Sybil Christopher, a founding member of the Bay Street Theatre and its co-artistic director, is stepping down after 20 years.
Approaching her 83rd birthday next month, Ms. Christopher remains a strong supporter of the Sag Harbor institution, and is staying on as a consultant. But, she said on Tuesday, “I had to decide how I was going to leave — was I going to be carried out feet first?”
“I love the theater,” Ms. Christopher said. “But every summer I was starting to feel like I was missing out on family fun.” Her grandchildren Morgan and Charlotte, children of her actress-daughter Kate Burton, and Scarlett, the child of her daughter Amy Christopher, are first on her mind now. Ms. Burton has made overtones about a trip to Russia in the fall, and Amy Christopher may want to travel to London with her mother in the near future.
“I certainly won’t be idle, unless I want to be,” Ms. Christopher said with a smile.
She has the utmost faith in Murphy Davis, the artistic director of Bay Street, and Tracy Mitchell, the executive director, to continue on without her, she said. The summer season is already decided upon, and a move to a new location is in the works for the fall.
“We’ve had such fun,” Ms. Christopher said on Tuesday, “but it’s time to slow down a bit and enjoy myself. I’d like to be able to spend a day curled up in my house with a good book and a cup of tea, if I feel like it.”
“Sybil has been a treasured colleague who has been generous with her knowledge, insight, and love of the theatre,” Murphy Davis said. “We’re thrilled she will remain with us as a consultant.”