Bay Street Theatre has announced Chris Bauer, a member of the Bay Street Theatre Board of Trustees, as Campaign Chair for the 2012 Annual Appeal. The Annual Appeal is used to raise funds to help support the theatre's Educational Programs which could not exist otherwise through ticket sales alone.
Known to television audiences around the world, Bauer is an accomplished actor with extensive Broadway, off-Broadway, and film credits. Currently he co-stars on the hit series 'True Blood' on HBO where he also starred in a widely praised performance as Frank Sobotka on the critically hailed 'The Wire'. Chris Bauer became a devoted board member of Bay Street Theater in 2010 after appearing there in David Mamet's 'Romance'.
Says Bauer, "After encountering the audiences of Bay Street during the run of 'Romance', I jumped at the opportunity to return their support, generosity, and discerning attention by serving on the board. As a resident of Sag Harbor, I know what a special place it is, and as a performer on the Bay Street stage, I know what a privilege it is to serve our faithful audience, local and visitor alike."
"Having an artist of Chris Bauer's talent and integrity, committing his time and energy to Bay Street, is a great privilege;" says Murphy Davis Artistic Director. "What makes Chris very special is the combination of intelligence, insight and passion for theater as a whole, that accompany his many gifts as an actor. His enthusiasm and support is deeply appreciated and we are very lucky to have him on board."
"What we're really asking, is for people to make an investment, both ideological AND financial" says Bauer, "and it's a good one because they're investing in a 20-year-old institution that is staying in Sag Harbor to pursue a singular mission: to provide artistic, cultural and educational programming that benefits the East End and beyond. We feel strongly that the performing arts should be available for everyone. These funds are especially necessary when it comes to our educational work which reaches far beyond Sag Harbor, because we want to keep our student ticket prices at $10. As an institution we are invigorated and our sense of purpose is at an all time high!"
"Even if you are not a theatre buff," says Tracy Mitchell, Executive Director, "Bay Street is good for the East End."
Mitchell went on to explain that 90 percent of all the money that comes in to Bay Street goes immediately right back into the community. Bay Street cast and crew shop in local stores, rent local houses and hotel rooms, hire local workers, bring people out on local buses and East End limo services, buy food at the local restaurants, promote local businesses and so much more. "Over $2 million dollars stays right here on the East End," said Mitchell.
Bay Street estimates that in addition, audiences spend more than $2 million each year in the area as well. "Over $4 million dollars are attributable to having Bay Street Theatre here. So we're definitely a big supporter of our Main Street businesses, both here, as well as in East Hampton, Bridgehampton and Southampton," says Mitchell.
And Bay Street is proud of its record as a good neighbor. This past year alone the doors were open for free to the public and for fellow not for profit organizations who hosted events including the Sag Harbor Elementary School, Southampton Hospital, The Retreat, Sag Harbor Chamber, local members of the community who requested space for a potluck fundraiser for sick members in our community, Lyme disease workshop, community discussions, and more. Bay Street also plays host to important world events which it runs on the "big screen", including debates and inaugurations for the public-all for free.
"This year alone we supported over 40 other non-profits by donating tickets for them to use to raise money for their own organizations," says Mitchell. (A full list may be found on www.baystreet.org.) "And as a member of our larger world, we created a program called Benefits by Bay Street which raised over $10 thousand dollars for the victims of the Haitian Earthquake and another $3 thousand for the tsunami victims of Japan," says Mitchell. All of these funds were raised with the help of the Bay Street staff who worked for free, donating their personal time, often after the end of a regular 6 day long work week. It's an amazing group of dedicated artists and staff."