BAC to open Jerome Robbins Theater, Woosters are Resident Co.

Early Warning: The Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) is opening the Jerome Robbins Theater with a gala event on February 16. A tribute to Jerome Robbins, the evening’s program will include performances by Mikhail Baryshnikov,Wendy Sutter, Eteri Andjaparidze, Garrison KeillorBenjamin Millepied’s Danses Concertantes, and members of the New York City Ballet.

The new state-of-the-art Jerome Robbins Theater is an expansion of BAC’s existing center. Named after legendary theater director and choreographer Jerome Robbins, in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the performing arts, the new theater allows BAC to broaden its programs, creative residencies, and performances.  The 238-seat performance space will be fully equipped to accommodate the needs of artists from various disciplines, and will be unique among Manhattan venues as the most technically advanced theater of its size. The theater will be LEED-certified for sustainable design and construction.

In addition to hosting a diverse slate of performances, BAC envisions the Jerome Robbins Theater as a laboratory for collaborative artists, such as lightning designers and other technical artists, to experiment and explore their ideas in more concrete ways, and for directors to develop their work within the setting of an actual theater. Whenever possible, BAC will offer the theater to the community as an affordable rental venue so that individual artists have an opportunity to show their work to the best advantage.

BUT THIS IS THE REAL NEWS – The Wooster Group will be the Jerome Robbins theater’s resident company, working and performing in the space for three months a year. They will open its first season as the resident company on March 11, 2010 with a revival of its acclaimed work NORTH ATLANTIC, directed by Elizabeth LeCompte, and featuring (check out this line-up of stellar talent!!) Steve Cuiffo, Ari Fliakos, Koosil-ja Hwang, Paul Lazar, Frances McDormandZachary OberzanJenny Seastone-Stern, Scott ShepherdMaura Tierney, and Kate Valk. (!!!)

The acquisition of the theater is made possible by a leadership gift of $2.5 million from the Jerome Robbins Foundation. Additional major support for the theater acquisition is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Arison Arts Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and several generous individuals.

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