For 45 years, the Batavia Players have had to do without a place to call their own. Now, at last, they will have their own theater in the historic Batavia Industrial Center on Harvester Avenue.
According to board member Michelle Stamp, BP president Patrick Burk "put a lot of legwork into finding a physical space for us."
"It always helps the actors when they have a space to call their own," she adds.
"This is a really exciting thing for us to be doing," said Matt Mayne, BP board member and actor. "Hopefully, it will help to draw more attention to the building, which is definitely historic."
The location of the new theater is BIC's new Artisan Center, which the Mancuso Business Development Group wanted to establish in order to increase their own business activity.
The Artisan Center not only helps foster a relationship between business and the arts locally, but also affords artists of various stripes the chance to support each other.
"We will be doing things to encourage other artists," Burk said. "There will be areas in the Artisan Center in which they can work. And we'll also have people who come in regularly for BP events and shows, and we'll allow people to display their artwork for people to see."
Burk, Stamp and Mayne all believe that the coming change will prove beneficial to actors and their performances as well. One of the greatest challenges they have dealt with in the past was that of finding, in Mayne's words, "readily available space."
"Before, we would be in situations where we weren't sure what venue we'd be performing in," Stamp said. "Now we'll have our own space we can become accustomed to, we'll know what we have to work with, and we'll have all the materials at hand."
"Our types of performances will change," Burk said, "because we'll experience greater flexibility in terms of what we can do and when. We've had shows that we've wanted to do for quite some time that we'll now be able to fit into this venue."
The new theater's black-box format, which will have audience members seated to the right and left of the stage as well as in front, also offers fresh creative challenges and opportunities.
"This type of set up requires actors to do a little bit more, because people will be watching them from three sides instead of just one," Mayne said.
All BP performances -- beginning with the Spring 2010 show -- will be held in the Artisan Center except for the Summer Youth Theatre performances, which tend to require greater stage space. Please contact the Batavia Players for more information.