The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0660 Wednesday, 3 October 2007
From: Hardy M. Cook <
Date: Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Subject: Harman Center for the Arts Celebration
Michael Kahn held a big party on Monday evening to launch the new stage
for the Shakespeare Theatre Company and the new designation for the
two-stage home of the Company, The Harman Center for the Arts. Below are
two short accounts of that Gala.
Shakespeare Theatre Company Gala Celebration
The Shakespeare Theatre Company's celebrated the opening of their new
$89 million Harman Center for the Arts in downtown Washington, DC at a
Gala Celebration on Monday, October 1.
The evening, which raised $2.8 million for the Shakespeare Theatre
Company, brought together on the new Harman stage stars from the theatre
(Patti LuPone and Sam Waterston), ballet (Julio Bocca and Nina
Ananiashvili), jazz (Wynton Marsalis) and classical music (violinist
Anne-Sophie Mutter), before a star-studded audience including Chelsea
Clinton, HRH The Duchess of Gloucester and The Honorable Sandra Day
While it will be used by a variety of national and international
performing arts company each year, the new 775-seat theatre will
principally be the newest (and second) performance venue for the
Shakespeare Theatre Company as it expands its season from 5 to 8
productions each season, aiming to become a national destination for
classical theatre in the US (STC's existing 450-seat Lansburgh Theatre,
also in downtown DC, has been drawing patrons to the classics for 20 years.)
The Harman Center for the Arts is named after Sidney Harman, whose $20
million contribution kicked off the Shakespeare Theatre Company's
For more information, visit www.ShakespeareTheatre.org
Harman Center makes debut in D.C. -- Theater company gets a second home
By Nick Madigan
October 3, 2007
From The Baltimore Sun Online:
Under a halo of popping flashbulbs, the capital's high society turned
out in droves this week for the gala opening of the Harman Center for
the Arts, which includes a new $89 million, glass-fronted auditorium
that will be a new home for the Shakespeare Theatre Company.
Each of the guests - who included Chelsea Clinton, with Secret Service
agents in tow, and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor -
paid $5,000 to attend events that included a cocktail party;
performances from, among others, Broadway star Patti LuPone and jazz
virtuoso Wynton Marsalis; a fireworks display outside on F Street; and a
banquet in the National Building Museum a couple of blocks away.
The master of ceremonies at Monday night's gala was actor Sam Waterston
of the TV show Law & Order. He introduced not only LuPone and Marsalis,
but also violinist Ann-Sophie Mutter, who played selections from George
Gershwin's Porgy and Bess; ballet dancers Julio Bocca and Nina
Ananiashvili, who danced a pas de deux from Swan Lake; the Jazz at
Lincoln Center Orchestra, which played two Marsalis compositions and a
crackling version of "Take the 'A' Train" by Billy Strayhorn; and the
Washington Ballet, which danced to five Beatles songs.
Michael Kahn, who has been the company's artistic director for 21
seasons, told the audience that the event had raised almost $3 million.
Construction of the 755-seat Sidney Harman Hall, packed with
state-of-the-art soundproofing and lighting technology, began in
The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Kahn said, will continue to use its
longtime home, the 451- seat Lansburgh Theatre nearby, also part of the
Harman Center. Having two theaters lets the company expand its coming
season from five to eight plays, present two repertory series, introduce
family and lunchtime programming, and increase its education and
The company's new season begins today with Shakespeare's The Taming of
the Shrew at the Lansburgh Theatre and, on Nov. 7, Tamburlaine by
Christopher Marlowe in the new auditorium.
The center is named for Sidney Harman, who built a fortune by making
high-end audio equipment and donated about $19 million for the new theater.
"People make this kind of gift because they believe it sanctions their
lives, but I don't need any of that," Harman, whose wife is Rep. Jane
Harman, a California Democrat, said Sunday during a reception at the
British Embassy in honor of the new theater. His gift, he said, was "an
act of love."
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook,
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>
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