Innovative Modular Stage Donated to Thrown Stone
June 29, 2017—from the news pages of the Thrown Stone web site
A chance encounter propels Thrown Stone years into the future
On the sunny afternoon of June 3, 2017, Thrown Stone Production Manager Cyrus Newitt was at the Murray Hill Street Fair in Manhattan. The Snarks, Ltd., a local theatre institution, was attending in costume as historic Murray Hill characters, and Cyrus was their J.P. Morgan. So it was, in tops and tails, that he was introduced to Paula J Riley, Artistic Director of The Spiral Theatre Studio.
Over the course of many years, the Spiral had developed an innovative theatrical concept: The Spiral Stage. With eight modular rhombus-shaped platforms, the stage can be configured to create an endless array of immersive environments. And since each piece can be easily moved by actors, these environments can morph right before the audience’s eyes. Built sustainably — literally at a 1-horse-powered sawmill in Pennsylvania —
this stage was designed with the intent of reducing the cost and waste inherent in set builds and load-ins ...
Read more >click here.
Thrown Stone created this time lapse video showing just a few stage configurations using the Spiral Theatre module models
The pages on this site will offer an overall picture of this innovative theatre—a long dream of Paula J Riley. The stage was rebirthed after Iza Itkin's Chamber Theatre closed in the seventies and led a short but fruitful life in Manhattan as The Spiral Theatre Studio.
It all began in August of 2013 when Paula and Steve J Hill took a brown, dusty and noisy room at Paul Michael's The Network and transformed it into an intimate, acoustically-optimized gray-box performance venue that seated fifty in comfortable chairs. In a nine- month period Paula produced and directed five Equity Showcase productions, two readings, and three celebrity interviews on the movable modular stage.
Paula was informed on June 30, 2014 that because of rent arrears The Network would be closing its doors and the Spiral Theatre would have to move out within a week.
The stage went into storage and months of searching for a new venue commenced with no concrete results. Paula continued to teach and lend her directing talents to several productions outside of The Spiral Theatre.
In October of 2016 Paula was diagnosed with 4th stage lung cancer. It was apparent in order to fight the disease the Spiral Theatre, as well as directing and producing would have to be put on hold.
Then in June of 2017 the chance encounter with Thrown Stone led to a permanent home for the Spiral Theatre in Connecticut.
> Click Here to go to our gallery page to see what The Spiral Theatre Studio accomplished in less than a year.
> Click here for Thrown Stone web site
Three views of the Spiral Theatre stage and the gray-box studio at The Network, 2013