Hello from HERE Arts Center, where I am working on my sound design for 7 Minutes in Heaven. These bathrooms would be a terrific sanctuary during the stress of tech, but there are so many people coming in and out, including patrons, so it’s not a very private place. The lighting and the many reflective surfaces do create a bit of visual chaos, but it’s still a nice restroom. They have interesting industrial-style lighting fixtures and deep red walls. It’s clean, but isn’t always stocked with toilet paper; when it is, they often stack up a bunch of rolls…it’s just a little bit casual for a theatre this nice, but since the employees practically live here, the way they care for the facility makes sense.
The most interesting thing about the bathroom is an ingenious, and kind of silly, money-making scheme. Have you seen seats in theatres that have metal plaques that state the names of donors? Well, at HERE, the toilets have sponsors! In the women’s room, the smaller stall is sponsored by Anne-Marie Fink and Brian W. Wu (whoever they are) and the handicapped stall is sponsored by Paula Vogel, which I find hilarious because she’s a famous playwright. I’ve met her – oddly enough, in the bathroom at Playwrights Horizons – and she’s very down to earth and kind. If any famous person would see the humor in having her name emblazoned over a toilet, it would be her. I suppose without those financial contributions, we wouldn’t have this facility available to us for our production!