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Suffolk Theater names new executive director

The Suffolk Theater announced the hiring of Gary Hygom as its new executive director starting Friday, Oct. 15.

Mr. Hygom will replace Daniel Binderman, who had been the general and artistic director for eight years. Mr. Hygom was previously executive director of the Pat­ch­ogue Theatre for the Performing Arts and was a 20-year producing director at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.

“Gary was a perfect choice — a visionary with a strong artistic background as well as the administrative and personal qualities that will help him take The Suffolk Theater to the next level,” Mr. Binderman said of his successor in a press release. “With his knowledge of the Long Island market and his strength in producing and administration, he will really be perfect.”

Some of Mr. Hygom’s extensive professional experience includes working as production and tour manager for Phoebe Snow, the founder of Oak Hill Theatre Company. He was also a production manager at Delsener-Slater Productions, technical director at Guild Hall as well as scenic designer on many productions on the tri-state area, according to a press release.

“I am happy to be at the helm of this wonderful and unique performance space and to build upon the great successes and achievements of this historic theatre,” Mr. Hygom said in the release.

Mr. Hygom was not available for an interview this week.

Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi said the theater has a bright future.

Gary Hygom is the new director of the Suffolk Theater. (Courtesy photo)

During his time at The Suffolk Theater, Mr. Binderman helped expand programming and brought in musical and comedic acts such as Art Garfunkel, Judy Collins, Mavis Staples, Rob Schneider, Marlon Wayans and Bob Saget. The theater also hosted some athletic competitions such as a “Friday Night at the Suffolk Theater” boxing event in 2015.

Like every other similar venue, the theater closed at the start of the pandemic in 2020 and remained shuttered through August.

“We appreciate the work Dan put in — and now with Gary, our new caterer Ellen’s on Front, as well as the new Town Square coming opposite the theater and the planned expansion of our facilities — this remarkable venue has a very bright future,” Mr. Castaldi said. 

The theater officially reopened Aug. 27 with a performance by Lords of 52nd Street and now features a new menu catered by Ellen’s on Front in Greenport. Mr. Binderman began talking with Ellen’s on Front co-owner Andrew Werts when the theater reopened.

“It was a long courtship,” Mr. Werts said. “We explored who we were, and the types of food that [would work].”

The new team created a supper club called the One Eighteen Club that was inspired by the theater’s art deco design. The revamped menu emphasizes more casual dishes and guests can also order craft cocktails.

An ambitious expansion is also in the works for The Suffolk Theater. They recently proposed a 59-foot high addition to the rear of the building, creating 2,970 square feet of ground floor retail space. The proposed addition includes space for an expanded backstage area, new dressing rooms, restrooms, a kitchenette, a laundry room, showers and a new mechanical room.