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Managing Director David Roberts said having the company’s name in lights finally attached to a building cannot be underestimated. “It’s the 29th season, so it’s the eve of our 30th birthday. We’re coming out of our youth, if you will, and really finding our place in New York.”

A benefit performance later of the comic revue “A Thurber Carnival” featured the talents of Jason Butler Harner, Jackie Hoffman, Elizabeth Marvel, Dakin Matthews, Michael McKean, Annette O’Toole, Maryann Plunkett and Jay O. Sanders.

The coincidence of two theater companies celebrating expansions on the same day _ in addition to The Public Theater’s $40 million revitalization party on Thursday _ seems to show the health of the city’s off-Broadway community.

Sullivan agreed: “People in the theater are eternal optimists anyway,” he said.