How a play goes from someone’s brain to a stage in New York City. Part 5: The Space.
By Pam Quinn (Writer)
Hunting for a theatre space in NYC is murder. Finding the right size, for the right price is like having to sit through a Chris O’Donnell performance. It’s rough. The team from Chekhov searched high and low for the right kind of space to do their show. Now I feel like the rest of this blog should rhyme. But I’m not gonna do it... I know, sublime.
www.nycspaces.org. It’s pretty good reference... but only when you’re looking for REHEARSAL space. And some of the best priced spaces are not on that list. We did some research, calling around, asking people who have put up shows in New York before and eventually we found:
The Access Theatre. It’s located downtown on White and Broadway and it had, pretty much, everything we needed. The woman who runs the space is extremely friendly and helpful and the space was even bigger than we had imagined it to be. We put down a deposit and signed a contract.
The Access theatre requires a few things before joining their family. Nothing particularly unreasonable, but when you’re struggling to put up a play in a short amount of time, it all adds up to be a little frustrating. Fire Guard. One of our crew members needs to take an eight hour course (or read an eight hour book - I forget) about Fire safety. They are then rewarded with a certificate that the Fire department insists on checking before each run. But with the access theatre, the price was right and the size of the space was perfect for what we needed. Therefore... stop, drop and roll... bitches. (I’m sorry, I don’t know what happened there.)
Another thing about the Access Theatre is that it’s a fourth floor walk up. Awesome? No... not when you walk up two steps and you immediately become Jack from Lost with the heavy breathing, sweat and “I NEED WATER!”
With our performance space locked, we still needed rehearsal space. Play Club has been rehearsing (For Free) at Wonder-land cafe (An Alice’s Tea cup pop up cafe located next to Books of Wonder in Chelsea). But as of the 15th of April we were losing that space to the owner of Books of Wonder whom, for whatever reason, has a problem with us rehearsing in there after hours. This news brought our budget up a bit, now that we were in search of a rehearsal space for the process. Luckily, I’ve been producing theatre in NYC for some time and have a few connections for rehearsal space. :) (See part 7 of 11: Rehearsals)
We’re really looking forward to being at the Access Theatre. The way the space is set up, really fits what we need. (See part 6 of 11: The Design.)
Our first rehearsal begins today, the 18th. Let’s... let’s see how that goes :)
Moved to California from New York at age 14 and entered the professional world of writing at 17 on the west coast. By her 20th birthday she had three original works produced in the Los Angeles area. Rising from sketch comedy writing and a background in theatre, Pam collected what she had learned over the years and compiled it into playwriting. She began collaborating on an idea for an original musical (Right Together, Left Together) with Will Collyer and Jacob Harvey. Since moving back to New York in ’05, Pam hasn’t stopped breathing this idea. She co-founded The Unknown Artists (www.theunknownartists.org) with Emily Clark and continues to be prolific within this fantastic company. www.uaplayclub.wordpress.com
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