Summer on the Maine coast means more than just beaches, lighthouse beacons and breaking into a fresh Maine lobster. You can add some culture to that side of Maine crustacean… after all summer stock theatre on the southern Maine coast is classic, and some of the best bands and performers come to the coast to host concerts and performances. Let’s just say it a good gig for the audience as well as the band.
Here are the top theaters and concert venues on the southern Maine coast:
The Ogunquit Playhouse got its start in 1933, in a garage, during the depression when Walter Hartwig brought the Manhattan Theatre Colony to Maine. In 1937, the playhouse moved to its current location on Maine Street, Route 1. In 1951, John Lane took the reins, before Bradford Kenney. The Ogunquit Playhouse brings top off Broadway productions and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
2020 is Ogunquit Playhouse 89th season!
Hackmatack Playhouse in Berwick was founded in 1972 as a classic summer stock theatre in a 1716 barn, the old Gupthill farm in pastoral south western Maine.
Vinegar Hill Music Theatre is Maine’s cool music venue, in the old Arundel Barn Playhouse near Kennebunk and Kennebunkport. The new name Vinegar Hill pays tribute to the history of this area in Arundel and the Smith Sister’s Farm. Tim Harrington (also of Kennebunkport Resort Collection) is the man behind the scenes as Vinegar Hill’s managing partner, with Broadway experienced George Dvorsky as Creative Director. Vinegar Hill will be more music venue than playhouse.
Portland Maine State Pier brings in top shelf bands in summer, open air with a view of the ocean.
At the Cross Insurance Center in Portland, aka the Portland Civic Center, you can see summer rock concerts, coutnry western and even the occasional ice show between hockey games in winter.
Kittery Star Theatre and Community Center is another cool venue for music, productions and theater camps.
So there are just a few fun performances and plays to mix in with your time at the Beach in York, Wells, Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, Old Orchard Beach and Portland Maine! May your summer be full of fun, music and theatre.
See our Southern Maine Coast lodging guide for lodging in Portland, Kennebunkport, Wells, Ogunquit, Kittery and York.