site site.xsl LongwoodGardens
section nav_section.xsl section_the_gardens
page pg_standard.xsl Open_Air_Theatre_Fountains2
The Open Air Theatre has been used since 1914 for theatrical performances, concerts, and garden parties. Inspired by outdoor theaters in Europe, Longwood's version has dressing rooms for about 100 performers beneath the stage, and an auditorium lawn that holds chairs for 1,500. The stage is framed with clipped arborvitae. Kentucky coffee-trees and Canadian hemlocks tower over the stage from behind. An unusual water curtain rises 10 feet in front of the stage during performances, which include all types of music and theater from folk and jazz to Gilbert & Sullivan operetta and Broadway musicals.
A much enlarged fountain system was installed when Longwood founder Pierre du Pont expanded and renovated the Open Air Theatre in 1926–27. Seven circular basins with removable covers were built into the main stage floor. A unique 10’-high water curtain, two upper level basins, and isolated roof fountains off to either side were also added. Beneath the stage are 11 pumps re-circulating 2,000 gallons of water per minute through 750 nozzles illuminated from below by over 600 lights in red, blue, green, white and yellow.
Noteworthy plants: American arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), bald-cypress (Taxodium distichum), white saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana)
Please note that the fountain schedule is subject to change or cancellation due to severe weather or performance rehearsals and set-up.
element callout2.xsl WhatsinBloom
A team of Longwood Volunteers gathers horticultural highlights from the Outdoor Gardens and Conservatory. Download a pdf of their top picks for the week, including photos and locations.
element callout2.xsl Victoria_Exhibit
Journey to the wild, remote flood plains of South America and to the great gardens of Europe and North America to discover Victoria, the waterlily queen.
element callout2.xsl Festival_of_Fountains
Stand before towering fountains, wander shady groves, see fireworks light up the night sky, and enjoy concerts in the most beautiful outdoor settings.
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