Barrington Stage Plants Roots for Second Stage With Purchase of V.F.W.

News   Barrington Stage Plants Roots for Second Stage With Purchase of V.F.W.
 
Barrington Stage Company's borrowed second-stage at a V.F.W. post in Pittsfield, MA, will become a permanent home for the resident Equity organization. BSC announced that a gift from long-time supporters Sydelle and Lee Blatt will allow the purchase of the building that has been known since 2008 as BSC Stage 2.

This is the venue where the popular BSC and Off-Broadway play Freud's Last Session, by Mark St. Germain, premiered. The main 110-seat theatre will be called the St. Germain Stage. The lower level houses rehearsal space, offices and a 50-seat cabaret space with a bar, which will be named Mr. Finn's Cabaret after Tony winner William Finn, artistic producer of BSC's Musical Theatre Lab.

Built in 1972 as Local V.F.W. Post 448, the building, which BSC has been leasing as Stage 2 since 2008, "will now serve as its permanent home for new plays and musicals and an all-new cabaret space," BSC announced on April 23.

Artistic director Julianne Boyd said in a statement, "With the purchase of the VFW building, which allows us a permanent cabaret space as well as an intimate 110-seat theatre space, we have completed the Barrington Stage campus in downtown Pittsfield. Moving the Youth Theatre to the Berkshire Museum and all rehearsal spaces within the new Upstreet Cultural District will add new vitality to an already burgeoning theatre scene."

Supporters of Barrington Stage since its early years, Sydelle and Lee Blatt were instrumental in BSC's move from Sheffield to Pittsfield in 2005. The Blatts sponsored last season's world-premiere production of Mark St. Germain's The Best of Enemies and were honored at last season's annual Gala for their continued support. Sydelle has been a member of the BSC bard of trustees since 2002.

The building, known as Lt. John L. Truden V.F.W. Post, will be renamed the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center and dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 26 at 2 PM. The 12,602-square-foot air-conditioned building has two levels. The upper level houses a café and the 110-seat Stage 2 theatre, which will be named the St. Germain Stage after BSC associate artist and resident playwright Mark St. Germain, acclaimed author of Freud's Last Session and The Best of Enemies.

Since Barrington Stage began leasing the space, the venue has housed full productions of plays (such as My Name Is Asher Lev), the 10X10 On North Play Festival and new musicals from the acclaimed BSC Musical Theatre Lab.

Programming at the St. Germain Stage begins May 23 with the New England premiere of Duncan Macmillan's intimate drama Lungs. Mr. Finn's Cabaret kicks off Memorial Day weekend with the rock 'n' roll cabaret Joe Iconis & Family on May 25 and 26.

For more information on programming at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, visit barringtonstageco.org.

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