The Paper Mill has a long history of producing shows that make it to Broadway. They were awarded the Regional Theatre Tony Award in 2016
The 1795 actual Paper Mill, including windmill powered by the adjoining stream, ultimately went defunct, then turned Playhouse in 1934. The original building seen here houses the lobby. The dryvit walls to the rear house the auditorium constructed in 1980, after a devastating fire.
Paper Mill Playhouse engaged a design team to conduct a comprehensive improvements study. The key issues behind this endeavor included the owner’s desire to expand the venue for a vibrant and ever-growing educational program, as well as improving the intimacy of the auditorium and examining the options for front of house public space improvements. Stewart led a study that examined the owner’s key issues, as outline above, as well as the deferred maintenance of the buildings, areas where accessibility could be improved and potential solutions to the shortage of administrative spaces.
The 1980’s design was very worn and dated. Orange, brown and exposed concrete.
1200 chairs were replaced, carpet in the aisles, polished concrete under the chairs
The side walls were covered with heavy drapery over 4” thick acoustical batt insulation. This helped absorb the sound energy from the mostly musical program. Cable trays were added to eliminate the exposed cables leading to performance lighting
All the exposed concrete in the room was covered with stained wood.
Auditorium chairs by Ducharme. 100% wool fabric by JB Martin. Perforated seat bottoms to absorb sound. The orchestra has an extraordinary steep pitch, requiring a unique analysis into the chair design.
The mezzanine loge boxes were completely refinished. The carpet is 100% wool axminster weave
Loose chairs with the same fabric accompany the wheelchair spaces
Stewart Jones was the principal designer and principal in charge for Martinez + Johnson Architecture. Fisher Dachs Associates theater consultant, Akustiks acoustical consultant, Cooley Monato Lighting Designer, and Frankoski Construction as construction manager.