Classic musicals, contemporary dramas, as well as works by Shakespeare and Moliere are all part of the Maine theater landscape this summer.

Summer theater has a long tradition in Maine of providing entertainment to visitors and locals alike, often in vacation destinations.

On the south coast, there’s the Ogunquit Playhouse, in its 85th season. Nestled among small lakes in the center of the state is the Theater at Monmouth. The Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick is an easy drive for people vacationing in the midcoast, while Hackmatack Playhouse in Berwick is near the New Hampshire border.

Here is a sampling of what theaters are offering this summer.


Pickard Theater, 1 Bath Road, Brunswick, $46 to $80 most shows,

“Always … Patsy Cline,” June 7-24; “Guys and Dolls,” June 28-July 15; “Grease,” July 19-Aug. 5; “Disney’s Newsies,” Aug. 9-26

The season of shows on the main stage at MSMT starts with the musical biography of country music legend Patsy Cline, and it features three well-known musicals. There are other shows for shorter runs throughout the summer, including “Sleeping Beauty” on June 14 and 17, and “Alice in Wonderland” on Aug. 21. MSMT holds free “Peek Behind the Curtain” events at Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick at noon on the second Wednesday of each main stage show’s run. Hear actors, technicians and other crew members talking about each live show. The dates of the talks are June 14, “Always Patsy Cline”; July 5, “Guys and Dolls”; July 26, “Grease”; Aug. 16, “Newsies.”


10 Main St, Ogunquit, $52 to $107,

“Mamma Mia!,” through July 1; “Bullets Over Broadway,” July 5-29; “Ragtime,” Aug. 2-26; “Heartbreak Hotel,” Aug. 30-Sept. 30

The Ogunquit Playhouse has been putting on shows and drawing film and theater stars to Maine since 1933. The first show of the season, is “Mamma Mia!” which is filled with songs from ’70s pop superstars ABBA and performed by a cast of Broadway veterans. Jodie Langel, one of the leads, was Cosette in “Les Misérables,” and Angie Schworer was Ulla in “The Producers” with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. Patrick Cassidy, who plays Sam, played Frank Butler in a Broadway revival of “Annie Get Your Gun” and is the son of Broadway stars Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones.


Theater at Monmouth, 796 Main Street, Monmouth, $20 (students) to $32,

“Three Days of Rain,” July 1-Aug. 18; “The Learned Ladies,” July 6-Aug. 20; “Macbeth,” July 13-Aug. 18; “Othello,” July 20-Aug. 19; “Red Velvet,” July 27-Aug. 17; “My Father’s Dragon,” (family show) June 24-Aug. 17

Theater at Monmouth is calling the theme of this season “Power, Passion, and Privilege,” with plays that explore liberty, justice and equality. There’s a Maine premiere, “Red Velvet,” based on the life of Ira Aldridge, the first black man to portray Othello. “Othello” will be presented, too, as well as another Shakespeare play, “Macbeth.” For people who like the classics, there’s also Moliere’s “The Learned Ladies.” The family show, “My Father’s Dragon” is about a runaway baby dragon, and performances are all summer long. Tickets for that show are $10 to $15.


538 School St. (Route 9), Berwick, $10 (students) to $30,

“She Loves Me,” June 16-July 1: “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story,” July 5-22; “Steel Magnolias,” July 26-Aug 12; “The Fantasticks,” Aug. 16-Sept. 2

Owner and producer Michael Guptill helped his dad clean out the old family barn in Berwick 45 years ago, and the Hackmatack Playhouse was born. The playhouse has never presented three of the four shows on the schedule this year, while the musical love story “The Fantasticks” was part of its very first season in 1972. The theater is now undergoing renovations to make sight lines better in the front rows, Guptill said. And two Saturday matinée performances have been added for expected crowds clamoring to see “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.”


25 Forest Ave., Portland, $48 to $75,

“The All Night Strut,” Aug. 15-Sept. 10

The summer show at Portland Stage is a collaboration with Maine State Music Theatre. “The All Night Strut” is a musical celebration of the 1930s and ’40s, set in swanky nightclubs, that includes jazz, blues and American Songbook standards. Songs include “Minnie the Moocher,” “Fascinating Rhythm,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” and “As Time Goes By.”

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 210-1183 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @RayRouthier

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