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INTERVIEW: Bay Street Theater Artistic Director Scott Schwartz On Upcoming "The Teeming Autumn" Production And More

T.J. Clemente

Bay Street Theater Artistic Director Scott Schwartz. (Photo: Courtesy of Bay Street Theater)

Scott Schwartz, the Artistic Director of Bay Street Theater, was teeming with excitement when discussing the Theater's Saturday, October 3rd production entitled, The Teeming Autumn. Schwartz noted it will be an outdoor performance and benefit dinner showcasing some of the most famous and beloved scenes, sonnets, and soliloquies of William Shakespeare. It will take place from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on the grounds of Christ Episcopal Church in Sag Harbor. Performers and attendees will be spaced out in a safe and social-distanced setting under the oak tree on the church's front lawn on the corner of High Street and Hampton Street.

"It's already sold out at this point!" Schwartz first told us. That is wonderful because tickets were $800 per group of four or $400 for two, and include a catered dinner by Calissa in Water Mill. Kudos to Director of Development Kim Fink. He added, "We limited it to 40 people to be extremely safely seated."

After Schwartz relayed that The Teeming Autumn was sold out, he shared, "I am very happy to get the word out that we are doing this kind of work. It is sold out, which is exciting because it shows people really want to come to live theater when they can and when it feels safe."

Schwartz said, "It will be in a big field and it's an evening called Shakespeare and Supper and it will be what it sounds like - we are going to do a really brief show about 40 minutes long of scenes and sonnets and famous speeches from Shakespeare around the theme of autumn, the changing of the seasons. We will have five actors performing and it is a wonderful cast, many people who have been seen on the Bay Street Stage, including Trent Sanders who was a lead in our production of Evita playing Che Guevara and Amanda Nichols, who was in The Last Night of Ballyhoo, for us.

He continued, "It's a great, great cast and they will do this wonderful, relatively brief collection of scenes and speeches, and then people will get dinner as well. Dinner is being provided by Calissa and we are very grateful to them and we think it's going to be just a wonderful evening giving people a chance to experience live performances again, to hear some great text, and be together in a safe way. It's only 40 people in the audience and they will all be fully social distance."

The compilation of scenes, sonnets, and soliloquies includes selections from tragedies such as Macbeth and Hamlet; comedies such as Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and The Merchant of Venice; and histories such as Henry V and Richard II; in addition to Sonnet 73 and Sonnet 116. Performers include Director of Education Allen O'Reilly, professional theatre instructor and actor Teresa DeBerry, and actors Amanda Kristin Nichols and Xavier Pacheco, along with Trent Sanders.

And, there is more good news! Schwartz added, "We [Bay Street Theater] will have live performances in 2021 - even if we have to have them outdoors if we can't do them safely spaced in our theater!"

Fore more information, visit www.baystreet.org.

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