The Harrington School will be renovated to become a community sharing center for the arts. It will provide one central location for the people of Utah County to unite as a community to learn, cultivate, and share art. It will provide classrooms for learning, rehearsal space for refining talents, an intimate black box theatre that will encourage the production of new works, and a theatre and art gallery for displaying professional quality productions.
The Harrington School is a registered historic landmark; therefore, the intent is to keep as much of the original architecture, floor plans, and detailing as possible. In order to do this, an additional structure will be built to house a large state of the art theatre.
The architectural plans for the new theatre will match the Victorian Romanesque style that is visible in the design of The Harrington School. The theatre will have a similar design to theaters that were built at the turn of the 20th century because the Harrington School was built in 1903 with an additional section completed in 1934. Two notable theaters built around this time are the Belasco Theater & the Cort Theatre, both in New York City.
Both the Cort Theatre & the Belasco Theater exhibit a "living room" design. In this design the orchestra, 1st balcony, and 2nd balcony levels are all closer to the stage allowing for a more intimate space in which all patrons are in closer proximity to the action on stage.
The center for the arts will also include a black box theatre. A black box theater (or experimental theater) consists of a simple, somewhat unadorned performance space with black walls and a flat floor. A black box theater is versatile and easy to change. Many theater training programs have both a large proscenium theater, as well as a black box theater. Not only does this allow two productions to be mounted simultaneously, but they can also have a large extravagant production in the main stage while having a small experimental show in the black box. Due to its simple design and equipment, it can be used for many performances each day. Our hope in including this addition is to encourage a culture of creativity throughout the community to display locally written plays, music, and dance pieces.
The renovation of the Harrington School and the construction of a state of the art theatre will provide a significant and long lasting contribution to Utah Valley’s rich artistic landscape.