For the second year in a row, the Ogunquit Playhouse has won a prestigious regional award that recognizes artistic excellence.

The theater, which will mark its 80th season in 2012, received the Moss Hart Award for Best Professional Production in New England for its summer 2011 version of “The Music Man.”

The award recognizes outstanding theatrical productions throughout New England. In 2010, Ogunquit won a Moss Hart Award for outstanding achievement as a theater company.

“I am thrilled that the Ogunquit Playhouse is getting this kind of attention,” said the theater’s executive artistic director, Bradford Kenney. “The theater deserves it. It has a storied past.”

The New England Theatre Conference gives the awards annually. The awards honor the memory of Moss Hart, the Broadway director who was best known for directing “My Fair Lady” in 1956. He won a Tony Award for his work on that show, which ran for seven years.

Hart was married to actress Kitty Carlisle, who was closely associated with Ogunquit. She performed at the Ogunquit Playhouse and was a close friend of Ogunquit Playhouse’s founder, John Lane.

Carlisle, who died in 2007, last appeared on the Ogunquit stage in 2000 during a benefit for Lane.

Kenney accepted the award from Catherine Hart, the daughter of Hart and Carlisle. “We think of Kitty as a cornerstone of the playhouse,” Kenney said. “She has passed on, but her daughter was there, and in that context it was very emotional. I think Kitty would be proud of this award.”

Under Kenney’s leadership, the playhouse has committed itself to staging Broadway-caliber shows. The Moss Hart award affirms the theater’s artistic excellence, Kenney said.

Kenney is still lining up next year’s shows, but several are confirmed, including “Always … Patsy Cline,” “9-to-5: The Musical” and “Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story.” Kenney is negotiating rights to “Damn Yankees,” among others.

“Damn Yankees” is set in Washington, D.C., in the 1950s, when the New York Yankees dominated baseball. If he receives permission, Kenney plans to adapt the story so it is set at Fenway Park in Boston.

“That would be really exciting,” he said. “Next year is the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park and our 80th, so it seems like a natural.”

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