This morning, the New York Post ran a brief item about a bust this weekend at House of Yes, an East Williamsburg warehouse space that hosts an eclectic array of performance art and other creative endeavors, like experimental musicals, variety shows, and high-wire circus acts.
According to the Post, a plainclothes detective arrested four people at the “Brooklyn speakeasy” early Saturday morning after discovering a bar selling alcohol without a license. Seeking more information, B+B got in touch with Anya Sapozhnikova, a co-founder at the House of Yes, who told us that the midnight incident was “totally unrelated” to the normal goings-on at the arts collective.
“We rent the space out to outside groups for community events,” she said. “This was just a rental, and apparently somebody got in trouble. We don’t know much about it.” Although she was aware that there had been “some police incident,” the NYPD hasn’t contacted House of Yes — Sapozhnikova and company learned about the arrests via the Post story, she said.
The event in question was likely this dance party: “the last Vitamin B at the current House of Yes location.”
The 11 p.m. party followed House of Yes’s final variety show, featuring Sapozhnikova, Jellyboy the Clown and others. “On Friday, August 16th we bring you our grand finale — a last chance to enjoy the untamed entertainment of a House of Yes Variety Show at our current space,” that ticket page read. “Our little circus on Maujer Street will perform for you like there is no tomorrow. The air will be heavy with nostalgia, as we defy gravity and risk our lives one last time at this address.”
The lease on 342 Maujer that House of Yes signed five years ago is set to run out, and the company is still looking for a new home. “There’s a misconception that we’re moving out because of the raid,” Sapozhnikova said, “but we announced that two months ago.”
Because House of Yes hosts Sky Box, an aerial and performance venue, they’re looking for a new warehouse space with ceilings at least 25 feet high. “There are very few warehouses left that suit our needs to produce the kind of theater we want to produce,” Sapozhnikova said. They’re also hoping to partner up with a bar owner or restauranteur to develop the next iteration of House of Yes as a fully licensed theater with a bar.