The legendary Players first debuted in 1888 under the direction of Edwin Booth and 15 of his closest confidantes, including Mark Twain, and since then has been a social club full of actors, writers, publishers and art obsessives. The tight-knit group, which includes the likes of Jimmy Fallon and Ethan Hawke, often gathers there for performances and cocktails in the lower level Grill Room or to pay a visit to the adjacent Gramercy Park. Despite the club’s long and storied past, which is rumored to include the creation of the Gibson Martini, one of the greatest membership perks touted by the Players is its set of keys to the iron clad park accessible only to a lucky few residents in the immediate surrounding area. Most forms of amusement, other than walking or reading, are prohibited in the coveted green space, but with a visit to the other side of the park’s wrought iron gates comes status.
Now younger potential members are getting their chance to join the 128-year-old institution. The Young Players Society will offer a lower membership rate of $1,000 annually for applicants under 40 years old and will make its debut on Friday, October 7, with a late night affair dubbed #PlayersAfter co-chaired by 30-year-old health care executive Jonathan Harris and 28-year-old theatre artist, Kit Vogelsang. The weekly event will unfold into the wee hours throughout the Greek Revival townhouse, including inside the library and card room where Mark Twain’s poker table resides.
Should the membership fees be out of your price range, members and their guests are also welcome on Friday nights by reservation at Edwin’s. The pop-up eatery is the latest addition to the club by manager Jonathan Masel and earns the impressive title as the only restaurant overlooking Gramercy Park.