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Bay Street Theater Announces Architect and Releases Renderings for New Home in Sag Harbor

Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, New York

Bay Street Theater and Friends of Bay Street announce that critically acclaimed architecture firm Roger Ferris + Partners will design the Theater's first purpose-built home, which will house multiple spaces for the development of new work, dedicated education facilities, and public spaces. Charcoalblue, one of the largest international theatre, acoustic, and digital consultancy service providers, will design the theatrical elements for the project. The celebrated Theater's new home will be built on a site at the entrance to historic Sag Harbor that runs continuously with John Steinbeck Waterfront Park, transforming what is currently a commercial space into a community resource.

The center will include a mainstage theatre that will preserve the well-known intimacy of the original venue and will feature additional fixed and flexible spaces to accommodate different configurations keyed to artistic vision and production needs. The facility will feature 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. This flexibility will permit Bay Street Theater to engage in more original works, co-productions and partnerships. Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts is led by the executive director, Tracy Mitchell, and artistic director, Scott Schwartz. The Board of Trustees is lead by chairman Steven Todrys.

To achieve this milestone project, Friends of Bay Street Theater, led by Adam Potter, is a separate non-profit organization that has been created to oversee the site's development, including land acquisition, financing, fundraising, and design. "Roger Ferris and his team designed an architecturally beautiful building that fits into the character of Sag Harbor Village and provides great public access to Steinbeck Park and the water" says chairman and founder Potter. "We hope to break ground later this year and anticipate completion in 2023."

Mitchell says, "This has been a lifelong dream for both the founders of Bay Street Theater and myself as the current executive director. It will provide not only the space for creative growth but will ensure Bay Street's future and legacy with a permanent home."

Schwartz says, "As artistic director, I know this gorgeous new facility will enable Bay Street to continue the exciting artistic growth we have been experiencing over the past few years. It will make the company an even more versatile home for an ever-growing family of new and established voices in the theatre and will allow us to offer expanded educational programming for both children and adults in our community. We could not be more excited."

Ferris says, "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."

Now in its 30th year, the non-profit professional theatre is one of Long Island's preeminent performing arts organizations and features a long history of developing and premiering acclaimed works that have moved to Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theatres across the country. Since its founding by theatre royalty and central to its mission, Bay Street Theater has also served as a beloved educational and cultural catalyst for the East End, growing its arts education programs to serve thousands of students each year and partnering with more than 30 local non-profits annually. The Theater is also the leading economic driver for the village, drawing visitors to the restaurants, stores, and hotels in its historic core.

Friends of Bay Street works in tandem with the non-profit theatre and its Board of Trustees on the creation of this new venue. In building its own facility, Bay Street Theater is responding to the increasing demand for the cultural, educational, and economic resources it provides to people who live in and visit the region, and expands its home for a community of local and visiting artists. The Theater's new home will be located on a site that currently houses a small strip mall.

Friends of Bay Street's leadership is currently working with the owners of these small businesses to help them relocate to new sites within the town. Bay Street's future home is nearly cater-corner to its current home in a retrofitted torpedo factory and is located at the foot of Sag Harbor's newly restored Long Wharf.

Mitchell, who joined the Theater in 2008, came to Bay Street after a 20-year career as a television and film producer for which she received two primetime EMMY nominations, the Gracie Award, and numerous CableACE Awards. Longtime theater director Schwartz joined the Theater in 2013. He directed the West End production of The Prince of Egypt in London and the Broadway productions of Golda's Balcony and Jane Eyre (co-directed with John Caird), and numerous productions Off-Broadway including Outer Critics Circle Award-winning Bat Boy: The Musical, and tick, tick...BOOM!. Potter, a senior executive leader in the insurance industry who has created and led various nonprofit charitable organizations, is leading Friends of Bay Street Theater in the development of the new theatre complex.

Bay Street Theater is a year-round, not-for-profit professional theatre and community cultural center, which endeavors to innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts. It serves as a social and cultural gathering place, an educational resource, and a home for a community of artists.

Ferris is the founding principal of Roger Ferris + Partners. He directs the firm's design and master planning work. Under his guidance, Roger Ferris + Partners has been recognized with over 80 regional, national, and international design awards.

Ferris is a graduate and Loeb fellow of Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, an active member of the American Institute of Architects, the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.

Throughout his career, he has been actively involved in academics delivering lectures and serving on elite design juries. His work has been cited by the AIA and the National Trust for Historic Preservation among others, and has been featured in numerous architecture, design, real estate, and construction publications.


(7 April 2021)

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