The Sofia, Home of B Street Theatre

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$103,799 raised by 334 donors

100% complete

$100,000 Goal

The B Street Theatre (incorporated as Theatre for Children) was founded in the summer of 1986 by Timothy Busfield to create a touring theatre for children, performing new works and classic children's literature. Tim was soon joined by his brother, Buck Busfield, a noted playwright and director who had worked at the renowned Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis, one of the country's leading producers of theatre oriented toward children.

The Company produces both adult and family plays year-round, as well as a full-time school tour and multiple arts education programs for children and adults.

B Street Theatre School Tour serves children throughout the Central and Northern California region to the Oregon border. The School Tour has served nearly three million school children and youth since its inception, with annual attendance upwards of 200,000 students. The School Tour takes the rich experience of theatre into underserved communities throughout the state and makes live theatre, unique writing, and new forms of learning accessible to students. In Sacramento and San Joaquin counties alone, B Street School Tour has played to more than 130 Title I schools within the last couple of years.

In addition to a professional touring theatre, B Street School Tour holds an annual playwriting festival and contest. The festival was created to provide a forum for the dramatic voice of youth and to conduct playwriting workshops that assist children in developing literary skills, problem-solving techniques, and a mode of artistic expression. This process stimulates the intellect and enhances self-esteem by providing validation of creative ideas and work efforts.

In 2002, the B Street Theatre expanded its programming with performances of new works for young audiences and classic children's literature in a fixed theatre setting. The Family Series serves children and families throughout the school year with performances for school field trips during the week and for the general public on weekends. Curriculum materials are developed for each Family Series production, and teachers are encouraged to develop classroom lessons based on themes from each play. Pre-performance classroom work and talkbacks with the cast after each performance enhance the learning experience by connecting stories, play production techniques and the mechanics of a working theatre to students' school curriculum. The Family Series is California's only full-time, professional, resident theater for children.

In addition to B Street's renowned children's programming the Company offers a full season of new and established work for adults through its Mainstage production season. B Street Theatre has been named "Best Live Theatre" in Sacramento Magazine's annual "Best of Sacramento" issue for over a dozen years, and readers of Sacramento News & Review have ranked B Street Theatre as #1 in "Best Professional Theater Company" for several years running.

Play selection runs from new, cutting-edge dramas and comedies (B Street regularly hosts world, national, regional, and local premieres) to classic plays that speak to today's audiences.

Since January 2018, B Street proudly makes its home at the new, state-of-the-art Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts. The opening at The Sofia brought a dynamic new arts venue to the heart of California's capitol. Since this new re-opening, B Street has also opened a new space called Upstairs at the B, which features new play reading brunches, improv and sketch performances, a first annual New Comedies Festival of Plays, and B Street's own podcast, Poison Boot. Upstairs at the B is also used for professional development training for teachers, giving them the tools they need to take arts education into their own classrooms.

B Street also offers a robust theatrical education program through its Studio For Young Actors (including a popular summer theatre camp for youth) and its Adult Conservatory. These programs offer a variety of classes in theatrical disciplines including acting, playwriting, improv, sketch comedy, character development and more.

Sutter Health is a much-valued partner, and B Street is active in the Sutter Child Life Program. The Company offers playwriting tutorials and support workshops to children undergoing health crises, as well as their families. These programs have been crucial to helping patients, their siblings and their parents maintain a positive, productive outlook during the harshest of life's challenges.

B Street's combined programming makes The Sofia the newest and most dynamic arts center in the Greater Sacramento area, offering a broad range of educational and entertainment programming for adults and children, and giving smaller, non-profit arts organizations in the area the opportunity to perform in a state-of-the-art theatre setting.


The mission of B Street Theatre is to promote cultural enrichment, social interaction, education and literacy through the shared experience of live (and virtual) theatre and the performing arts.


The Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts needs funding to cover the expenses related to re-opening its facility after a year of closure due to COVID-19. The new home of B Street Theatre creates an opportunity to reach more patrons and students than ever before. B Street's signature production, presenting, and arts education programs serve children and adults from all over Northern and Central California with high quality professional theatre and arts education. Unrestricted operating funds are crucial to maintain the artistic, administrative, production, and facilities support B Street needs to thrive as one of the nation's top professional, regional theatres for adults and children.

