Mainstage Is Anything But Mainstream

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Director, producer, writer and lyricist Jack O'Brien performs on stage at 54 Below on November 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for 54 Below)

They’ll be coming from near and far for the new 2019 productions planned for Mainstage Summer Season at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. Three productions are scheduled to run from Memorial Day Weekend through the end of August amid the anticipated warmer months.

First in line is the world premiere of “Safe Space,” May 28 to June 16, by playwright Alan Fox and directed by three-time Tony Award Winner Jack O’Brien, known for “Hairspray.” It follows an African-American professor who faces accusations of racism from a student, with the college head intervening. The performance explores the politics and reactions facing American campuses today.

Artistic director Scott Schwartz was sent the play for program consideration and immediately fell in love with the script. “It’s smart. It’s edgy. It’s about something very timely and contemporary,” he said.

The second production, set for June 25 to July 21, has not yet been chosen, but the team seeks to bring in another world premiere.

The final Mainstage production will run July 30 to August 25 with an all-female creative team of a newly envisioned production of Irving Berlin’s “Annie Get Your Gun.” It will be directed by Sarna Lapine, who directed last season’s Bay Street production of “Frost/Nixon.” Lapine incorporates a modern twist on the Dorothy Fields classic about Annie Oakley’s romance with fellow sharpshooter Frank Butler. With every song a hit, audience members will be delighted to see a progressive approach to Annie and women as a whole throughout the play. Schwartz called Lapine’s vision a “forward thinking reexamination” of a powerful woman “who was ahead of her time.”

“We’re open year-round. It really is a very busy and active year ahead. We’re so excited for it,” Schwartz said. Local musician Nancy Atlas is at Bay Street throughout January with her Fireside Sessions. The New Works Festival will be held the first weekend in May; Music Mondays returns in July and August; and there’s a Comedy Club kick-off Memorial Day Weekend with an all-new show by Paula Poundstone (tickets are selling fast). Bay Street seeks to bring back its Under The Stars program of outdoor free staged readings, and the summer intern production.

The theater is located at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. Call the box office at 631-725-9500 or visit to find out more.

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