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Bay Street Theatre Plans Listening Tour

Bay Street wants to know what the next generation of theater-goers wants to see; plus, executive committee offers $100,000 challenge grant.

The trustees of Bay Street Theatre are interested in learning what kinds of shows will attract younger audiences, and to that end a six-month listening tour is being planned.

Bay Street Theatre Executive Director Tracy Mitchell called the move a "sea change," as the theater seeks to renew itself and explore new artistic endeavors.

“We do believe that there is a place for more dramatic theatre, new work, as well as the more avant garde and experimental,” Mitchell said. “We do know that younger audiences enjoy more participatory offers and theatre without walls. We look forward to producing all of these forms of theater across the seasons. It is certainly our goal to explore it all.”

Mitchell said that Bay Street will modernize itself while supporting the creative visions and eclectic tastes of the Hamptons artistic community

The listening tour announcement coincides with the Bay Street Theatre Board of Directors Executive Committee putting up a $100,000 challenge grant, agreeing to match every dollar the theater raises now through March 15.

The tax deductible donations will support the 2013 Main Stage season this summer, which features "Lend Me a Tenor," "The Mystery of Irma Vep" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," and the theater's education and internship programs.

“This is an amazing opportunity for the theater and community,” Mitchell said. “Last year we heard the community say that they wanted us to stay. Now we hope everyone will help us by purchasing a subscription by March 15th, filling seats this summer, and getting the word out that we have a very limited time to match this wonderful challenge."

Donations can be made directly to the box office, by calling the development office at 631-725-0818 x129, online at www.baystreet.org or by check to Bay Street Theatre, PO Box 810, Sag Harbor, NY 11963.

Dates and stops on the listening tour are yet to be announced.

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