The Drama Book Shop finally returns! New owners Thomas Kail and Lin-Manuel Miranda, along with Jeffrey Seller and James L. Nederlander are excited to announce the eagerly-awaited return of The Drama Book Shop, which will reopen to the public on Thursday, June 10, 2021.
The 104-year-old independent bookstore will open its doors once again at its new home at 266 West 39th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Booking a priority entrance time is strongly encouraged and may be made by visiting the website.
In a statement, Thomas Kail said, “It is impossible for me to separate my early New York City life and career from The Drama Book Shop. My theater company was housed there for nearly five years starting when the DBS opened in December of 2001 on 40th Street. It was my home base in every way. The plays, books, and musicals contained there fueled so many of us. It is my hope that the return of the shop will be a burst of inspiration for our community – I cannot wait for the world to come visit.”
“For me, The Drama Book Shop has always been the heart and soul of the New York City theater community,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda. “I sat and read plays there in high school. I discovered incredible artists and new works through staff recommendations. I wrote so many songs from In The Heights in the basement there. I’m excited for the next generation of storytellers and theater lovers to come in, explore, and be inspired.”
The new location, designed by Hamilton scenic designer David Korins and his team, pays homage to twentieth-century European cafes and reading rooms and features a full-service cafe serving coffee, teas, and light snacks.
Founded in 1917 by the Drama League, The Drama Book Shop became an independent bookstore in 1923 and has since been deemed a quintessential New York City cultural institution. For over 100 years, The Drama Book Shop has been the city’s best source for theatrical works, with over 8,000 plays regularly in stock. In 2011, The Drama Book Shop received a Tony Award Honor for Excellence in the Theatre. This award is bestowed upon individuals, organizations, and institutions that have demonstrated profound achievement in the theatre but are ineligible in any of the established Tony categories.
Longtime friends and patrons of the bookstore Thomas Kail and Lin-Manuel Miranda, along with Jeffrey Seller and James L. Nederlander, purchased the store from Rozanne Seelen, whose late husband Arthur Seelen had bought the store in 1958. Over the years, the store has moved several times, with its most recent location having been on West 40th Street. In 2002 a theatre troupe from Wesleyan University founded by Mr. Kail and some friends convened downstairs in the store’s 60-seat Arthur Seelen Theatre to rehearse a new musical. Written by Mr. Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes and directed by Mr. Kail, that show was In the Heights, which went on to win four 2008 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It opens on June 11 as a major motion picture from Warner Brothers.
The Drama Book Shop is a community space for everyone enthused by the Arts—students, fans, theatre professionals, and award-winning artists alike. Since 1917, The Drama Book Shop has been a mainstay of New York’s theatre scene, and with the support of the thousands of patrons that have passed through the shop’s doors, will continue to be for the next 100 years to come.
For the health and safety of guests, The Drama Book Shop is operating at a limited capacity and has implemented a timed-entry reservation system. Reservations are not required but highly recommended to ensure entry to the store at a specific time.
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