Welcome to the MSDL Theater, a 145-seat off-Broadway jewel right next to Central Park West and around the corner from Lincoln Center. 

About Marjorie S. Deane and Theater

The MSDL Theater is a non-profit, independent off-Broadway theater, which exists to create and launch new and innovative works that inspire, entertain, and reflect our diverse community.

We strive to serve our community by providing affordable and high-quality professional arts performances, programming, training, and education while furthering the YMCA of Greater New York’s Mission of building healthy bodies, healthy minds, and healthy spirits.

The West Side YMCA began construction on the Little Theater in 1929. The theater opened in 1930 as a School for Movie Projectionists. In the 1930’s and 1940’s, many young men such as Bob Jope and Tennessee Williams stayed at the West Side YMCA when they first came to New York to begin their careers. In fact, the premiere of Tennessee Williams’ drama Summer and smoke, happened in this theater before it moved to the Music Box Theater on Broadway. The Little Theater was also host to such notable events as WOR radio’s first live broadcast and a host of then ground-braking screenings of silent movies and what were then called “talkies.”

From the early 1940’s through 2003, the Little Theater served as a cornerstone for the West Side YMCA’s drama and theater programs. Designed to be exactly 1/5 the size of a Broadway Playhouse, the Little Theater played host to a variety of youth and adult drama, dance, music, and theater programs. The theater also served as a venue of a variety of outside productions.

Over the years, the theater fell into disrepair and its original beauty was masked as it was covered with paint and plaster. In 2001, the West Side YMCA recognized the theater as an important cultural relic and untapped asset and launched a capital campaign aimed at raising funds for significant restoration and renovation project of the 79-year-old historic theater. Through many generous donations, $2 million was raised, enabling the project to move forward.

This historic space was named in 2004 for the late Marjorie S. Deane, a New York City philanthropist, theater advocate and fashion industry icon, whose study of fashion was fueled by her interest in costume design for the theater. Theater architect Mitchel Kurtz designed the renovation to include upgrades to the 79-year-old historic theater.

Upcoming Events
faces of america

We are proud to invite you to the Playground Experiment’s (PGE) Annual Faces of America Monologue Festival #4 this Saturday in the West Side Y Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater. The fundraiser performance will feature selected monologues from over 500 submissions that showcase the broad spectrum of what it is to live, work and play in America. Each year, a word is chosen as theme for the submissions. This year’s word is KINDNESS.

In conjunction with the Monologue Festival, PGE is also hosting its First Annual Faces of America Round Table. This FREE event will feature four NYC Theatre companies to discuss their work to make our theatre world a more inclusive and equitable place. The round table will be moderated by Monica Rounds-- one of The PGE's most insightful and talented artists.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Register HERE

Annual Faces of America Monologue Festival #4
Purchase tickets HERE


Rental Information

Thank you for your interest in renting our theater. Please reach out to Mike Lesser, Theater Manager, at mlesser@ymcanyc.org for information.

We provide space for live performances, industry showcases, professional performances, film screenings, board meetings, lectures, readings, rehearsals, workshops and more!


Click here for Pricing Packages

Click here for Tech Packet

Click here for Ground Plan

Click here for Lighting Plot

Click here for Seating Chart

Click here for Information Request Form


Theater Entrance
10 West 64th Street, New York, NY 10023.

Accessibility – Ramp entrance | ADA Compliant

A, C, B, D trains to 59th Street Columbus Circle
1 train to 59th Street Columbus Circle or 66th Lincoln Center