Ogunquit Playhouse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ogunquit Playhouse
Ogunquit Playhouse.jpg
Ogunquit Playhouse is located in Maine
Ogunquit Playhouse
Ogunquit Playhouse is located in the US
Ogunquit Playhouse
Location 10 Main Street (US 1),
Ogunquit, Maine
Coordinates 43°14′20″N 70°36′2″W / 43.23889°N 70.60056°W / 43.23889; -70.60056Coordinates: 43°14′20″N 70°36′2″W / 43.23889°N 70.60056°W / 43.23889; -70.60056
Area 4.1 acres (1.7 ha)
Built 1937
Architect Wyckoff, Alexander
Architectural style Colonial Revival
NRHP Reference # 95001458[1]
Added to NRHP December 14, 1995

The Ogunquit Playhouse is a regional theater at 10 Main Street (United States Route 1) in Ogunquit, Maine. The Ogunquit Playhouse is one of the last remaining summer theatres from the Straw Hat Circuit, also referred to as Summer Stock, still producing live musical theatre. The theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1] In 2015, the listing was raised to National Level of Significance "in consideration of the significant contributions made by its founder Walter J. Hartwig and the Playhouse to Performing Arts Education throughout the nation." [2]


The Ogunquit Playhouse produces five (sometimes more) musicals each season, with each season running mid-May through mid-October with performances Tuesday through Sunday. Each show is cast for its audience, and shows are produced and rehearsed onsite or in New York City.[3]

Children's Theatre Program[edit]

The Children's Theatre Program began in the late 1990s, now offering children from ages 5–18 an opportunity to learn and perform on the Playhouse campus and stage.It gives these children a real-life experience, working with professional mics/makeup/wigs as well as the professional Ogunquit Playhouse Crew. As of 2016, the Workshop program has come back, providing students an ability to work on specific parts of the theater world.

Education and outreach[edit]

With the expansion of the season from 10 to 24 weeks, the Playhouse was able to offer more educational opportunities to middle and high school children. With the children's theater program and at least one kid-friendly performance each year, students are able to see Broadway-quality shows and meet the actors backstage in a professional theater close to home.



The Ogunquit Playhouse was established by Walter and Maude Hartwig in 1933 in a renovated garage in the center of Ogunquit, Maine. As part of the Little Theatre Movement of the 1920s and early 30s, Walter Hartwig organized an annual theatre tournament in New York. When the Depression put an end to the tournament, Hartwig started the Manhattan Theatre Colony and brought it to the town of Ogunquit. In 1937, the theatre moved to a new building at its present-day location on Main Street in Ogunquit, Maine. The Ogunquit Playhouse was the first, and remains the only, summer theatre from the summer stock era built exclusively as a seasonal theatre. After Walter's death in 1941, Maude carried on his legacy at the Playhouse.[3]


In 1950, John Lane became the general manager and eventually took ownership of the Playhouse with his business partner, Henry Weller. Together they focused on modernizing and improving the building and grounds, and through John Lane's direction, audiences enjoyed the brightest stars and finest professional actors performing in Broadway's best shows. After a long and successful career, John Lane retired in 1994. He transferred ownership to the Ogunquit Playhouse Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation that currently oversees the Ogunquit Playhouse. John Lane died in 2000.[3]


In September 1999, Roy M. Rogosin was hired as Producing Artistic Director to help usher the Playhouse towards a new era. During this transition, the playhouse began producing its own shows, designing and building sets, designing costumes and bringing back the stars. The old Manhattan Theatre Colony building was restored as a rehearsal space. At the same time, the Children's Theatre Program began, and continues today. The program provides a number of educational opportunities for children and teens interested in theatre, both as performers and behind-the-scenes.[3]


In 2006, Bradford Kenney came on board as the new Executive Artistic Director. With his guidance the Playhouse continued a tradition of excellence, bringing regional premieres and stars of the stage and screen to Ogunquit. With help from grants from the Maine Arts Commission and the Donato J. Tramuto Foundation, improvements were made to both the sound and lighting systems. Audiences were growing, and soon the theatre expanded from a 10-weeks to a 21-week season. In 2010, a new steel support system for the stage house section of the theatre was installed to support the building and a new rigging system. In 2013, a state-of-the-art sprinkler system was installed.[3]

75th Diamond Jubilee Anniversary Season

The Ogunquit Playhouse celebrated its 75th year in 2007 with seven shows that performed to record-breaking audiences. The season included a revival of 2006's Menopause the Musical, The Full Monty (musical) with Hunter Foster and Sally Struthers, Crazy for You (musical) with Rue McClanahan, La Cage aux Folles, The King and I with Lorenzo Lamas, Hairspray (musical), and closed with a revival of The Full Monty (musical) with Hunter Foster and Sally Struthers.[3]

