UCB closes Hell’s Kitchen theater and training center
This one hurts. Vulture reports that The Upright Citizens Brigade has made the tough decision to permanently close its UCB Theatre in Hell's Kitchen and UCB Training Center on 8th Avenue. They've maintained a theater in NYC since 1999. The news went out via a lengthy email from UCB founders Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh:
This is devastating to us, but for some time now, even in a normal, robust economy, we have barely been able to pay the high rents in New York City for the Hell’s Kitchen Theater and the Training Center. Given the indefinite shutdown of all theaters and schools in both Los Angeles and New York City and the anticipated slow and uncertain return to normal when restrictions are lifted, we cannot afford to continue on in our New York City leases. Terminating the New York leases is not a cure-all for the financial health of the organization, but one of many changes we will need to make as we restructure our organization moving forward.
The letter goes on to say that UCB is not entirely abandoning New York, where it got its start in 1999. “The school and the theater will continue on in a pared-down form, which will be very similar to how we operated when we first started in NYC over 20 years ago.” There will still be UCB shows at venues like SubCulture and classes will be taught “at various locations across the city that we will rent on a per-class basis.”
The UCB 4 also say they “are open to the possibility of again having our own facilities in New York in the future if we can find an economically feasible way to do so.” They add that "our decisions regarding NYC were not made lightly or without careful consideration of the people affected by them … It will allow us to continue to serve as much of the community as possible, rather than simply to shutter the NYC arm of the organization.”