The next illustrative description will be that of the Little Theatre, New York, erected by Winthrop Ames of Boston, a wealthy disciple of the advanced theatre movement. This house, modeled on the plan of the small intimate theatres of Germany, was built for the express purpose of presenting with artistic precision all the minute gradations of facial expression and the subtle inflections of the voice. It has but one floor and seats but 300 persons.
Crowded closely between two adjoining buildings, its Georgian design is in a manner accentuated*. The materials used in the facade are red brick and French limestone. The exterior woodwork is painted pure white with blind green shutters, and the iron work is a dull black.
The vestibule reflects the best Georgian period and displays the artistic conception of the famous Adams brothers.
The auditorium is illuminated by reflected lights and is constructed on lines totally different from anything previously attempted in America. It is elliptical in shape and devoid of either balcony or stage boxes. The polished birch side-walls, stained a deep walnut brown, present a succession of flat panels. In these panels have been inserted clever reproductions of the famous Bouche tapestries. The ceiling is in Adams' style, decorated in plain hues which, with reflected light, bring out the brilliant colors of the costumes worn by the women in the audience. The principal illumination is by the indirect rays from two elaborate crystal ceiling candelabra. The curtains are of blue and silver brocade with tapestry borders, and the drop curtain is of Gobelin blue. The carpet is of mouse gray and the dark walnut seats are upholstered in brown leather.
The stage equipment is probably the most modern in this country. It includes a revolving platform of the German turntable type, thirty feet in diameter, which permits of the setting of several scenes at once.
The theatres which have just been described - both those in existence and those whose designs are suggested by the author - are presented as models embodying the principles outlined in this book. They should, and undoubtedly will, have a distinct and beneficial influence upon future American theatre construction.
Section of Little Theatre, New York Ingalls & Hoffman, Architects.