5. The Gene Frankel Theatre

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The Gene Frankel Theatre was founded in 1949 by actor/director/teacher Gene Frankel. Frankel was a member of the Actors Studio and is widely regarded for bringing African American themes to the theatre during the civil rights movement as a director both on and Off-Broadway.

Twenty-four Bond Street in Greenwich Village (now NoHo) was the last place where Frankel did his work. Frankel entrusted the theater to his assistant Gail Thacker, who has run the venue since since Frankel’s death in 2005. Actors Walter Matthau, Anne Bancroft, and Raul Julia have all been taught or directed by Frankel. The Gene Frankel Theatre at 24 Bond Street was also the home and studio of Robert Mapplethorpe from 1973 to his death in 1989.

A “living gallery” can be “experienced” this month at the Gene Frankel.