Maine, New England – Maine Summer Theatre

Maine Summer Theatre

Summer theatre, often called “summer stock”, originated when those with influence decided to bring their own entertainment to the towns where they summered. Now, however, it is the visitors themselves who travel to towns throughout New England to see the musicals, dramas and Shakespearean productions that proliferate during the summer season.

If you are planning to be in Maine this summer, you can indulge your love of Shakespeare by seeing “King Lear,” “Cymbeline” or “Henry the 4th.” Or, check out Oliver or the original rock opera “The Boys From Swanville.” And, for those of you who have never had the experience, go see “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” All of these performances, and more, are part of Maine’s summer theatre season.

Lakewood Theatre

The Lakewood Theatre, on the shores of Lake Wesserunsett, near Skowhegan, is celebrating its hundred anniversary, and for generations, actors and actresses have been spending part of their summers performing at this renowned theatre. The 2001 season goes through September 13th and features “Oliver” in August, and “Over the River and Through the Woods” in early September. While you are there, dine at the Lakewood Inn Restaurant, which has been serving theatergoers, and performers, since 1927. There is even a table called the “Bette Davis Table.”

For information, (207)474-7176.

Penobscot Theatre Company

Bangor’s Penobscot Theatre Company’s Shakespeare Festival is the place to go for your summer dose of the Bard. Arrive early at the Festival’s “Waterfront Theatre” site, and enjoy the jugglers, singers, dangers and swordplay. This season, the Penobscot is offering “King Lear,” “Twelfth Night” and “Servant of Two Masters,” in repertory.

For information, (207)942-3333, 947-6618, Email:

The Theater at Monmouth, near Augusta, also has Shakespeare, plus other dramatic and comedic offerings. The season, which goes through August 25th, includes “Henry the 4th, Part I and II,” “Cymbeline”, Thornton Wilder’s “The Matchmaker,” from which “Hello Dolly” was adapted, and Noel Coward’s “Private Lives.” There are also performances of a one-hour, children’s version of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.”

For information (207)933-2952.

For a good meal before the performance, drop by Curly’s on Main Street, Monmouth, (207)933-2745. This restaurant offers hearty, family-style food and a comfortable atmosphere.

The Belfast Maskers

The Maskers are housed in the old Belfast train station, right next to the current station, on Front Street. The Maskers’ season runs through October, and includes some excellent productions. In July, the Maskers will be performing an original rock opera, “The Boy’s From Swanville.” In early August, for those of you who have never seen it, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” is a must see. And, the latter part of August will bring Christopher Durang’s truly funny “Baby with the Bathwater.”

Belfast Maskers, 43 Front Street, Belfast, Maine (207)338-9668.

While you are in Belfast, take a trip on the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad Company. It will remind you of the days when trains crisscrossed the state and you could take the train from New York City to Bar Harbor. That time will not be returning, but at least for a few hours this railroad, and the other short lines in the state, let you relax and enjoy the ride.

Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad Company

Belfast, Maine, 1-800-392-5500.