NEW YORK CITY: Town Stages has opened in the neighborhood of Tribeca in lower Manhattan. The new 9,000-square-foot storefront facility includes a mainstage theatre, a cabaret lounge, and a multi-use event space.
This flexible performance and event space is led by a female-driven team, spearheaded by executive director Robin Sokoloff. The new venue is an extension of Sokoloff’s Loft227, a creative space in midtown Manhattan that served local artists and innovators for the past five years.
“As artists, we spend nearly every waking hour of our lives in studios, on sets, in theatres, and in venues of all kinds,” said Sokoloff in a statement. “These are the places we convene and collaborate, grow, and transform. They are where we lift each other up, and where we make room for new voices and new perspectives. For many, these unique spaces are where we build our chosen families. In more ways than one, these cherished places are our homes.”
Town Stages, also called TOWN, will present ticketed performances, from theatre productions to fashion shows, from performance art to dance presentations. Curated community events will also be held at the space. TOWN will also be home to an application-based fellowship program for artists, entrepreneurs, writers, and content creators. In partnership with Sokoloff Arts (501c3), the fellowship will build a creative community and offer fellows shared rehearsal and performance spaces.
The board of directors includes producer Yael Silver, writer/ director Isaac Klein, and arts advocate Dr. Leonard Rosenblum.
“The issue of representation is a matter of real estate,” added Sokoloff. “Whoever owns a space decides what they want in their space, and decides how everyone is treated in their space. The ownership’s particular prevailing attitude trickles down into every aspect of the work produced—and, more consequentially, never produced. This holds true from the smallest no-name studio to the largest Broadway theatre or Hollywood sound stage: Consciously or unconsciously, real estate is how we discriminate.” Sokoloff concluded that it was “high time that I, and women in every part of the rainbow, start taking up more space. Six years ago I took off my dancing shoes, and picked up a hammer. I began building and running spaces. I began inviting other women to run them with me.”