RENTING THE THEATER
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the theater available for rental on (insert particular date)?
Maybe! We're often booked about a year in advance, but there maybe open spots here and there. Please drop us a line to find out—it never hurts to ask!
Is there any particular information that is helpful for me to include when I contact you?
We’re so glad you asked! Yes, of course! For the most prompt response, please include as much of the following as you can:
The name of the production
The name of the name of any significant people/organizations involved: director, playwright, producing organization, producer, etc.
How much time you’d like to rent, and dates or date range (our rentals are generally Monday - Sunday, and we generally don’t rent for less than a week, except for film shoots and certain special events)
Keep it short, but please feel free to include anything else that might catch our interest.
A PDF of the script, a link to video of the show, a copy of demos (for musicals), or any other material that will help us get a sense of the show. Any material you supply will be kept confidential.
Please indicate if your organization is a non-profit/fiscally sponsored, or a commercial production.
How soon can I expect to hear back from you?
We try to respond to all inquiries within a week, and sooner if possible. We have an extremely small staff, so please be patient. If it’s been a few weeks and you haven’t heard anything, feel free to follow up. If you write “Hello, I would like to do a play, can i rent your theater?” (we get this a lot actually), you will hear back only if we’re feeling extremely friendly that day.
How small is your extremely small staff?
One person: Josh Luxenberg is the General Manager.
Can anyone rent the theater?
Our season consists of curated rentals, which means that we select our programming based on what interests us, rather than first-come, first-served. That being said, we do accept requests on a rolling basis throughout the year.
What's included in a rental?
Lighting and sound packages, and black drapes are included in your rental. You can find our current inventory here. You can also rent house curtains from us. You'll have access to the theater, dressing rooms, lobbies and bathrooms. Staffing is not included in your rental, so you'll need to supply your own tech crew, front of house, box office, etc.
Can you recommend tech crew, front of house, box office staff, etc.?
We're happy to recommend some very competent folks to hire (although we can't guarantee their availability). The further in advance you let us know, the better, as talented people are always in high demand.
Do you provide/allow concessions? Do you have a liquor license?
You are welcome to run your own concessions (and keep the profits). We have a physical bar you can use. We do not have a liquor license. If you would like to serve alcohol, please discuss with the theater manager in advance about compliance with applicable regulations.
Can the seating risers be reconfigured/removed?
Yes! We now have a SteelDeck riser system, which is removable/reconfigurable (it is also, compared to our old risers, less creaky and more sturdy). If you would like to remove or reconfigure the risers, please indicate this when making your booking, otherwise we can't guarantee that we can get a team together to make the move. Moving or reconfiguring the risers will incur a fee on top of the rental fee to cover labor and other costs associated with the job.
So I can configure the seating any way I want?
There are some practical limitations. First, any seating configuration must be approved by the Department of Buildings. We have a few layouts that have been OK’d by the DOB that you can use without needing to go through the approval process. The GM can provide drawings of each option. If you want to do something different, you will need to obtain a TPA from the DOB. It's an expensive and time-consuming process, but we're happy to talk you through it. The other practical consideration is just what platforms we have in stock as part of our standard riser setup. If what we have is not exactly what you need, Steeldeck can provide rental platforms and hardware to supplement. Any cost associated with moving or reconfiguring the risers is at the renter's expense.
What other venue-specific expenses should I expect?
You'll need general liability insurance (we recommend Fractured Atlas, and may even be able to provide a discount code for membership upon request). The electric bill is also your responsibility. This often comes in between $100 and $500/wk, depending on how much you use the A/C in the theater, and the amount of theatrical lighting you hang. You'll need to make sure all your scenic elements comply with FDNY regulations—the most common expense is spraying fabrics for flame retardancy. We also require a refundable security deposit with your rental.
Are there any venue-specific quirks that might impact my decision to rent?
Of course, and please be sure to talk through your project in depth with the theater manager before making a decision so we can make sure your show and our space are the right fit for each other. For example, because we are located within a school, there are noise restrictions during school hours. If you're doing a show that relies on loud, amplified sound, please discuss with us ahead of time.
Do you require us to use a particular ticketing service?
Nope! It's totally up to you. Popular options include: OvationTix (probably the most commonly used service in off-Broadway houses, with a strong backend, good reporting and some fees for both patrons and you), Brown Paper Tickets (strong service with some of the lowest services charges in the industry and no charge to you), and Ticket Central and Vendini. There are many others out there as well.
Is there parking available?
Street parking can be hard to come by in this area. The parking lot next door does not belong to the theater and is not available to renters. There is usually space to stop a truck in front of the building to load/unload, but there is rarely parking.
Can I extend if we're selling well?
If the space is empty following your rental, then we are happy to discuss an extension. However, we are usually booked 12 - 18 months in advance, so it is rare to have available space at the last minute. If you anticipate your production being popular enough to extend, please factor the additional time into your initial rental inquiry.
Do you do single-day rentals?
The Connelly is set up best for rentals of one week or longer (except film/TV shoots, which we can accommodate for shorter spans). If we have availability, we can sometimes accommodate single-day events. Please note that in order to keep the theater as flexible as possible for our larger shows, we strike everything in between bookings. You will need to build in time to set up the theater, including seats, and to create a light plot and hang/strike your instruments. This means that the theater is often not the right venue for simple events, such as play readings.
What about for film/TV shoots?
We are always happen to discuss film/TV shoots of any length. Please contact Josh Luxenberg, the theater manager, for more information.
Do you have a mailing list? Do you do any publicity on behalf of rentals?
We do not currently maintain a mailing list. All shows at the theater will be posted on our website, and we maintain social media accounts (links below).
So wait, going back to that small staff question, if only one person works at the Connelly, who is “we?”
What is your relationship to Cornelia Connelly Center?
The Connelly Theater is part of Cornelia Connelly Center. CCC is a non-profit organization that runs a middle school for low-income girls and a graduate support program that guides their alumnae through high school and college. Revenue generated by theater rental provides income for CCC. It's a terrific and unique program, and we're proud to support their work.
What is your relationship to The Metropolitan Playhouse?
The Metropolitan Playhouse is upstairs from us. We think they are handsome and like them very much, but are not otherwise affiliated. You can find them here.
What is your relationship with the Archdiocese of New York?
The building that we're in was built by the Archdiocese in the 1870s as an orphanage, and they continue to own the property. CCC rents from the neighboring parish, and we manage the space.
What is your relationship with Dorian Gray across the street?
We mourn its passing daily.
Is it true that you have a [REDACTED] in the basement?
; - )