The Ladies of ‘Treatment’ give a Tour of Sofia!


Stephanie Altholz, Tara Sissom, and Amy Kelly took Sacramento by storm with their hit play, Treatment. All three are now rehearsing for the first show on the Sofia stage, One Man, Two Guvnors, and they thought the patrons would enjoy a tour given by them. Artistic Associate Sean Patrick Nill asked them some questions while they gave their tour of the Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts.

Amy Kelly

What was the first thing you did when you entered the Sofia for the first time? 

AMY KELLY: I cried. I started tearing up. See, I’m even doing it right now. I just had no concept what it would look like. I had only seen it as a hole in the ground. I wasn’t prepared to see it.

STEPHANIE ALTHOLZ: I felt a deep, deep sense of unworthiness. I felt certain we were all going to be fired and replaced.

TARA SISSOM: I christened the upstairs bathroom.

If you could have any room named after you in this building, what room would it be? 

AK: The Children’s Theatre. I’m gonna do a lot of ridiculous things in there. I hope to make a lot of children laugh.

SA: Probably one of the stalls in the bathroom. I pee… a LOT!

You know it’s already named.

AK: Darn!

TS: The Tea Bar. I want the whole restaurant named after me: The T-Siss Bar

That one is named too.

TS: I don’t even care. Name it after me.


What was the first show you ever did at the old B Street? How did you feel then and how does it compare to rehearsing for the first show at the Sofia? 

TS: My first was Make Someone Happy. It was absolutely petrifying. I was onstage with John Lamb, Peter Story and Dana Brooke and I felt so undeserving, so untalented. They were so calm and professional and my hands would be shaking cause of the terror. I felt inferior. And now I feel superior with this play. Someone should take me down a notch. This play has given us so much confidence and a breath of fresh air creatively.

AK: My first show was Well, directed by Jerry Montoya. I was really excited. I got to play multiple parts and I also got to see Buck as an Artistic Director. He was my acting coach as a kid, so it was really neat to see him in such an important role. The difference between then and now… we have nicer bathrooms, we don’t have to go to a million places to rehearse but we still have the same level of play.

SA: The first show I was ever cast in here was Swiss Family Robinson. I was absolutely terrified. I was just an intern and the cast featured Kurt Johnson, John Lamb, Jamie Jones, Michael Stevenson. I was just in awe of their talent and I so desperately wanted to be as good as they were. But now, I’ve far surpassed all of their talent. Thank God. I’m really good… really, really good.

What’s the first drink you’ll order at the brand new B Street Bar (featuring cocktails and everything)?

AK: I’ll get a whiskey on the rocks with a squirt of soda water. I’m not a complicated drinker.

SA: I’ll order the most complicated thing on the menu. And then I won’t drink it. I’ll just stare at the bartender in the eyes as I slowly poor it into the trash.

TS: A shot.


TS: Jack Daniels! Lucky No. 7.

What surprised you most about the new theatre?

TS: There’s a painted segment backstage. It’s all white. And nothing can touch it. Nothing can be in that path. There’s literally so much space, that there is a path reserved for an emergency. That would never have happened in the old space.

SA: I’m surprised it actually happened. It’s always felt like a faraway dream. It’s mere existence is mind-boggling.

AK: The size of it. It’s like… you have a dream home, you build the dream home, and then that moment, when you’re inside the dream home for the first time it’s crazy! I didn’t realize it was my dream theatre until I was in it and now I know it’s my dream theatre.

Amy Kelly

Any fun new fun stories in our new home?

TS: I wanted to test the durability of the rehearsal floors by tap dancing on them. And a couple of minutes in I left a scuff. And I freaked out! I thought Buck was going to kill me. So I got on my hands and knees and started scrubbing really hard and I buffed it right out. So these floors are bomb! They have high tech durable buffing power.

AK: I came to see Peter Story, he was at the theatre working on things and he was wearing pajamas. Man was already at home.

SA: So we were all a little concerned that this amazing new complex would change the soul of B Street, but on the second day of rehearsal for One Man, Two Guvnors, our stage manger pantsed me in the hallway. Everyone can rest assured that B Street’s soul remains unchanged.

