The 1990s Lower East Side Theatre District

From 1988 until around 2003, the area bordered by Houston, Delancey, Allen and Pitt streets was home to a thriving group of Off-Off-Broadway theatres specializing in avant garde and experimental fare until the golden (showers) age was ended by inflated rents and egos.

In my futile attempt to pursue gainful employment uptown in commercial theatre, I managed to sleep through this entire colorful era of downtown theatre. My one opportunity to perform there was as a fill-in singer for an ill-conceived 2000 production at the Theatorium where the cast and crew outnumbered the total audience for the entire run.

By the time I first got involved with the Fringe Festival in 2002, the area was well on its way towards gentrification and the magic was gone. As penance, I revisited the neighborhood in 2006 to commune with the thespian ghosts and produce a graphic cautionary tale for those who don't realize how fleeting both life and art can be.

Big, Little Theatre
Clemente Soto Valez Cultural Center (CSV Cultural Center)
House of Candles
The Hat
Expanded Arts
Pink Pony
Todo con Nada
Collective Unconscious (old location)
Surf Reality (Old Location)
Piano Store
Present Company Theatorium
Scenes from the Lower East Side, 2006

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