Post tagged with


Renovation of PS 122 Clears Another Hurdle

Credit: Melvin FelixMelvin Felix PS 122 at 150 First Avenue.

After months of delays, the overhaul of Performance Space 122 is moving forward.

A work order filed last week and pending approval by Department of Buildings paves the way for construction of two brand-new performance spaces in the venerable theater, which will cost an estimated $15.1 million. The plans call for more than 9,000 additional square feet to be added to the building at 150 First Avenue, all paid for by the city.

PS 122’s artistic director, Vallejo Gantner, said Wednesday that he was “delighted” that work will soon be underway. Since the city has already funded work on the building’s facade, replaced old energy-inefficient windows, and gotten rid of asbestos and lead paint, he estimated that the project’s full cost will be more than $20 million. He’s thankful for every penny.

“I think the city is kind of amazing that, in a time like this, they’re investing in cultural activities,” Mr. Gantner said. “The fact that it’s happening at all is such an amazing thing.”
Read more…

Not Going to the Beach This Weekend? Dip Into ‘Pool (No Water)’

Richard Saudek in OYLs pool-no waterCourtesy OYL. Richard Saudek

“Pool (no water),” by British actor, playwright, and journalist Mark Ravenhill, ends its run at the 9th Space this weekend. If you’re in town, you may want to make your out-of-town friends jealous by catching One Year Lease Theater Company’s production of the 2006 play tonight or tomorrow.

Envy, after all, is what this excellent work is all about. In it, a group of artists divulge the story of a friend who, having found the critical and commercial success they haven’t, invites them to her new mansion to party like old times. This friendship is called into question when she gravely injures herself from jumping into a pool with, well, no water.

The group sees artistic potential in their friend’s condition, which leads to thoughts of profit. They photograph her discolored body, even moving it into the light of the hospital window. Yet they insist (and not without credibility) that they still love her. Most shockingly, she starts to recover — and says she’d love to work with their photographs. Read more…

The Day | New Faces, New Places

JR Paste UpMichael Natale
It Takes A Village
Team JRTim Schreier

Good morning, East Village.

Another major overhaul took place Thursday at the corner of Bowery and East Houston. A new face, pictured above, has replaced the colorful ghouls painted by artist Kenny Scharf on the Tony Goldman graffiti wall; EV Grieve says it’s called, “Lakota, North Dakota.” Community contributor Tim Schreier shared photos of the work in progress at right.

Local theatergoers will have their last chance to visit Performance Space 122 this Saturday before the venue on the corner of First Avenue and Ninth Street temporarily closes for renovations. Theater Mania reports that the organization — named for the old Public School 122 building it has inhabited since 1979 — will relocate until construction is complete.

Counter will also soon be gone. The vegetarian bar and bistro on First Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Streets told Gothamist that its closing is imminent, although owner Deborah Gavito has yet to give an exact date.

Recalling a Haven for Gay Performers

IMG_0296Kenan Christiansen P.S. 122, 150 First Avenue.

In the late 1970’s, the East Village was “a neighborhood about to become something,” queer performance artist Tim Miller told The Local.

“Previous generations had established, in terms of cultural stuff, their foothold in SoHo, so it was already too expensive and certainly in my mind not nearly as radical in its politics or cultural stance” as the East Village where, he said, the feeling “was so different.” Attracted by this, Mr. Miller and other artists like him began to seek out East Village’s real estate with performance space potential.

Though performance art was not new to the area, with already active venues like popular visual artist hang-out Club 57, experimental art venue the Electric Circus, and theater space La Mama, a new wave of influential artists put down roots in the neighborhood during this time and, in particular, established queer performance spaces that would become recognized cultural institutions and cornerstones of the performance art world.

In 1980, Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, founding members of lesbian performance art group Split Britches, organized the first annual Women’s One World Festival or WOW, a showcase plays by women authors, at the now defunct Electric Circus Club. Ms. Shaw and Ms. Weaver mounted the festival, “to fill this big dark hole. It was this big vacant space of nowhere for lesbians to perform,” according to Ms. Shaw. To advertise, she told an audience at a queer spaces forum last December, she hung huge banners along St. Marks featuring hand-drawn pictures of naked women.
Read more…