Over the years, woodwright Thomas Brown transformed The Great Hall Theater.
Thanks to his talent and dedication, BSF was able to present our plays on this unique, world-class early modern stage.
At our September 21, 2019 gala, the stage was officially renamed The Kestrel.
Photos by Will Kirk
"I could rightly be accused of trying to invoke the ghost of Shakespeare."
--Thomas Brown, Woodwright
Watch this video for a glimpse of the features that make this stage truly extraordinary, then make sure see it in action at a performance!
Special thanks to Molly Rath and Charles Cohen; Video by Eyesore Productions
The Great Hall Theater is located inside St. Mary's Community Center, a historic former church in Hampden.
A chapel was first constructed on the site in 1860. During the Civil War, the church was robbed and burned to the ground. The cornerstone for the present structure was laid in 1873, and the building was enlarged significantly by 1900.
In 1999, St. Mary's Church of Roland Avenue closed its doors, and evolved to become St. Mary's Community Center, a multi-use space intended to serve residents of Hampden and Roland Park.
Notable features include period stained glass, original 1901 pipe organ, and the adjacent cemetery (estimated to hold upwards of 20,000 burials).
In 2022 the 1.7 acre lot was re-zoned to allow the sale of the building in 2023. Because of this sudden move The Kestrel stage elements have been removed and are now in storage.
The Kestrel Will Return.