80th Anniversary Season

The Playhouse celebrated 80 years in theatre with the most successful season to-date that included Sally Struthers in Always, Patsy Cline and 9 to 5 (musical), Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific (musical), Carson Kressley in Damn Yankees (musical) The Boston Red Sox Version, and Ballroom with a Twist featuring celebrity pros and talents from Dancing with the Stars, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, including Anna Trebunskaya and Jonathan Roberts. The season closed with what became the theatre's most popular musical ever, Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story starring Kurt Jenkins. The demand was so high that the show was brought back the following year as the season closer.[3] This feat was achieved again two years later with the Playhouses production of Million Dollar Quartet.[4]


Shows by season for the last 11 seasons:

* - Brought back by popular demand

** - Regional premiere of production

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
Mamma Mia! Let It Be: Music of the Beatles Sister Act Grease The Rat Pack is Back Always, Patsy Cline Avenue Q The Drowsy Chaperone A Chorus Line Fiddler on the Roof Menopause the Musical (revival) Beehive, The 60s Musical
Bullets Over Broadway Anything Goes Victor/Victoria Billy Elliot Thoroughly Modern Millie South Pacific Summer of Love The Sound of Music SHOUT! The Mod Musical The Producers The Full Monty Cabaret
Ragtime The Hunchback of Notre Dame** Nice Work if You Can Get It Mary Poppins Young Frankenstein Ballroom with a Twist The Music Man Sunset Blvd Guys and Dolls Breaking Up is Hard To Do Crazy for You Cinderella
Heartbreak Hotel** Priscilla, Queen of the Desert** Million Dollar Quartet The Witches of Eastwick Joseph... Damn Yankees Legally Blonde the Musical Spamalot Singin' in the Rain My Fair Lady La Cage aux Folles Hello, Dolly!
From Here to Eternity** Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Saturday Night Fever The Addams Family Ballroom with a Twist 9 to 5 the Musical Miss Saigon Chicago All Shook Up Les Miserables The King and I Menopause, the Musical
White Christmas Million Dollar Quartet* West Side Story Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story Disney's High School Musical Disney's High School Musical Hairspray
Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story* The Full Monty (revival)


Stars that have appeared at the Ogunquit Playhouse includes the following:[5]

Awards and Recognitions[edit]

New England Theatre Conference (NETC)[edit]

  • Moss Hart Award for West Side Story (2013) [6]
  • Moss Hart Award for Best Professional Production in New England for The Music Man (2011)
  • Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Theatre (2010)

Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards[edit]

South Pacific (2012)

  • Best Musical (nomination)
  • Best Ensemble (nomination)
  • Best Actress in a Musical - Jennie Sophia as Nelly Forbush (nomination)
  • Best Actor in a Musical - Branch Fields as Emile deBecque (nomination)
  • Best Director - Shaun Kerrison (nomination)
  • Best Choreographer - Victor Wisehart (nomination)
  • Best Set Design - Michael Yeargan (nomination)
  • Best Sound Design - Jeremy Oleksa (nomination)
  • Best Musical Direction - Ken Clifton (nomination)

Miss Saigon (2011) (nominations)

Spamalot (2010)

  • Best Choreography - Casey Nicolaw (nomination)

Sunset Boulevard (2010)

  • Best Musical (nomination)
  • Best Actress in a Musical - Stefanie Powers (nomination)
  • Best Actor in a Musical - Todd Gearhart (nomination)
  • Best Ensemble (nomination)
  • Best Set Design - Todd Edward Ivins (nomination)
  • Best Lighting Design - Richard Latta (nomination)
  • Best Costume Design - Anthony Powell (nomination)
  • Best Musical Direction - Ken Clifton (nomination)
  • Best Director - Shaun Kerrison (nomination)

My Fair Lady (2009)

  • Best Musical (nomination)
  • Best Actor in a Musical - Jefferson Mays (nomination)
  • Best Costume Design - Gregory Poplyk (nomination)
  • Best Choreography - Jennifer Werner (nomination)
  • Best Music Director - Catherine Stornetta (nomination)
  • Best Director - Shaun Kerrison (nomination)

Singin' in the Rain (musical) (2009)

  • Best Supporting Actor in a Musical - Jon Peterson (nomination)
  • Best Choreography - Jayme McDaniel (nomination)

BroadwayWorld.com Maine Awards[edit]

Billy Elliot the Musical (2014) [7]

  • Best Musical
  • Best Actor in a Play - Noah Parets
  • Best Choreography - Adam Pelty
  • Best Dance Performance in a Musical - Noah Parets
  • Best Director (play or musical) - BT McNicholl
  • Best Ensemble Performance in a Play or Musical
  • Best Vocal Performance in a Musical - Noah Parets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2013) [8]

  • Best Musical
  • Best Actor in a Musical - Clay Aiken
  • Best Actress in a Musical - Keala Settle
  • Best Choreography - Jayme McDaniel
  • Best Director (play or musical) - Jayme McDaniel
  • Best Costume Design (play or musical) - Dustin Cross
  • Best Ensemble Performance in a Play or Musical
  • Best Lighting and/or Sound Design - Eric Martin
  • Best Scenic Design (play or musical) - Geof Dolan
  • Best Vocal Performance in a Musical - Clay Aiken

ecomaine Awards[edit]

  • eco-Excellence Community Award for the town of Ogunquit* [9]


External links[edit]