B Street Theatre finally breaks good

B Street Theatre starts construction on its new Midtown venue this week

Learn more about the new B Street Theatre complex at http://bstreettheatre.org.

After more than a decade of planning and fundraising, the B Street Theatre plans to finally break ground on its new Midtown venue this Thursday, May 19. The new 40,000 square-foot complex will be located at Capitol Avenue and 27th Street, on land donated by Sutter Health.

The space is set to include a 365-seat proscenium stage, which will be dubbed the Sutter Children’s Theatre, as well as a 250-seat thrust stage. Plus, there’ll be a cafe and courtyard. In all, it makes for a $22 million-plus project.

For Producing Artistic Director Buck Busfield, the big advantage of the new complex will be its “venue flexibility, and the ability to extend a hit” by moving a popular show to the other stage.

“We will also be able to seat a lot more people for our Family Series” in the 365-seat theater, he said. The company’s Family Series currently uses a 100-seat space, and “we turn thousands of kids away each year,” Busfield said.

The thrust stage is “designed as a new works theater,” he added, and will be cozy with just 50 more seats than the current B Street Mainstage.

The venue will also be able to accommodate other types of productions including dance and concerts.

“We will be very creative; it will be a very busy place, a nice destination,” Busfield said.

Construction is expected to take place over the next 18 to 20 months. Look for a grand opening in late 2017. The B Street Theatre name will be retained, even though the venue will no longer exist on B Street.

Better yet, it’ll also no longer exist next to the railroad tracks, which means no more noise and rumble from passing trains to distract actors and audience alike.