Shetler Studio and Theatres, a rehearsal and theatrical space in the Theater District, is ceasing operation after 30 years.
The closure, announced Wednesday, comes as non-essential businesses in New York remain shuttered and the theater industry has come to a halt as a result of COVID-19. The space on West 54th Street included 35 studios and two black-box theaters and fostered the development of many Off-Broadway and Broadway productions, as well as readings and concerts.
“The path to recovery is simply too steep for our small company,” Ron Shetler, founder and owner and Robin A. Paterson, managing artistic director, wrote in an email to the community.
Jennifer Ashley Tepper, a producer and the programming director at Feinstein’s/54 Below, called Shetler Studios, “a New York institution.” The studio, located near Feinstein’s/54 Below, provided a home to one of the first “Be More Chill” readings, early rehearsals of “[title of show]” and rehearsals of The Jonathan Larson Project, among other projects.
“Shetler will be so greatly missed and fondly remembered,” Tepper wrote in an email to Broadway News.
Other artists including Benj Pasek and Lin-Manuel Miranda took to Twitter to commemorate the studio space.“Countless memories in those spaces, but the one that comes to mind first is bringing in the new bridge to That Would Be Enough & hearing @Phillipasoo sing it for the first time,” Miranda tweeted Wednesday.
The studio space was founded in 1990 by Shetler, a voice teacher and former head of the musical theater department at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.