Hi Theater Fans!

Okay, we don’t really have a trailer.  But if we did have one, it would sound like this:

(Cue ominous music)…

A Civilization on the brink of destruction.

One man with a brilliant plan….

Three wishes that would change religion forever!

3WEEKS…….the opera!

Now, in our beautiful newly renovated theater, LABA and the 14th Street Y are pleased to host the concert premiere of this exciting new work.

Tickets are now on sale!

Friday, Sept. 28 at 8pm:  Click Here

Saturday, Sept. 29 at 2pm: Click Here

Saturday, Sept. 29 at 8pm: Click Here

Sunday, Sept. 30 at 3pm: Click Here


Want to know more?  Visit http://yoavgal.com/threeweeks/

Why We Love Our THEATER

The 14th StreetY has a beautiful black box style theater on the 2nd floor, just above our busy fitness center.  There are a million things we love about having a theater in our community center, but here are our top 10!

1.  It’s GREEN!  Our Theater used to have a regular proscenium stage that limited the kind of productions it was able to present.  A few years ago under the direction of LABA artist fellow David Tirosh, we were able to break down all of that wood and reuse it to build the theater that we currently have.  Additionally, we made a storage facility for extra wood where productions can store and reuse wood after a the run of the show.

2.  It has a sprung floor!  The wood from the proscenium stage was used to create a floor perfect for dancers, actors, and theater pieces of all kinds.  In fact, our ZUMBA class could be found testing out the spring during their workout last night.

3.  It has retractable seating!  Just a month ago, our theater had wooden risers with chairs to create seating in the space.  It was serviceable, but didn’t lend itself to as much creativity as it should.  Now, the seating is a retractable riser seating with comfortable, theater type chairs.  And if a production wants to retract the seating right into the wall and use chairs in the round, that’s okay too!

4.  No theater ghosts! As far as we know.  Most theaters are famously haunted but we haven’t discovered one yet.

5.  The theater roof will soon be a GREEN ROOF!  That’s right.  Our green theater will soon have a green roof.  From the playroof, our children will be able to see the theater’s greenery on the roof as a teaching tool.  Plus, it just looks great.

6.  We can rent to amazing theater companies and produce our own!  Our LABA artists (The National Laboratory for New Jewish Culture) has produced such great productions as the sold out “Hannah and the Moonlit Dress”.  Soon to be making a return to our stage by popular demand.

7.  It’s a great space for use by our programs!  Preschool has held concerts starring  ShirLaLa, Afterschool uses it for their end of year presentations, and we recently screened a fabulous movie to raise funds for a new basketball gym floor, Doin’ it in the Park.

8.  40 years ago, it was a sun deck!  Few people know this, but back in the days when this building was known as The Emmanuel Midtown Y the theater was actually a sun deck that people could use after a swim.  Though this was cool, it could only be used on warm sunny days.  Now we have our playroof for outdoor fun, and a Theater that can be used year round!

9.  We’ll be producing an original OPERA on September 28th and 29th3WEEKS.  The Opera was created our of a relationship between 2 of our LABA Fellows.

10.  Theater creates and inspires!  As a community center in the heart of the East Village, it’s a fine thing to have a space that can house and support artists and the work they do.  Our wonderful theater sits in a community that it can serve in so many different ways.

And the SILVER Goes To…

You may have heard a few things about the 14th Street Y’s commitment to GREEN

One of our favorite organizations is Lower East Side Ecology Center.  We’ve learned a lot from them in the last few years about composting, greening, products and habits to make the Y a better, more eco-friendly place.  Recently, we worked with EcoBiz NYC, a program of Lower East Side Ecology.  Besides just being generally great people to know and to work with, they conducted a survey of our building so we could better know where we stand in our attempts to green our building, and how we can continue to grow in this area.

Eco Biz has a rating system that goes from participation to platinum.  We were delighted to learn that we earned SILVER from EcoBiz, and that we’re just a few points away from achieving GOLD!  EcoBiz also showed us some surprisingly simple and inexpensive ways to get there.

Thank you, EcoBiz!


On September 29th and 30th, the Theater at the 14th Street Y will present 3 WEEKS, an opera by two artists who met during their time with LABA (The National Laboratory for New Jewish Culture) at the 14th Street Y.

To give you a taste of what to expect, we’ve reposted an excerpt from the NEW YORK TIMES review of City Opera’s VOX festival, where 3 Weeks was first performed.

“Only the weekend’s final selection, Yoav Gal’s “Three Weeks,” seemed truly fresh: quite an achievement considering that its libretto, by Reuven Namdar, is in Hebrew, Latin and Aramaic and that its plot takes place around A.D. 70. An episodic stylized story of the rabbi who tries to save Jerusalem from Roman invaders, it manages to be serious without being ponderous.  Scored for three trombones, piano, percussion and double bass, the music has a brassy, sinuous klezmer flavor;  its vocal lines recall traditional Hebrew melodies without seeming stale.  From the start, with a tantalizingly strange short video element, there was a feeling of slightly manic, ramshackle energy.  The piece is not afraid to play with operatic conventions, as in the Roman general’s exaggerated coloratura, but neither is it emptily ironic.  It was unpredictable-sometimes absurd, sometimes sincere-but with a core of real feeling.  You didn’t know what was going to happen next.  It ‘s impossible to say what it will eventually amount to, but alone among the works at this year’s Vox, it felt new.”

See the complete article here

Want to learn more about 3 Weeks?  See photos and the complete story here: http://yoavgal.com/threeweeks


Art, Culture and Theater at the 14th Street Y

MEET LABA (The National Laboratory for New Jewish Culture), a unique arts and culture program housed at the 14th Street Y.

LABA means LAVA in Hebrew.  Our LABA program at the 14th Street Y is just like that, a core of creation that enriches everything that we do.  You know we have a fitness center, classes, basketball gym, preschool, camps and afterschool programs.  Do you know about how LABA enriches them?

The East Village is a neighborhood that in itself inspires and supports art and culture.  The 14th Street Y, like the East Village  is inspired by the artists within it.   Each year, a group of 10 artist fellows; performers, visual artists and writers, among others meet to study ancient Jewish texts based on a theme, get inspired by those texts and theme, and then create some amazing art!  Previous themes have included love, the human body, and blueprint.  This year’s theme is EAT.

Each Thursday, we’re looking forward to bringing you news and information about LABA events, programs and performances that all begin as ideas in our LABA house of study.  Next week,  we’ll be telling you the story of  3WEEKS, an Opera created by a relationship made in a LABA house of study, coming soon to the 14th Street Y Theater!

Pictured:  3WEEKS Librettist, Ruby Namdar with Creator and Composer, Yoav Gal.   Yoav and Ruby met during the LABA: House of Study in 2008 when Ruby was a teacher and Yoav was an artist fellow.