Beginning in 2011, renovations to the building that houses P.S.122 will displace the performing arts group. The current 30th anniversary season will be P.S.122’s last at its 150 First Avenue location until renovations are complete. The city, which owns the building, will oversee renovations, but the exact plans and dates are still being finalized.
P.S.122 artistic director Vallejo Gantner says that their 2011-2012 season will be presented in venues around the city and will focus on more site-specific work. This won’t be an entirely new venture for P.S.122, which recently presented the site-specific Hetero at a sculptor’s loft in Soho and The Sea Museum at the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel. Hotel Savoy, which begins performances next week, is being presented at the Goethe-Institut New York.
The news about P.S. 122 comes after a recent string of real estate changes affecting downtown theaters. The Flea Theater has purchased a building at 20 Thomas Street, which will become its permanent home. The Ohio Theatre closed its doors at the end of August. 3-Legged Dog was facing eviction from the 3LD Arts and Technology Center at 80 Greenwich Street by the MTA, which owns the space. The issue was resolved, and the Ohio Theatre will begin a three-year residency at 3LD, called Ohio Interrupted. Sheila Callaghan’s Roadkill Confidential, currently being produced by Clubbed Thumb, is the first show of that residency.
“The downtown theater scene hasn’t existed in a real way for a long time,” Gantner says, noting that contemporary and experimental works are presented all over the city. The nature of New York real estate is such that these changes are to be expected, he says, but the scene isn’t about geography, it’s about creating new and exciting work, which they will continue to do. The theater will close after its spring season; the spring lineup has yet to be scheduled.