About BAMSS

By All Means Save Some (BAMSS) Theatre Works opened its first community theatre space on the parlor floor of a Brooklyn brownstone in 1998.  With limited resources, the Directors and Broadway veterans, Ben and Olive Harney renovated their parlor into Dyer Hall, a rehearsal and performance studio.  In February 1998, with a multi-ethnic cast of ten young people from various Brooklyn neighborhoods they opened their first production, “Slow Down the Night”, by Anthony LaPeau, a musical based on what might have happened in 1963, the night before the March on Washington and Dr. King's iconic speech.  Giving two performances every Saturday, the show ran for three months playing to audiences that marveled at the talented cast and the creative use of space.  Following that inaugural effort, BAMSS was asked by the Police Athletic League to mount productions and workshops in Brownsville, Brooklyn, then in multiple PAL sites in Brooklyn and Manhattan, NYC.

 

BAMSS extended it's base in the community by developing BARC (BAMSS Adult Repertory Company) and BYTE (BAMSS Youth Theatre Ensemble).

BAMSS workshops have touched the lives of people in schools, churches, youth detention houses, and community centers.


BAMSS ensembles and productions have performed at Symphony Space, Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Palm House, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Center, Brooklyn Music School Playhouse, Metrotech, Klitgord Auditorium, The Lambs Theater, Kumble Theater and many other venues in the tri-state area.  

 

BAMSS students have gone on to study the theatre arts and technical theatre in major institutions on secondary school, undergraduate, graduate and conservatory levels.  BAMSS alumni have performed in production workshops with Music Theatre International (MTI)/Disney, off-Broadway, on Broadway and through-out the United States, Europe and Asia.


BAMSS is a contracted vendor with the NYC Dept of Education and has run theatre arts programs in NYC public schools affecting the lives of hundreds of NYC school children since 1998.


BAMSS is non-profit 501©3 organization.

 

 

Ben  Harney

Mr. Harney is known nationally for his work as a producer, director, teacher and actor. He is Founder, Director of By All Means Save Some (BAMSS) Theatre Works and BAMSS Studio Theatre in Brooklyn, NY, home of BAMSS Youth Theatre Ensemble (BYTE), BAMSS Adult Repertory Company (BARC), BAMSS school and after-school programs and BAMSS annual Summer Musical Theatre Workshops.  

 

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Mr. Harney attended Laguardia High School of Music and Art and The Juilliard School. He made his television debut at age seven (Tonight With Belafonte) and Broadway debut at eighteen (Purlie).  Since then he has garnered a long list of credits as lead actor including: The Wiz, Treemonisha, Pippin, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Pajama Game (1974 revival), Dreamgirls, Tap Dance Kid, Brownstone, Purlie, Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope, Williams and Walker and on television as District Attorney Peter Ramsey on ABC’s All My Children.  Notable films are: Bad Decisions, Son of Sam, Son of Hope, Heart of Stone and his children’s video series, Ben & Eddie.

 

Mr. Harney has directed and taught: as Artist-in-Residence at Fordham University Lincoln Center, NYC, as Visiting-Assistant Professor at Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn, NY, Harvest School of Performing Arts, Los Angeles, CA, instructor and program developer for public schools in NYC and Director of the Adult Drama Dept., youth and adult musical theatre productions and NBC and ABC specials for Christian Cultural Center, Brooklyn, NY.

 

Awards Include:

Tony Award - Best Actor in a Musical, Dreamgirls 1982

Drama Desk Award nomination - Best Actor, Dreamgirls 1982

AUDELCO Award nomination - Best Actor, Williams and Walker 1986

NAACP Image Award nomination – Best Supporting Actor, Tap Dance Kid 1985

Bay Circle Critics Award - Best Supporting Actor, Tap Dance Kid 1985

MITF Award nomination – Best Musical, Children of God 2012

AUDELCO Award nomination - Best Director of a Musical, Pearl 2013

 

Olive Harney

Co-Founder and Associate Director of BAMSS, works together with her husband Ben Harney to find new and imaginative methods for the development and presentation of family theatre. Olive was a modern dance major and a graduate of the High School of Performing, but her interests turned more towards what happens behind the scenes.  

 

Her career in theatre production and management has taken her from Broadway to Carnegie Hall. She was Wardrobe Supervisor and then Stage Manager for the original Broadway production of the Tony nominated musical Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope. Other Broadway Wardrobe and Supervisory credits include Bubbling Brown Sugar and Inacent Black starring Melba Moore.

 

Some of her production and stage management credits include: Johnson Products’ “Gentle Treatment Nationwide Model Search" Finale III and IV; The Urban Block Party; the Inauguration Ceremony for Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz; Great Day Chorale; Christmas in New York with Dino Kartsonakis and Natalie Cole; Album Release Event for Patti Labelle; Album release Event for The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin; and numerous Christian Cultural Center Creative Arts productions.

 

Mrs. Harney was part of the team that developed and produced the children’s video series, Ben & Eddie, and has toured the United States and Japan as Road Manager for her brother, the late, great Jazz violinist, Noel Pointer.

 

Mrs. Harney received her Bachelor of Arts in Education from Medgar Evers College and graduated with honors. She was immediately offered a head teacher position at the Annie G. Newsome Headstart Center in New York City. She was one of the core staff that founded and developed Frederick Douglass Academy IV, a school in Brooklyn for gifted children.

 

Olive and Ben believes wholeheartedly in the BAMSS mission to provide comprehensive instruction in acting, theatre skills, musical theatre, chorus, dance, and theatre appreciation for youths and adults, in order to broaden the knowledge, awareness and appreciation of the theatre experience, so that they can help to, “By All Means Save Some”.

 

Soli deo Gloria