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Dixon Place

About this listing

Performance space for original and experimental works

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Lower East Side
Institution, Performance

Place Matters Profile

Place Matters Profile

By Michelle Pena

Dixon Place--an avant-garde theater dedicated to promoting the development of original works of theater, dance, literature, and performance art--is its own most significant work-in-progress.

Upon walking through the entrance to Dixon Place's new location on Chrystie Street, the first thing you may notice are the dim lights. You walk a little further past the bar on the right lined with mis-matched chairs and a chalk-written menu on the back wall and then into the lobby--adorned with rich, oriental rugs and chairs that seem to come from every decade, and encased by deep, golden yellow walls. You might even want to say that the lobby gives off a musty, European feel, and chances are that if you share this observation with the staff, they'll graciously receive it as a compliment. What you're standing in isn't only the lobby of Dixon Place, but doubles as the...

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Carr, C. "On Edge." The Village Voice. 21 Sept. 1999: 65.
Dunning, Jennifer. "Enter, Living Room Left." New York Times. 1 June 1995: C1, C6.
George, Mikal Saint. "Interview with Ellie Covan." Trigger. 5 Mar. 2005.
Green, Penelope. "She's Made a Life in her Theater. She's Made a Theater in her Home." New York Times. 26 Sept. 2004.
Kourals, Gia. "Finding Partners, Alone or in a Group." New York Times. 16 Jan. 2000.
Kourlas, Gia. "It's a Workspace in Progress." New York Times. 2 Nov. 2008.
Wright, Damon. "Dixon Place, a Real Home for Theater, May Be the Last of a Breed." New York Times. 9 Jan. 1994.
Zinoman, Jason. "The Metaphysics of Existence When You're a Tuber." New York Times18 Dec. 2008.

On The Web

Dixon Place, NYC's Laboratory for Performance


Tim Ranney

Dixon Place, in all its locations, has supported the development of local artists working in all mediums especially performance, theater, dance, music, and literature. Founder Ellie Covan first welcomed East Village artists into her living room in 1985 and has become a legendary in the world of fringe and avant garde artistic mentoring. Many thousands of performers, writers, musicians, actors, and even visual artists began their professional careers by dropping by Dixon Place on any given night to exhibit their new work. Although there used to be a dozen of these places in New York, there are now only just a few. Dixon Place has survived real estate greed, cultural shifts, and economic disasters to flourish and become a true New York original institution.

Dixon Place is the last of a dying breed of organizations that encourage creativity without limits. No other place is such a quirky, yet supportive, family of people who want the artists they host to test their limits as the artist and push an audience to see things differently. Dixon Place matters because New York is richer as a city to have them here.

The 'living room' of Dixon Place was always its soul. The funky, mis-matched furniture. The 'help yourself' snack bar. The organized chaos of the performance is all important to the experience as an artist and to the audience. Now that Dixon Place has moved into a new, self-owned space, the feeling can never be exactly duplicated but the ambiance of freedom is still there.(August 2009)

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