PH bills the third and fourth-floor location of 440 Lafayette as "Lower Manhattan's largest rehearsal space complex." The $1.2 million project took eight months for demolition and renovation. The third floor was the site of the major renovation. The new space includes eight rehearsal studios and a 68-seat theatre, formerly the Linhart Theater, now renamed The Robert Moss Theater, for Playwrights' founder. It reopened Jan. 15.
When not in use by the School for classes, workshops and productions, the rehearsal studios and theatre on the third and fourth floors are rented out to hundreds of New York City cultural groups each year.
"The School and the studios are an integral part of Playwrights Horizons and perform a vital service for students, the theatre community and the surrounding neighborhood," according to the Off-Broadway institution.
The renovation of the third floor was made possible, in large part, through capital funding from New York City and New York State.
Playwrights Horizons took occupancy of the third and fourth floor at 440 Lafayette Street in 1993; the previous tenant had made few changes to the third floor during their 20-year occupancy. According to PH, "The renovations to the third floor, which were overseen by the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC), included soundproofing, replacing walls and flooring, widening the hallways and improving the floor layout, adding new storage space, creation of a lobby and box office for the theatre space, lighting upgrades, electrical work, and installation of a new HVAC system. These improvements constitute a gut renovation and have vastly improved the facility." Moss founded the award-winning company in 1971 and was artistic director from 1971 to 1980. He was the director of the Playwrights Horizons Theater School from 1990 to 1996.
The fourth floor, which didn't require renovation, features an additional nine rehearsal spaces.
Playwrights Horizons Theater School is a theatrical training and education program that operates in association with New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Undergraduate Drama Program. Nearly 200 students are enrolled each year; they graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New York University.
Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater is located on West 42nd Street. For more information visit www.playwrightshorizons.org.