Remembering the Ohio Theatre

As the the Wooster Street prepares to close, downtown vets pay tribute the beloved space

David Greenspan, actor/director

It can be a bit ratty here and there. I remember when there were a lot of buckets in the dressing room to catch all the drips.

Susan Bernfield, artistic director of New Georges

End of the Run: Artistic director Robert Lyons says goodbye to 66 Wooster Street.
Christopher Farber
End of the Run: Artistic director Robert Lyons says goodbye to 66 Wooster Street.
Talent Factory: Les Freres Corbusier’s Dance Dance Revolution lit up 2008.
Courtesy Alex Timbers
Talent Factory: Les Freres Corbusier’s Dance Dance Revolution lit up 2008.

We had this huge carpet on the ground for our first show, Eloise & Ray in 2000, and our set designer wanted to use a lot of sand and dirt on the stage. Our plan was to roll it into the carpet and cart it out at the end, but we'd added waaaayyy too much sand and dirt during the run and the carpet wouldn't budge. So two of us—including six-months-pregnant me—had to scoop it into buckets and carry them, one by one, out the barn doors and pour them into Dumpsters. Which took like seven dusty, horrible hours, most of which felt like bailing out the Titanic.

Anne Bogart, director

I had aimed to depict every actor-audience relationship in the theater in No Plays No Poetry [1988], and we used every nook and cranny of that space. You can turn it around in any number of ways, and we did. I remember we opened the doors out onto Wooster Street for the last scene, and people could come in off the street.

Josh Fox, artistic director of International WOW Company

We made Reconstruction [the current show in the Ohio] as a celebration, a goodbye, and a conversation about the road forward. But I can't sugarcoat this: We're losing the classiest, most important theater in New York City, the central hub for avant-garde theater.

Adam Bock, playwright

You expected something different to happen each time, which was fabulous. It didn't look like a normal theater, so why would you expect normal theater to come out of it? Plus, it was always so great at the end of the night to walk out onto this empty cobbled street. It really let you keep the play with you for a few minutes longer. . . .

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