Project manager Jeff Whiting, in partnership with other notable Broadway industry members, today announced the plans to build Open Jar Studios, a new rehearsal space in Times Square for rehearsals, auditions, and support offices for large-scale Broadway productions.
Located at 1601 Broadway, spanning the entire 11th and 12th floors, the studios will feature 51,346 square feet of rehearsal space and support offices. The space will include two 4,000-square-foot studios with 24-foot-high ceilings, making them the largest studios in Manhattan, and numerous studios of varying sizes suited for dance and music rehearsals, production offices, and costume fittings.
Director and choreographer Jeff Whiting conceived of the idea and serves as project manager, overseeing a partnership with Broadway producers, creatives, and organizations including the Shubert Organization, Music Theatre International, Tony Award winner Barry Weissler (Chicago), Fred Gallo (PRG), Tony Award-winning directors and choreographers Susan Stroman (The Producers) and Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton), Tony Award-winning composer Stephen Flaherty (Once on This Island), Tony Award-winning lighting designers Ken Billington (Chicago) and Howell Binkley (Jersey Boys), Tony Award-winning set designer Beowulf Boritt, Tony Award-nominated set designer David Korins (Dear Evan Hansen), Tony Award-winning sound designer Kai Harada (The Band's Visit), Tony Award-winning orchestrator Alex Lacamoire (Hamilton), and Tony Award-nominated actor Joshua Henry (currently starring in Carousel).
"We want to build a home for artists to create," said Whiting, "and we dedicate this space to the creation of art and the cultivation of the artist." In addition to rehearsal space, the studios will also serve as the headquarters to the Open Jar Institute, a theater training institute now in its 15th year, providing in-depth training for the next generation of theater artists, as well as Whiting's software company, Stage Write Software, the industry's standard platform to capture staging and choreography for theatrical productions in use by over 50,000 users worldwide.
The studios will begin construction in mid-July, with plans to open its doors in January 2019.