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The task of the Hanna Theater project was to renovate, reconfigure and restore the last of the venues in Cleveland's historic Playhouse Square for the Great Lakes Theater Company, a predominantly spoken-word Shakespeare theater company. The Hanna was a neglected 1400-seat Vaudeville venue, with a large steep balcony and deep underbalcony seating. The space was conducive to neither the visual intimacy nor the aural presence needed for unreinforced dramatic theater. We substantially shrunk the space by foreshortening the balcony for limited seating and technical applications. We also completely re-raked and reconfigured the main floor into an adaptable thrust stage condition, now with only 550 seats. Due to a grossly under-sized foyer, we introduced a bar/lounge at the rear of the audience chamber, under the balcony, to serve as and enlarged foyer and as space for more casual theater viewing.
Westlake Reed Leskosky Architects 
[project co-designer & acoustic designer, concept to commissioning]
PHOTOS : K. Reeves