A sweeping remote landscape in Northern California is perhaps the last place one would expect to find a live performance venue. And that’s exactly the reason for The Line. The temporary structure, by Sacramento-based REgroup, democratizes the theatre-going experience with its profoundly minimal design. It also attempts to “rethink what the role of the rural can be and acts as an armature for a new type of ‘rural performance.’ ”
Constructed entirely from pressure-treated lumber and clad in MDO plywood, the 22.8-metre-by-1.2-metre platform appears as a pure white ribbon stretched taut across an otherwise empty field. While its simplicity is striking, it’s also pragmatic: REgroup was given a budget of less than US$5,000.
Taking a restrained, thoughtful and responsible approach, the architects selected only locally sourced wood-based materials that are biodegradable or recyclable. Further, the narrow stage is supported by pier footings to lift it off the ground, meaning it has little impact on the landscape when in use and will leave little trace of its existence once removed.
With its intentionally “generic” quality, The Line has been employed as a venue for everything from music and arts events to weddings, subsequently spurring new micro-economic opportunities in the community. Far from the glitz and glam of Broadway in New York, London’s West End and Milan’s Fashion Week, The Line successfully flips the narrative of where and how the spectacle of theatre can be experienced and by whom.
Team Gary Lewis and Julia Lewis
A sweeping remote landscape in Northern California is perhaps the last place one would expect to find a live performance venue.