(Pittsfield, MA) Barrington Stage Company, the award-winning theatre in Downtown Pittsfield, under the leadership of Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, is honored to announce a major gift of $1 million dollars from Board member Sydelle Blatt and her husband Lee.
This major gift will create the Sydelle Blatt New Works Commission Program. The Blatt’s $1 million dollar gift over 10 years ($100,000 per year), will commission new work as well as support the development and production of new work. This is the largest gift Barrington Stage has received solely dedicated to new work in its 25 year history.
Lee Blatt stated, “After seeing American Underground at Barrington Stage this fall, Syd and I knew we had to support Barrington’s new work. It’s the best work we’ve seen in the Berkshires.”
“We are deeply honored by Syd and Lee’s game-changing support for our new plays and musicals. This gift allows us to develop and produce work that challenges us, that asks questions of us individually and as a society, and that can spark joy and passion in our hearts. We will be forever grateful to them,” said Artistic Director Julianne Boyd.
Sydelle and Lee’s support of Barrington Stage through the years has been a tremendous example of personal giving. With this transformational gift, they hope to inspire other individuals to support this legendary Berkshire theatre. Sydelle Blatt joined the BSC board in 2002 and serves as its Secretary. In 2012, she and her husband, Lee, gifted the VFW building in Pittsfield to Barrington Stage, now the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, which houses a newly renovated 136-seat St. Germain Stage and Mr. Finn’s Cabaret, a 99-seat cabaret. Sydelle attended Syracuse University, where she met her husband, who went on to found Herley Industries, now Ultra-Herley, a company based in Lancaster, PA that specializes in supplying microwave and millimeter wave products to defense and aerospace industries.
ABOUT BARRINGTON STAGE COMPANY
Barrington Stage Company (BSC) is an award-winning theatre located in Pittsfield, MA, in the heart of the Berkshires. Co-founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, BSC’s mission is to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways of bringing new audiences into the theatre.
BSC attracts over 60,000 patrons annually, and has gained national recognition for its superior-quality productions and comprehensive educational programming, including the award-winning Playwright Mentoring Project, the Musical Theatre Conservatory, KidsAct!, Youth Theatre, and other initiatives. The company has become integral to the economic revitalization of downtown Pittsfield.
BSC’s reputation for excellence began with a smash revival of Cabaret that moved to Boston in 1997 for an extended run. The theatre’s prominence grew with the world premiere of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin (BSC: 2004; Broadway: 2005-2008, winner of two Tony Awards). Other notable productions include the world premiere of Christopher Demos-Brown’s American Son (BSC: 2016; Broadway, 2018); Mark St. Germain’s Freud’s Last Session (BSC: 2009; Off Broadway, 2010-2012); Leonard Bernstein, Comden & Green’s On the Town (BSC 2013; Broadway 2014, four Tony Award nominations); Stephen Sondheim & George Furth’s Company, starring Aaron Tveit (BSC: 2017); and West Side Story in honor of Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins’ centenaries (BSC: 2018).
BSC develops and commissions new work with two programs: PlayWorks, which supports the creation of new plays, and the Musical Theatre Lab, which develops new musicals. Since 1995, Barrington Stage (BSC) has produced 36 new works, 19 of which have moved to New York and major US resident theatres.
In 2016, BSC swept the inaugural Berkshire Theatre Awards, winning 20 out of 25 awards, and the company has won the Best of the Berkshires Readers’ Choice for Best Live Theatre for the past three years. In 2019, BSC celebrated its 25th anniversary season.