Heartbreak On Fourth Street: The End of The Red Room

Word got around this week that the Red Room, a small "black box like space" owned by the Horse Trade Theater Company, will be closing in March. A press release is due out today or tomorrow, but in the meantime I have this statement from PR whiz kid Emily Owens, who reps Horse Trade:

Horse Trade's landlord at 85 East 4th Street has decided to repurpose The Red Room, and it will no longer be a performing arts space. I believe he plans to turn it into some type of B&B. Horse Trade will continue to operate out of The Kraine Theater and UNDER St. Marks, and they're currently searching for a venue to replace The Red Room. Everybody at Horse Trade is sad to lose a space they've operated out of for 15 years, but excited for the possibilities the future holds.

The Red Room was a tiny space—the kind that New York doesn't have enough of. With 32 stackable seats and a 14'x20' stage, it was about as small as a venue can get without being a living room. It was ideal for truly out-there theater, a hold-out for the Weird in an East Village that has gotten far too normal. Tiny black box spaces are the bedrock of theatrical art in New York City. They are intimate, convenient and, most importantly, affordable. There should be one on every corner. I'm sorry that, come March, there will be one less.

I'm speaking to Horse Trade's Heidi Grumelot next week. I'll let you know what she has to say about that "future" thing she's so looking forward to. Flying cars, perhaps?