Endangered Ohio Theater Will Finish Season in Soho
22 Jan 2009
The downtown venue, the Ohio Theater — a haven for emerging artists and host to the current production of Tennessee Williams' 10 Blocks on the Camino Real — has received a stay of execution from its landlords.
It was announced in December that 66 Wooster Street, the building in which the Ohio is housed, had been sold and that the future of the venue was in doubt. Soho Think Tank artistic director Robert Lyons, who founded STT in 1994 to manage operations and programming for the Ohio, revealed on the company's website that the new landlords originally requested STT to vacate the premises as of January 2009. Lyons swiftly lobbied the landlords to permit the Ohio to fulfill its seasonal obligations at least through June.
Lyons' work has paid off for the time being. The New York Times reports that the Soho Think Tank has signed a one-year lease for the Ohio Theater, with a mutual opt-out at the end of June. Though they have lost the sixth-floor rehearsal space, STT will now be able to finish out their planned season at the Ohio.
STT hopes to secure financing to remain at the Ohio past June; however, Lyons states that finding a new space is also a possibility.
The Ohio Theater is among many of the New York venues that are closing or facing uncertain futures. The Zipper Factory abruptly shuttered last week, while venues like the Gene Frankel Theatre are in desperate need of financing to keep their doors open.