WPA Theatre

WPA Theatre

519 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011


Between 1971 and 1976, the WPA Theatre (Workshop of the Players Art) presented Off-Off-Broadway shows at its at 333 Bowery location—where Jackie Curtis’s Vain Victory moved after its wildly successful run at La MaMa.


Vain Victory Moves to the WPA Theatre


After Vain Victory sold out at La MaMa, it moved to the much larger WPA Theatre on the Bowery and ran a total of sixty-six performances. “Jackie Curtis’s beloved aunt—Josephine Preston, who helped raise her—joined the cast of Vain Victory at the WPA Theatre,” Agosto Machado recalled. “She used to dance in the dance halls of Times Square, and when she joined Vain Victory, she said, ‘Oh, what you kids are doing, you should have seen what we did back in my day!’ And she showed off some of her old moves. She really had personality.” Only Machado and Curtis performed in every show, until it finally petered out. “There was only a few of us left by the end of Vain Victory,” Machado said, “just six of us onstage.”

From Chapter 21 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore