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Broadway by the Bay


Broadway By the Bay is a not-for-profit corporation for the public benefit which provides full scale musical theatre productions of professional quality at family prices. The company continues to grow in professionalism, attendance and stature.


The three or four show season opens with the first production in May, the second in late July and early August, the third in September and the fourth in October. Most productions are appropriate family entertainment. Each show normally has nine performances at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center (SMPAC) which seats 1600 people.


The actors, some musicians, some technical staff, box office workers, ushers and office staff are all volunteers, as is the 21 member Board of Directors. Over 40,000 volunteer hours are contributed each year. In addition to the tremendous contributions of time, the productions are supported by a budget of over $2 million. Regular staff includes the Executive Director, Artistic Director, Development Director, Education & Outreach Director, Operations Manager, Marketing & Communications Director and Office/Box Office Manager. Production directors are contracted for each show. A year-round office is maintained at 851 Burlway Road, Suite 300, Burlingame, California.


Historically, Broadway By the Bay is an outgrowth of a San Mateo Recreation Department program originated in the 1950s known as "Music Camp." Each summer, that program employed the talents of young musicians, singers and actors to produce a musical (primarily Gilbert and Sullivan) which was staged at the camp site in La Honda, California. That program grew to the "San Mateo Community Theatre" in 1966 with a production of "Oklahoma" at the College of San Mateo Theatre. In 1967 San Mateo Community Theatre produced "West Side Story" into what is now the San Mateo Performing Arts Center and the program continued to grow. The San Mateo Community Theatre became an official non-profit organization in 1978. In 1983 the Board of Directors expanded the focus of the company and changed the name to "Peninsula Civic Light Opera." In 1999, a decision was made to gradually change the name to "Broadway By the Bay" in order to more accurately reflect the fact that the group stages Broadway-type musicals as opposed to operatic productions. The name change will be phased in over the next several years.


BBBay continues to grow with nearly 7,000 season subscribers and over 4,000 single show ticket sales per production. The company made a major contribution to the national theatre scene by co-producing the full scale world premiere of "The Prince And The Pauper" in August 1993. In the Summer of 2007, BBBay broke their box office records with Disney's Beauty and the Beast and pulled off an unforgettable musical coup with Ahrens & Flaherty: Words & Music, which was hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as "...a feather in the cap of Broadway By the Bay."


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