The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York has announced that in November it will open the A.R.T/New York Theatres: two state-of-the-art performances spaces located at 502 West 53rd Street.
The theatres, designed by Toshiko Mori, will provide affordable performance space to New York City’s smaller-budget nonprofit theatres. Seating capacity is up to 87 seats in the Jeffrey and Paula Gural Theatre and up to 149 seats in the Mezzanine Theatre.
For the inaugural 2017-18 season, the new spaces will be occupied by A.R.T’s selection of 21 nonprofit companies: Amas Musical Theatre, Broken Box Mime Theater, Buran Theatre, The Civilians, Dramatic Question Theatre, Houses on the Moon Theater Company, Ma-Yi Theater Company, The Movement Theatre Company, NAATCO, New Georges, New York City Children's Theater, New York Neo-Futurists, One Year Lease Theater Company, Pioneers Go East Collective, Pipeline Theatre Company, The Play Company, Project Y Theatre Company, Prospect Theater Company, Target Margin Theater, Theater Breaking Through Barriers and Transport Group Theatre Company.
Following a 2012 study that showed theatre companies spend over 50% of their budgets on performance space and labor alone, A.R.T./New York has committed to subsidizing the rental rates for the selected companies to allow for more money to go towards creative development. This is made possible through A.R.T/New York’s 25-year Rental Subsidy Fund.
“The A.R.T./New York Theatres are designed for New York’s diverse, adventurous, and artistically substantive companies that have operating budgets below $1 million,” said executive director Virginia P. Louloudes in a press statement. “More than 300 of these companies are the lifeblood of New York’s theatrical ecosystem—but they are poorly financed and mostly itinerant, without rehearsal or performance spaces of their own. They rent, and have struggled in recent years, even while producing award-winning new work and reaching large and diverse audiences in all five boroughs.”
The organization established a grant program to select the companies who will receive subsidized rentals at the new spaces Off-Broadway. To be eligible for a subsidized rental, a company must be an A.R.T./New York member with an annual operating budget under $1 million and does not own or hold a long-term lease on its own space.