Mark Taper Forum

Mark Taper Forum

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Mark Taper Forum

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Description:
The Mark Taper Forum is a 739 seat thrust stage at the Los Angeles Music Center built by Welton Becket and Associates on the Bunker Hill section of downtown Los Angeles. Named for real estate developer Mark Taper, the theatre, the neighboring Ahmanson Theatre and the Kirk Douglas Theatre are all operated by the Center Theatre Group.

History

The Mark Taper Forum opened in 1967 as part of the Los Angeles Music Center, the West Coast’s equivalent of Lincoln Center. The smallest of the three, the Taper sits between the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Ahmanson Theater at opposite ends of a plaza. The three buildings of the Music Center were designed by Los Angeles architect Welton Becket.

Mr. Becket designed the center in the style of New Formalism, which emphasized geometric shapes. The perfectly circular Taper is considered one of Mr. Becket’s best works, featuring a distinctive decorated drum of a design, its exterior wrapped in a lacy precast relief by Jacques Overhoff. The lobby has a curving, abalone wall by Tony Duquette. Charles Moore described Becket's design for the Music Center as "Late Imperial Depression-Style cake".

Becket designed the building not knowing who would use it. At one point it was...
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