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Is This Socially-Distanced, Vertical Theater Design the Venue of the Future?

The newly established The Vertical Theatre Group has revealed its vision for a pandemic-proof live performance venue.

Today, the newly established The Vertical Theatre Group has revealed its vision for a ‘future-proof’ live performance venue. Referred to as The Vertical Theatre, this free-standing venue is designed for socially distancing and is touted as being “tourable” for the pandemic.

The structure will have a roof to protect the audience and stage from the elements, with optional open sides to allow for optimum airflow and natural ventilation. The audience would be able to sit in balconies which can accommodate groups between 4-12 people or designated social bubbles.


In August 2020, led by Stufish Entertainment Architects, a group of producers, creatives and technical specialists gathered to work towards a new design of venues that would allow concerts to resume during the global pandemic. Stufish had previously created live performance designs for artists such as Beyoncé, U2, Madonna, Rolling Stones, Elton John, Monty Python, and Queen + Adam Lambert, as well as permanent theaters in China.

Socially-Distanced, Vertical COVID Theater Design
The Vertical Theatre Group

“Creativity defines all the artists and partners we work with,” said Stufish partner and entertainment architect Ric Lipson in a release. “At Stufish, we were excited to see what a new type of cross arts collaboration could produce, as we build a new vision for the future of live entertainment – The Vertical Theatre.”

The Vertical Theatre is built to be constructed for different socially-distancing requirements and can hold between 1,200-2,400 fans. The venue will have the capability to include built-in global streaming capacity, as well as feature food and beverage facilities.


“We are devoted to the vital importance of arts and culture. We believe they are an essential part of human experience, of what makes us who we are,” said The Vertical Theatre Group founders in a statement. “We are very excited to be able to bring this innovative new venue offering to the live entertainment world at this pivotal moment for the future of the arts.”

The Vertical Theatre Group founders are Stufish Entertainment Architects represented by Lipson and Paul Preston; live events and documentary producer Holly Gilliam, theater producer Katy Lipson; production director Jake Berry and director and Digital Theatre founder Robert Delamere.

Check out a video clip of the venue design below.