Plan for O'Neill Theater Center Approved

Published on January 25th, 2010

An expansion of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center that encompasses seven cottages to house 65 students, a 175-seat theater, and a rehearsal facility has recently been approved by the town of Waterford. The site plan, designed by Centerbrook Architects, also features a new dining hall, improved parking, the reorganization of visitor access, and renovations of existing buildings.

Founded in 1964, the Tony Award-winning Center develops and nurtures new artists and new work for the stage and is home to six distinct programs, among them the annual O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Music Theater Conference, and Puppetry Conference. The seven hundred works that have been developed and premiered there include Broadway and off-Broadway plays by August Wilson, Lee Blessing and Wendy Wasserstein. Board member Michael Douglas and Al Pacino are O’Neill alumni.

The existing campus is a collection of Victorian, Federal, and rustic farm buildings set amidst stone walls and expansive pastures that lead down to Long Island Sound. The new buildings evoke a 19th century “cottage camp” theme and are located to minimize impact on open space, while augmenting the Center’s intimate sense of community. Centerbrook partner Chad Floyd, FAIA, is leading the design team for the project.