American Theatre Wing & The Drama Book Shop Launch Playreaders Club
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 11:33 am EST 02/18/24
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 11:23 am EST 02/18/24



With options for both New York in-person events as well as virtual programming accessible anywhere, the club will engage theatre enthusiasts across the nation.

(New York, NY) Two venerable institutions in the theater industry, the American Theatre Wing and The Drama Book Shop, have partnered to launch of The Playreaders Club, a tiered, monthly in-person and virtual events-based club for theater enthusiasts. To join, visit American Theatre Wing's Patreon Page.

With their long history of supporting and uplifting artists and creating experiences for the theater community, the American Theatre Wing has found the perfect partner with The Drama Book Shop, the leading resource for theater-related materials and expertise, to launch The Playreaders Club. The Club will bring together theatre enthusiasts, professionals, students, and educators alike to read and discuss interesting work each month – through virtual and/or in-person events, with special guests, at The Drama Book Shop. Each play will be selected by an expert committee with an aim to raise awareness of diverse authors and works that audiences may not have heard about or seen before on stage. The play selection committee is comprised of the American Theatre Wing Board and Advisory members. This includes Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (Kimberly Akimbo, Fun Home), Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Yellow Face), Tony Award-winning costume and scenic designer Clint Ramos (Eclipsed, Once on this Island), Theater journalist, influencer, and producer Ayanna Prescod (Pass Over), Tony Award-winning director Leigh Silverman (Violet, Well), Emmy Award-winning journalist & author Patrick Pacheco, and Talent Agent Ben Sands.

There are three tiers to the membership. To join, visit American Theatre Wing's Patreon Page.
•TIER 1: $5/month - Access to the title of that month's play and the Zoom Virtual monthly meeting hosted by the Wing, plus exclusive Wing content.
•TIER 2: $15/month – Access to everything on Tier 1 plus admission to the in-person monthly meeting at the Drama Book Shop, with special guests
•TIER 3: $35/month – Access to everything on Tier 1 & Tier 2 plus a physical copy of that month's play·

The Playreaders Club will be available to join both in-person and from anywhere in the nation with various online events being offered.

For more information about The Playreaders Club, visit: American Theatre Wing's Patreon Page.


The American Theatre Wing (Heather Hitchens, President and CEO) invests in brave work, supports creative growth, and celebrates excellence in bringing inclusive stories to our national culture through theatre. Founded by seven suffragists in 1917, on the eve of America's entry into World War I, the American Theatre Wing has spent a century honoring theatrical achievements and fostering artistry, by providing a platform for strong and fearless voices in the American theatre.

In addition to being the founder and co-presenter of the Tony Awards®, and the home of the OBIE Awards, the American Theatre Wing offers a powerful suite of programs that address all aspects of the national theatre ecology. Venerable programs like the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative nurture the work of young artists by providing access to theatre through education; esteemed annual prizes like the Jonathan Larson Grants create essential pathways to success for emerging professionals; and unique resources like Master Class, The Network for Emerging Leaders, and the Emmy-nominated Working in the Theatre series, offer artists with unparalleled opportunities to connect and learn from industry luminaries. To learn more about the extensive programming and grant opportunities for students, theatre professionals, and audiences, visit For the latest updates and news, follow the Wing on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.


Founded in 1917 by the Drama League, the Drama Book Shop became an independent book store in 1923 and since that time has been deemed a quintessential New York City cultural institution. Over the past 100 years, the Drama Book Shop has secured its reputation as 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. Given since 1990, this award is bestowed upon individuals, organization, and institutions that have demonstrated profound achievement in the theatre but are ineligible in any of the established Tony categories.

The Drama Book Shop opened in its current home on West 39th Street in 2020 under new ownership. Long time 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, most recently located on West 40th Street. When the store opened there in December of 2001, a theatre troupe from Wesleyan University – Back House Productions – founded by Kail, John Buffalo Mailer, Neil Stewart and Anthony Veneziale became the resident theater company. They convened downstairs in the store's 60-seat Arthur Seelen Theatre, and in 2002 they began to rehearse a new musical. Written by Mr. Miranda and directed by Mr. Kail, "In The Heights" went on to win several Tony Awards® in 2008.

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.

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.



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