A New Theater Space in Tribeca

Sokoloff Arts, a nonprofit organization, is opening Town Stages at 221 W. Broadway, formerly White Street restaurant. From the website:

Riding its 5 year success supporting emerging creatives at Loft227, Sokoloff Arts is proud to announce its expansion to a facility 5X its size. Sokoloff Arts is building Town Stages to feature a cabaret theater, a mainstage, and multi-use event space to house a combination of ongoing rentals, sponsorships, and fully produced works from both the public and their newly inked Residency Tracks.

Town is a Venue, a Theater, Meeting Space, Daytime Lounge and Studio Space that addresses the full life cycle of creatives. It is a place to brainstorm, rehearse, shoot, launch, exhibit, produce, fundraise, and put on a show in the heart of New York City.

All are welcome in one dynamic location: Town Stages is a new Performance and Event Space […] for emerging artists, entrepreneurs, their audiences, and their supporters. Town is leading the charge for the advancement of young women, minorities, and LGBTQ voices as industry leaders in their chosen fields.

“It’s a collaborative space where people can come together and get to know one another,” says founder Robin Sokoloff. “We’re looking to hear exactly what the community wants it to be.” Neighbors have already stopped by to request kids’ programming, which she was excited about. Other folks have expressed concern about noise. “We’re not a nightclub!” she insists, and as for noise mitigation, “we’re theater technicians. Sound and lighting are what we do. Of course we’re going to do them properly!”

We’ll learn more at the Community Board 1 Licensing & Permits Committee meeting on November 8.n It’s at 6 p.m. at the Manhattan Borough President’s Office on the 19th floor of the Municipal Building (1 Centre St.); enter on the south side.

UPDATE: I had included a floor plan from the website that I thought was applicable to the new space, but it’s not (so it has been removed).

14 Comments

  1. Yes, let’s indeed learn more from the CB1 meeting instead of the promises promises in their press release.

    • Hi, Heide. Thank you for your interest in our organization. This article in not our press release. The reporter reached out to us, and explained he was going to write this story whether or not we gave him any specifics. It was a little weird, and kind of awkward for me. I’ve never had a reporter reach out to me before. We just received the keys to the space last week. I’m still trying to figure out which light bulbs need replacing, and how to turn the water pumps on. We have a lot of work to do ahead of us, and we haven’t had much time to write a formal press release. If you’d like more information about Town, go to sokoloffarts.org, or follow Town Stages on Facebook and Instagram. You can email us at connect@townstages.com. I’m looking forward to seeing you at CB1! We’re so excited! I hope you can come to our Shakespeare adaptation in February.

  2. A new theatre space sounds very promising. I’m all for more good performing arts spaces.

    (As long as it’s not just another rowdy nightclub spilling inebriated and belligerent patrons out into the streets).

    • Thank you, Marcus! Great to hear from you. We are very excited too. I’m so sorry you’ve had experiences like that in your neighborhood or at this address previously. I’ve heard lots of horror stories. Our creative community doesn’t really have the kind of money to splurge on drinks. It’s hard enough to cobble the money together to put on thoughtful plays, panel discussions, and fundraisers in the first place. We are supplying a bar as a common amenity like most off-broadway spaces, cultural institutions, and museums do. We wanted to make sure no outside caterers or third party vendors could apply for one-day alcohol permits and let people drink too much. We can’t afford to have rowdy audiences and drunk hecklers disrupting our programming. So we are tightly controlling what is consumed ourselves. It’s the only way to ensure the quality of experience, both in our doors and outside our doors. I’m more concerned that locals will be upset that our “bar” is not open very often. We can go whole weeks at a time shooting a feature film, or doing pop-up shops for local small businesses. We won’t be serving on those days. I hope we don’t get canned on Yelp because we aren’t a cookie cutter bar that you can sit at all night. Again, Sokoloff Arts is a non-profit public charity (501C3). 100% of the proceeds from the bar at Town go to subsidizing space for artists, entrepreneurs, and other community needs. I hope to see you at CB1 this week!

      • Sounds great; best of luck with the project!

        • Thanks much, Marcus. We are thrilled to be here. We are already planning a Parent Appreciation “Winter Fun” Open House for December 1st. All ages are welcome. Miss New York 2013 is hosting. Come join us for some hot chocolate!

  3. Thank you for posting, Erik. Women filmmakers who live in Tribeca are already reaching out to us to shoot at Town Stages. We appreciate it!

  4. All very exciting. See you on the 1st!

  5. Excited to learn about a new space for the arts and artists and patrons of the arts in our neighborhood. A long time ago when I moved down here and it wasn’t yet Tribeca it was the home and working space for many artists who often had to travel someplace else to show or perform their work. Yes, we met in the rough and tumble bars and a few coffee spots, but of course all that changed when the money began to flow and buildings rose to new heights. So, Robin, I welcome your efforts and hope you succeed with your plans…

  6. Sounds great!
    we need more cultural venues down here ( oh, for a film space like Metrograph on the LES ) and not just another overpriced restaurant or children’s store, etc.

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