Outreach and Education is the cornerstone of B Street's history and mission. Help us reach more students with broader and deeper programming options - often providing the only arts education these young people will receive. B Street offers opportunities for students to experience first-rate, live, professional theatre, as well as the chance to learn the crafts of playwriting, acting, and more. B Street serves over 200,000 students per year and expects that number to increase over the coming year.

The Sofia is open, and it's beautiful! But it's not quite complete. B Street still needs a variety of equipment, and The Sofia needs a few finishing touches. For instance, we'd like to purchase hydraulic trap lifts for both the Sutter and the Mainstage Theatres, complete The Sofia's rooftop deck, and install technical equipment necessary to make Upstairs at the B a fully flexible and functional performance space.

Join B Street's Buy a Bus program. For many schools throughout the greater Sacramento area, renting a school bus for a field trip is completely cost prohibitive. Some can't afford either the tickets or the bus. A $400 gift will sponsor one local school with a school bus for the day. A $1,000 gift will sponsor both the school bus and the tickets for one busload of school children to come to a B Street Student Matinee.

With B Street's exciting move to The Sofia at the beginning of 2018, the Company seeks to expand its board to include new members from a variety of sectors in the Sacramento Area.

Equity Statement

The Sofia: Home of B Street is committed to the work of anti-racism, and we pledge to our community an ongoing and transparent commitment to this work across all areas of the organization. We understand that it is vitally important that our efforts to support anti-racism go beyond a specific moment in time or a few public statements.

We acknowledge that, as an organization founded predominantly by white artists and board members, B Street Theatre has not always been sensitive to the systemic harms endemic to the theatre community that have created racist and inequitable environments.

While we have taken steps in recent years to address these inequities, we must continue to confront our own unconscious biases and to unlearn practices and undo policies that contribute to this inequity. We must move beyond tokenism and complacency to become a truly inclusive organization. We have learned that being neutral or “not racist” is, by default, a way to uphold racism. In order to fully realize our mission and to be a “Theatre for Everyone,” we must be actively anti-racist. This work is never done, and we are in it for the long haul.

EDIA Commitments – FY 23-24

1. Develop and maintain a Board of Directors reflecting the diversity of our community and with a commitment to ongoing progress in bringing an anti-racism and EDIA ethos and practices to its governance role.

2. Engage in hiring practices that build a staff that is reflective of the diversity of the community we serve and ensure that a culture of inclusivity and anti-racism is embraced among Staff members throughout the organization.

3. Consistently and intentionally produce programming throughout the organization that includes characters, stories and themes that reflect a powerful diversity of perspectives and experiences.

4. Invest in and foster authentic engagement with BIPOC communities, build trust among diverse artists, audiences and community partners and establish The Sofia: Home of B Street as a community center where all feel a sense of belonging.

5. Establish, maintain and communicate code of conduct practices, policies and accountabilities to deepen cultural competency throughout all aspects of the organization’s operations.

6. Remove barriers to access of The Sofia’s programs, employment opportunities, Board of Directors participation and education and community engagement experiences.

7. Enhance opportunities for and deepen The Sofia’s community of diverse artists and foster a consistently safe, culturally competent environment.

8. Build and strengthen community/business partnerships with aligned EDIA priorities and produce programming featuring a range of inclusive content that builds outreach opportunities informed by the specific needs of our partners.

9. Deliver quality, culturally competent arts education experiences that inspire a sense of community for all involved, led by teaching artists who reflect the diversity of our community.

10. Enhance our offerings of accessible performances (ASL, Open Captioned, Audio Described, Sensory Friendly) across our performance programs.

Organization Data


Organization name

The Sofia, Home of B Street Theatre

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Operating Budget

$1,000,001-$5 million

Organization Need

Funding: Unrestricted, Funding: Program, Other, Board Members

Demographics Served

Youth & Children, Low-income individuals/families, General population

Local Counties Served


Equity Statement

Equity Statement


2700 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95816

Service areas

Sacramento, CA, US

Elk Grove, CA, US



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