Henry Street Settlement Celebrates Playhouse Centennial

The 100-year-old Henry Street Playhouse is undergoing renovations.

The 100-year-old Henry Street Playhouse is undergoing renovations.

It’s a big year for the historic playhouse at the Abrons Arts Center on Grand Street. As we reported this past fall, the theater is undergoing a face lift as part of a larger $20 million renovation of the non-profit organization’s Lower East Side facilities. But the playhouse is also celebrating its 100th birthday — and there are lots of festivities planned around the centennial.

The Neighborhood Playhouse opened Feb. 15, 1915. The red-brick, three-story structure was designed by architects Harry C. Ingalls and F. Burrall Hoffman, Jr. Today it is a national historic landmark. Over the years, the performing arts program at the settlement house has been a training ground for an illustrious group of artists, including Martha Graham, Aaron Copland, John Cage, Alwin Nikolais, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk and John Zorn. Since 2006, creative director Jay Wegman has invigorated the Abrons Arts Center with a cutting edge, avant-garde performance program that’s won widespread praise. The center was awarded an OBIE last year.

In celebration of the centennial, Abrons is debuting an array of special theatrical and dance productions this year. They include performances by Will Rawls, who will premiere his newest work, “Settlement House” and the world premiere of “Playhouse Follies” from famed director Basil Twist.

You can learn more about the Abrons Arts Center celebratory season here.

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