Who We Are
PLAYWRIGHTS DOWNTOWN is home to three vibrant programs whose close interactions form a dynamic center for the creation and exploration of new work: Playwrights Horizons Theater School, Resident Company Program, and Rehearsal Studios.
Playwrights Horizons Theater School, under the auspices of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, offers an innovative four-year multi-disciplinary training program that is consistently ranked as one of the best undergraduate theater training programs in the country. The school reflects Playwrights’ mission by commissioning and developing inclusive and diverse new works for emerging artists, while offering students the opportunity to train with working artists in the context of a rigorous conservatory program.
Playwrights Resident Company Program provides subsidized office, rehearsal and performance space for three smaller, itinerant theater companies who share our dedication and eye for creating new works, allowing these companies to redirect their resources away from rent and toward artistic development. The first three resident companies are Clubbed Thumb, Musical Theater Factory and SPACE on Ryder Farm.
Playwrights Rehearsal Studios, one of the largest rehearsal spaces in downtown Manhattan, rents studio and performance space to over 1,100 arts organizations, theater artists and companies annually. We’re committed to offering our spaces at prices that are affordable to young and emerging artists and community programs.
For over 25 years, Playwrights Horizons has opened its doors to theater artists, educators, students and community arts groups at its Astor Place location. Now, Playwrights Horizons will renovate and update the Downtown venue to better serve the theater community and to facilitate the exchange between Downtown’s programs. Through this re-imagined space design – which will vastly improve the quality of our performance venues, rehearsal studios and common spaces – Playwrights Downtown will become an integral part of the artistic life surrounding Playwrights Horizons and an epicenter for New York City’s new play community at large.
The interaction between these three Downtown programs is key. Each brings a diverse, expansive collection of theater makers and arts community leaders, and together they form an artistic hub that opens room for new, unexpected encounters and collaboration, home to a vibrant cultural scene made up of the next generation of playwrights and theater makers. As Resident Companies develop new plays and productions onsite, they share the hallways with our Theater School, leading to new opportunities for collaboration and innovative educational initiatives. In addition, our building upgrades will allow us to more selectively curate the roster of organizations in our studio rental program to maintain the tight integration of this program and Playwrights’ overall mission to advance contemporary playwriting.
The new work and innovations resulting from all of the activities at Playwrights Downtown will feed the ethos and programming of Playwrights Horizons. Together, under the larger umbrella of Playwrights Horizons, Uptown’s and Downtown’s programming will work symbiotically, becoming the most vital, self-rejuvenating, progressive, and dynamic center for new works in the city.