On March 16 at 6pm, the Jefferson Market Library and archivist and Caffe Cino actress Magie Dominic will share documentation and stories about the landmark space, Caffe Cino, presenting the first program devoted to the women playwrights who produced their work at the Caffe. This small theater, located at 31 Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village, opened in 1958, and produced plays and theater work until its closing in 1968. Magie Dominic was one of the original performers at the Caffe, and like many, worked in a multiple of capacities. During its 10 year existence, Joe Cino, owner of the Caffe Cino, produced the work of hundreds of new writers, many of whom went on to win a multitude of awards -including Pulitzers, Tonys, Academy Awards and Obies.
Among the many writers whose work was presented at the Caffe, fifteen women poets and playwrights presented their work there. Although their work spanned 1959-1968, the full existence of the Caffe, their collective contribution to the Caffe Cino’s history has gone basically unnoticed.
“The Caffe Cino began before it actually began. It began part way down the street. Outdoor golden, amber and rose colored lights, not neon, spilled across the sidewalk and made their way towards you, silently, like dancers, as you approached. Everything about the Caffe Cino began before it began. Inside the room all time stopped. There was no time inside except magic time.” This is how Magie Dominic describes the Caffe Cino in her book The Queen Of Peace Room.
At his passing in 1967, a memorial farewell was held for Joe Cino at Judson Church, where Bernadette Peters sang songs from shows in which she appeared at Caffe Cino. The Caffe Cino recently received National Historic Landmark Status.
The Women Writers of the Caffe Cino, 1959-1968 will take place on Thursday, March 16 from 6:00 ~ 7:30pm at Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Avenue (10th Street), NYC. The event will be presented in the first floor Willa Cather Room. No registration required.
Read more about Caffe Cino, a NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.