"We are sad to sell the building from a historical perspective. It was the first building in America for women theater artists to call their own," said Julie Crosby, Women's Project's producing artistic director, in a statement. "But it's a decision based on numbers. To put it simply, the building, which is not ADA compliant, costs Women's Project three times more per performance week to operate than renting any other off-Broadway theater in town. Add to that the cost for needed renovations, over $12 million...well the numbers said sell the building, rent theater space, and use the money saved to produce more fabulous plays written and directed by women."
"Oh, and the Cherry Lane has showers for the actors," Crosby added. "We like clean actors."
"I've been trying to convince Julie Crosby and Women's Project to move to The Cherry Lane for some time," said Angelina Fiordellisi, Cherry Lane’s founding artistic director, who renovated the landmark building in 2006. "Julie is a fierce advocate for women, a brilliant artistic director and I am thrilled that Women's Project is coming 'home' to The Cherry Lane! Julie and I co-produced Sheila Callaghan's Lascivious Something in 2010, and I was there the day the air-conditioning died. I have a landmark theater about the same size. It's a perfect fit. And when Women's Project is not on the main stage, we'll rent the theatre to other non-profit groups."
Women's Project with Playwrights Horizons is currently co-presenting the acclaimed Milk Like Sugar by Kirsten Greenidge, which has been extended through Nov. 27.
Women's Project's next play, Catherine Trieschmann's How The World Began, directed by Daniella Topol, will play The Peter Jay Sharp Theater, 416 West 42nd Street, beginning Dec. 28. Women's Project moves to the Cherry Lane Theatre for the world premiere of We Play For The Gods, conceived and created by the 16 artists of the Women's Project Lab for playwrights, directors and producers. The show runs June 1-23, 2012.
Founded in 1978 by Julia Miles, and now under the leadership of producing artistic director Julie Crosby, Women's Project provides a stage for women playwrights and directors.