Tickets are selling fast for One Man, Two Guvnors. Go to and secure your tickets today, so you can see the first show ever at the Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts 


The Move: From 2711 B Street to the Sofia


Elisabeth Nunzaito-Program Headshot

Kurt Johnson was destroying dusty old shelves, desks, and chairs with a sledge hammer – yelling victoriously each time he threw the hammer down. Greg Alexander wore a University of Auburn sweatshirt for three days in a row, declaring proudly, “It’s my moving shirt.”  Browyn Sherman, Christine Pierson, and Hunter Henrickson carefully removed the stars off the wall in the star room, commenting upon each unique design, then wrapping them in bubble wrap.

Two days after A Moving Day closed the actual moving day began. First thing was to move completely out of the B2 space, the new home of Celebration Arts. Our Mainstage space became a storage closet. Moving boxes, lighting equipment, furniture, and documents were all organized in the former lobby and green room of the B Street Theatre. Everything else was given away or destroyed. Staff members, interns, company members, and volunteers worked tirelessly and after two days, we were ahead of schedule.

“You could tell we wanted to get out of this building as soon as possible,” said Move Manager Lyndsay Burch.

Dave Pierini-Program Image

The stage in B1 was dismantled. The ‘B st Theatre’ sign on top of the building had been removed. The lighting grid in B1 was taken down. On the ceiling you could see a large, dark red spot. “Those are my guts!” Tara Sissom would exclaim, telling the story of how her character in 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche would explode and the ‘remains’ would splat on that section of the ceiling every night. The B2 building was completely empty, all of its memories packed into blue boxes and stored in the now starless star room. This was the first week of the move.

The second week was full of waiting. The B Street staff worked via a two block stretch of K Street –  The Trade, Temple Coffee and Outlet Co-Working. We were hiring new employees, perfecting contracts, meeting with possible community partners, all the while rehearsing two shows, drinking gallons of coffee, and waiting to finally move in.  The Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts was almost ready, but a few tiny factors had to be complete; mainly inspections. There was a mechanical inspection, an electrical inspection, a plumbing inspection, an elevator inspection, a wheel chair lift inspection, a city inspection, a fire inspection. The building was examined from top to bottom. Any noticed flaw and we could be further delayed. Lyndsay Burch and Jerry Montoya checked off the list as one by one we got the green light from different committees and departments.

On the morning of January 12 the entire company met. Lucy, Elisabeth Nunziato’s dog was in attendance. As was Brynlee Doyle, Alissa Doyle’s 10-month old baby. New ID badges were given, parking passes were passed out. Welcome packets were presented with maps of emergency exits in the buildings and restaurants and coffee shops around the Sofia. The company was warned not to spill coffee inside the new theatre.

Dave Pierini-Program Image
The Moving Truck on January 12

At 3:01 PM, on January 12, we were granted occupancy. The word spread like wild fire throughout the company. Interns were instantly mobilized and every piece of material needed for rehearsal the next morning was brought to Gallery A at the Sofia. The stage was extensively swept and mopped so Sam Reno could begin painting it. The stage was adjusted so it would be level. Tara Sissom, Lyndsay Burch, and myself waited around until 11:30 PM while the phones in the new Box Office were being installed. We safely explored every inch of our new home: the theatres, the box office, the office space (so much space!), the courtyard, the rehearsal spaces on the second story which looked like a rehearsal room for a Broadway show.  We kept giggling, unable to contain our excitement. This is where we worked.

The cast of One Man, Two Guvnors received a tour the next morning, posting a million photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And then, they began rehearsal in Gallery A, preparing for the play that will open the Sofia on February 2.

B Street Theatre has received an enormous amount of help for this momentous occasion. We have to thank Mike Smith and Olsen and Fields who donated moving crates and moving trucks. We have to thank Teri Crisanty and Western Contract for donating furniture for our brand new offices. We have to thank the Tree Foundation and PG&E for donating an interior wood design in the Thrust theatre. The Sacramento community has continuously supported our endeavors, and we are so proud of our new home. Check out the pictures below:

Elisabeth Nunziato
The New Box Office at the Sofia
Elisabeth Nunziato
Gallery A in the Sofia
Amy Kelly
The Mainstage Thrust Theatre
Amy Kelly
The Sutter Theatre For Children

One Man, Two Guvnors opens on February 2, 2018. Come see the opening act at the Sofia and enjoy our new home. We know that you will. Tickets available at 





Last Building Update: The Sofia Opens in Less than A Month

Amy Kelly

Under construction since May of 2016, the Sofia will officially open on February 2, 2018, in less than one month. Lyndsay Burch, Artistic Producer and Move Manager, met with Artistic Associate Sean Patrick Nill to discuss the final touches on the theatre and the future for the B Street Theatre. 

