Theatre Details
Vivian Beaumont Theater

150 W 65th St

New York, NY 10023

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Theater Description:
The Vivian Beaumont Theatre is a theatre located in the Lincoln Center complex at 150 West 65th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The structure was designed by Finnish Americanarchitect Eero Saarinen, and Jo Mielziner was responsible for the design of the stage and interior.

The Vivian Beaumont differs from traditional Broadway theatres because of its use of stadium seating and its thrust stage configuration. With 1,080 seats, it is considered a fairly large theater for dramatic plays and a medium-size theater for musicals. It is New York City's only Broadway-class theater (thus making its productions eligible for Tony Awards) that is not located in the theatre district near Times Square.

The theater is named after Vivian Beaumont Allen, a former actress and heiress to the May Department Stores fortune, who donated $3 million for a building to house a permanent dramatic repertory company at Lincoln Center in 1958. Mrs. Allen died in 1962, and after several delays and estimated construction costs of $9.6 million, the Vivian Beaumont opened on October 21, 1965 with a revival of the 1835 play Danton's Death by Georg Büchner. The cast included James Earl Jones and Stacy Keach.

From 1965-66, the theater was operated by the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center, under the direction of Jules Irving and Herbert Blau; Blau, who directed Danton's Death, resigned that first year, while Irving remained as sole director through 1972. From 1973 until 1977, it was managed by the New York Shakespeare Festival, under the direction of Joseph Papp. Following a three-year period of inactivity, it reopened in 1980 under the auspices of the Lincoln Center Theater Company, directed by Richmond Crinkley.

Since 1985, the Vivian Beaumont has been operated by Lincoln Center Theater (now under the direction of André Bishop and Bernard Gersten). It has been renovated to improve its acoustics and technical facilities several times over the years.

On occasion the theater is rented to commercial producers, such as Alexander H. Cohen and Hildy Parks, who presented Peter Brook's production of La Tragedie de Carmen in 1983.