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Cherry Lane Theatre



38 Commerce Street
New York City, NY 10004

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A, B, C, D, E, F, V to West 4th St or # 1 to Christopher St

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Theater Description:

Cherry Lane Theatre

The Cherry Lane Theatre (CLT), located at 38 Commerce Street in the borough of Manhattan, is New York City's oldest continuously running off-Broadway theater. The Cherry Lane contains a 179-seat main stage and a 60-seat studio.

The building was constructed as a farm silo in 1817, and also served as a tobacco warehouse and box factory before Edna St. Vincent Millay and other members of the Provincetown Players converted the structure into a theater they christened the Cherry Lane Playhouse, which opened in 1924 with the theatrical presentation "Saturday Night," by Richard Fresnell.[2] This was followed by the plays "The Man Who Ate Popmack," by W. J. Turner, directed by Reginald Travers, on March 24, 1924; and The Way of the World by William Congreve and produced by the Cherry Lane Players Inc., opening November 17, 1924.

The Living Theatre, Theatre of the Absurd, and the Downtown Theater movement all took root there, and it developed a reputation as a place where aspiring playwrights and emerging voices could showcase their work.
A succession of major American plays streamed out of the small edifice, by writers including F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, and Elmer Rice in the 1920s;[2] Eugene O'Neill, Sean O'Casey, Clifford Odets, W. H. Auden, Gertrude Stein, Luigi Pirandello, and William Saroyan in the 1940s;[3] Samuel Beckett, Pablo Picasso, T. S. Eliot, Jean Anouilh, and Tennessee Williams in the 1950s;[4] Harold Pinter, LeRoi Jones, Eugène Ionesco, Terrence McNally, Lanford Wilson, and Lorraine Hansberry, in the 1960s, as well as Edward Albee, staging a large number of his plays;[5] and Sam Shepard, Joe Orton and David Mamet in the 1970s and 1980s.

Beckett's Happy Days had its world premiere at the Cherry Lane, directed by Alan Schneider, on September 17, 1961.

From February 1985 until suspending operations in October 1986 after almost 19 years, the year-round Light Opera of Manhattan operetta company was in residence at the Cherry Lane.

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