How close are we to moving in?

We are so close! We are less than a week away from occupancy. On Friday January 12 we’ll be receiving the keys and moving into our new space.

What’s changed since the last building update?

Basically everything. It’s almost complete. The seats in both theatres are completely in. Both stage floors are in. The rigging is in. The electrics for the lighting are in. We’re about to start hanging and focusing the new lights for the first two shows. The flooring in the upstairs rehearsal halls are in. The cubicles for the office space have just arrived and will be put together very soon. We’re seeing the finishing touches: all the lights, and the doors, and appliances are being put in. We have a functioning elevator! Lights in the bathrooms! We had an issue in securing a water line into the building and that has now been fixed! We have running water in the Sofia. The last piece of the puzzle is laying concrete in the back alley, and the main construction of the theatre will be complete. We have some aesthetic things we’re working on, getting the details just right, but really it’s all about inspections and rehearsals once we are official occupants.

As Move Manager this has been a year of your life; planning this move, getting this building just right. Now that we’re at the finish line, what has been the most surprising aspect of this experience?

Just the scope of it. We didn’t just convert an old building into a theatre, we built a brand new theater. Two brand new theaters in one space. And they’re amazing. They’re no longer just big empty rooms, they are places that can help this company thrive. We have rehearsal rooms with proper flooring and good offices. The most surprising thing, I mean, the devil’s in the details. I had a meeting where we had to decide what bolts we were using. You go from making these large decisions to these small, last-minute decisions that can completely alter the way we do business. It’s fun, but tiring work. For a decade, this theatre has been a plan on a piece of paper, and now it’s real. We’re learning so much, and we know that we have a lot to learn, but it’s gonna be fun.

Who’s joining the team now that the theatre is about to open?

Well, Browyn Sherman is our new house manager, who our blog readers just learned about. We have just hired a new facilities manager to keep the building clean and safe and give our patrons the best experience. We are hiring professional bartenders, a night-time security guard. We have hired two new technicians. And of course, our intern company who has been nothing but the best and will continue to assist us as we begin this new adventure in this brand new theatre.

Amy Kelly
Lyndsay Burch, along with Liz Liles-Brown and Anastasia Bonaccorso

On February 2, Opening night, what are you going to do?

I’m going to have a glass of wine.

I’m going to celebrate. And then… we’ve got to get right back to work: running this theatre and producing the best plays we possibly can.

One Man, Two Guvnors opens on February 2 at the Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts, the new home of the B Street Theatre. Buy your tickets today at and come join us at our brand new home. 

The New House Manager of the Sofia: Browyn Sherman


B Street Theatre is happy to announce our latest hire: Browyn Sherman, the House Manager of the Sofia and the face of the brand new B Street lobby. Artistic Associate Sean Patrick Nill met with Browyn to discuss her past and her excitement for the new theatre. 

Where are you from?

I grew up in the Minneapolis, MN area. I moved to Chicago to go to school at Loyola University and lived there for six years. Most recently I lived in rural Oklahoma.

How’d you end up in Sacramento?

My husband is a USAF pilot so we move around a lot. He is currently stationed at Travis Air Force Base in Davis.

When did you first hear of the B Street Theatre?

When I moved to the area I was looking for local theatre’s and B Street popped up. I was glad to find a theatre in the area that puts up lots of new works.

Why did you apply to work at the B Street Theatre?

My background is in theatre. That’s what I went to school for, so I was looking for theatre related jobs and saw an opening for house manager at B Street. I had done house management for a theatre company in Chicago, so I thought it would be a good fit.

What is a House Manager? What do they do?

