The Helen Hayes Theater underwent a major renovation to become the new Broadway home of Second Stage Theater. The 589-seat, 4-story historic landmarked theater will present work by living American playwrights. McLaren Engineer Bill Gorlin attended the re-lighting opening ceremony on February 5th, in preparation for the theater’s commencing production “Lobby Hero”.
As part of the design team, McLaren worked with Rockwell Group Architecture, Yorke Construction and the theater’s owners to modernize the space and make it appealing to today’s Broadway audience. McLaren engineered stage house alterations incorporating new fly floors and headblock framing, a new counterweight rigging system, auditorium renovations, modern patron lounges, expanded restrooms, improved ADA compliance including an accessible elevator, and large rooftop mechanical system supports. McLaren’s entertainment engineering and connection engineering teams worked collaboratively to develop steel framing.
The project also included the construction of an extension of the neighboring St. James Theater stage house, in what was originally the Helen Hayes Theater’s alley, in preparation for Disney’s “Frozen” in the St. James Theater.