If you passed by Times Square today, you may have wondered about the groupings of bright yellow chairs scattered about the plaza. The seats were installed for design firm Bade Stageberg Cox’s Street Theater, which will be on display until May 18th as part of the Times Square Arts program. The urban research project repurposed reclaimed chairs found on the streets of New York into an impromptu stage. The colorful chairs will be arranged in an auditorium-style configuration, inviting visitors to have a seat and take in the living theater that is Times Square.
Bade Stageberg Cox began collecting chairs found outside of office buildings and residences in New York that were set out for the trash collector. The still usable chairs were then repaired and painted with a coat of iconic taxi cab-yellow paint for the project. Each morning, the designers will assemble the forty-nine found chairs in Times Square. Seven rows of seven chairs will be positioned as if in a theater for visitors to sit and take in the flashing lights, constant foot traffic and hustle and bustle of the plaza.
As the day progresses, the repurposed chairs will likely be rearranged by participants, turning the installation into a performance. The public will shift the chairs as needed, utilizing the public space to suit their demands.
Street Theater not only activates the public space that is often just used as a thoroughfare, but also turns the tables on New York’s theater district, transforming the actual streets into the stage.