The house manager is responsible for making sure everything in the front of house runs smoothly so that each patron has a positive experience. That means managing ushers, bartenders and janitorial staff to ensure our facilities are clean and running efficiently. I will be present during performances to assist patrons, answer questions, and help out as needed.

What is the Front Lobby gonna be like in the Sofia? How will it be different from the old B Street Theatre?

The lobby at the Sofia is brand new and much improved! It’s a big beautiful and bright space with a new box office, coat check, custom built bar, and spacious restrooms. We hope that this facility will allow us to provide an even better experience to our patrons.

What makes the B Street Theatre a fun place to work on?

It’s great to be around people who are passionate about the work they do and share a love for the arts.

What play are the most excited about in the 2018 Season?

One Man, Two Guvnors because it’s the first play I will have the opportunity to see at B Street.


What’s your favorite TV show right now?

Catastrophe (Amazon prime original series)

What’s your go to drink to have at a theatre?

Definitely wine.

Who’s the most inspirational teacher you’ve had?

I’ve had the privilege of learning from a number of inspirational teachers, so it’s difficult to choose one. I might have to say my mom. She’s an elementary school teacher and I think she’s pretty cool.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

You will not catch me singing karaoke. It’s my gift to society to shield them from my singing.

Amy Kelly

Come see Browyn for the first show at the Sofia, One Man, Two Guvnors. Tickets are selling fast. Go to to be a part of our first audiences. 

History of B Street: Part II

Amy Kelly

Part II: 2711 B Street in Sacramento, CA

Sean Nill (Artistic Associate) : What was 2711 B Street before it was a theatre?

Buck (Producing Artistic Director): It was a vacant  steel building that used to make dental appliances, like retainers, and at one other time was a roofing company.

S: How did we find it?

B: Well, our Fantasy Theatre offices were over on 14th street, and Leon Corcos who owned the B Street buildings dropped by our office and said, “Do you want to use our space?” And I immediately said, “Yes!” And it became office space and a rehearsal room for awhile. At the time, Tim was working in L.A, and  the second he came back up and saw the new space he said, “We gotta open a theatre for adults.” It was Tim’s idea. He just threw a lot of creativity and energy into the project and made it happen.

S: How long did it take you all to put up the first show?

B: Eight weeks. We built the theatre and rehearsed at the same time.

S: What was the first show?

B: Mass Appeal starring Tim and Ed Claudio. It was directed by their mentor at East Tennessee State Bud Frank. They brought Bud  out, and while they were rehearsing, Tim would be telling the contractors how to add seats and risers and a lighting grid.

Amy Kelly
Newspaper clipping for Mass Appeal, starring Tim Busfield & Ed Claudio

S: How different is the theatre now then it was then?

B: A lot different. We had no wall separating the backstage from the audience. It was all just scaffolding. The stage managers booth looked like it was floating in the air. There was no acoustic style ceiling, so, when it rained, you couldn’t hear the actors talk. It was like someone pushed mute on the show. There was also this random kitchen in the North West section next to the women’s restroom.

S: Didn’t Kurt break a ton of dishes in there during one of the plays?

B: Probably.

S: When you were first starting up, was it difficult to get people in the seats?

B: No. We got a lot of press for Mass Appeal because Tim had just won an Emmy a couple of years before for Thirtysomething. His star was rising, and so we got a lot of lookie-loos to see the superstar act. And then once they saw the productions and realized how good we were, they kept coming back. I mean, we made some mistakes. We realized we couldn’t take summers off. We also used to bring in a lot of actors from Hollywood, who were tremendously talented, and we obviously thought they would sell tickets fast but it was a little hit and miss.

S: Who’d you bring up?

B: Chris Mulkey from Twin Peaks, Edie McLurg from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Keith Coogan. Really talented people, it was fun having them up.

S: Is that what inspired forming your own company of actors?

B: No, not really. The company didn’t start until about 2004 or 2005. Dave had just come back from New York to do Underpants, and we always had brought back our favorites, and the idea just hit me to make it official.

S: How long was it after we moved into 2711 B Street that we wanted to build a brand new theatre?

B: It’s been my life-long dream to build a massive children’s theatre. It was always on my mind.

S: So the second we moved into 2711 B Street, we were thinking  of a new theatre.

B: Not immediately….but definitely soon after.

