Lincoln Center Theater (New York, N.Y.)Variant names
The Lincoln Center Theater Company (LCTC) opened in 1980, under the direction of Richmond Crinkley with a five-member committee of advisors consisting of Woody Allen, Sarah Caldwell, Liviu Ciulei, Robin Phillips, and Ellis Rabb. Edward Albee was the company playwright. The LCTC was the third resident company at the Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont and Mitzi Newhouse theaters. Previous resident companies were the Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center (1964-1973) and Joe Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival (1973-1977). The governing body of the Lincoln Center Theater Company was the Vivian Beaumont Theater, Inc., which oversaw the various uses of the theater.
The LCTC only presented one season, from 1980-1981, which included Macbeth, The Philadelphia Story, and a new play by Woody Allen, The Floating Light Bulb . The productions were generally not well received. Crinkley then decided that the Beaumont would need major renovations before the next season could continue. Lincoln Center's governing body, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., asked that the renovations be postponed until the company could reevaluate its artistic mission.
Crinkley prevailed and a $6.5 million interior renovation of the Vivian Beaumont closed the theater from late 1981 to 1983. In addition to adding a proscenium arch, the renovation improved acoustics and sight-lines and increased seating capacity from 1,143 to about 1,200. These renovations, combined with the fact that LCTC had not produced any further resident seasons, were a point of contention between Crinkley and Lincoln Center. Disagreements escalated in 1984 when the Lincoln Center board stripped the Beaumont of the use of the words ''Lincoln Center'' in its name and denied the theater access to Lincoln Center funds. The restrictions were removed in 1985 in exchange for an agreement by the Vivian Beaumont Theater, Inc. board to take on new members and elect new leadership, which would move towards establishing an active resident company. From 1978 through 1985, the Beaumont had been primarily rented to outside producers, and the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater had remained mostly unused.
In 1985, the building's current management - Lincoln Center Theater (LCT) - was established. This change in management was led by former New York City Mayor John Lindsay, who assembled a new board of directors and signed Gregory Mosher as Director and Bernard Gersten as Executive Producer. Crinkley resigned in 1985 shortly after the new board was appointed.
The new board formed committees for maintaining the building, fundraising, and program development. Fundraising for their first season began at once, with solicitation of corporate donors, the continued rental of the Beaumont and Newhouse, and a succession of galas. The new company opened their first production, House of Blue Leaves, in the spring of 1986 and produced their first full season in 1986-1987. The theater went on to open many notable productions, including Anything Goes (1987), and Mule Bone (1991). Mule Bone was written in 1930 by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. After a falling out between the two authors, the manuscript was shelved and never produced. Lincoln Center worked with the estates of both authors to produce the play for the first time in January of 1991. LCT also produced the South African musical Sarafina! (1987) and an accompanying documentary film, Voices of Sarafina! .
In 1991, Linda LeRoy Janklow and Andre Bishop succeeded Lindsay and Mosher as chairman and artistic director, respectively. Lincoln Center Theater has outlasted all prior managements combined and has become America's largest non-profit theater. The company continues to produce plays and musicals at the Beaumont, the Newhouse, and other theaters around the city.
From the guide to the Lincoln Center Theater records, 1979-1991, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)
|associatedWith||Albee, Edward, 1928-||person|
|associatedWith||Berkowitz, Gerald M.||person|
|associatedWith||Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich, 1860-1904.||person|
|associatedWith||Frankel, Scott, 1963-||person|
|associatedWith||Greenberg, Richard, 1958-||person|
|associatedWith||LaChiusa, Michael John.||person|
|associatedWith||Osborn, Paul, 1901-1988.||person|
|associatedWith||Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.||person|
|associatedWith||Wallance, Don, 1909-1990.||person|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Theater--Production and direction|