The non-profit, year-round theatre currently leases its Main Street location, nestled on the scenic town's Long Wharf. The lease on the 299-seat venue expires in May 2013 and executives hope to find a more affordable temporary or permanent location. The goal is to remain in Sag Harbor.
"The long term goal is to find or create a permanent home," Bay Street's co-artistic director Murphy Davis said in a statement. "It is a major expense each year to rent the current space, the Riverhead shop where we build the sets and the rent for our actors and production crew each summer. The combined total is going to be up to $500,000 a year just in rents."
Executive director Tracy Mitchell added, "This is part of a natural progression. Bay Street has proven itself for 20 years, and now it must find a permanent home. It is the only way to develop a strong and healthy business which people will want to invest in; both now and for years to come. Unfortunately, the ramification of not having a permanent location spills over and makes it nearly impossible to receive grants and other funding. People want to know you’re going to be around and that's exactly what we're going to do by developing a permanent home."
While ticket sales are up for the 2012 season, Bay Street states that sales cover only 48% of the organization's expenses.
Bay Street recently staged the Broadway-aimed musical Enter Laughing and is currently in rehearsals for To Kill a Mockingbird, which will begin Nov. 7. Among the works developed and premiered at Bay Street are Full Gallop, Motherood Out Loud, Swingtime Canteen, Love Janis, If Love Were All, Nobody Don't Like Yogi and Three Hotels.
Founded in 1991, Bay Street is led by artistic directors Sybil Christopher and Murphy Davis, and executive director Tracy Mitchell.
Donations can be made by sending a check to Bay Street Theater, PO Box 810, Sag Harbor NY 11963 or donate on line at baystreet.org.