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Eastline Theatre closing in Wantagh, seeking new space

Robert Higgins, president of Eastline Theatre, and his

Robert Higgins, president of Eastline Theatre, and his son, Daniel Higgins, the company's executive artistic director in 2018.  Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

EastLine Theatre, which specializes in staging edgy and sometime boundary-pushing productions, will end its eight-year-run in a Wantagh storefront early next year and is currently looking for a new space, the theater management announced Monday.

The theater's vice president Susan Berkowitz said EastLine was unable to get a permit for public assembly from The Town of Hempstead after becoming a nonprofit entity in September 2017. A spokesman for the Town of Hempstead confirmed her statement. Berkowitz said the group is seeking a larger space “with more resources to do more interesting productions.”

EastLine was taken over two years ago by Freeport native and retired New York City firefighter Bob Higgins of Manhattan and his son, Daniel Higgins of Malverne, an actor and director in the company.

“I’ve watched a storefront space foster a community of artists, so it is bittersweet to see it go,” said Daniel Higgins, who is also the executive artistic director. 

“This is not the end of Eastline Theatre, or the nonprofit organization it’s related to,” added Berkowitz, who said the company is looking for a “benefactor.”

Doors will close at the end of Eastline's current season, which includes the one-act dramedy “Body Awareness” (Oct. 5-20); “columbinus,” a dramatic retelling of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre (Nov. 9-24), and “Amadeus,” Peter Shaffer’s Tony Award winner about the competition between classical composers Mozart and Salieri (Dec. 7-21). The final Wantagh production, from Jan. 11-26, will be the Long Island premiere of “Indecent,” Paula Vogel’s drama about the controversial 1923 play “God of Vengeance."

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