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TheatreSquared's new building. (Photo by TheatreSquared.)

TheatreSquared Honored With Architecture Awards

The theatre’s new building has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects and USITT.

FAYETTEVILLE, ARK.: TheatreSquared has been awarded the 2023 American Institute of Architects (AIA) NY Design Merit Award. The annual juried competition considers all architectural designs recently built in New York City or by New York-based architects. Photographs of TheatreSquared will be featured in a four-month exhibition at the Center for Architecture.

TheatreSquared’s new building has also been recognized with the 2023 United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Architecture Award. The award will be presented at USITT’s 2023 conference and expo in St. Louis in March.

“We’ve created an amazing gathering space, but we don’t own it,” artistic director Robert Ford said in a statement. “TheatreSquared belongs to everyone who lives in Northwest Arkansas: the artists, audiences, and community members who activate it every day. We hope this welcome drumbeat of international recognition will help to inspire our local leaders and key supporters to continue investing in this cultural asset.”

TheatreSquared’s new building was designed by Marvel Designs with lead consultant and theatre designer Charcoalblue. The $31 million, 50,000-square-foot facility is home to two theatres, education and community space, rehearsal and meeting space, scenic, costume, and props workshops and storage space, apartments for guest artists, outdoor gathering spaces, and the Commons Bar/Café. A glass-enclosed flexible performance space blends into the public Commons, which hosts pop-up performances and community events. The wood of the building’s furniture, walls, and floors were sourced from trees felled from the site, and local Ozark boulders were embedded into the landscaping. The new building venture was supported by the Walton Family Foundation’s Design Excellence program.

Sponsored by the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the AIANY Design Awards honor projects and the architecture firms that designed them that represent exceptional work from AIANY members. Other awardees this year include the Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, N.H.

The USITT Architecture Awards recognize public and professional projects that provide design excellence and the ability to resolve design challenges for old and new theatres. The challenges may be aesthetic, regulatory, technical, or operational.

TheatreSquared strives to offer bold new plays in an intimate setting, welcoming more than 80,000 community members as Arkansas’s largest theatre. The playwright-led company is a leading laboratory for new work, and offers far-reaching access and education programs and an all-day café.

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