Our Main Stage, Your Large Living Room


When the big ideas about what Auburn Public Theater would be were first coming together, our collective vision was to build a 99-seat black box theater (a simple, unadorned performance space, usually a large square room with black walls and a flat floor… Black box theaters became popular and widespread particularly in the 1960s and 1970s. Since almost any large room, including abandoned cafes, stores and warehouses can be transformed into a black box, cost can be low, which appeals to nonprofit and low-income artists. The black box is also considered by many to be a place where more “pure” theater can be explored, with the most human and least technical elements being in focus. – Wikipedia). And the reason we wanted this type of space more than any other, was because our desire to create intimate public experiences of art was at the very center of all our desires. What we ended up with in our Main Stage is a fixed stage with 199 fixed seats. Perhaps you’ve noticed that sometimes in life, you don’t get exactly what you want. And so it goes…

We have endeavored to hang on to our dream of “intimate public experiences of art”, however, and this, I think, is most evident in our music concerts. The way the Main Stage is designed, the musicians tell us they feel like they can make eye contact with most of the people in the audience. The room is large enough to seat 199 people but only feels slightly larger than a really large living room. (At least this is what we tell ourselves.) And if you come to listen to a concert there, we really do want you to feel like you’re listening in your own (very large) living room.

Over the years, we have welcomed many, many fine musicians to Auburn Public Theater including Livingston Taylor, Snatam Kaur, Suzanne Vega, Krishna Das, Sheila Chandra and Martin Sexton (who’s coming back this February!), to name but a few. What an honor it has been to provide their level of fine musicianship and, once again, in such a cozy and intimate space. This Friday, November 18th, Richard Shindell will be with us. For those of you who know him and are familiar with his music, he needs no further introduction from me. And for those of you who are new to him, I can’t think of a better way to experience his music live for the very first time. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. We hope to see you here on Friday night.

Photo Credit: Christopher Molloy