The construction of The Egg began in 1966 and was completed twelve years later in 1978. The Egg was designed by Wallace Harrison for all the people of New York State and to accommodate many events and performances. Architecturally, The Egg is without precedent. From a distance it seems as much a sculpture as a building. Though it appears to sit on the main platform, the stem that holds The Egg actually goes down through six stories deep into the Earth. The Egg keeps its shape by wearing a girdle - a heavily reinforced concrete beam that was poured along with the rest of the shell. This beam helps transmit The Egg's weight onto the supporting pedestal and gives the structure an ageless durability that belies its nickname.
The Egg houses two theatres - the Lewis A. Swyer Theatre and the Kitty Carlisle Hart Theatre. Seating 450, the Swyer Theatre is used for chamber music concerts, cabaret, lectures, multimedia presentations, solo performers and a majority of educational programming. With a seating capacity of 982, the Hart Theatre is used for larger productions including musical theatre, dance and music concerts. Wrapping around fully half The Egg is a lounge area for the Hart theatre. This space is ideal for seminars, receptions, after theatre parties and small cabaret type performances. The building's curved exterior defines the interior statement as well. There are virtually no straight lines or harsh corners inside The Egg. Instead, walls along the edge curve upward to meet gently concave ceiling light for celestial effect. The backs of performing areas are fanned - inviting one inward - providing an intimacy impossible in a conventional theatre. And throughout, walls of Swiss pearwood veneer add warmth and enhance the acoustics in the theatres. Visually distinctive, yet ingenious The Egg is a beautiful synthesis of form and function.
Capacity And Seating Type (Stadium, Folding Chair, Balcony)
Kitty Carlisle Hart Theatre
Fifteen comfortable tiered seating rows wrap around a dual hydraulic lift stage in the Kitty Carlisle Hart Theatre. Maximum seating capacity reaches 982, including eighteen seats in the special needs section immediately behind the back rail. Superb sightlines and generous leg room augment the pleasurable experience of attending an event in this theatre.
Lewis A. Swyer Theatre
Intimate is the key word to describe the Lewis A. Swyer Theatre which seats a maximum of 450 in only nine rows, including six seats in the special needs section. Every seat offers exceptional sightlines and comfort, and the small stage is perfect for all performance types.
The Hart Theatre's spectacular curved lounge space measures 10,000 square feet and can accommodate receptions and other activities.
The Swyer Theatre's small lounge area is perfect for intimate cocktail and reception gatherings or informal pre-show discussions.
Comdedy, Dance, Family, Film, Music and Theatre.
Don't Miss This When Visiting
- Executive Mansion
- Plaza Art Collection
- State Capitol
- Observation Deck
- Plaza Visitor Center
Identify And Describe The Management Organization
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza Performing Arts Center Corporation presents quality performances, accessible to all citizens of New York State, highlighting the unique and extraordinary artists from New York State, across the country and around the globe.