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Broadway By The Bay restructures leadership
July 19, 2012, 05:00 AM By Heather Murtagh Daily Journal Staff

Amanda Folena

Trista Bernstein

Broadway By The Bay, the Peninsula’s musical theater company, is entering a period of growth by restructuring leadership — a first step in a multi-month process to evaluate the company, according to an announcement made Wednesday.

Through this transitional period, the company will determine the best structure moving forward to present the highest level of art and serve the needs of the community. The duties and responsibilities of the executive director have been appointed to Artistic Director Amanda Folena and Development Director Trista Bernstein.

Bernstein explained the idea is to take a step back and re-examine the company to be sure fiscally sound progress is made. A committee was assembled to take a closer look at Broadway By The Bay. It starts meeting today with a hope of having a recommendation this fall to be implemented in 2013.

Earlier this year, the theater company launched its "SOS — Save Our Shows” in February with a year deadline of reaching a half-million dollars to eliminate an existing deficit and create a cushion for future seasons.

Folena said that by reinforcing the mission, the group hopes to get a boost in fundraising efforts.

One thing that will be evaluated is the company’s size. The hope is to offer premier programming but be more self-sufficient, said Bernstein.

The theater grew out of a San Mateo Recreation Department program known as "Music Camp” during the 1950s. Over time, the program grew, eventually renamed "Broadway By the Bay” in 1999, and serves nearly 4,000 season subscribers and more than 5,000 single-show ticket sales for each production. Last year, the theater moved to the Fox Theatre in Redwood City.

In the meantime, the show must go on. The company is currently showcasing "The Marvelous Wonderettes” at the Fox Theatre through July 29. The 2012 season next includes "A Chorus Line” Sept. 20 to Oct. 7 and "Broadway By the Year” Nov. 8 to Nov. 11.

Work on "A Chorus Line” really gets started in a couple weeks. Folena said casting was tough but there’s a great group in place for the next show.

Former executive director Jim Gardia said of these changes, "I am so excited for Broadway By the Bay and all of the possibilities for moving forward. The Board of Directors, along with Amanda Folena and Trista Bernstein, are embracing this chance to continue to truly embed our work within our mission and our community. I have every confidence that BBBay will become a stronger and more vibrant company through this opportunity.”

To donate, call 579-5565 or visit Shows are performed at the Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway, Redwood City. The box office and administration can be reached at 579-5565 or

Heather Murtagh can be reached by email: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 105.

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