The Poet's Theatre

The Poet’s Theatre was a small theatre that existed from 1950 to 1962. It was a small theatre that was originally held in parlors and church parish houses. They moved to their final location at 24 Palmer St. in 1955, the site of an old painting loft. It was a tiny bandbox playhouse, capable of holding just 49 people. There was no backstage, the actors lined up outside the theatre and changed costumes in nearby shops. Even though the space was small, its company had big dreams. The founders included Pulitzer Prize winners and Poets Laureates, like Donald Hall, Lyon Phelps, Violet Lang, and Frank O’Hara, who would write, act, and direct the plays. However, the Poet’s Theatre had a short lifespan.

In 1959 the theater went into debt and the fire department began to complain about fire safety violations. It was no surprise then when a fire in 1962 burned down the theatre. This combined with the death of the theatre’s main driving force, Violet Lang, who succumbed to Hodgkin’s disease in 1956, closed down the small, but nonetheless important theatre.

Image courtesy of Kenning Editions