REDCAT is excited to host an eclectic mix of artists who engage the full passion, intelligence and irreconcilability of our times. We hope you will be inspired by their work and by the intimate atmosphere of REDCAT--a downtown meeting place for the public and artists of all disciplines. This is a place to see, hear, meet and discuss; to challenge ideas and invent new creative networks. We invite you to come back again and often, approach the works with inquisitive and critical eyes, and, as always, to hang out late.
Although it is housed in the same complex as Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater has its own unique mandate: to provide a Los Angeles home for new, cutting-edge performance and art--a laboratory where artists can push boundaries, experiment with forms, and blend disciplines, cultures and ideas.
REDCAT was not part of the original plan when construction began on Walt Disney Concert Hall in 1992. As the project unfolded, Roy E. Disney, vice chairman of The Walt Disney Company and nephew of Walt and Patty Disney, saw an opportunity for a CalArts presence within the complex. For more than three decades, Roy has been one of the most steadfast supporters of CalArts, continuing the good work of his father, Roy O. Disney, who had been Walt's partner in building The Walt Disney Company, and who, after Walt's death in 1966, had overseen the construction of CalArts' Valencia campus.
Roy and Michael Eisner, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company and a longtime CalArts trustee and supporter, presented a plan to The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors, which approved the proposal. The company subsequently made a gift to both Walt Disney Concert Hall and the CalArts project.
Roy and his wife Patty personally matched the Disney Company gift for the new CalArts venue, which would be permanently dedicated in memory of Roy's parents as the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater-REDCAT. It was a fitting tribute: The names of Walt and Roy Disney were side by side once again, as they had been from the beginnings of The Walt Disney Company and the earliest days of CalArts.
With the concert hall already under construction, the County of Los Angeles approved the new project and lead architect Frank O. Gehry was asked to create plans for REDCAT. Gehry himself had longstanding ties to CalArts: Two of his children are alumni and he holds a CalArts honorary degree, awarded in 1987.
Gehry's high-tech, utilitarian design for REDCAT's multiuse space followed the mandate to support the full artistic vision of those who perform and exhibit there. As such, REDCAT stands as one of the most versatile and technologically advanced presentation spaces in the world.
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