The Klein Memorial Auditorium is a 1,447-seat performing arts center that serves as a hub for Bridgeport and surrounding communities. Built in 1940, it is one of only 7 Broadway-sized stages remaining in Connecticut. The venue was built with funds willed to the city by Bridgeport native Jacob B. Klein (1862-1932), a lawyer and active supporter of Bridgeport community organizations. The trustees of Klein Memorial have purchased the site on Fairfield Avenue for the construction of the auditorium to the memory of its donors: Jacob B. Klein and Ray R. Klein. The auditorium, designed by local architect Leonard Asheim, was designed in the Art Deco style and features bronze doors, a marble lobby, inlaid wood and geometric motifs.
As recently as 2010, The Klein operated as a rental house and was only in use 65 days per year. That all changed in 2013 when the after school program began, and The Klein held its first fundraising event. Klein Theatre Arts is totally tuition-free, and to fund it The Klein relies on support from foundations, government and corporations as well as donations from individuals. Other operating costs are funded through rentals and self-presentations, which now total over 150 per year.
The Klein houses 4 resident companies: Greater Bridgeport Symphony, ConnectUs, Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras, and Fairfield County Children’s Choir. It also is home to numerous dance companies and concert promoters, civic ceremonies, including iiConn naturalization ceremony, and graduations. In the past 12 months, The Klein has also brought such diverse talents as Vienna Boys Choir, the original concert series Footsteps of Peace, the Parris Island Marine Corps Band, Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Ensemble, and its own 75th anniversary concert hosted by Paul Shaffer. In 2016 The Klein presented two-time Emmy Award recipient Loretta Swit of M*A*S*H in a 1-woman play entitled, “Eleanor Roosevelt: Her Secret Journey”, as well as the satiric comedy troupe Capitol Steps, and many more.
The Klein is sustained by the generosity of our community. We offer a wide range of programming and the ONLY tuition- free after school arts program in Bridgeport, Klein Theatre Arts. The Klein is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Your donations are tax-deductible.
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