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Student Blog: The Drama Bookshop is Back!


My experience at the reopening of the Drama Bookshop

Student Blog: The Drama Bookshop is Back!

Before it closed, the Drama Bookshop was easily one of my favorite places in the world. Every time I visited New York, it was first on my list of things I needed to do. I loved browsing the collections of books about the things I love most. I am from Florida, and, at least in the area I'm from, we do not have anything close to the collection at the Drama Bookshop. I only got to buy plays in person when I came to New York. My favorite section of the store was always the used plays section because I could get so many amazing plays for only a few dollars! I still proudly use my Drama Bookshop tote bag almost everyday.

Needless to say, I was devastated when I heard it was closing, especially because I was going to be in NYC for college! I was so happy when Lin Manuel Miranda and his friends bought the Drama Bookshop and planned to reopen it.

Many do not know why Lin-Manuel Miranda has such a connection to the Drama Bookshop. He created In the Heights in the basement of the original store. In the Heights won him his first Tony Award, and it put him on the map. Everyone knows In the Heights now because of the movie, but that movie would not be possible without the Drama Bookshop. It seems like perfect timing to me that the new Drama Bookshop opened within a few days of when In the Heights premiered.

I was lucky enough to have some free time on the day the Drama Bookshop reopened (aka I was counting down the days until it opened). I brought some of my friends, and we headed uptown to 39th street and waited to go inside. Even the outside of the store was so nice.

Going inside, though, was a pretty majestic experience.

The first thing I noticed was this worm made of books that weaved through the ceiling of the bookshop. It went over the table at the front that had the featured books (including Lin Manuel Miranda's books, of course). The aesthetic of the store was classic and gorgeous with the piles of colorful books stacked high on the regal wooden bookshelves. The new store seemed much bigger than the original location. I missed Chester, though. Chester was the adorable dog who used to sit on the counter greeting customers as they walked in and out of the store.

The new location also has a little cafe! My friends and I tried some chocolate chip cookies, and they were delicious. There are also plenty of comfortable places to sit and eat or read or just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere, which I think is one of the best parts of the store. It was so nice to be surrounded by theatre people excited about this one of a kind store. There was so much excitement in the air, from the customers to the staff to the picture of smiling Chester behind the glass next to the cashiers.

After browsing for a while, I decided on a collection of plays by Maria Irene Fornes. My friends and I checked out, and they gave us our books in cute little Drama Bookshop bags. As we said goodbye, I knew I would be back soon.

Although it is updated, the new Drama Bookshop has all the charm of the original location with more space and food! The staff was friendly and the store was well organized, and they really had everything I could ever want in terms of theatre books. I know I'll be back soon, especially when school starts back up again, so I can buy some plays for class. However, as much as I love the new and improved Drama Bookshop, I do miss the used plays section, but I'm optimistic about its return as the store continues to thrive.

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