To put it simply, St. John’s is home.
In 2006 Tom Kane called me with fantastic news. Our theatre company brooklynONE was going to have a space to perform in. He promptly told me to pick him up and he would tell me where to go. Tom directed me to the corner of 99th street and Ft. Hamilton Parkway, right underneath the majestic Verrazano Bridge, a part of Bay Ridge I would say I had hardly been to – lest to get to the entrance of the Army Base. I parked the car, and Tom directed me to the space.
St. John’s Episcopal Church. The Parish Hall. I had never heard of this church, I had never seen this church, but the moment I walked in…I knew I was home.
From that moment, brooklynONE has remained in continuous production. While other groups offered 1 or 2 shows a year, brooklynONE was able to offer a constant stream of productions and events that were challenging, artistic, different, and thought provoking. We found our niche as the alternative theatre company, and we were happy to be that. We had the “little space that could”. The Parish Hall turned itself into a perfect 75-seat black box style theatre, something completely different for Bay Ridge.
I have likely spent more time at St. Johns in the last 8 years then I have spent in my own home, or even work. As a group brooklynONE has scrubbed floors, built sets, scaled walls, painted, cleaned bathrooms and kitchens, and so much more. We have laughed and cried, and we have celebrated there and we have mourned. We have stood shoulder to shoulder with artists from around the world, producing works from countries across the ocean, working with theatre groups from Manhattan and beyond. We’ve done it all to empty audiences and sold out crowds. We never settled on being a particular type of company, just a company that set out to challenge itself and its audience.
We did it all at St. Johns.
We are incredibly upset to learn that St. Johns will be closing its doors in September. Our tenure there has been nothing short of amazing. We have felt nothing but support, trust and most importantly, artistic independence from our hosts. brooklynONE’s home is St. John’s and we will continue to produce work, and offer events for the community as long as we are allowed too. We have always been a group dedicated to the arts in Bay Ridge and giving back to foundations and organizations in the area.
Our future is bright, and we are thankful for the time we were able to have at St. Johns- we remain dedicated to our home and its future and we will work with whatever the future holds. We hope those people who are fans of ours will come support our upcoming events, and continue to follow our activities in the future.
co-founder/ artistic director
To find out more about brooklynONE and its productions and history, visit our website, or our social media below.