Ogunquit Playhouse

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]

Ogunquit Playhouse
Ogunquit Playhouse.jpg
Ogunquit Playhouse is located in Maine
Ogunquit Playhouse
Ogunquit Playhouse is located in the United States
Ogunquit Playhouse
Location10 Main Street (US 1),
Ogunquit, Maine
Coordinates43°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
Area4.1 acres (1.7 ha)
ArchitectWyckoff, Alexander
Architectural styleColonial Revival
NRHP reference No.95001458[1]
Added to NRHPDecember 14, 1995


The Ogunquit Playhouse produces five or 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 ProgramEdit

The Children's Theatre Program began in the late 1990s, with programs on the Playhouse campus and stage.



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 with Hunter Foster and Sally Struthers, Crazy for You with Rue McClanahan, La Cage aux Folles, The King and I with Lorenzo Lamas, Hairspray, and closed with a revival of The Full Monty 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, Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, Carson Kressley in Damn Yankees 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 13 seasons:

* - Brought back by popular demand

** - Regional premiere of production

***- Play, not a musical

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Beehive, the 60s Musical Menopause The Musical


Fiddler on the Roof A Chorus Line The Drowsy Chaperone Avenue Q Always, Patsy Cline
Cabaret The Full Monty The Producers SHOUT! The Mod Musical The Sound of Music Summer of Love South Pacific
Cinderella Crazy for You Breaking Up is Hard To Do Guys and Dolls Sunset Boulevard The Music Man Ballroom with a Twist
Hello, Dolly! La Cage aux Folles My Fair Lady Singin' in the Rain Spamalot Legally Blonde Damn Yankees
Menopause The Musical The Kings and I Les Misérables All Shook Up Chicago Miss Saigon 9 to 5 the Musical
Hairspray High School Musical High School Musical
The Full Monty


2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
The Rat Pack is Back Grease Sister Act Let It Be: Music of the Beatles Mamma Mia! Smokey Joe's Cafe Jersey Boys*
Thoroughly Modern Millie Billy Elliot the Musical Victor/Victoria Anything Goes Bullets Over Broadway Oklahoma! 42nd Street
Young Frankenstein Mary Poppnins Nice Work if You Can Get It The Hunchback of Notre Dame** Ragtime An American in


Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat The Witches of Eastwick Million Dollar Quartet Priscilla, Queen of the Desert** Heartbreak Hotel** Grumpy Old Men: The Musical** Agatha Chrsties'

Murder on the Orient Express***

Ballroom with a Twist The Addams Family Saturday Night Fever Seven Brides for SevenBrothers From Here to Eternity** Jersey Boys** Menopause, the Musical
Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story West Side Story Million Dollar Quartet* White Christmas Elf the Musical Kinky Boots**
Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story


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

  • Clay Aiken - Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2013)
  • Lucie Arnaz
  • Ethel Barrymore
  • John Bolton - Dr. Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein (2013)
  • Patrick Cassidy - Sam in Mamma Mia (2017)
  • Bette Davis
  • Bradley Dean - Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (2016), Lt. Dana Holmes in From Here to Eternity (2017)
  • George Dvorsky - Billy Flynn in Chicago (2010)
  • Hunter Foster
  • Randy Harrison - Emcee in Cabaret (2019)
  • F. Michael Haynie - Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (2016)
  • Robyn Hurder - Karen Holmes in From Here to Eternity (2017)
  • Van Johnson
  • Paul Kreppel - Amos in Chicago (2010)
  • Carson Kressley - Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone (2010), The Devil in Damn Yankees (The Boston Red Sox Version) (2012)
  • Lorenzo Lamas - The King in The King and I (2007)
  • Myrna Loy
  • Andrea McArdle - Sally Bowles in Cabaret (2006), Fantine in Les Misérables (2008), Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes (2016)
  • Rue McClanahan - Crazy For You (2007)
  • Sydney Morton - Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (2016)
  • Vincent Pastore - Bullets Over Broadway (2017)
  • Stefanie Powers - starred in Sunset Boulevard (2010)
  • William Powell
  • Rachelle Rak - Velma in Chicago (2010)
  • John Rubenstein - Herr Schultz in Cabaret (2019)
  • Michael Rupert - Professor Callahan in Legally Blonde (2011)
  • Angie Schworer - Tonya in Mamma Mia (2017)
  • Peter Scolari - Harold Hill in The Music Man (2011)
  • Keala Settle - The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2013)
  • Charles Shaughnessy - King Arthur Spamalot (2010)
  • Kate Shindle - Sally Bowles in Cabaret (2019)
  • Rex Smith - Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music (2010)
  • Sally Struthers - The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (2005), Hello, Dolly! (2006), The Full Monty (2007), Fiddler on the Roof (2008), All Shook Up (2009), Matron "Mama" Morton in Chicago (2010), Louise Seger in Always, Patsy Cline and Roz in 9 to 5 the Musical (2012), Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie (2013), Felicia Gabriel in The Witches of Eastwick (2014), Duchess Estonia Dulworth in Nice Work if You Can Get It (2015), Evangeline Harcourt in Anything Goes (2016), Eden Brent in Bullets Over Broadway (2017), Punky Olander in Grumpy Old Men (2018), Maggie Jones in 42nd Street (2019)
  • Rachel York - Lady of the Lake in Spamalot (2010), Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street (2019)
  • Josh Young - Tateh in Ragtime (2017)

Awards and RecognitionsEdit

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) AwardsEdit

Ragtime (2017)[7]

  • Best Musical (nomination)
  • Best Ensemble (nomination)

Bullets Over Broadway (2017)

  • Best Musical (nomination)

Nice Work If You Can Get It (2015)

  • Best Musical (nomination)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (2015)

  • Best Lighting Design - Richard Latta (nomination)

Billy Elliot (2014)

  • Best Musical (nomination)
  • Best Ensemble (nomination)

Mary Poppins (2014)

  • Best Lighting Design - Richard Latta (nomination)

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 Lighting Design - Richard Latta (nomination)
  • Best Sound Design - Jeremy Oleksa (nomination)
  • Best Musical Direction - Ken Clifton (nomination)

Miss Saigon (2011) (nominations)

  • Best Musical (nomination)

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 AwardsEdit

Billy Elliot the Musical (2014) [8]

  • 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) [9]

  • 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 AwardsEdit

  • eco-Excellence Community Award for the town of Ogunquit* [10]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "2015 National Register of Historic Places Listing Raised Press Release". Archived from the original on 2015-01-22. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Playhouse History". Archived from the original on 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2013-11-01.
  4. ^ "Million Dollar Quartet (2016)". www.ogunquitplayhouse.org. Archived from the original on 2016-08-09. Retrieved 2016-08-05.
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-02. Retrieved 2013-11-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Ogunquit Playhouse honored with Moss Hart Award - Gate House".
  7. ^ IRNE Awards
  8. ^ Coverage, BWW Special. "2014 BroadwayWorld Maine Winners Announced - Noah Parets, Heidi Kettenring, Susan Finch & More!".
  9. ^ Coverage, BWW Special. "2013 BroadwayWorld Maine Awards Winners Announced - Clay Aiken, Keala Settle & More!".
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-01-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit