Bay Street Board Offers $100K Challenge

Bay Street Theatre Painting

On Friday, February 15, Bay Street Theatre announced a number of upcoming changes, and they want to know what you think.

For the very first time in its 21 year history—Bay Street Theatre will begin 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,” Executive Director Tracy Mitchell says.  “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 Mainstage 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 more than 75 nights and matinees of laughter. Add Bay Street‘s Monday night comedians, and audiences will be guaranteed that on any night this summer, they will find fun at the theater. 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 toward fall and beyond to further a new day at the bay.

“We do believe that there is a place for more dramatic theater, new work, as well as the more avant-garde and experimental,” Mitchell says.  “We do know that younger audiences enjoy more participatory offers and theater 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.”

The theater‘s other big news is that in support of the 2013 Mainstage season and their new vision for the future, the Executive Committee of the Bay Street Board of Trustees has announced a $100,000 challenge grant. From now through March 15, every dollar the theater raises from patrons, subscribers, donors, volunteers and the community at large, will be matched by the committee, 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 theater and community,” Mitchell says. “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 15, filling seats this summer, and getting the word out that we have a very limited time to match this wonderful challenge. March 15 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!, theater camps and the college internship program.

Tax deductible challenge grant donations can be made in four easy ways: Visit the Box Office, open Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m.–5 p.m., call Jessica Lemire in the Development Office at 631-725-0818, x129, donate online at or send a check to Bay Street Theatre; PO Box 810; Sag Harbor, NY 11963.

Now is the ideal time to donate to this worthy local institution!

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