Theatre and Music

Avon Theatre | Stratford, Ontario


Theatre and Music

Terry Marklevitz and Michael Wilson have in depth experience with the design of theatrical and musical space. Both musicians, Terry an accomplished vocalist and Michael a guitarist, understand the importance of the performer’s ability to hear oneself and other members of the choir, band or orchestra.

Early in his career Terry redesigned and provided a large addition to Stratford’s Avon Theatre production and support areas and many years later had the opportunity to completely renovate the public spaces and restore and update the performance space with the 9.5 million dollar renewal project completed in 2002.

".....The good news is that the renewal of the Avon Theatre is finally complete, and what a truly beautiful transformation it is. Without changing the basic structure of the building or altering its seating capacity, the Avon has been made a far more comfortable place for its patrons, blessed with spacious lobbies, ample legroom, improved sightlines and copious washrooms.

And the former "black box" of its interior, which could loom so forbidding on occasion, has been replaced by warmly welcoming wood and a series of stylish architectural features that pay tribute to the past while evoking the present and greeting the future. All in all a superb job....."Richard Ouzounian printed in the Toronto Star, Thursday May 30, 2002.

Michael’s focus at school was theatre design, following which he re-designed the orchestra loft at the renowned Stratford Festival Theatre while working with Terry in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. The success at the Stratford’s Festival Theatre Orchestra loft and subsequent production space projects led to Michael’s work on the Detroit Opera House development plan under the direction of John Leberg Sr. and Dr. David DiChiera for the Michigan Opera Theatre. The conceptual design ideas presented were later incorporated into the 30 million dollar conversion of the 1927 Howard Crane Vaudeville House into the Detroit Opera House.

“I found Michael not only to be an able architect but a gentleman who was sensitive to the needs of the theatre. (…) I have had the opportunity to work with architects of international reputation on similar projects. Michael does not pale by comparison. I believe given the opportunity he can become one of the world major theatre architects.” John Leberg, General Manager, Canada Opera Company.

Michael’s subsequent study of theatrical buildings continued with two international competition entries with colleague Joseph Kokot, for the Oslo and Copenhagen Opera Houses. In 2007, Michael’s design for a music room won a citation award for Wood Design Building Award. As an ongoing interest and passion for theatre, Michael’s current academic project involves the study of 9 Greek Theatres in Sicily, Turkey and Greece.