In October, we will officially welcome The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre to Warwick. The Gamm, as it is known, has been based in Pawtucket, where it has offered terrific live theater and educational programming for nearly 34 years.
The move to the three-story building at 1245 Jefferson Blvd. gives the theatre company more performance space as well as a much larger area for set construction and more room for educational and administrative offices, performance space, dressing rooms, laundry, showers, costume shop and lobby and concession area.
The building was formerly home to the Ocean State Theatre Company, and, while The Gamm intends to keep the existing stadium-style seating that accommodates 314, it will also be able to create a smaller, 180-seat theatre where the company will offer the intimate performance experience it’s known for. The Gamm plans to offer the larger space for rent to other organizations and schools.
In addition to interior renovations, The Gamm’s $1.9 million campaign will include exterior improvements, including landscaping and aesthetic upgrades to the building itself. The theatre is located a short distance away from the 100-acre plus City Centre Warwick district and will surely add to the unique, energetic environment we envision for CCW and the surrounding area. It will also help us in our efforts to attract other arts organizations to CCW, helping us to one day realize our goal of establishing an arts and culture district there.
From an economic standpoint, The Gamm’s move to Warwick is also a tremendous benefit to the local economy. In addition to the numerous construction jobs the renovation is creating, The Gamm intends to add three new full-time staff positions, with an eye to adding more local artists and other employees in the future.
Our hotels and restaurants, together with the theatre’s proximity to Interstates 95, 295 and the intermodal rail station also gives The Gamm the ability to offer hotel, restaurant and play packages to attract visitors. The Gamm estimates that based on national findings from Americans for the Arts, its current annual audience of 24,000 could bring an investment to Warwick of over $590,000. Further, they expect the expanded and refurbished theatre could draw as many as 6,000 new patrons, resulting in an annual economic investment of $738,000.
We look forward to joining The Gamm’s administrators, artists and patrons for a celebration that recognizes their longstanding tradition of excellence in Pawtucket and success and growth for years to come here in Warwick.
The non-profit Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre creates the finest of live theater, engaging the audience intensely in current and recurrent issues of consequence. The Gamm further serves the public with educational outreach programming designed to support the theatrical experience, and help sustain and enhance the intellectual and cultural life of the community. The Gamm is a member of New England Area Theatre (NEAT), a bargaining unit of the Actors Equity Association.
For more information, visit gammtheatre.org.
Joseph Solomon is the mayor of Warwick.