In 2005, the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse opened as the centerpiece of a permanent year-round theatre village designed to create a dynamic synergy between theatre artists and theatergoers and to support the expansion of the Playhouse's acclaimed education and outreach programs. The Jacobs Center serves as the first permanent home of the Playhouse, creating a community center where artists, audiences and UCSD students, staff and faculty interact and share creative resources.
The Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre, a central component of the Jacobs Center, is designed as a supportive laboratory for artists and educators to collaborate on the development and production of innovative interpretations of great classic works, new plays and musicals and educational programs for all San Diegans.
The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse
The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center incorporates three large rehearsal spaces, a play development center, state-of-the-art offices for Playhouse staff and houses a restaurant, bar and central courtyard.
The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center also features:
The Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre
On February 27, 2005, La Jolla Playhouse inaugurated the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre with the premiere of Private Fittings, Mark O'Donnell's adaptation of Georges Feydeau's classic farce, Tallieur pour Dames. As the third and newest of La Jolla Playhouse's theatres, the 6,500-square-foot Potiker theatre is the centerpiece of the first permanent year-round home for the Playhouse — the $17 million Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center.
“A box within a box, within a box,” the theatre is a glass-enclosed black cube that gives the Playhouse performance options; the seating and the stage can be placed wherever the director wishes, enhancing the performer-audience relationship. The performance area — complete with removable seats to allow for as few as two audience members and as many as 450 — has a mostly-removable performance floor with trap doors that lead down to a labyrinth of facilities and backstage areas for casts and crews, including a sound and recording studio which allows live music to be channeled into the theatre. Above the audience's heads sits a wire tension grid; there is also a balcony along the theatre's outer wall for extra seating or performance space.
In terms of what the theatre will bring to the Playhouse down the road, former Artistic Director McAnuff (and current Director Emeritus) said, “One can look into the not-too-distant future and imagine a festival where there's all kinds of activity on our stages for some period of the year.”
The Potiker Theatre is a flexible space; therefore seating configurations change for each show.