Mark Taper Forum to Close in Summer 2007 for $30 Million Renovation

News   Mark Taper Forum to Close in Summer 2007 for $30 Million Renovation Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum, where the Center Theatre Group currently presents Jason Robert Brown's musical 13, will undergo a major renovation starting this summer, with a plan to reopen next year.

Following the current CTG season at the Forum, the 40-year-old 745-seat circular theatre in Los Angeles's Music Center will close temporarily for technical updating and improving upon audience amenities.

The Taper currently houses 13 and will next play home to Lisa Loomer's Distracted (March 15-April 29) and a co-production (with New York's The Public Theater) of David Henry Hwang's Yellow Face (May 10-July 1).

Construction will begin at the Taper in July 2007, continuing to mid-2008. Subscribers to the Taper will be offered a four-play subscription for the new 2007-08 season (including two productions at CTG's Ahmanson Theatre and two shows in the newly re-modeled Mark Taper Forum).

The $30 million project will be supported by already secured funds, facility improvement reserves, a donation from the County of Los Angeles and a $5 million lead gift from an anonymous donor. Any further costs will be offset by private donors and foundation grants.

"It was becoming increasingly clear to CTG that the theatre itself, that beautiful and unique Mark Taper Forum, needed our focus," said CTG artistic director Michael Ritchie. "These renovations will make the theatre so much better — for our audiences and our artists and our backstage crew. We are grateful to the Music Center, the County and our donors for helping us make all these changes possible." Details to the renovations being done to the theatre include:

Exterior/Lobby:


  • cleaning of the neo-classic exterior of the Welton Becket-designed building
  • doubling the lobby size by relocating the restrooms to a spacious downstairs lounge
  • preservation of the signature abalone shell wall of the lobby with new lighting
  • lobby flooring will be decorative terrazzo
  • raising of the lobby ceiling will be raised and lit in a radial grid pattern
  • installation of an elevator for access to lower and second levels
  • addition of casual seating with two large banquettes to 1,350 square-foot lower lobby
  • lower lobby also to include carpeting and upholstery, mirrored columns and a staircase
  • entrance lobby floor raised to the same level as the Music Center Plaza
  • accessible restroom on the second level Theatre Interior:

  • new, more comfortable seats, upholstery, carpeting, and new railings along the aisles
  • theatre's side walls to feature design elements
  • less cluttered ceiling to provide a more open and friendly ambience
  • improving acoustics of the theatre
  • new air conditioning system to provide quieter and more even air distribution.
  • installation of new wheelchair locations on the second level Backstage:

  • new technology improvements bringing the theatre to state-of–the-art standards
  • backstage loading door will double in size
  • floor of the backstage area will be brought to Plaza level
  • a green room, additional dressing rooms (some wheelchair-accessible) and a hair and make-up room on second level backstage
  • new wardrobe area will be created on the backstage's third level.
  • new well-designed lighting grid The Taper opened in 1967 at its current location at 135 North Grand Avenue in Los Angeles, California. The venue earned the 1977 Regional Tony Award. Among its former tenants include acclaimed productions of Children of a Lesser God, The Shadow Box, The Kentucky Cycle and Angels in America.

    For more information visit centertheatregroup.org.