Bay Street Theater Expands and Evolves

The Bay Street Theater has some exciting changes coming up, and they only start with changing the spelling from “Theatre” to “Theater.”

Under the stewardship of new artistic director Scott Schwartz, the Sag Harbor staple will be expanding its slate of programming and expanding its educational initiatives. Perhaps the most significant change coming to Bay Street Theater is its rebranding. The new name, Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Center for the Arts, reflects the company’s commitment to delivering arts entertainment and education to the Sag Harbor community throughout the year, beyond the summer mainstage season.

In addition to the upcoming production of Travesties and world premiere of My Life is a Musical, Bay Street will present The Bay Street Shakespeare Initiative on August 16 and August 17. This new program will begin with an outdoor staged reading of The Tempest, starring Tony and Obie Award-winning actor John Glover as Prospero. A Broadway and Shakespeare veteran, Glover is currently performing in Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare in the Park in Manhattan and recently appeared in Macbeth at Lincoln Center. The August 16 performance will be a paid performance at a private residence, with a cocktail reception to follow. The August 17 performance will be free and open to the community at a location to be announced.

Bay Street will also debut BLACKOUT at Bay Street, a late-night cabaret and avant-garde theatrical experience, over three weekends in July and August. This immersive new program, which debuts in the lobby immediately after Travesties on July 18 and July 19, will begin with an all-male burlesque send-up of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest, “The Importance of Being Oscar.” BLACKOUT at Bay Street will continue in August with other performances, including a cabaret performance by My Life is a Musical cast members.

The Bay Street New Works Festival, which was one of Schwartz’s first projects as Artistic Director back in April, will return in 2015. “I am pleased to announce that based on enthusiasm for the community, in 2015 we will present the second New Works Festival,” Schwartz says. “We are deeply committed to new work at Bay Street, to helping develop the classics of tomorrow, and to giving our audience the chance to see theater you can’t see anywhere else.” Exact dates and plays will be announced in the future.

Helping to expand Bay Street’s educational programs is new education director Julia Motyka. Bay Street’s Summer Kids Theater Camp is being offered at both the Southampton Arts Center and Studio 3 in Bridgehampton this year, and teens who are interested in acting and theater can participate in workshops on July 14, which will focus on monologue and scenes, and August 4, “Acting the Song” taught by Schwartz.

The fall Literature Live! program returns in November with To Kill a Mockingbird, adapted by Christopher Sergel. To make the program more accessible to schools with limited budgets, Bay Street is working on a new free ticket initiative to allow all students the opportunity to experience live theater.

Travesties, starring Richard Kind, runs from June 24–July 19. followed by My Life is a Musical from July 29–August 31. For tickets and more information on Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Center for the Arts, including upcoming stand-up comedy nights and other special performances, go to baystreet.org.

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