St. Anne’s Warehouse, the most artistically diverse performance organization in the borough, celebrates glorious new digs

by Evan Monroe • photos courtesy of Marvel Architects

One of the cultural jewels of the borough (of the Northeast for that matter), St. Ann’s Warehouse, launched in 1980 as Arts at St. Ann’s at the National Historic Landmark St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church on Montague Street, has hosted arguably the most diverse assortment of singers, poets, theater performances and live music than any other Brooklyn venue, and has been unofficially dubbed the “intersection of theater and rock and roll.”

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Visiting artists have included Les Mysteres Des Voix Bulgares, Richard Thompson, Vic Chesnutt, Jimmy Scott, the World Saxophone Quartet with Fontella Bass, David Byrne, Emmylou Harris, and Jackson Browne. Bread and Puppet Theater has appeared on an annual basis, and the Lab—St. Ann’s program for artists working in puppet theater—is a mainstay for the art form.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary and now under the direction of Matt Acheson, St. Ann’s Warehouse has settled into its new home—a onetime tobacco warehouse along Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo dating from 1860—the renovation of which was completed by the Manhattan-based Marvel Architects, and won the firm the 2017 American Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Award.

“Within this beloved, ruin-like brick building, the design celebrates contradiction with discrete yet unexpected materials of glass bricks, black steel, and plywood,” the architects explained. “An overall discrete volume is inserted snugly into the walls on three sides, allowing the historic arched doors and varied windows to remain untouched. The fourth side is occupied by support spaces and community amenities, which open onto an intimate triangular park within the warehouse’s walls.”

Through May 28, St. Ann’s presents Arlington, written and directed by Enda Walsh, described by
Playbill as presenting “…a bleak and terrifying world that echoes Orwell’s 1984—in which the creative design team behind Misterman and The Last Hotel dare to imagine a strange and tender love story.”

Gardian Spread

St. Ann’s Warehouse
45 Water Street / 718.254.8779
stannswarehouse.org