Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spaces Part I (shoot me now)

This weekend I wrote to performance/rehearsal spaces asking about pricing and availability for a 2 week 8 performance run at the beginning of May/End of April.
Most of the spaces I found here (in accordance with James suggestions).

This seemingly simple act, raised many questions and concerns I had never considered...
All of which, James gladly gave of his time and expertise to help answer, and I'm really working on trying to tackle them one by one. For someone like me with NO business sense whatsoever, this process can be kind of confusing. So, I really do appreciate all of you out there who have written and/or are writing about it. I promise it's incredibly helpful.

Anyway, back to spaces...

My criteria for which spaces to write to, and which ones to not was pretty basic:
(I'm like the desperate guy at the bar here just trying to pick up anything I can)

I only looked at spaces in Manhattan.
I only looked at spaces that could seat between 25-150 in the house.
If they listed their theatre as a proscenium non flexible space then I didn't write to them.
If they actually had prices listed (which many don't) and it far exceeded my budget, then I didn't write to them.
If, for some random reason I already knew about their space and it had a negative connotation attached to it at all, then, I didn't write to them.

The rest, I did.
This totaled 77 spaces.

Maybe not the best move...
My inbox has been flooded for days now,
my voicemail is full,
and I have the sinking suspicion that I've been signed up for a couple of dozen mailing lists.
However, I did get a lot of info out of all of this, namely:

Most of these places are WAAAAYYY out of my price range.
Some of them are barely out of my price range if I change up the schedule
A very few won't look at me because of my non-union status
but there are those perfect little possibilities out there...

The following is a list of those who have responded, and seem halfway feasible. (there were many many more, but most were just 1000's and 1000's of dollars more than I wanted or am able to spend)


Where Eagles Dare Studios – Rehearsal from $9-$37/hr

Performance space - $190-$240/ Night (4hr block)

Cino Theatre – Only available at the end of April - $2500/wk - performance space

Playwrights Horizons – $35/hr – rehearsal space $750/day – performance space

Theatre Row Studio Theatre - $650/day - performance space

Classic Stage Company - $55/hr performance space, but there's a catch:

$55.00/performance fee for house manager for up to 4 hours,
then $14.00/hour for extra hours

$75.00/perfomance fee or $200.00/week fee for use of in-house lighting

Helen Mills Theatre – Requires an Application $800/2 hrs - Performance space

36 St. Studio – Rehearsal Space – $12-30/hr

Cherry Lane Theatre – Only available in April, 2 spaces, $425/Night or $3500/wk

Actors Theatre Workshop – Rates are nightly not weekly willing to work out deal for rehearsal space as well – BUT, I think they're still out of my price range. They require an application as well.

The Monkey – Haven't gotten a quote yet but the guy seems interesting...

Richmond Shepard – Still need to visit the website to get more info.

Paradise Factory - $2500/wk 24/7 access. Could go down to $15/hr for rehearsal space if we go with them for performance space

Theatre Lab – $1k/wk performance space. Rehearsal space is negotiable.

Space On White – Rehearsal space for $12/hr - $30/hr

SoHo Playhouse – Huron Club - $2k/wk

Stage Left Studio – No space available at that time – rates: $65/hr – performance $35/hr – Rehearsal

Abingdon Theatre – No space available at that time for performance, may have rehearsal space

59e59 – No space available at that time

Puffin Room – Closed for Renovation

Rattlestick – No space available at that time

Shelter Studios – No space available at that time

Vital Theatre – No space available at that time


I'm working on actually organizing all this data now,
but I think with a little bit of tinkering on the schedule and a whole lot of adjusting of my budget, I may be able to swing this thing.
Once I narrow it down, I'm hoping to go visit spaces by the end of the week.

As always, if ANYBODY has any advice, insight, or anything at all, I would love to hear it!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, THIS sight: not helpful.


  1. Hey Kent, I'm artistic director of another new little self-producing venture called Organs of State (www.organsofstate.org), and I've just the last couple months been working on a production of Hamlet that runs February 25th - March 6th.

    The only bit of general advice I'd say is, don't forget about the square-footage of both the rehearsal space and the performance space. Our performance space is large, but this actually wound up making the problem that the director wanted to work in a space that was if not the same size, at least sizable -- many of the available/inexpensive rehearsal space was simply too cramped to be useful for us.

    This has been my first go-'round on the space thing, but I'm now familiar with a couple of the spaces on your list:

    1) Paradise Factory -- this is the venue we decided upon to go with for performance. The venue's price is fairly modest for the size of the venue (the playing space is large and flexible, it's got a fair number of seats, etc.). And furthermore, it's on Fourth Arts Block, right next to some of the greatest independent theaters in New York -- NYTheatre Workshop, La Mama Etc., the Kraine. If you spring for posters/post-cards, there's much more of a chance of attracting the attention of your audience than, say, Abingdon.

    2) Abingdon - I was just there at a reading last night, and that space is snug. It's not a bad space, and the people who work there who I met seem like good people, but if you're looking at a large cast (our show has 11) it might not work out.

    3) Space on White - The woman who runs it is very kind and helpful, and rehearsal spaces seem to be available enough on short notice. We wound up doing most of our rehearsals at Space on White after a variety of places didn't really work out. Also, Space on White is fairly lose to Canal St. subway hub, which is a nice perk.

    4) Brooklyn Arts Exchange - This wasn't on your list but I highly, highly recommend them for rehearsal space. And performance space too, actually, if Brooklyn is within your radius of performance.

    If you're pressed for space, the best resource is always: www.nycpaspaces.org

    Things to bear in mind:
    1) Cost (obviously)
    2) Space size
    3) Convenience of location
    4) What type of flooring they have -- my cast needs to move a lot of things, so if there's marley flooring that's a pretty good indication that it'll be a "no shoes/no furniture" situation

    Anyways, that's my sage wisdom.

  2. That's really helpful thanks man!
    I'll definitely come check out your show too.
    By any chance, do you know anything about 440 studios connected to Playwrights? Or anything about what The Flea's got worked out?

  3. We did some of our rehearsals for the last Flea show at Where Eagles Dare. Small space and you can hear everything that's going on through the walls! But from what I hear, low cost.

    Have you looked at Nola Studios? Its where I have my voice lessons, its in the same building as Shetler studios on 54th Street. Its not too expensive and they have some decent sized spaces, as well as some fairly large studios. Good for rehearsals!

    Also, I don't know if you are considering any space outside of Manhattan, but there is a space in Brooklyn; Galapagos Art Space thats pretty awesome. One of my friend's theater companies is doing a show there right now.http://www.galapagosartspace.com/index.html

    I think I already sent you the info on the Flea. Have you checked out any of the other off-off Bway spaces in that Tribeca/downtown area? SohoRep, 13th Street Rep, or any of the theaters on the 4th street strip in the E Village (LaMama, NYTW, Kraine/RedRoom).

    If you have any cast members/crew etc associated with certain acting studios or theatre companies, you may be able to finangle using their spaces for rehearsal for free or at a reduced rate (I can get space at Stella Adler Studio or the Flea when its available, for instance, as an alum/company member) or I know many MTC interns that have done readings/used studios there for rehearsal and auditioning.

    Anyway, that's my two cents.

    Good luck :)!