Tickets Available at:
(June - August)
The Boothbay Playhouse traces its origins to 1937, when H. Osgood Lacount purchased the Jasper
Wyman farm on Route 27 and in April of that year H. Sherman, contractor, began construction.
The theater could seat more than 300 and incorporated many features unusual for summer
theater at that time including fly space, a pin rail, an elaborate trap-door section in the stage and
large doors at the rear of the stage that could be rolled back to allow the outdoors to become a
part of the performance. At the time the Boothbay Playhouse was considered one of the best
designed summer theaters in New England. Lacount's son, Sherwood Keith Lacount, and Joseph
Celi, both from Massachusetts, opened the theater on July 1, 1937 with Eugene O'Neil's Ah
Wilderness. Except for the years 1943 and 1944, the theater operated under the direction of
Sherwood Keith and during his last few seasons as producer, community theater groups from
around New England were brought in to perform.
View from the stage, 1938
In 1956 the Playhouse was sold to Franklyn Lenthall, Jill McAnney and James Wilmot and they
opened on July 2 of that year with the play The Reluctant Debutante by William Douglas Home.
In 1964 Lenthall and Wilmot purchased the financial interest of Jill McAnney and renovated the
building and grounds, adding a new wing housing public restrooms, a refreshment area and
rehearsal space. They ran the Playhouse with a company of resident professional actors, and
many young actors would spend a summer at the Playhouse before continuing on to successful
careers in television and film.... Christopher Reeve, Tom Hulse, Maeve McGuire and Polly Holliday
to name only a few. The Playhouse season extended nine weeks each summer with a different
show presented each week and, as the Artistic Director, Lenthall directed over 172 plays.
However the cost of running the theater became too much for Lenthall and Wilmot.
They closed the 37th season of the Boothbay Playhouse on August 31, 1974 with Finishing
Touches by Jean Kerr.
After 1974, the Playhouse saw several ownership changes. At various different times it was run
as a restaurant, a rental venue for weddings and parties, "Miss Daisy's Petting Zoo", and a locally
infamous bar/nightclub. During this time the theater seats were removed, the floor was leveled
and the actors dressing rooms in the basement under the stage were converted into stalls.
Each time the Playhouse changed hands a little more of its 'theater ambiance' was lost.
Then in 2001 the Y-Arts Youth Chorus, an arts extension of the local YMCA, began renting the
Playhouse for their musical theater productions and concerts. Constructing a temporary stage
each time they performed, ducking through storeroom doorways to enter and exit the stage,
and running around the outside of the building to make an entrance from the other side of the
stage, it was makeshift to say the least. But it was also the start of a re-awakening of community
interest in the Playhouse as a theater venue. In November of 2005, Dean and Susan Domeyer
purchased the Playhouse and began renovations to return the space to its original purpose.
A new permanent stage was constructed, with wing space and access to both sides of the stage.
Tiered seating for the audience improved sightlines, and a new green room and dressing rooms
were constructed for the actors. Using both community players and young professionals just
starting their careers, the Boothbay Playhouse celebrated its re-opening on June 2, 2006.