Tony-winning set designer Mimi Lien (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) has been commissioned to re-imagine Josie Robertson Plaza as part of Restart Stages, Lincoln Center’s initiative that will create 10 outdoor performance and rehearsal spaces in an effort to kick start the performing arts sector and contribute to the revival of New York City.
“The GREEN” will transform approximately 14,000 square feet of open, concrete expanse surrounding the Revson Fountain, which sits between the Metropolitan Opera House, David Geffen Hall, and the David H. Koch Theater, into an environment that invites New Yorkers to relax in an open, park-like space.
“When invited to consider how the physical space of Josie Robertson Plaza could be re-envisioned to be a more inclusive and inviting environment, I immediately thought that by changing the ground surface from hard paving stones with no seating to a material like grass, suddenly anyone would be able to sit anywhere,” said Lien.
Books will be available to borrow from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; a snack bar is planned for the northeast corner; pop-up performances will be offered throughout the summer and fall.
Lien added, “In the past, Josie Robertson Plaza has been a space that you walk through in order to see a performance, to get to the Library, or even to admire the fountain for a bit, but I dreamt of making it a space of inhabitation, of pleasure, and of rest. I wanted to make a place where you could lie on a grassy slope and read a book all afternoon. Get a coffee and sit in the sun. Bring your babies and frolic in the grass. Have a picnic lunch with co-workers. I hope that this curved grass surface will feel like an embrace and an expanse at the same time, and will re-imagine the Plaza as a site of social infrastructure, like a town green—a place to gather, a common ground.”
“The GREEN” will be open May 10 through September, 9 AM–midnight. A variety of safety protocols will be in place, following recommended guidelines as the public health situation evolves, including required face coverings, social distancing, and regular cleaning of the space.