. The architecture of theatre has the responsibility to strip these aesthetic social demands and act as the mediator between theatre and the body.
Within performance, we enter a very different reality. We, the spectator, exist within the liminal space between the conscious and the unconscious. This is what our body tells us. Our body should not be something that simply sits and acts as a spectator but it should embrace, it should become something new. Architecture determines what body we are to become, theatre tells us how to be with that body. In theatre, we yearn for the invisible to become distinctly visible, to entertain our hidden impulses. Architecture is the manifestation of that invisibility, of that very something we are yearning for. Perhaps, architecture goes beyond the Tschumian event where performance does not just activate architecture, but architecture activates our ability to view performance.
Once someone is able to reconcile with the fact of having body, and recognize the physicality of that body, it becomes a resource to understanding the representation of life that occurs on stage. In order to shake this socio-behavioral coding, I have transformed St. Ann’s Theatre in Brooklyn into a careful curation of haptic experiences, which makes theatergoers aware of their own presence in space and time.