S: What have been some of your favorite shows that we produced here?

B: Escanaba in da Moonlight, Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche, Three Days of Rain is a beautiful drama, Around the World in Eighty Days was just tremendous. We found so many creative solutions to the technical limitations that the theatre had. We mimed, created live sound, we used every part of that theatre. The actors here have always been so inventive, you gotta just let them work and see how they bring the story to life.

Amy Kelly                       Amy Kelly

Amy Kelly         Amy Kelly

S: Are you gonna miss this place at all?

B: I don’t feel sentimental about the place, but I get sentimental about the theatre we made here. I’ll will definitely  think of all the times I laughed. I mean, during Underpants, there was a moment that to this day, if I think about it, I’ll laugh so hard. There’s a moment of the play,  Dave just started flopping on the ground with this imaginary paralysis, and Peter Story and Thomas Redding’s face…I can laugh just thinking about it right now…(Buck begins to laugh) Peter just…you can see it on his face, he’s thinking, “What. IS. Happening? Do I say anything? Do I help him?” And of course, no one helped him. And everyone’s slightly nauseated.  And then Dave tries to get this piece of hard candy while flopping on the ground. Those are the memories that get me.  A place is a place, but the theatre we made here…that’s something to be proud of.

Amy Kelly

The last show at the 2711 B Street location will happen today at 2:00 PM. We liked to thank all of our donors, subscribers, patrons, staff, actors, guest artists, and interns who have created such a thriving theatre. Buy your tickets for our first show at The Sofia, One Man, Two Guvnors, and experience the next leg of B Street Theatre’s trip. The party only gets better from here. 

Sister Swing: Sending off the 2711 B Street location.

Amy Kelly

Valerie Marston has worked at B Street Theatre for 15 years now. She is also part of  a popular jazz  group in Sacramento: Sister Swing, who will be performing in the B Street lobby just before the final production at the 2711 B Street location. Acting Intern Olivia Schaperjohn interviewed Valerie, discussing the band’s history and her love of B Street.

How long have you been with Sister Swing?

We’ve been a group for 25 years.  It’s been myself, Paula Chafey-Merrill, and Leigh Hannah. We’ve been the same three girls for 25 years. And for the record, we’re not actual sisters, but we feel like sisters. We’ve been singing together so long that we can anticipate how to phrase a lyric or adjust a segment by a simple side glance, or uh, a head nod. We also have six players behind us: three horns and a rhythm section. And our boys have been with us for a very long time. And what’s really fun is… you see I’ve been with B Street for 15 years, so Sister Swing and B Street has always been integrated. And some subscribers will see me at B Street and recognize me from the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee or the Bar Fly. Something like that.

What songs do you sing?

We sing a lot of Andrew Sisters. We sing a lot of Boswell sisters, which is a group that is less known but actually set the path for the Andrew Sisters. They started the three-part harmony singing group, and the three-part scat. And they were actual sisters so when they would scat, they were like a flock of birds or a school of fish, they just moved together effortlessly. When the Andrew Sisters came along about a decade later, they were hug fans of the Boswell Sisters and paid a lot of tribute to their predecessors. The Andrew Sisters were popular because of radio and of the war, but the Boswell Sisters were the pioneers, and we pay tribute to them; and also the McGuire Sisters, and all of the Motown groups which use three part harmony.

Amy Kelly

I know that you all have a lot of amazing costumes.

That we do.

What’s been one of the more memorable costumes for the band?

One time, we got stuck doing a set at 9:00 in the morning. And we do not do well in the morning. It takes a long time to put on all the make-up and get the hair just right. And so for this show, we wore pajamas. We had bunny slippers on, we had rollers in our hair, and it became a really funny show.

You’ve got to be comfortable on the job.

It’s not a usual luxury. I can relate to our actors who do our Family Series matinee shows. It can be real tough to wake up and immediately perform and have to throw on crazy make-up or sing your heart out. It definitely isn’t the easiest thing to do.

It can be a bit crazy on the road?

Sometimes you show up at a gig and you have two dresses instead of three. We know that we haven’t arrived at any venue until we’ve done at least one u-turn. There have been a lot of crazy, weird stories. I could go on and on.

