On April 26, Iain Mackintosh will present the 11th Annual Cascieri Lectureship in the Humanities at the Boston Architectural Center (BAC). As part of celebrations for Shakespeare's birthday, from April 23 the BAC is to host an exhibit featuring the designs for the reconstruction in Lenox, MA, of the first historically accurate replica of the 1587 Bankside Rose Playhouse where the works of William Shakespeare were first presented.
A key member of the design team for the Rose, world-renowned theatre designer and noted theatre historian Ian Mackintosh of Theatre Projects Consultants will be addressing the conference with a lecture entitled "Standing Room Only: An Exploration of the Audience's Place, Position, and Posture, from the Rose of Marlowe and Shakespeare to Fenway Park." He will address issues such as whether comfortable seating can send the spectator to sleep, thereby making the job of the player and playwright more difficult, as well as questioning how "live" live theatre actually is and ending by considering whether or not Shakespeare has something to tell 21st-century theatregoers.
The lecture and exhibition will explain why, in the widest sense, a 16th-century theatre is being recreated at the beginning of the 21st, looking at the major concerns related to such a project. "When a historic theatre is recreated from primary and secondary evidence," says Mackintosh, "there's a risk of losing sight of the fact that the venue represents a moment in the continuum of the theatre's past, present, and future. What's more, problems can arise when the compromises that appear to be forced on the project by modern regulations and audience expectations, plus the client's priorities, are accepted too readily."
Tina Packer's Shakespeare & Company has recently acquired 64 acres of woodland, meadows, and streams. The Rose Playhouse will be constructed using traditional building methods and materials such as were used at the Globe in London at the home of the theatre company in Massachusetts alongside the 400-seat Founder's Theatre which opened in 2001, designed by Iain Mackintosh along with George Marsh and Payette Associates, Boston.