ANTA Washington Square Theatre

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The ANTA Washington Square Theatre was a theatre located on 40 West 4th St., in Greenwich Village, in New York City, and run by the American National Theater and Academy (ANTA). The theater was located away from the mainstream Broadway district, and was originally designed as a prototype for the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Demolished in 1968, it used a thrust stage tilted toward the audience, with the audience sitting on three sides of it. It did not employ the use of a curtain.

The theater, which was not intended to be permanent, had a seating capacity of 1,158 and was constructed for an estimated $525,000 on land lent by New York University. One observer praised "the fine acoustics that have been achieved by the creation of irregularly surfaced concave walls." However, that same observer noted that "the interior of the building is not striking and might well be mistaken for a small industrial plant of some sort."[1]

Several highly regarded plays had their runs at the ANTA Washington Square. Among the most notable were the original productions of Arthur Miller's plays After the Fall and Incident at Vichy, and the 1964 revival of Eugene O'Neill's Marco Millions, starring Hal Holbrook as Marco Polo and David Wayne as Kublai Khan.[2] A production relished by many Molière lovers was William Ball's 1964 staging of Tartuffe, with an "outrageous" Michael O'Sullivan in the title role.[3] Quite likely, the most famous show ever to play at the ANTA Washington Square was the smash hit musical Man of La Mancha, which began its first New York run there on November 22, 1965 and transferred to the more conventional Martin Beck Theatre in 1968, pending the demolition of the Washington Square Theatre.[4]

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Coordinates: 40°43′45″N 73°59′47″W / 40.7291°N 73.9963°W / 40.7291; -73.9963