59E59 Theaters was established by the Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation in 2004 to grant professional space and expertise to non-profit theater companies premiering their work in New York City. Under the leadership of Val Day, Artistic Director, and Brian Beirne, Managing Director, 59E59 Theaters presents a year-round curated program of Off Broadway plays and musicals that are nurtured and supported through highly-subsidized rental rates, as well as production, ticketing, FOH, marketing, and press support.
The Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation was established by Founding Artistic Director, Elysabeth Kleinhans to create a new, state-of-the-art theater complex to host original and innovative theatrical productions in East Midtown Manhattan.
In 2002, the building at 59 East 59th Street was donated to the Foundation. The building was then gut renovated, creating three brand new theaters, Theater A, Theater B, and Theater C, designed by architect, Leo Modrcin, who collaborated with the Foundation to create an inviting ambiance.
Under the leadership of Founding Artistic Director Elysabeth Kleinhans and Executive Producer Peter Tear, 59E59 Theaters opened its inaugural season in February 2004 with a production of The Stendhal Syndrome produced by then resident company, Primary Stages, in the largest of its three spaces, Theater A. Shortly following, in April 2004, the other two spaces, Theater B and Theater C opened their doors with productions of Sun Is Shining, by the ground breaking British-Chinese Mu Lan Theatre Company, and My Arm, Tim Crouch's critically-acclaimed hour-long solo show from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, during the Theaters' first annual Brits Off Broadway—a season dedicated to premiering new work by Off Broadway-style UK companies.
Since 2004, the theaters have been continuously occupied with shows running from three to seven weeks. For detailed information about past productions, please see our Archives.
In 2017, Elysabeth Kleinhans and Peter Tear stepped down from their roles, and Val Day, a longtime agent with William Morris and ICM, was appointed as Artistic Director. With the addition of a new Artistic Director, 59E59 Theaters moved to the final phase of transitioning from the founding team to a traditional theater management structure, begun in 2012 with the appointment of Brian Beirne as Managing Director.
Artistic Director, Val Day
Val Day currently in her fifth year at 59E59 Theaters. She began her career with a five-year stint as the co-owner of a bookstore & coffee shop and as the co-founder of a site specific theater company in Tampa, FL. Both enterprises were driven by a lifelong mission to create hubs with carefully curated events to inspire communal connection. After receiving an MFA in directing from UCSD, Val devoted 18 years to discovering and representing emerging playwrights and directors as a talent agent with WMA and ICM. Those artists' works continue to enthrall audiences around the world in award winning productions at theaters and on TV & Film.
Managing Director, Brian Beirne
Brian Beirne has been Managing Director of The Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation since 2012. He has previously held positions at Arena Stage in Washington, DC; New 42nd Street and New Victory Theater in New York; Harbourfront Centre, Livent, Canadian Opera Company and Toronto Free Theatre in Toronto. Brian has served on the Boards of East Midtown Partnership, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, Canadian Stage Company and Fringe of Toronto Theatre Festival. He has served on advisory panels for Maryland State Arts Council, Ontario Government Cultural Industries Strategy and A.R.T./New York.
Pictured: Gavin Jon Wright in SQUARE GO (2019) by Kieran Hurly and Gary McNair, and directed by Finn den Hertog. Presented by Francesca Moody Productions, in association with Seared Productions. Photo by Mihaela Budlovic.