Despite its small population, Maine has a thriving arts scene from York to Fort Kent. There is a wide variety of live theater and entertainment centers throughout the state running shows, especially during the summer months. It’s not uncommon to see famous actors milling around town because they are performing in Maine. Here are the 10 best places to see live theater in the state!
The Ogunquit Playhouse has been holding theater shows for over 85 years. Opened in 1933 in a renovated garage, the Ogunquit Playhouse has become the premier playhouse in Maine. Plays like “Billy Elliot the Musical,” “West Side Story,” and Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” have attracted the likes of Bette Davis, Clay Aiken, and Sally Struthers over the years.
Portland Stage Company was founded in 1974 as a touring company of young passionate theater professionals. Today, the cast performs mainly in their permanent home in Portland where it puts on multiple shows throughout the year. To date, Portland stage has produced over 346 plays, including the local favorite, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.
Hackmatack Playhouse was founded in 1972 in Berwick as a summer playhouse on the old Guptill family farmstead. From June to September, the small playhouse puts on at least four shows like “She Loves Me” and “Steel Magnolias.” No summer is complete without a visit to Hackmatack.
The Lakewood Theater, founded in 1898, is one of the oldest summer theaters in the country. Rocking for over a century of seasons, the Lakewood Theater offers multiple shows throughout the summer months from May to September. Enjoy a comedy, drama, musical, or children’s show on the banks of the Wesserunsett Lake.
The Grand has been home to exceptional entertainment from across the globe in a historic Art Deco theater on Main Street in coastal Ellsworth since 1938. The theater hosts over 200 events every year, including several self-produced community theater productions and musical events.
Every year the Freeport Plays, a small community theater, puts on everything from contemporary drama to classics to musicals on their stage in Freeport. Actors of all abilities are welcomed to performed with this inclusive playhouse making it a great place to see new local talent.
The Penobscot Theatre Company is America’s Northeastern-most professional, year-round, nonprofit organization producing several major shows every year since 1973. Check their calendar and catch a show at this historic Art Deco/Egyptian Revival Bangor Opera House on Main Street.
The Theater at Monmouth is a year-round professional theater home to artists from across Maine and the United States. Since 1970, the Theater at Monmouth has presented over 300 productions in its Summer Repertory Season. The Theater at Monmouth is the best place in Maine to see Shakespeare and classical plays.
People living in Maine’s rural Aroostook County don’t have to go down to the big cities of Bangor and Portland to catch a show. The University of Maine at Presque Isle is home to the student founded and run drama club, the University Players. Since being revived in 2015, the Players have been busy putting on shows like Dan LeFranc’s “The Big Meal.”
Mad Horse Theatre Company was founded in Portland in 1986 as a professional residential theater company and has quickly developed a reputation as being one of the best playhouses in the state. From cutting-edge contemporary plays to the classics, Mad Horse Theatre Company knows how to put on a good show. Get tickets early as shows sell out fast.