Coming Soon: The COW Theater at 21 Clinton Street

Posted on: February 11th, 2013 at 6:29 am by


Something as intriguing as “The COW Theater” on the Lower East Side certainly needed explanation. That’s the name of the corporate identity currently gunning for a restaurant wine license at the soon-to-be former Living Theatre digs on Clinton Street.

Turns out, “COW” is an acronym for “The Celebration of Whimsy,” a dynamic full-service theater, cabaret, and event space in the basement space of 21 Clinton Street. Programming will reportedly include improv performances, repertory theater, children’s theater, and one-man shows. And, believe it or not, this location is actually the sequel in a saga about the Children’s Aid Society (“CAS”).

CAS cashed out its lucrative holdings at 177 and 219 Sullivan Street for $33 million in spring of 2011. The lucky buyer was Broad Street Development, who is planning condo conversion. Natch. The transaction ultimately left Stephen Rondel’s successful twelve-year-venture, The New Acting Company, without facilities. No longer. That’s where the COW comes in, a space for “creating reputable, dynamic and innovative curriculum for our very popular after-school and adult evening programs as well as in our critically acclaimed annual professional productions.”

Rondel explained more about the venture to us:

When we [Rondel and business partner Tyler Magazini] saw the 21 Clinton street basement theater we knew this was our dream space to combine my expertise in the theater with his in the hospitality industry.  We intend to be a permanent home to The New Acting Company and rent the space out to other theater groups, dance companies, meditation studios, comedy and improvisation groups etc.  We hope to offer a variety of theatrical and community events through the week.

We are appling for our beer and wine license to help bring in additional income at night from our adult patrons so that we can successfully pay for our monthly rent and overhead cost for the next 10 years!

We are very excited about our new business venture together and look forward to being a new artistic venue for all ages to the lower east side community.

The COW Theater will appear at tonight’s Community Board 3 subcommittee meeting, and is planning to launch on March 1.

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