Log In   ·   Become A Member

Bay Street Theatre: A Haven For The Hamptons Theatre-Goers

Chelsea Katz

Spring has sprung at Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor. (Photo: Nicole Barylski)

After a four to five hour rehearsal, everyone is flying at the Hamptons' own Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor. Before the first preview, the lighting department is frantically checking their lighting cues. The sound team is fixing their sound cues. The costume department is prepping dressing rooms.

The audience takes their seats. The curtain rises-- it is time for the show.

The Bay Street Theatre is a professional non-profit theatre on Long Wharf in Sag Harbor that hosts professional productions, educational programming, acting classes, comedy nights, benefits and more. They consider themselves an artistic haven for thespians.

"It's a level of quality," said Gary Hygom, the managing director. "We have very high production values." This year's mainstage performances are "Lend Me a Tenor," "The Mystery of Irma Vep" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."

Famous actors who have performed at Bay Street include Joy Behar, Alec Baldwin, Alan Alda, Kate Burton and Allison Janney- just to name a few. Hamptons residents also rent out the theatre for weddings, children's birthday parties and more.

The theatre features a thrust stage auditorium, which places 10 rows of viewers around three sides of the stage.

"The actor's proximity to the audience," Hygom said. "It's such a great sense of communication between the two. It's an intimacy that you just don't do with other prosceniums."

The Bay Street Theatre was founded in 1991 by Steve Hamilton, Emma Walton and Sybil Christopher. Originally a nightclub, the trio converted the space into a live theater area. Since the its first inception, the theater has started to produce non-original performances including musicals.

Sybil Christopher, one of the theatre's founders, died last March. "No matter what she said, it was like it was royal," said Mary Ellen DiPrisco, the director of special operations, of Christopher. "You wanted to bow when you saw her... I didn't know her well but I felt like I knew her forever."

One of Bay Street Theatre's most notable accomplishments is their "Literature Live" program. The educational component to the theatre introduces middle and high school students to live theatre. For some students, it is the first time by a stage. After the show, students are invited to participate in talk backs and question-and-answer sessions. For example, when the theatre produced a performance of "The Diary of Anne Frank," students spoke with a Holocaust survivor afterwards.

"It really introduces kids to the world of the theatre," Hygom said.

The theatre also holds "Stages, A Children's Workshop," which is a seven-day workshop that also introduces younger actors to theatre. At the end of the workshop, the children put on a short play for their friends and family.

Bay Street brings in playwrights to hear their plays at table reads for free. Well-known performers, such as Joy Behar, have participated in such readings.

According to their website, this summer, Bay Street is bringing in the laughs. Their comedy line- up includes Ralphie May, Jim Bruer, an All-Star Comedy Showcase with Kenny Garcia, Vic Henley, Chris Clarke and Mark Riccadonna and more.

When it comes time to giving back to the community, Bay Street held events to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief and the 2011 earthquake in Japan. On April 27, Bay Street will be holding their 2nd Annual Honors Benefit as a way to thank their sponsors. At last year's benefit in Manhattan, Liza Minnelli performed and this year, Joy Behar is hosting the night at East Hampton Point.

Still, DiPrisco thinks that Bay Street is most widely recognized for their high quality productions.

"It's about real material, real stage, real theater," DiPrisco said.

Bay Street is located at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. For more information call 631- 725-9500 or visit baystreet.org.

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is a firetruck?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
Gary R. DePersia, Corcoran Real Estate
With over $2 billion in transactions, Gary DePersia is consistently ranked among the top producers in the Hamptons. A year-on-year member of The Corcoran Group President’s Council, he has qualified as a national list maker since 2007. In the 2016 REAL Trends & The Wall Street Journal list of America’s top real estate professionals, he was designated #22 nationally and #5 in the Hamptons by volume with nearly $200 million of transactions for the past year.

East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Bridgehampton National Bank
For over 100 years Bridgehampton National Bank has been the East End's hometown bank. Many success stories...one bank, BNB!

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

Despatch of Southampton
Despatch of Southampton has been moving homes locally on the East End for decades. We operate a well-maintained fleet of vehicles that can accommodate any size move. On a day to day basis we service moves from and to New York City.

Hampton Coffee Company is dedicated to making sure you have the best possible experience with our brand, whether you visit one of our cafés, our Mobile Unit, one of our wholesale partners, order through our website, or purchase our coffee on the supermark
We strongly believe that one of the most important parts of being a successful business in the community is truly becoming a part of it. Hampton Coffee Company is proud to support more than 100 different local charities, schools, and organizations each and every year. It is our pleasure to participate in events that are important to our staff and our customers.

RJD Gallery specializes in contemporary art with a focus on Magical, Figurative Realism, Narrative Portraiture and Urban Landscape.
We exhibit representational artists from around the world, who produce fine art of exceptional quality that challenge collectors to contemplate concepts about the artist, themselves, and our human experience. Utilizing timeless techniques in creating their drawings, paintings and sculptures, our artists have developed unique, signature styles that present a current vision of our world.

Hampton Luxury Liner
Hampton Luxury Liner was started in 2000 as a more luxurious way to travel from NYC to the Hamptons and back. The clientele quickly grew and over the years Hampton Luxury liner became the preferred method of transportation to the Hamptons and NYC for many living in NYC and the Hamptons that wanted a comfortable and affordable way to travel back and forth. In 2009, HLL was taken over by Classic Coach and things with the liner didn’t change to much for years and the owner there changed the buses to Prevost as opposed to Mercedes Setra Top Class Coaches that have always been a signature of the liner. Please call (631) 537-5800 to reserve a charter or email us at Hampton Luxury Liner. The Only Way to Ride!