More OOB Performance Spaces are in Trouble 

Shay Gines 

In September the theatre companies that currently inhabit the Federal Archive Building at 154 Christopher Street were informed that their rents would be raised by as much at 500%.
The ousting of these theatres is only the most recent in a very distressing trend that is literally pushing theatre artists out of New York City.
The rate of the erosion of our stages is alarming. Over the last 5 years, 25% of the Off-Off-Broadway theatres in the midtown area have been torn down or repurposed into non-performance spaces We have watched a slow but steady decline in the number of productions that are taking place in the "theatre district."
Even more disturbing is the fact that of the 30 Off-Off-Broadway houses in the Greenwich Village district, 26% have already been lost and with the displacement of the theatres at question here, that percentage increases to 40%. It is particularly sad that on the 50th anniversary of Off-Off-Broadway, which began on a very small stage in Greenwich Village, we are witnessing the closure of these important and vibrant spaces.
The Off-Off-Broadway community has long been a significant part of the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout the 5 boroughs.  These productions bring creative and energetic artists and audience members to some of the more depressed areas of New York City and often provide a much needed injection of culture, income and community participation.
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