The purpose of this paper is to visit the world of theatre, to examine itsperformance space, its occupants, their relationships and the architecturalcontainment of all these, and then, to explore from this heterotopic domain,the extent to which the surrounding city centre too is committed to such atheatrical identity and is indeed itself a performance space related to it, bothphysically and figuratively. Development trends of Auckland city centre arecharacterised, its main streets evaluated and some principles andprocedures suggested for urban design directions capable of enhancing thewider usage and theatricality of its public spaces.Central Auckland's range of provisions for urban life together with itsability to be urbanely unpredicatable are both shrinking. An unholisticmonoculture has been overwhelming it at the expense of 'the greater public'and many of the traditional retail and service functions to which popularmain street loyalties attach.Usage of this vast investment is increasingly selective, exclusive, evenpunishing of old and new ventures in diversity. By numerous consumermeasures, the new generation suburban centres are outpointing Aucklandcity centre in the shopping and social stakes.Faced with this trend, counteraction is under debate and under way - mostlyupmarket in new developments, but increasingly down-market too asbusiness and property slumps as well as land tax together wring from theolder quarters adaptive strategies long ignored.However, self-levelling as the market city may be in redistributingaffordable consumer services, it is arguable that their delivery and demandin the city will remain thwarted without radical urban and architecturaldesign contributions which excel (by comparison with suburban centres) intheir capacity to serve the diversely traditional and contemporary interestsof the greater city public. Some of these necessary design strategies will treat inadequancies ofaccommodation, comfort, security as well as retail viability; others willtreat visual, cultural and figurative inadequacies. Both strategic thrustsstand to gain from a conceptual engagement with theatre.Indeed, concerning theatre and all the moving encounters it embodies -between worlds of spectator and performer, of reality and illusion, ofprivate and public, of present and past, of the imaginable and theunimaginable - one can only continue to marvel at its validity as a modelerof the drama of urban life and as a metaphor for the urban life facility whichis the city.The paper examines the validity of the theatre model in addressing cityIssues and city fabric before advancing principles and typologies forreformations.