Ohio Theatre to Close in August

By Thomas Peter
23 Feb 2010

The front door to The Ohio Theatre
The front door to The Ohio Theatre
The Ohio Theatre, a 29-year fixture in Soho, will close its doors Aug. 31, according to a Feb. 23 press statement that reads, "The new landlord has issued official notice and no further negotiations are scheduled."

The theatre is run by Soho Think Tank (STT) under artistic director Robert Lyons. In addition to presenting STT's work, the theatre's regular season, "STT Presents," hosts the work of a variety of other independent theatre companies for four-week runs, according to its website.

The Ohio, one of the first theatres to open in the Soho area and one of the last still in operation, received the Ross Wetzsteon OBIE Award in 2002 "in recognition of its sustained artistic excellence and contributions to the theatre community," according to press notes. The theatre's many productions and visiting artists have also received numerous other awards and recognitions while working there.

Lyons said in a statement, "It's where Tony Kushner produced his first play out of college, where Philip Seymour Hoffman made his professional acting debut, where Eve Ensler performed Dicks in the Desert, a decade before writing The Vagina Monologues. The Ohio Theatre has been an incubator and platform for New York's most exciting and innovative theatre artists for almost 30 years. Its closing emphatically punctuates the end of an era in Soho, and stands as a high profile casualty in the relentless decimation of the lower Manhattan theatre landscape."

According to the website, the theatre is currently presenting Charles Mee's Fetes de la Nuit through Feb. 27 and will continue with the rest of its scheduled season, which is set to include Eric Sanders' Last Life (March 4-14), Ma-Yi's production of Michi Barrall's Rescue Me (March 15-April 18), an STT production to be announced (April 19-May 2), International WOW's production of Reconstruction (May 3-23), and Clubbed Thumb's New Works Festival (May 31-June 27).



The Ohio Theatre also hosts an annual summer festival of new work, Ice Factory, which will take place July 9-Aug. 23. The press release states STT is in discussion with other downtown-area theatres to find a short-term home for both "STT Presents" and the Ice Factory. Discussion is also underway for STT and some of the Ohio Theatre's regular companies to find a permanent new performing space in the future.

The Ohio Theatre's website, www.SohoThinkTank.org, will provide a space to share memories and photos of the theatre's past productions.

The Ohio Theatre is located at 66 Wooster Street. For tickets to Fetes de La Nuit, visit brownpapertickets.com.