Amy Kelly

Why did you decide to sing for B Street’s last show?

I asked my sisters if they would do me the honor of performing for this show. I feel sentimental about this place. And I wanna give it a fun send off. And they’re doing it for me because they know how much I love the B Street Theatre.

Sister Swing will be performing in the Mainstage lobby of the B Street Theatre on Christmas Eve before the matinee production of A Moving Day. There are still four more chances to see the last show at the 2711 B Street location. Call the Box Office and get tickets now. 



Gandhi: The Father of India @ the Sofia

Since 2002, our Family Series has brought thousands of children from the all over the Sacramento area to the B Street Theatre. For years, Family Series stage was unable to bring in as many children as the theatre wished.  However, the Sofia’s Proscenium Stage, the home of the new Family Series, will be hold three times as many children per show. With a chance to reach out to a larger audience, B Street Theatre decided to focus on a historical figure who’s philosophy and leadership lead to multiple revolutions throughout the world and gave dignity to those who were treated as nothing. Mahatma Gandhi’s story will be the first told on our Family Series stage. Artistic Producer Lyndsay Burch, writer and director of the inaugural production, discusses the play: its beginnings, its process and its importance. 

Theatre Logo

Gandhi! started a year and a half ago when I went to India to assist the National Theatre’s world premiere musical about the life of Gandhi. The Grand Point West Rotary was extremely interested in a theatrical re-telling of Gandhi’s story that was meant for children. They felt that American students should learn about Gandhi’s struggles, his philosophies, and how it can be implemented into present day American lives.  So, once they learned about the project and they knew we wanted to assist, they graciously gave B Street Theatre a grant so I could go to Mumbai, assist in the production, learn how native Indians view this legend and figure how to translate their love of Gandhi for American audiences.

I was there for about six weeks. This was a large production: two and a half hours, about thirty songs, and a cast of about fifty.  It ran ten performances in a 1,200 seat house. I was there from the end rehearsal process, through tech rehearsals preview and the run. It was truly thrilling to watch these audiences respond to Gandhi. He is their founding father. They study him in school and learn much about his life, just as we do about George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.  That production was amazing, and served as the inspiration for our own original musical that will open the Family Series at the Sofia.

Amy Kelly
Water Buffalo Crossing during Lyndsay Burch’s Trip

Our production is much more scaled back then the production in Mumbai. It’s twelve actors (still the largest cast we’ve had in the Family Series), about twenty songs, and runs about an hour and a half. I took the major story points of Gandhi’s life, and his quest for freedom while maintaining non-violence and found a creative, theatrical entry point to introduce Gandhi to children who may not know who he is.

The story is about an American student of Indian descent who is being picked on because of his heritage and getting into fights over it. A wise teacher gives him The Life of Gandhi, and through learning about this man’s life, he sees the value in non-violent practice and the importance of embracing his Indian culture. Gandhi not only influenced India, but influenced important international figures such as Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela and others in the fight for international equality.  Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent disobedience served as the example for all of those important movements, and to this day, serves as a symbol for those struggling to be heard.

I wanted to write a show which focused on the humanity of the man. Similar to Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, Ghandi! focuses on the Father of India’s struggles in creating this movement which led to India’s freedom and the sacrifices he made to ensure tranquility for his people. Contemporary audiences are eager to learn who these inspirational people truly were: their virtues, their vices, the difficult choices they had to make to change the world.

Amy Kelly

One of the biggest attributes to this show will be its cast. In an effort to make sure our cast was authentic, Dave Pierini and I went to New York and saw many talented Indian actors and American actors of Indian descent. The majority of the cast is either Indian or of Indian descent; and their own connections with this man’s story, their genuine joy in the victories he brought to India is genuine and over-whelming. I wanted American audiences to understand the Indian people’s love for Gandhi. With this cast, B Street audiences will be understand that translation easily.

Gandhi is a new show which offers a story for a variety of ages, including middle school students and high schools students who understand the problems in our world and are looking for inspiration. It’s a fun, bold way to open the Family Series at the Sofia.

Tickets for Gandhi! are available at the B Street Theatre Box Office, as well as every show on the Family Series stage. You also have one more week to check out the last play at the 2711 B Street location. A Moving Day closes Christmas