New Bedford's Your Theatre Inc. has been providing quality community theatre for 76 years, and that tradition will continue soon in a new venue.

Your Theatre, the Waterfront Historic Area League (WHALE), and the First Baptist Church on William Street have been working for eight years to renovate the historic church building to serve both its congregation and provide space for a performing arts center.

Eric Paradis is the Community Liasion for Your Theatre and joined Townsquare Sunday this week to discuss the organization and the community effort supporting the new venue.

"I got involved about 20 years ago and was Train Man No. 2 in my first production. I also met my future wife there and began an amazing volunteer career," Paradis said.

Paradis said Your Theatre is all about volunteers.

"It gives community residents, who are not professionals a chance to get involved with the performing arts," he said.

Your Theatre is always looking for volunteers, with applications available on the organization's website.

Brian Thomas - TSM
Brian Thomas/Townsquare Media

Folks at Your Theatre and other performing arts groups in the city are anxiously awaiting the new venue at the First Baptist Church. The renovation work, which began in 2014, will accommodate both the church's needs and create a small-to-medium performing arts center in what is being called the Steeple Playhouse.

Much credit should go to the Waterfront Historic Area League, Your Theatre, the First Baptist Church, the City of New Bedford and funding sources such as the Community Preservation Act, and private donors for making the project possible.

The renovations are still ongoing and you can still help out as well by attending a fundraiser on December 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the new Steeple Playhouse. Visit the WHALE website for ticket information.

The complete interview with Your Theatre's Eric Paradis can be heard here:

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program that airs Sunday mornings at 6 a.m. on 1420 AM and 99.5 FM.

The program highlights individuals and organizations striving to make Greater New Bedford a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please contact the host at

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