We have formed a Not-For-Profit Corporation, Bridge Street Theatre, Inc. and have received our 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. The Corporation has a mortgage on the former factory building at 44 West Bridge Street in Catskill, NY to provide the venue for the activities of the Corporation using a $50,000 contribution from John Sowle. The building is 12,000 square feet and includes the following spaces to support the activities of Bridge Street Theatre (BST):
- Office space for the administration of the activities of BST
- A large central space in the original part of the building which already houses public restrooms and will be remodeled to accommodate a fully equipped 84-seat proscenium theatre.
- A separate entry area which serves as the main lobby and is already being used as a venue for small scale theatrical productions, cabaret performances, play readings, and a space for rehearsals, training activities, and community events.
- A three bedroom apartment over the office area which can be used, once the theatre is in operation, for the housing of out of town artists
- A very large warehouse that has been used for art installations (including AVIARY (reimagined)) and other events and could potentially be developed in the future as a larger main stage theatre or a sound stage for film.
The building is in an area which the Village of Catskill is eager to develop and improve. It also borders on the parking lot of Catskill High School. Both the village and the school district administration are enthusiastic about the potential that the presence of the theatre offers.
In 2014 we remodeled the future lobby of the theatre, put in a small stage and christened it the Speakeasy. Starting in April we presented over 20 performances there of music, magic, and theatre. In 2015 we built public restrooms and created a black box performing space (the "Raw Space") in which we presented our first major productions. In 2016 we offered a subscription series of six shows and using a $105,000 grant from New York State Homes and Community Renewal we have created a fully-equipped theatre (the Mainstage) and inaugurated the space with our production of George M. Cohan's "The Tavern." For details about all our past shows, visit our Archives. Now we are completing our fourth season.
John Sowle and Steven Patterson first met during a production of C. D. Arnold's King of the Crystal Palace at Theater Rhinoceros in San Francisco in 1983 in which Steven was playing the title character and John was designing the lights. They founded a production company called Kaliyuga Arts in 1986 in Los Angeles and have been producing theatre together ever since. The company produced shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City and their productions have toured all over the US, Canada and in Europe. With the purchase of the Catskill building, Kaliyuga Arts is now Bridge Street Theatre.
Up and Running:
During times when Bridge Street Theatre is not actively involved in presenting its own productions the theatre space will be available for other performance activities, including (but not limited to) theatre, dance, and music. There are really no venues of our size in the Catskill area, or even in all of Greene County, so we anticipate that the theatre will become a popular venue for other performing artists in the area (and beyond) who have no home of their own.