MCC Launches Campaign to Reach $35 Million Goal for New Theatre

Off-Broadway News   MCC Launches Campaign to Reach $35 Million Goal for New Theatre
The dollar-for-dollar matching challenge aims to raise the needed $5 million to complete the project.
Rendering of ground floor lobby
Rendering of ground floor lobby Andrew Berman Architect

To date, Off-Broadway’s MCC Theater has raised $30 million towards the building of its first permanent home—a new 27,000-square-foot facility in Manhattan’s Clinton neighborhood that will act as a hub for artists, professional productions, and the company’s diverse roster of programs. The organization announced March 28 that the Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust has awarded the theatre a $2.5 million challenge grant in order to help raise the remaining $5 million needed to complete the project.

Upon completing the dollar-for-dollar matching challenge by April 30, 2018, the company will meet the campaign’s $35 million goal, and will open the new space in 2018.

Designed by Andrew Berman Architects, the new MCC space will include two state-of-the-art theatres (249 and 100 seats) and spaces for rehearsals, workshops, and public conversations. A public lobby on 52nd Street will connect to both the new space’s interior and an outside courtyard area. The facility will also be the home for MCC’s playwright development and arts education initiatives, such as PlayLabs, reading series, and public school programs.

Robert W. Wilson was a successful investor who devoted his life to philanthropy after his retirement. A New Yorker, he has been the supporter of some of the city’s major cultural institutions, including the Whitney Museum and the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Public Library, Central Park Conservancy, BAM, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. This matching gift marks the Trust’s first grant to a theatre company.

“We are very grateful for the Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust’s generosity and we’re proud to launch this matching challenge with their support,” commented Bernie Telsey, co-artistic director of MCC, speaking on behalf of the company’s artistic leadership. “As we wrap up our 30th anniversary season, it’s thrilling and truly humbling to consider where we started—operating out of a studio apartment—and the bright future for MCC Theater as we move closer to opening the first home of our own. From new plays and musicals, to workshops developing the next generation of bold artists, to the voices of students in our Youth Company from across the five boroughs, our home will be a vibrant hub of activity in the Clinton neighborhood. We’re eager to open its doors to everyone.”

With the opening of the new space, MCC is set to increase its productions from four to six per season, support a greater number of young playwrights, and expand its arts education initiatives. The $35 million project is funded by a public-private partnership between MCC and the City of New York.

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