Eastern Performing Arts Halls Guide

The performing arts are alive and well in the East End. Take note of some key locations to see fantastic live performances!

Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Center for the Arts

Founded in 1991 by Emma Walton Hamilton, Stephen Hamilton and Sybil Christopher, famous shows such as Hedda Gabler, Canteen Swingtime, full gallopand Three hotels was born in this non-profit performance hall. There are annual performances on the main stage and other programs throughout the year such as The Comedy Club, improv events and other performances. There are also workshops, courses and camps for children and teenagers. As a partner of the Hamptons Arts Network, where nonprofit organizations work together to strengthen the arts, this Sag Harbor attraction strives to improve the community through education, unity, creativity and art. There is an initiative to improve their organization by developing a new performing arts venue near John Steinbeck Park. It’s called The Next Stage, which will stabilize the future of the Bay Street Theater and foster generations to come. Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Center for the Arts, 1 Bay Street, Sag Harbor, 631-725-9500 baystreet.org

Upcoming/current productions:

Ragtimeuntil August 28
Lillias White: The Lillias White Effect, 8 p.m. Aug. 8
An Evening with Ali Stroker, 8 p.m. August 15
The Great American Musical Directed by Julie Andrews, 7 p.m. August 22
Indian summerfrom August 25 to 27
Sip & Sing Live with Kyle Barisich and special guests at 8 p.m. on August 29.

Guild HallBarbara Lassen

guild hall

Guild Hall has a rich history in East Hampton dating back to the summer of 1931. The space was created with community involvement in mind. The hall includes a theatre, museum and learning center in one building. In 1930, a woman named Mary Woodhouse donated money and land to the development of Guild Hall as one of the nation’s first mixed-use buildings. Important artists of all types have been involved in Guild Hall, such as Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, Jackson Pollock, Edward Albee, Roy Lichtenstein and many more. In 1946, Thornton Wilder even performed at the Guild Hall in his own play, Our city.Plus, shows like The Fantastic and Love, loss and what I was wearing found success running to the theater and later moving to Broadway or Off-Broadway. Guild Hall provides the East End and its visitors with countless educational, performance and artistic opportunities. Currently, the building itself is temporarily closed for renovations, but there are still Guild Hall events at various local locations. 158 Main St., East Hampton, 631-324-0806guildhall.org

See Love Letters at the Suffolk Theater in Riverhead
Suffolk Theater at RiverheadOlivier Peterson

Suffolk Theater

The Suffolk Theater in Riverhead has existed on Main Street since December 1933. The theater was designed by R. Thomas Short, who was also responsible for establishing 11 other movie theaters in New York City at the time. The Suffolk served as a community center and could be used for gatherings and different events. It was loved by the community and proved to be a very popular place. However, the theater was put on the market due to its closure in 1987 and stood empty until 1994 when Riverhead purchased it. It sat mostly unused until 2005, when Dianne and Bob Castaldi took it over and turned it into a performing arts building. They engaged in renovations and reconstructions, including adding a new marquee in 2011. The theater’s Ribbon Ceremony was held in March 2013, when it officially reopened. Suffolk enhances the city with a multi-purpose center for the performing arts. They now offer stand-up comedy, musical events, tours and more at this location which attracts all different types of community members and visitors. This venue has more than just a theater, so you can check out their other events on their website. 118 E. Main Street, Riverhead, 631-727-4343, suffolktheater.com

Upcoming productions

Girls Night Out: The Musical8 p.m. September 23
Broadway Spooky Night8 p.m. on October 7

Mary Motto Kalich shows off the new orchestra pit at the North Fork Community Theater in Mattituck.

North Fork Community Theater

North Fork Community Theater provides Mattituck and the rest of North Fork with dramatic arts opportunities. The idea for a theater originated in 1956 with a classified ad about a meeting in the newspaper that had been placed by Jim and Doris MacCammond. There was interest in establishing a theater in the area, so people showed up at the proposed location. The band used a stage at Greenport High School because the teachers liked the idea of ​​fundraisers. The first show ever presented was The man who came to dinner, and the presence of the theater here has attracted more visitors. After a few shows the band moved to another stage in the Orient which was much smaller. Afterwards, a man named James Moreno attends a show and offers to help open a business location in Mattituck. The theater opened in 1961 and their first show was Glass factory. In 1971 children began to have access to performances here with the new Youth on Stage program. North Fork Community Theater has great performances year round. They specialize in plays and musicals with a long history of their performances listed online dating back to when they first opened. This theater benefits the community of locals and visitors and deserves public support. 12700 Old Sound Avenue, Mattituck, 631-298-6328, nfct.com

WHBPAC
Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (WHBPAC)Barbara Lassen

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center

The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center has hosted the vast majority of shows since 1933. It was originally intended to be a movie theater, but was bought out by United Artists and turned into a singular theater that showed movies. The theater was not financially successful in the 90s, so it had to be demolished. Residents Len Conway, Lon Sabella and a few others decided to buy and save the cinema. Over 50 people donated money for their eventual success in the spring of 1997, when they bought the place for $300,000. It was then that Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center Inc. was born. The band was able to raise nearly $3 million to renovate the space into a fully functioning live theater. They could then hire Robert Lorelli who worked with Carnegie Hall to create the technical design parts of the theater like the lighting and sound systems. WHBPAC was able to open in the summer of 1998 after a year of updates. The center continues to present comedies, musicals, concerts and other events throughout the year to entertain a diverse population. 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach, 631-288-1500, whbpac.org

Upcoming guests

Jeremy Jordan, 8 p.m. August 20
Norm Lewis, 8 p.m. Aug. 26

“The Secret Life of Sherlock” at the Southampton Cultural Centre, Photo: Dane Dupuis

Southampton Cultural Center

The Southampton Cultural Center (SCC) has been offering citizens and tourists different cultural events since its inception in 1985. Art exhibitions, classes and performances are held here for people of all ages. The Southampton Cultural Center includes a theater called the Levitas Center for the Arts, made possible by Willard and Aura Levitas. SCC strives to improve diversity in all of its events and opportunities in Southampton. They focus on expanding access to the arts and providing learning opportunities for the surrounding community. There’s more to SCC than live performances. They offer a variety of classes and workshops, as well as art exhibits, and they provide performance space for different groups such as Boots On the Ground Theatre. The Southampton Cultural Center offers a variety of possibilities that should be explored. 25 Pond Lane, Southampton, 631-287-4377, scc-arts.org

Upcoming/current productions

The soap mythuntil August 28
Free Shakespeare in Agawam Park: The Adventures of Pericles, 7:30 p.m. August 19
Free Shakespeare in Agawam Park: Much Ado About Nothing, 7:30 p.m. August 20

Hampton Theater Company "Man from La Mancha," Photo: Tom Kochie
‘The Man from La Mancha’ by the Hampton Theater Company, photo: Tom Kochie

Hampton Theater Company

The Hampton Theater Company has brought performances to Long Island since its beginnings in 1984. The company was founded by James Ewing, June Ewing and James Irving, and the very first production was Anne Frank’s diary. Quogue gave the band a place to perform in 1987 with the Community Hall where their theater has lived ever since. Today, the company is a professional theater operating with the goal of doing good work for audiences and creators. The group emphasizes telling stories that promote representation and accessibility. They also give scholarships to local high school graduates who excel in the acting world. The Hampton Theater Company offers people both entertainment and ideas to think about with their live theater performances. This is no place to jump on this upcoming season! 125 Jessup Ave, Quogue, 631-653-8955, hamptontheatre.org

Upcoming productions

Along the river and through the woodsfrom October 20 to November 16