Message from Edward Albee

Dear Friend of Cherry Lane:

The Cherry Lane Theatre has a long and important history as an essential part of the off-Broadway theatre movement in New York City and of serious playwriting in America.

For the 60-some years that I, personally, have benefited from its provocative programming I have found it a continuing source of refuge from the commerciality of Broadway and a center for my continuing adult aesthetic education.

As a home for avant-garde theatre groups (including my own) it has nourished generations of patrons interested in theatre as intelligent engagement and not merely escape.

Central to its present focus on new significant voices in our serious theatre is the Mentor Project – a series of readings and productions of exciting new plays by exciting new playwrights. Encouraged by mentoring older master playwrights, young talents are supported in making shafts of light in the darkness. Too often young writers are urged to compromise, to soften the impact of their plays, but at the Cherry Lane Mentor Project the goal is single: make the best, most exciting new theatre you can, and the devil take the hindmost.

It’s a tough economic time for our country now, and you see arts programs being cut to the bone and exploratory theaters closing. Our national and state arts programs are incapable of saving the day, and it is up to you – those of you who care about the aesthetic health of our country – to support programs like the Cherry Lane Mentor Project.

Our culture is too valuable to let be hobbled.

Thank you,


Edward Albee
November 2009