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Theater and Concert Reviews.
HAS ANNOUNCED THE CLOSURE OF
IN TIMES SQUARE
New York, NY -- (7/20/20) Off-Broadway’s 62-seat Playroom Theater, who's tagline is "Caution, Artists at Work,” was forced to close on June 30, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Located at 151 West 46th Street, "in the heart of Times Square," Playroom Theater was the creation of longtime theater producer Eric Krebs. Opened in September 2011, it hosted hundreds of showcase productions, auditions, new musical readings and for five years hosted the resident theater company The Tank, a not for profit company that features hundreds of emerging artists. Most recently Krebs produced the Off-Broadway world premiere of playwright William Mastrosimone's Rules of Desire. Final performance was March 7,2020.
"This truly was my playroom for nearly ten years," commented Krebs. “Included in my list of favorite productions were The Castle (4 Voices, 70 years in Prison), The Bullpen, I Sing For Freedom, Greed: A Musical For Our Times and Peter Filichia's God Show’s Up.” He went on to state, “In addition, for the past five years, the Playroom has been the home of the Science Theater Company which has presented over 500 performances of That Physics Show (2016 Drama Desk Winner “Unique Theatrical Event) and over 300 performances of That Chemistry Show."
In closing Krebs added, "Little theaters are important engines that are the heart of performance for emerging artists in New York City. The loss of the Playroom will be a loss to this important part of the theater community. Unfortunately, with theaters closed for most of the year, and the impossibly high rents for space, the Playroom had come to its end."
Eric Krebs (Producer), in a theatrical career of more than 40 years, has worked as a producer, a theater founder in 1974 of the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and a builder and operator for 23 years of the John Houseman Theater on Theater Row. Before recently retiring, he completed his 50th year as a professor, 37 years at Rutgers, where he is professor emeritus and more recently 13 years at Baruch College of the City University of New York. He has also performed his one actor adaptation of King Lear and most recently My Fathers Voice-Letters from the Ellis Island Prison and the War in the Pacific. Broadway credits include Bill Maher: Victory Begins At Home, Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party, It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues, Electra, Avery Brooks in Paul Robeson. Recent Off-Broadway productions include Romeo & Bernadette: A Musical Tale of Verona & Brooklyn, That Physics Show (2016 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience) and That Chemistry Show. Also Off-Broadway, Sam Shepard's Fool For Love, Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth, Neil LaBute's Bash, Sing: A South African and American Celebration, A Class Act, Greed: A Musical for Our Times, I Spy a Spy, Laughing Liberally, and many more.
I first met Eric Krebs when I was a young journalist at Manhattan College. Eric at that time was the "House" manager at the John Houseman Theater on West 42 end st. He worked with colleagues of mine at the New Brunswick Theater (George Street Playhouse). Recently I enjoyed "I Spy a Spy" as well as "God Shows Up" and "Rules of Desire". In conjunction with The Tank, Mr. Krebs was instrumental in developing young plays with emerging artists. It is a shame that this Theater is closing.
Eric Krebs, Robert Massimi, Playroom Theater, Artists at Work, Neil Simon, off Broadway, John Houseman Theater, George Street Theater, I Spy a Spy, The Dinner Party, Manhattan College, Rules of Desire, The Physics Show, Obie Award, Tony Award, New York City, The Tank.