Cherry Lane Theater

Art & Culture | History

An Exceptional Spot for Off-Broadway Theater

Cherry lane theater greenwich village

About Cherry Lane Theater

 & why it made the Carpe City list

  • 38 Commerce Street has served as many things, including a farm, brewery, tobacco warehouse, and box factory. 
  • In 1924, The Cherry Lane Theater, New York’s oldest active off-Broadway venue, opened. 
  • The theater, originally called The Cherry Lane Playhouse, was founded by members of the Provincetown Players, including Edna St. Vincent Millay. 
  • Cherry Lane is part of the Avante Garde and countercultural movements and associated particularly with the Theater of the Absurd and The Living Theater. 
  • The theater has showcased some of the boldest and most innovative productions from writers F. Scott Fitzgerald, Eugene O’Neill, Clifford Odets, Samuel Beckett, Edward Albee, and David Mamet.  
  • Acting Alumni include James Dean, Barbra Streisand, James Earl Jones, Gene Hackman, John Malkovich, Kevin Bacon, and Joan Cusack.  
  • The theater appears in many films, including Reds, Godspell, and Mo’ Better Blues. 
  • The Cherry Lane Theatre is an intimate space, and viewers feel a personal connection with the actors on stage. 

Carpe City Trivia

What exactly is an "off-Broadway" Theater?

A show’s status has nothing to do with theater location but is based on the number of seats. Broadway theaters have 500 or more seats, off-Broadway theaters have 100-499 seats, and off-off-Broadway theaters have fewer than 100 seats.  

There are a few misleading signs on Commerce Street?

At #11, there is a plaque for “Irving House,” though it didn’t belong to Washington Irving himself, but to his sister! #17 has a plaque reading “Aaron Burr House,” but Burr never lived there. 

By: Lucie Levine

New York City Tours

Great Places Near Cherry Lane Theater

isaac hentricks house greenwich village
Art & Culture

Isaacs-Hendricks Oldest House

The Oldest Home in Greenwich Village

77 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
Skinny Edna exterior greenwich village
Art & Culture

Skinny House on Bedford Street

This House is Long on History but Short on Space

75 1/2 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
81 bedford street cia safehouse greenwich village

CIA House

Location of Some Trippy Experiments

81 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
Sushi Nakazawa food greenwich village restaurant

Sushi Nakazawa

Spectacular Sushi in a Sleek West Village Space

23 Commerce St, New York, NY 10014
Chumley's Greenwich Village Decor
Art & Culture


A Former Prohibition-Era Speakeasy Steeped in Literary History

86 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
friends building greenwich village pop culture
Art & Culture

Friends Apartment

A Must Stop on any TV/Movie Tour of the Village

90 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
11 st lukes place timothy leary greenwich village history

Timothy Leary

Where Communism and Counterculture collide with The FBI!

11 St Lukes Place, New York, NY 10014
Jimmy Walker Park Firefighter memorial
Art & Culture

James J. Walker Park

A Park Named for a Player Who was Also the Mayor

9 St. Lukes Place, New York, NY 10014
St Lukes place facade greenwich village
Art & Culture

St. Luke's Place

Beautiful Tree-Lined Street with Serious Historical Celebrity Cachet

6 St. Lukes Place, New York, NY 10014

More Great Walking Tours


Sign up to our monthly e-mail about the latest and greatest places for food, wine art and history

Skip to content