Our Mission Statement
The mission of The Sofia, Home of B Street is to promote cultural enrichment, social interaction, education, and literacy through the shared experience of live and virtual theater, and the performing arts.
Who We Are
For more than 25 years, B Street Theatre has been delighting audiences of all ages. Founded by actor Timothy Busfield in 1986 as Theatre for Children, Inc., the company’s first focus was a touring theatre company for children. The B Street Theatre School Tour (formerly known as Fantasy Theatre) was and continues to be extremely popular in the community— performing 12 times per week, 38 weeks a year. The School Tour has received critical acclaim by the media, educators and most importantly, the estimated 3.6 million California children (currently about 200,000 per year) who’ve attend performances. For many children, The B Street Theatre School Tour is their only exposure to the live theatre.
In 1991, in an effort to broaden the success of B Street Theatre School Tour, Timothy Busfield and his brother Buck Busfield created B Street Theatre. Most of the plays produced each year are world, national, West Coast or regional premieres. B Street Theatre has enjoyed stunning success since its inception, most notably growing its season subscription from 385 in 1996 to over 7,000 in the 2005-2006 season. B Street Theatre performs to approximately 70,000 adults annually.
In 2002, the company embarked on a third endeavor to allow families to experience live, professional theatre together. The B Street Theatre Family Series produces a four-show season of professional theatre presenting plays for school field trips during the week and the general public on weekends.
In 2016, the company broke ground on Capitol Avenue to build The Sofia, Home of B Street!
In 2018, B Street moved into their brand new, state-of-the-art-complex: The Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for Performing Arts.
On March 13, 2020, The Sofia: Home of B Street Theatre closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the next 18 months, B Street produced over 270 virtual events which served more than 2000 households per week. These programs included: B Social, Dealer’s Choice, Re-Imagine, Six Feet Apart Concert Series, Maximum Occupancy Improv, Seekers of the Strange, New Play Brunch and Saturday Family Showtime. B Street’s virtual programs kept the artists and staff connected to our endlessly loyal audience. In July of 2021, The Sofia reopened with a handful of live concerts and proceeded to reopen our Mainstage Season in September of 2021. While The Sofia continues to face challenges related to the COVID 19 pandemic, the support provided by our board of directors, donors, subscribers, community leaders and government officials has made it possible for us to continue to provide high quality entertainment for the Sacramento region. In October of 2022, we will finally welcome students, teachers, parents and families back to The Sofia to experience the joy of live theatre through the Family Series.
What We Do
Entertainment for Everyone
Since bursting into the Sacramento scene, B Street Theatre continues to keep critics raving and audiences coming back for contemporary productions ranging from popular classics to first time debuts. Our three-theatre playhouse on Capitol Avenue in Midtown is home to our Mainstage and Family Series, each created to house quality, intimate theatre for audiences year-round. Recognized as one of Northern California’s top professional theatres, we’ve produced more than 100 new plays, 60 of which are world, national, West Coast, or regional premieres.
In addition to plays, we host local, national and international acts. Weekly we host concerts in all genres, stand-up comedians, live podcasts and more!
Since 1991, B Street Theatre is where audiences turn to see the most popular and talked about plays of our day . Whether it’s prodding the mind, tugging at the heart or just tickling the funny bone, B Street always strives to connect deeply with audiences of all tastes, temperaments and sensibilities.
The B Street Theatre’s Family Series is Northern California’s only fully professional, resident theatre for children. This beloved and highly acclaimed series, brings the joy of live theatre to children through exciting, original plays and lively adaptations of classic novels, stories and tales. Since its premiere season in 2003, the Family Series has presented over 50 professional plays for approximately 300,000
children and families in the Sacramento region.
Presenting and Partnerships
The Sofia: Home of the B Street Theatre is a state-of-the-art entertainment venue which hosts local, national and international artists. In addition to high-quality theatrical performances, The Sofia also hosts concerts and comedy in our 355 seat Sutter Theatre. Previous acts have included renowned artists such as John Waite, the late Ed Asner, Tuck and Patti, Jackie Greene, Tycho and more! In addition to presented acts, The Sofia serves as a home for other artistic partners such as The Sacramento Ballet, Sacramento Contemporary Dance Theatre, The Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus, Teatro Nagual and more.
New Comedies Festival
The Sofia: Home of B Street is the host of the nationally recognized New Comedies Festival. Since its inception in 1986, the B Street has been an incubator for new work with a strong commitment to fully producing new plays. The annual New Comedies Festival presents readings of four, original comedies. The four playwrights receive a four-day workshop with talented directors, actors and dramaturgs. The workshop week culminates in two, public readings where audience members can engage with the new-play-process. Audience members who see a reading of each of the four plays are invited to submit their feedback as to which play they would like to see produced on B Street’s Mainstage. The B Street Theatre commits to producing a minimum of one of the four New Comedies Festival Finalists in their upcoming Mainstage Season! Submissions for the annual New Comedies Festival open in December with the finalists to be determined and announced by June of the following year.
For 30 years, the mission of the B Street has been to provide entertainment to children while encouraging in them a love for the theatre and a specific appreciation for the art of playwriting. The school tour reaches approximately 200,000 children in 12 counties in Northern California. Our School Tour offers opportunities to children to submit plays for our annual playwriting contest. A handful of plays are then selected to be performed by professional actors in two of our tours.
Workshops & Residencies
B Street’s Teaching Artists go to schools and other organizations leading playwriting workshops, after-school theatre programs, story telling and skills-building workshops for children and adults. Most of our playwriting workshops are core to B Street’s mission statement, which is to promote education and literacy, social interaction and cultural enrichment.
Classes for Kids & Adults
The B Street Conservatory provides classes in technique and scene study to adult actors discovering
their unique talents. During the Summer months, the program focuses on young people ages 8 – 17 with one-week and two-week camp sessions. Instructors are B Street regulars who hold MFA’s from American Conservatory Theatre of San Francisco or other top training programs in the U.S. and have regional and national acting credits.
Awards & Affiliations
In keeping with our dedication to supporting new plays, B Street Theatre is proud to be a Core Member of the National New Play Network (NNPN), which describes itself as “an alliance of professional theaters that collaborate in innovative ways to develop, produce, and extend the life of new plays.”
B Street joined the NNPN as Associate Members in 2015 and quickly became Core Members by 2016. We went on to host the 2018 National Showcase of New Plays, and our 2019 New Comedies Festival had the honor of receiving NNPN Collaboration Funds. B Street has also produced three plays for NNPN’s flagship Rolling World Premieres program: Bars and Measures, Not Medea, and Halftime with Don.
Our Artistic Director, Lyndsay Burch, serves as the President of the NNPN Board and we look forward to future collaboration with this vital organization! She was also recently accepted as a member of the National Theatre Conference, a not-for-profit organization made up of distinguished members of the American Theatre Community.
B Street Theatre has been named Best Live Theatre (14 consecutive years) by The Sacramento News & Review and Best Performing Arts Organization 13 times by Sacramento Magazine.
board of directors
Founder & Music Curator
Founder and Board Member Emeritus, B Street Theatre
Founder & Music Curator
Founder and Board Member Emeritus, B Street Theatre