Following the October announcement that Sag Harbor’s Bay Street Theater had purchased 22 Long Island Avenue for $13.9 million with the intention of building a newer, larger, permanent home, the nonprofit performing arts organization has released the first renderings and details of its planned expansion.
“Bay Street Theater lies at the heart of Sag Harbor’s Main Street and waterfront,” said Tracy Mitchell in a video press conference. “After 30 years, Bay Street continues to serve not only as the primary year-round revenue generator for this idyllic waterfront community, but it also serves over 30 other nonprofits and hundreds of artists each year.”
“But with time and success comes growth,” added Artistic Director Scott Schwartz. “Bay Street Theater has long outgrown our current location.” Schwartz said that in the new facility, the popular New Works initiative, which showcases in-development projects by playwrights, will become a year-round program. “There’s so much we will be able to achieve in this new space,” said Schwartz.
Schwartz added that the new facility will have a 299-seat theater, as well as dedicated space for the organization’s year-round educational programs for children and adults, a center for new work development, a shop and scenery storage, special events, and professional development initiatives. Mitchell explained that the theater will be “state of the art,” with current theatrical technology. While Bay Street is able to do a lot with their current space, the new facility will be purpose-built, allowing much more flexibility and technical wizardry for their productions.
Bay Street Theater has emphasized that their focus is on being a resource for the community. The property at 22 Long Island Avenue runs parallel with John Steinbeck Waterfront Park. Adam Potter, founder of Friends of Bay Street, the group that purchased the new property, said that they were also in talks to purchase 2 Main Street, which will allow them to fully realize their vision with architectural firm Roger Ferris + Partners. “If we are successful in this acquisition, our intention is to remove the building, expand the park and create unbelievable views down Main Street.” The theater will not use the 2 Main Street land, but benefit Sag Harbor and allow the new John Steinbeck Waterfront Park to be expanded.
“We are very excited to be part of this collective endeavor to design a new home for this legendary theater and to situate it on a site that will be transformative for the village of Sag Harbor,” said architect Roger Ferris in a press release.
The theater is currently targeting a 2023 completion date for this massive undertaking. In the meantime, Bay Street Theater will continue to operate on the Long Wharf.
To learn more about Bay Street Theater, visit baystreet.org.