Bay Street Announces Listening Tour and $100,000 Challenge Grant

Bay Street Announces Listening Tour and $100,000 Challenge Grant

Bay Street Theatre has announced a number of changes underway on the Long Wharf of Sag Harbor.

For the very first time in its 21 year history--since the very founding of the theater itself-- new artistic visions will be coming to the East End's most prestigious professional regional theatre. Bay Street theater is announcing the start of what will be a six month listening tour-to learn more about what today's audiences and the audiences of tomorrow might like to see. The tour will also be used to explore the new and unique projects from potential new artistic partners.

"This is the most exciting opportunity since the founding of Bay Street", says Executive Director Tracy Mitchell. "It really represents a sea change in the sense that we have decided to really reach out-to refresh, renew and explore artistically beyond where we have been. Our Hamptons audiences are diverse and have many eclectic tastes when it comes to theatre and artistic ventures. We must modernize and do our best to excite them, while at the same time supporting the new and creative visions of our extensive artistic community. It's time to reach out to all of them again and let them know our doors are open."
This year's Summer of Fun season is already in place and promises loads of laughs. As previously announced, the 2013 Main Stage season includes Lend Me a Tenor, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. These shows represent over 75 nights and matinees of laughter. And when we add in our Monday night comedians, our audiences will be guaranteed that on any night this summer, they will find fun at Bay Street. While this season of summer fun will certainly provide the comedic and musical talent that Bay Street summer audiences know and love, management is already looking towards fall and beyond to further a new day at the bay.

"We do believe that there is a place for more dramatic theatre, new work, as well as the more avant-garde and experimental," says Mitchell. "We do know that younger audiences enjoy more participatory offers and theatre without walls. We look forward to producing all of these forms of theater across the seasons. It is certainly our goal to explore it all."

"Our second big announcement is that in support of the 2013 Main Stage season and our new vision for the future, the Executive Committee of the Bay Street Board of Trustees is announcing a $100,000 Challenge Grant." From now through March 15th, for every dollar the theatre raises from patrons, subscribers, donors, volunteers and the community at large, the committee has promised to match dollar for dollar, up to $100,000. And, as Bay Street is a 501 3c not for profit, all donations are tax deductible.

"This is an amazing opportunity for the theatre and community," says Mitchell. "Last year we heard the community say that they wanted us to stay. Now we hope everyone will help us by purchasing a subscription by March 15th, filling seats this summer, and getting the word out that we have a very limited time to match this wonderful challenge. March 15th is around the corner!"

The Challenge Grant and tax deductible matching funds being raised will directly support the 2013 Mainstage Season and the Education programs including Literature Live!, theatre camps, and the college Internship program.

Tax deductible Challenge Grant Donations can be made in 4 easy ways: by visiting the Box office open Tuesday-Friday 11am-5pm, by calling Jessica Lemire in the Development Office 631-725-0818, x129, by donating online at, or by sending a check to Bay Street Theatre; PO Box 810; Sag Harbor, NY 11963.

Bay Street Theatre is a not-for-profit institution presenting new, classic and contemporary works with a commitment to challenging and entertaining our diverse community. This commitment extends to educational programs for all ages to foster the continued value of theatre as a vital art form for future generations.

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