Barrington Stage Company: Making live theater affordable
BARRINGTON STAGE COMPANY
Boyd-Quinson Mainstage, 30 Union St., Pittsfield.
Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden St., Pittsfield.
(413) 236-888; barringtonstageco.org
A nonprofit theater company founded in 1995, Barrington Stage Company is committed to producing new plays and musicals and revivals of long-established works on its Boyd-Quinson Mainstage and in its smaller St. Germain Stage in its Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center.
The Blatt Performing Arts Center also houses Mr. Finn's Cabaret, an intimate nightclub venue offering snacks, beverages and cabaret shows by established and up-and-coming performers and songwriters.
Season: May 22-Oct. 13
Ticket prices: Ticket prices vary depending on performance and seating.
• Mainstage lobby concession stand serving hot and cold beverages and snacks
• Mainstage lobby gift counter
• Sydelle and Lee Biatt Performing Arts Center cafe, serving hot and cold beverages and snacks
Low or free admission highlights:
• Low-priced admission for first three preview performances on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage, $15 to $20; first two previews at the St. Germain Stage, $15; first two previews at the Youth Theatre, $8.
• $20 Section C tickets at every main stage performance.
• Senior, youth and group discounts.
• #bsc35, a free membership program for audience members 18 to 35 years old -- offers $15 tickets to select performances.
DID YOU KNOW
1. The 100-year-old building housing the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage on Union Street was once a vaudeville theater and movie theater screening silent films and "talkies."
2. The 1860s-era Octagon House -- which houses BSC's administrative offices -- is one of the few such eight-sided structures remaining in the country. It is not included in the National Registry of Historic Places due to extensive, modernizing renovations.
3. Before moving to Pittsfield in 2007, Barrington Stage Company performances were staged at the Consolati Performing Arts Center at Mount Everett High School in Sheffield.
"We do a lot of things here to make theater affordable to the community," said Laura Roudabush, director of marketing at Barrington Stage Company. "Since [artistic director] Julie Boyd started the theater 19 years ago, one of her main promises to patrons has been to find ways for someone to see a show for, say, only $15."
It's a promise that Boyd has kept. Founded in 1995 in Sheffield, Barrington Stage, through a variety of discount packages, has made a point of offering low-price tickets to everyone from local students to seniors to young 20- and 30-somethings looking for more affordable ways to see professional theater.
Since 2002, Barrington Stage has partnered with the Berkshire Visitors Bureau to offer same-day half-price tickets to events at the county's various cultural venues through the "1/2 Tix" network of stations at Barrington Stage's box office, Mass MoCA in North Adams, the Lenox Visitors Center and the Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington.
Roudabush said it is all about making theater accessible to as wide an audience as possible.
"We are not a traveling company -- we are fully embedded in the community," she said. "Making sure anyone can experience theater is one of the greatest things we can possibly do."
Pittsfield resident Evan Hickok, 35, has seen "The Crucible," "The Best of Enemies," "The Whipping Man" and "Dr. Ruth, All the Way" at Barrington Stage Company for prices significantly lower than the typical theater admission.
As members of the #bsc35 program -- for patrons between the ages of 18 and 35 -- Hickok and his wife, Emily, have been able to see plays and musicals at the theater for only $15.
"Being able to come in as a young person and get to see world-class theater like this at a deep discount is incredible. It's like the cost of going to the movies, but better," Hickok said.
Now at an age when he will no longer qualify for the low-cost #bsc35, Hickok said "we'll definitely become subscribers and have another nice option of saving a little money and seeing great theater at the same time. I can't wait to see more."
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