Back in 2013, a great big hole opened up in New York’s theater scene. Or, to be more precise, a hole closed—the Collapsable Hole, the Williamsburg laboratory garage that had been presenting rule-breaking work for 13 years. The Hole had been home to the multimedia lunatics of Radiohole and the Collapsable Giraffe, as well as guest artists Banana Bag & Bodice, Young Jean Lee, Joseph Silovsky, Mallory Catlett, Big Dance Theater and many more (designer-director Jim Findlay posted a partial list here). As befitting a venue legendary for its aesthetic daring and boozy excess, there was a raucous and dissolute funeral for the dying Hole.
Well, dry those tears and other liquids on your face. Findlay and others have announced that the Hole is back and bigger than ever. From a recent press release: “Newly located in the West Village at the Westbeth Artist Housing complex at 155 Bank Street, the new Collapsable Hole will be an artist-run venue for the development and presentation of a wild array of cross-disciplinary performance. Presenting a year-round program in a 5,000 square foot raw industrial space, the new venue is a collaboration between a group of nine New York performing artists and companies: Mallory Catlett, Annie Dorsen, Jim Findlay, Findlay//Sandsmark, Daniel Fish, Immediate Medium, Aaron Landsman, Okwui Okpokwasili, and Radiohole."
This is fantastic news for those who lament the slow death of NYC experimental theater, squeezed out by gentrifying neighborhoods and extortionate rents. We e-mailed Findlay about the new digs:
How is the new Hole different from the old Hole?
This one is gigantic in comparison, with an even more gigantic group of artists. So I'd say the main difference is you're going to see even more diverse kinds of work on a much bigger scale of possibility.
What’s the first show there going to be?
We're taking our time getting things rolling, so we have time to develop work specifically for this place. In the meantime, we're doing low-key events around things we’re interested in and the occasional 1990s-style rent party. You'll start seeing new original work here in the fall.
How long a lease did you sign?
It's not the length of the voyage but the motion of the ocean.
And what better way to christen a new vessel than with a bottle—or 30—of champagne? There’s a “Resurrection Celebration” this Friday night: 155 Bank Street. Doors open at 8pm. $10 cover. The organizers promise cheap booze and dance music spun by DJs Rawshark and Rob The Rich.