1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, S at Times Sq.-42nd St.
Named after the charitable tobacco heiress Doris Duke, this state-of-the-art, nonprofit performance space showcases well-established choreographers (Bebe Miller, Carol Armitage), theater companies (Playwrights Horizons, Theater for a New Audience), interdisciplinary festivals and even unconventional one-man shows (Marc Salem’s Mindgames, Too!). Opened in 2000 by the nonprofit New 42nd Street, the Duke is actually part of a larger complex devoted to fostering performing arts via 14 rehearsal studios and in-house offices for the Roundabout Theatre Company, the Williamstown Theatre Festival and Parsons Dance Company. The theater itself departs from the usual drab color scheme, and is painted in bold shades of mustard, terra cotta and dove grey, while the carpeted chairs alternate black with various colors to spell out "Duke" in Morse code. Each year, nearly 50 companies rent the 199-seater—with its masonite-topped sprung-wood floor and excellent sightlines throughout—presenting around 200 shows annually. And while stars like Anna Paquin and John Turturro have graced the stage, most of the time, audiences are here to see up-and-comers.