An ambitious - and dramatic- idea could be making its way into Detroit soon. Imagine a night out at the theater...just like Shakespeare’s famed Globe Theatre, but with a modern twist. This Globe Theatre would be built with shipping containers. We chatted with Angus Vail, creator of the Container Globe, on making his vision a reality.
Vail has been working on the concept for the Container Globe for about five years. In that time, he’s gathered support among the academic and theatrical worlds of Shakespeare, and now has Shakespeare's Globe in London, the Shakespeare Theatre Association, and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington as supporters.
The design is meant to be modular and mobile, using repurposed shipping containers to build a similar theater concept as Shakespeare’s Globe, that would accommodate both Shakespearean productions and other live performances.
Vail has a few places in mind for this concept. He’s looked into New York, New Zealand, and has interest in both Denver and Los Angeles. But he sees the most interest here in Detroit, and we’re in line first - if the funding falls into place.
“I personally love the idea of having the first Container Globe in Detroit,” says Vail. “I'm originally from New Zealand, and first visited Detroit in the mid 80s and loved it. There's nowhere that's more "America" than Detroit. And for the Globe to be part of Detroit’s renaissance in even a small way would be fantastic.”
The design lends itself to either a permanent or travelling installation, but according to Vail, he’d like to keep it in one site, and create others elsewhere if possible. The rendering above shows the Globe Container in front of Michigan Central Station, just as an example if what it could look like in Detroit. But according to Vail, he’s received the most support in a Midtown location along Woodward.
The Container Globe crew has met with foundations and arts groups in Detroit. While they work to finalize details, they’ll launch a crowdfunding campaign early next year. For a more thorough explanation on the design concept, Vail explains the details in this Ted Talk below.
Where could you imagine a theatre like this in the city?