Members of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./NY), an umbrella organization comprising 350 New York nonprofit theatre organizations, will be busy today reviewing plans than may affect the very future of nonprofit theatre in the city.
Nonprofit theatres, where important development work is done by companies, writers and actors, face a constant struggle to keep their overhead down and their doors open.
In light of the ongoing financial challenge, A.R.T./NY executive director Ginny Louloudes began studying the needs of her constituency this summer in terms of providing office and rehearsal space.
Louloudes surveyed her membership about their individual needs and adopted a plan to deal with the critical space issue.
"Based on your responses, it is clear that there is an enormous need for affordable office space," Louloudes told her membership in a written response to her survey. "In addition, we have long heard that there is a lack of affordable rehearsal space, particularly for companies performing in 99-seat theatres." As early as this year, A.R.T./NY may purchase a building that could house a variety of nonprofit theatres. The building would offer as many as two dozen modest office spaces equipped with storage space. Three rehearsal rooms would also be available to A.R.T./NY member/tenants, with projected rehearsal rents of $10-$12 per hour. Certain amenities, like a conference room, as well as postage, fax and copying services would be available on a shared basis. A.R.T./NY members were invited to an open house Sept. 27 to see the first building under review and to discuss A.R.T./NY's plans to develop it. The location of the building has not been made public at this time, but Playbill On-Line has learned that it is in Brooklyn, in the BAM neighborhood.
If successful, the space strategy could mean keeping a number of valuable nonprofit theatre companies productive in New York.
-- By Murdoch McBride