I can take an empty space and call it a bare stage. Jerry Manning stood with me in this parking lot, pointed to that loading dock door, and said, “If you put chairs here, that’s a proscenium arch.” We went inside to the Leo K, he pointed at the left wing, “I want to show audiences that view of the theater.” We walked to the rotunda, we looked at all vegetation and weeds through the windows and he said, “You can’t buy scenery like that.” I can take an empty space and call it a bare stage. Sometimes people ask me how do you make a theater. I wish I had the balls to not talk about clearspans. I wish I had the balls not too talk about three phase power. I wish I had the balls to not talk about secondary and tertiary modes of egress. I can take an empty space and call it a bare stage. How do you build a theatre? You perform, and a theatre forms around you. And anybody who tells you differently is trying to sell you black paint.
— Matthew Richter’s opening speech last night for 14/48: Outdoors (doing this from memory so I may be paraphrasing or have some errors)