We were privileged today to have Lyndsay Burch, Associate Artistic Director of the locally famous "B" Street Theater. Lyndsay had as her sidekick, Dave Piereno, actor of 30 years with the "B", who has played many interesting roles from scoundrel to good guy and everything in between. Lyndsay started with an "overview" of the live theater movement in our recent past. Many great live plays were produced in New York and in 1961 there were only 23 regional theaters in the U.S. The idea developed that there could be good regional theaters all over the U.S. and the number of theaters grew to 1800 in 2003. The "B" Street theater was founded in 1986. Actors were brought from all over the country (union members) to participate in the plethora of unique live plays. Then actually there has been a 2% decline in attendance for the last 5 years. Below are some reasons:
(slide above) We have had the advent of Twitter, Google, and Facebook. Digital gaming  becomes popular. Millennials have become less interested in live shows. 80% of people over 18 are streaming video.  The average video gamer is 35 years old. It has become, as Dave Pierini says, " a competition on the couch" - add on the refrigerator.
One good sign is that more children are seeing their plays. They had been bringing them in by the bus loads from schools and lots of fun for the kids and the actors. The "B" St. Theater is for "everyone".  But Lyndsay says that we need to talk about what COVID-19 has done to the "B" St. in the last 18 months. (below)
As Dave Pierini says there is a lot that the "B" St. has to offer when COVID is over and they expect to be fully open for "in person" plays in the fall. There are a lot of smart, humorous plays being written that "tugs" at the heart and they are reading and selecting them now. The "B" St. has wonderful "state of the art" facilities at 2700 Capitol Ave, Sacramento (see below):
The Kelly bar is a full bar and the Voris theater is comfortable and "state of the art" in every way. Spacious and not too crowded. They have had 7000
subscribers and they do 7 new plays a year and shows almost every day of the week. The Sutter theater has 380 seats and they have their Family Series there and this is where Dave Pierini says that the theater is full of kids and he has had a lot of fun there, he mentions playing the "Wicked Witch of the West" role for the kids - fun. They have improv nights. There are musical acts from all over the U.S. that enjoy playing there. It has the "Myers" sound which was developed at U.C.B. and is pristine. They will have the date of their opening soon and will definitely let us know...
President David showed his improvisation skills when he announced that in honor of our speakers, Lyndsay and Dave, a book will be donated to the Carmichael Library (subsidiary of the Sacramento Public Library.)