Regional Theater of the Week: Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine
BroadwayWorld.com, the largest theatre site on the Internet, is excited to announce a new feature to its comprehensive regional coverage - the Featured Regional Theater of the Week! Each week, BWW will introduce its readers to a regional theater located in one of our (over 130!) coverage cities. By exploring these different venues, their history and showcasing the production seasons, BWW continues its commitment to expand our presence in communities and cities across the United States.
This Week's Featured Regional Theater: John Lane's Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine
The Ogunquit Playhouse produces five exciting Musicals each season, with performances Tuesday through Sunday from late-May to late-October. The Ogunquit Playhouse, a not-for profit organization, remains unparalleled in its commitment to provide the highest quality musical theatre, with the best talent in the industry!
The Ogunquit Playhouse is one of Maine's cultural jewels and a cornerstone of America's theatrical heritage. Over its 80-year history of producing the highest quality theatre, it has earned the title of "America's Foremost Summer Theatre" and is one of the last of the great Summer Theatres from the Straw Hat Circuit still producing traditional live musical theatre.
Broadway showman Walter Hartwig and his wife Maude established The Playhouse in a small renovated garage in the center of Ogunquit in 1933 and four years later built the state of the Art Theatre in its present day location. In 1950, a young actor, John Lane, became General Manager and eventually took ownership of the Ogunquit Playhouse bringing in business partner Henry Weller to oversee the operations. Through their dedicated direction, professional integrity and impeccable taste, the Ogunquit Playhouse legacy of excellence continued through the twentieth century. John Lane retired in 1997 after transferring ownership to the not-for-profit foundation that oversees the Ogunquit Playhouse today. John Lane passed away in 2000, however The Playhouse continues to thrive as a dynamic testimony of his commitment to live theatre.
Since its beginnings the Ogunquit Playhouse attracted show businesses legends - a list of stars that reads like a who's-who of Broadway and Hollywood, including Bette Davis, Myrna Loy, William Powell and Van Johnson from the early days and more recently, Sally Struthers, Stefanie Powers, Rue McClanahan and Charles Shaughnessy. For 80 years, the Ogunquit Playhouse has been creating shows in Southern Maine and bringing the best talent from Broadway, television and film to its stage. The Ogunquit Playhouse's shows are produced and rehearsed onsite, and each show is uniquely cast for its audience. Come see a show at The Playhouse and experience as-big-as Broadway productions in a unique National Historic Register building in its original pastoral setting, with stellar casts and each show, a once-in-a-lifetime performance!
The mission of the Ogunquit Playhouse is:
- Maintaining and preserving the Ogunquit Playhouse facilities in conformance with the National Register of Historic Places standard, and insuring its continuation as a functioning playhouse.
- Providing and promoting high-quality ongoing performing arts programs in keeping with Ogunquit's historic tradition.
- Promoting education and cultural programs and events for the public that will benefit the performing arts.
- Raising and soliciting financial and other resources necessary to accomplish our objectives.