Feinstein-Gamm Theatre closes curtains on Pawtucket
Theater company announces move to Warwick
PAWTUCKET – After calling Pawtucket home for nearly 15 seasons, the Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre, also known as The Gamm, is moving out of the city and relocating to Warwick beginning next year, the theater’s board of directors announced Friday.
The theater, housed in the Pawtucket Armory Center for the Arts on Exchange Street since 2003, will be relocating to 1245 Jefferson Boulevard in Warwick for its 2018-2019 season. The theater will continue to perform at its current location in Pawtucket for the remainder of this season.
Founded in 1984 as Alias Stage, the non-profit Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre is a regionally recognized, awardwinning theater and member of New England Area Theatre, a bargaining unit of the Actors’ Equity Association. The Gamm also serves the public with educational outreach programming designed to support the theatrical experience, and help sustain and enhance the intellectual and cultural life of its community.
“Our Arts District has long served as an incubator for theatre, music, art and design. The Gamm has grown and developed here with the support of grants and members of our community,” said Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien said. “While it’s disheartening to see them leave during such an exciting time in our city, we look forward to continuing our relationship with them and their education program.”
The theater’s board of directors had been searching for a new home for the theater – including alternative spaces in Pawtucket – for more than a year and decided on the building in Warwick, which is the former home of the Ocean State Theater Company. Gamm officials say the new space will be renovated while retaining an atmosphere of intimacy.
“Since 2011 The Gamm has been looking for a permanent space to accommodate its growing audiences and educational programming” said Gamm Managing Director Oliver Dow. ”Our primary goal was to find a space that could improve the conditions for our artists while maintaining the theatrical experience to which our audience has become accustomed. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for The Gamm to relight an existing dark theater while making a substantial capital investment in our artistic mission.”
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian said he is looking forward to the Gamm’s move to Warwick City Centre.
“We are excited to welcome this award-winning theater as the arts anchor of our “city on the move,’” Avedisian said. “I am truly looking forward to forging a great relationship with The Gamm and seeing Jefferson Boulevard become a cultural destination for the city and the state.”
Gamm Artistic Director Tony Estrella said the city of Pawtucket’s support since 2003 has allowed The Gamm to grow artistically and exponentially in audience size.
“Over nearly 15 seasons and more than 80 productions we have been proud to call Pawtucket home,” he said. “We have worked hard to help raise the city’s profile as an arts and cultural destination. In turn, we remain incredibly grateful for the generous support of Mayor Grebien and his staff, who continued the fine work of the late Mayor James Doyle. They have been instrumental in increasing The Gamm’s reach throughout Rhode Island and Southern New England.”
Said Estrella: “Though we are moving to a much-needed and improved facility, we intend to continue our partnership with Pawtucket through our innovative in-school Pawtucket Literacy and Arts for Youth (PLAY) program. Whatever the future holds for The Gamm, I know I speak for the board and staff in saying that Pawtucket will always be a large part of who we are and will remain so for many years to come. “
Left to right, Gamm Managing Director Oliver Dow; Stephen Soscia of Mutual Property Associates; and Gamm Board of Directors President Leon C. Boghossian III sign a lease for the Gamm’s new home on Jefferson Boulevard in Warwick.