Catskill, New York
Local culture
25 November 2020 08:54AM
Steven Patterson


What a long, strange trip 2020 has been! Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill began the year with a bang on February 15 with a hugely successful Gala Benefit Performance of Edmund Bagnell’s HE PLAYS THE VIOLIN (and a lavish spread at the Catskill home of Edmund’s parents, Mary Ann and Gil Bagnell following the performance). A week later, four American First Ladies visited our newly re-christened Charles and Priscilla Patterson Mainstage in the person of actor Ginger Grace. Sadly, almost immediately afterwards, COVID-19 brought the curtain down on our 2020 Season.

But the cancellation of live performance didn’t stop us. During this enforced downtime, we’ve been posting free archival performance videos (nearly 20 thus far, with more to come). We’ve inaugurated a series of free online Bedtime Story readings for children by actor and co-founder Steven Patterson. Two thrilling one-woman shows were taped live (without an audience) on our Mainstage, and then offered online as “Pay-Per-View” events. For Halloween, we hosted a streaming performance by the Orlando-based Victorian Horror Troupe Phantasmagoria. And several more online events are on tap before year’s end. Sculptor Marc Swanson has been using our Big Room to create works for his upcoming exhibition at MASS MoCA. Our building even served as a film location during October!

We’ve also been using this hiatus to make major, much-needed capital improvements to our physical plant. The ugly and potentially dangerous asphalt sidewalk in front of our theatre has been completely replaced by KZ Concrete. We’ve installed touchless fixtures in all our public restrooms and new air conditioning units in our actor housing, along with upgrading the filtration on all our heating and cooling systems. And we’re currently working to place solar panels on our roof in an effort to “go green” and lower our future electricity costs.

All of which requires cash, of course. Arts organizations nationwide are suffering the effects of the shutdown, and Bridge Street Theatre is no exception. As this anno horribilis draws to a close, we once again turn to all of you out there for a helping hand. If you’re able, we hope you’ll be willing to make a tax-deductible year-end contribution to help ensure our survival as a local cultural resource, jump-start our return to live production, and help defray the costs of our capital improvements. A $250 donation will buy a solar panel. A $200 donation will pay for a foot of our new sidewalk. But a donation of ANY size is both needed and hugely appreciated. New rules are in place this year for charitable donations to “Not-For-Profit” organizations such as ours. For more on those, visit our web site at BridgeStreetTheatre.org/2020-taxes.

For us, theatre just isn’t “theatre” if we’re not able to experience it together. Your gift now will help bring us closer to the day we can finally open our doors to the public again. Hope it’ll be soon. Thanks so much for all your support and have a wonderful Holiday Season!

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