Every Tuesday night from 7:00pm to 11:00pm, area musicians gather at Auburn Public Theater for Jammin’ Tuesday, an informal jam session which provides an opportunity for area musicians to perform original tunes and covers with one another. This evening is always free and open to the public. A light café menu is offered along with general seating. WiFi is also available. Music sessions are recorded with the intention of later streaming the musical offerings of each Tuesday night on the internet. Look for a link coming soon on the APT website.
If you are a musician and would like to get involved, come on down to APT any Tuesday night between 7:00 and 11:00pm. If you are not a musician and would just like to listen, come on down to APT between 7:00 and 11:00pm any Tuesday night. If you have a question, please feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (315) 253-6669.
Auburn Public Theater came to life as the unlikely result of a feng shui consultation done by Sheila Murphy for Angela Daddabbo and Carey Eidel, the owners of Daddabbo’s Pizza downtown Auburn. One day, Sheila came in for lunch, sat down in a booth and noticed the building across the street had two signs in the window, one announcing the building was for sale and the other announcing the retail space in the building was for rent. Later that evening, she called Angela and gave her a few quick fixes for Daddabbo’s Pizza – hang a few plants, put small white lights around the inside of the large window in the front of the restaurant, group the old photos of family members together and cluster them over the tables next to the wall. And, finally, see if it would be possible to do something a little more lively in the window across the street – half of Daddabbo’s customers have been sitting down and staring out the window directly at the “For Sale” and “For Lease” sign every day for the last three years and, quite frankly, if only on a subconscious level, that can get a little depressing.
Angela quickly made the easy fixes. She bought plants and strings of small white lights and worked with Carey to reorganize the many photos and posters that were hanging all over the restaurant. Now, for the window across the street, that was a little more complicated. Who owned the building? Would he or she be amendable to making changes for the sake of helping to improve the vibe at Daddabbo’s Pizza? Should she really lend this suggestion time and energy or should she just let it slide? She decided to let it slide. Then one day while driving around, a great idea came to her. How about hanging a poster of Einstein sticking his tongue out in the window of the vacant building across the street from the pizza shop? It would only cost about $20, it wouldn’t interfere with the current signage in the window and it would make everyone who walked by it, drove by it or sat across from it smile. Perfect. Then another idea came to her – how about hanging a dark red, heavy, velvet theater curtain in that window? That would be more expensive but it would also be more interesting; it would help to create a little mystery. As she continued to drive, a third idea quickly came to her – don’t hang a theater curtain in the window; build a theater in the building across the street. She immediately knew this was the one true thing, the perfect fix on all levels and that she needed to act on this idea as soon as she possibly could; she also knew how much time, effort and money would be needed to execute such an idea so, at first, she tried as hard as she could to ignore the idea altogether. In fact, she immediately told the idea to go away and leave her alone.
Back in Los Angeles, where Angela and Carey had met many years before, they had always talked of a shared dream to own a theater building where they could program plays, musical performances, comedians, family productions, acting classes, etc. With their first spare million dollars, they would buy a little building on Theater Row in Hollywood and see to making their dream come true. But when they made the decision to leave LA in 2001 and move to Auburn, they also made a decision to leave that dream behind. Until that fateful feng shui consultation at Daddabbo’s Pizza, their dream of having a theater space of their own was all but dead and buried.
So, after trying her hardest to ignore the idea of building a theater in the old Grant’s building downtown Auburn (the idea came to her daily, hourly even), she finally decided to share it with Carey. Upon hearing the first version of the plan, he promptly fell sound asleep. In all fairness, it was pretty late at night. Several days later, Brain Anderson, then a next door neighbor of Angela and Carey, was outside raking leaves. For some strange reason that no one has been able to explain, Angela started telling Brian about her idea to build a black-box theater in the former Grant’s Department Store building downtown Auburn. Like Angela, Brian grew up in Auburn and fondly remembered downtown Auburn in its hey-dey. He was curious to know more. And, so, for an even stranger reason that no one has been able to explain, Brian gave Angela the greatest gift one human being can give another human being – he listened patiently for a really long time to the entire plan. And the plan hooked him, too.
Angela and Brian promptly started out on a path to meet and speak with anyone and everyone who could help them turn their daydream into a reality. Soon after their first few meetings, they asked Janie MicGlire, a friend and neighbor to get involved. And soon after that, they asked another friend, Tiffany Brasell, to join their fledgling group. The four of them met on a weekly basis for nearly a year, named themselves Auburn Public Theater, produced two plays (one at Cayuga Community College and one at Westminster Church) formed a not-for-profit entity (with the help of CPA Brenda Kayn), designed a logo (with the help of Terry Cuddy) had stationary printed and tried on several occasions to sign a lease for the space in the former Grant’s building across the street from Daddabbo’s Pizza. But, for various reasons, it kept not working out. They looked at vacant buildings all over Auburn. Several had real potential. But their hearts were downtown. That, they decided, is where Auburn Public Theater needed to be built. So they waited. And, finally, the planets lined up. In October, 2005 Carey and Angela were able to purchase the building at 108 Genesee Street and lease 7,000 square feet to Auburn Public Theater.
On December 7th, 2005 Auburn Public Theater opened its doors to the public for an Open House event and over five hundred people came to take a tour. Since that day, close to ten thousand patrons have come through the doors to take part in various programming. It is the wish of all those involved with Auburn Public Theater that 50 or maybe even 100 years from now, programming will be going strong, the number of people through the doors will be in the millions, downtown Auburn will be the thriving city center it once was and has always deserved to be and those people running the place will have as much fun working together as the people who built it.