Hurricane Sandy Drama FAQs

As you know by now, The New School will be resuming classes Monday, November 5 at 8:00 am. While we recognize that many are still facing significant challenges with transportation -- not to mention power and heat in some cases -- we believe that returning to a semblance of our normal work is the best overall option.

In the case of Drama, however, "normal" translates as completely new and different. Due to damage from flooding to the Westbeth boiler and mechanics as of Monday morning and continuing for possibly the next 3 weeks, all New School for Drama classes will be held on our usual schedule on the 6th floor of 6 East 16th street, just east of 5th Avenue.

Below are some issues related to this situation.

What does this mean exactly / how will it work?
6 East 16th street houses several floors of New School classrooms and is connected to 79 Fifth Avenue, where various student and university resources and offices are located. 6 East 16th is a dedicated New School entrance, with New School security personnel and turnstyles. You will need your New School ID to enter! If you have any problems entering tomorrow, such as not having your ID, look for a Drama representative in the lobby or call my number at 917 805-8704. If you do not have your New School ID card, you will need to replace it tomorrow.

How will I find my classroom?
Rooms on the 6th floor will be marked with signs which correspond to our rooms at 151 bank street. Someone will be stationed at the elevators on the 6th floor to assist you.

What if I can't make it to class tomorrow?
If you are stuck out of town or a storm-related situation makes it impossible for you to travel to Manhattan, please contact your instructor/s and cc Carrie Neal to let them know as soon as possible. Again, we know that travel could be unpleasant the early part of the week, but we are asking that everyone make their very best efforts to get to classes.

What about the New Visions productions?
Without heat in the theater, we are reviewing options and will update you about the production by separate communication.

Will students and faculty have access to 151 Bank Street?
Yes, Bank Street will be open and have a skeleton administrative staff during normal daytime hours, though probably not as late into the night as customary.

When did we find out about the lack of heat and water in bank street?
We knew there was flooding, but it was not until after power returned to the Westbeth complex that personnel could assess the extent of the damage. I was informed shortly after 1:00 yesterday afternoon by Thomas Whalen, director of facilities management. It was Thomas who identified the space on 16th street and he and his incredible staff have been working to get the space ready since 9:00 last night when he and I did a walk-through. Robert Mcalpin, Carrie Neal, Tim Capalbo, Brian Olsen, Linda Kleppinger, Bob Hoyt, Kathy Rossetter, Lou Jacob and Chris Shinn were consulted late last night and at noon Kathy, Lou, Bob, Brian and I did another walk-through with thomas and his crew, to assign rooms and anticipate other needs that may come up in our temporary space over the next few weeks. Security and it joined us as well to strategize about the best way to get us up and running in less than 24 hours.

What about professional development programming?
Professional development programming for this week has been postponed. Starting next week the calendar will resume as scheduled, but relocated to 16th street.

Do we have pianos for vocal classes?
Not yet. It may be a couple of days before we get electronic keyboards in for vocal classes.

Is the new space soundproof?
No it is not. Of course, neither is bank street. We have done our best to space the classrooms across the floor so that there will be as little distraction as possible, given the circumstances.

Will there be lockers at 16th street?
No, but we will provide a secure room to store personal belongings.

What about food storage?
We will have at least one refrigerator.

Will we have computers and printers?
Printing capabilities will be very limited, at least at first. There will most likely not be common computers. If you anticipate needing frequent internet access, you may want to regularly bring laptops/ipads etc.

Will there be wifi?
Yes, we don't know exactly how strong the signal will be tomorrow, but it's there and it are doing their best to boost the signal as quickly as possible.

Will there be a quiet space for students to read, study, etc.?
We will have an area similar to our current first floor tables and chairs. There are also several convenient university resources, including the Student Study Center and Parsons Library.

Will there be rehearsal spaces?
We will have the approximate amount of rooms for rehearsal as we have at Bank Street and will continue the same reservation policy.

Will there be a faculty lounge?
Yes, of about the same dimensions as current. But with windows!

Will the program and production offices be at Bank Street or at 16th Street?
Both. Robert Mcalpin, Carrie Neal and I will be primarily based at 16th Street, production will probably remain based out of Bank Street, others will be back and forth.

Where near the new space do I get coffee? Salads?
There are several delis in the immediate vicinity. There are also many restaurants, as well as the Union Square green market right down the street on wednesdays, fridays and saturdays.

Is there anything else I need to know or arrange for classes tomorrow?
Yes. Please plan to arrive at the building at least 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to start so that you can get oriented to the new space. Additionally, while we are not on the university bell schedule, the elevators can get quite crowded during class changeover time on the other floors.

Do you have a closing message?
Again, yes. We know that this last week has been challenging, stressful and even devastating for many people in our extended community. Please feel free to contact me or Carrie if you have anything at all you'd like to discuss or if there are friends or family in the area you think we could assist in any way. Even those of us who lost heat, water and power were much more fortunate than others in the region. While we face the new circumstances this week, I hope that we approach the challenges with patience and flexibility and the sense of perspective, humanity and collaboration which have been and I hope will continue to be the hallmark of our program.

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