36 thoughts on “Act I Submissions: Thursday Section (D476)

    1. Christopher Swift Post author

      Excellent work, Sharofat. A few things to keep in mind as your project evolves to the final stage: 1) The Atlantic Theatre Company is the resident company at the Linda Gross Theatre. They’re history goes back further before they had the theatre in the church. It will be a good idea to research a bit of their history and understand their mission statement (they are a non-profit). This will help you understand why they chose this particular site for a theatre. Research too how they obtained the theatre and any renovations or architectural changes done to the church to make it theatre-ready. When answering your second research question you will need to go back to the church’s pre-theatre incarnation. When was the church built and for whom?

    1. Christopher Swift Post author

      Alexis – take a look at my comments I have your partner on the Linda Gross Theatre. They apply to you as well. It’s interesting that you note that the interior and exterior of the building are radically different. You should research architectural repurposing that was done to convert the church to a theatre. Please read and edit your work before submitting. I’m having trouble understanding a number of parts of your site report. By the way, most of the buildings on that block are residential — are they not? The avenues, of course, are more commercial. Do you think the theatre attracts local residents? How do you think you could find out? Both your research questions need improvement. Asking what made theatre popular in the past is far too broad a question for a single research project. You could try to find out what kinds of audiences go to the Atlantic Theatre company. Find out also how many tickets are subscription tickets (full time patrons) — this would tell you about the kinds of audiences that attend their plays. I don’t understand your first research question either. Again, the project is about understanding the relationship between the theatre and the local community. Think about a question that can help you understand this better.

    1. Christopher Swift Post author

      Solid work, Marelin. A few notes:

      • The main building of BAM has at least two theatres inside. Please make it clear which one you are analyzing (the theatre of the production you saw).
      • Your final analysis section could have been developed a little more, but you can do this in your presentation at the end of the semester. I do begin to get the sense of the place (a kind of crossroads of multiple neighborhoods).
      • Your historical research question is very good (the original purpose of the building was for opera… but for a very different kind of audience than the audience BAM seeks today). The first research question needs work, however. What specifically do you mean by “role” — economic? educational? For instance, BAM’s presence could have an economic impact. In order to think about this you would need to gather ticket sales information or subscription sales information. They also have an educational program.

      Also remember to include elevation and interior detail sketches in final presentation (your interior sketch needs more work).

    1. Christopher Swift Post author

      Good start, Mariela. The map is very neat and easy to read and you describe the area well. Now you need to dig a little deeper and unfortunately the two research questions you wrote are much too broad to help you figure out the relationship between the theatre and the surrounding area. A couple of suggestions:

      • Tighten the focus around your theatre to a 10 block radius (it’s now a 20 block radius). You will notice that there are many common outdoor areas for pedestrians that used to be streets for cars. So your map of streets is a little off. Also, there are bike lanes on the streets. Get a bird’s eye view using Google Earth of the area directly around your theatre. You will see many of these elements.
      • Work on your research questions. There have been entire books written about the development of broadway theatre in the area. Try focusing only on your theatre. Who built it, and for what purposes (specifically, what kinds of theatre). I don’t understand the question “do people still connect in theatre”. What do you mean by “connect”? Theatre in NYC is still very popular. Again, make your question more concrete and specific. Perhaps you want to know about the impact of the Broadway theatre community on the economics of the city? Or how the your theatre is dealing with COVID? Or what the average run of a show needs to be in order for the investors to make money? Or what the proportion of tourists to NYC audiences who attend Broadway theatre?

      Don’t forget to include elevation and interior drawings in final presentation.

    1. Christopher Swift Post author

      Your two architectural sketches are very good. The report doesn’t answer the Act I responses sufficiently, however. In fact, you seem to be focused on the Act II prompts more. The block grid drawing does not include Broadway and doesn’t give one the sense of the neighborhood (the intersection of Broadway, 7th, and 42nd is much more complex). Also, you didn’t write about the other buildings in the area or the marquee that blocks most of the old facade of the theatre. Since we all know Times Square is a very touristy neighborhood, you need to dig deeper and describe the specialness of the street the theatre is on and how that might differ from other streets (Broadway, side streets, etc.). Your first research question is good (technological capabilities of the theatre), but the second needs work. The second research question is about the past, not current politics.

    1. Christopher Swift Post author

      This is a bare bones report. The reader should get the sense that they are seeing the street of the theatre for the first time, and appreciate the ways in which the street is different from other neighborhoods in New York. As it stands, your description could describe almost any street (bikes and people using the roads and sidewalks are everywhere!). Also, you should have done the sketch by hand, not computer. I don’t understand either of your research questions.

    1. Christopher Swift Post author

      This is a very strong report. The sketches are great and you have answered the prompts with a great deal of detail and specificity. A few notes:

      • At one point you say that the theatre is likely frequented by people outside the neighborhood and in another paragraph you suggest that the neighborhood of students and local workers frequent entertainment venues in the neighborhood. Your research questions (which at this point are both much too broad and unclear) should be phrased in order that you can sort this out. Look at periodicals especially when trying to determine the audience at the Public.
      • A research question should be phrased in such a way that it will help you in your search for specific information. I don’t know if there is a way to determine if a theatre “influences” a neighborhood, for instance. A better question would be something like “what was the neighborhood like at the time the Public was converted to a theatre, and how has it changed over the decades”? Or “what were the design goals of the architects that originally transformed the building, or those that more recently re-did the lobby and entry-way”?
      • I think “fruitful” is not the word you’re looking for.
    1. Christopher Swift Post author

      You do a very good job providing the reader with a sense of the neighborhood — particularly the people and what they are doing there. However the description of the buildings is very generic. Some short some tall doesn’t tell us very much. Also, there must be a very different make-up of buildings on Flatbush than on the side streets. Finally, you didn’t provide a synthesis, nor did you write research questions.

    1. Christopher Swift Post author

      Excellent report, Ifaz. You used information about restaurants and hotels to draw conclusions about social class — good insight. I don’t understand your first research question at all. It’s certainly much too broad and general a question. Write a research question that can lead to answers that are appropriate for this report (not entire books!). The second question is very interesting. Let me know if you need help finding sources… I can lead you to the right places. Most importantly, you are doing a report of a Broadway commercial theatre that is relatively new — and is very different than the majority of historical theatres in Times Square that were built at the beginning of the 20th century. Find out what had to be torn down in order to make room for the Marquis Hotel and Theatre.

    1. Christopher Swift Post author

      Your sketches are exemplary. Really careful, detailed work. Your responses to the prompts are descriptive and capture the sense of the place. A couple of notes:

      • As you note, Times Square is the tourist center of the city. Your comment that the character of the place is emblematic — but of what exactly? I think New Yorkers and tourists have very different ideas about how the city is defined. Try to sort this out.
      • Your research questions are not going to be helpful. They need to be more specific. For instance, in order to find out how the theatre linked with the rest of the city, perhaps you could try to find out the different uses of the Lyceum over the decades. Or find out about the owners and the types of productions that played there. For researching the contemporary contribution of the Lyceum to Times Square, find out the types of plays that are produced there, or perhaps find out what has been done to preserve the original architecture or interior details (which add to the historical identity of the neighborhood).

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