When Broadway showman Walter Hartwig and his wife Maude opened the Ogunquit Playhouse in 1933, they likely never realized they were establishing a theatrical legacy. Then again, they might have had an inkling—from the very beginning, the playhouse hosted performances from luminaries including Ethel Barrymore, Bette Davis and Walter Matthau. Even today, it’s not unusual to see famous names and attached talents treading its historic boards, such as Stefanie Powers from Hart to Hart or Charles Shaughnessy from The Nanny. It’s all part of the theater’s mission to provide the best shows possible while promoting the local arts. Along with star-studded Broadway musicals, the stage hosts dance shows, children’s theater, and acting workshops for the next generation of spotlight-stealers.
Flagship Cinemas showcases new-release films in 11 theaters peppered across seven states, equipping each of its 103 screens with stadium seating and digital surround sound. Beyond providing family-friendly entertainment for more than 15 years, Flagship Cinemas strives to maintain a reputation as the "neighborhood theater" by ensuring each location has a presence in its surrounding community through contributions to local organizations. Flagship Cinemas also builds camaraderie with customers by offering free birthday visits and distributing fanatic cards, which guests can use to earn rewards such as free film tickets or an autographed photo of their favorite usher.
The intimate Headliners Comedy Club at The Gold Room seats guests at private tables to take in the quips of regularly performing comedians. During two-hour shows, three standups—including one national headliner—take the stage in turn. Onlookers can also enjoy pub-fare offerings from the kitchen, such as saucy chicken wings or classic sliders, to fuel belly laughs and distract mouths so they don't shout out premature punch lines.
The Acorn Acting Academy faculty exercises years of experience performing and teaching at reputable institutions that include off-Broadway theater and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. The team introduces children to on-stage performance with theater games, and expands the skills of adults through an array of classes. Beginner's acting courses teach students to intrepidly bare their creative souls in front of an audience, whereas Performance Intensive classes strengthen advanced thespians so they can deliver monologues, perform short scenes, and carry scripts carved into lead. Acorn Acting Academy also schedules writing classes that focus on themes such as enhancing writer-actor relations and penning soliloquies.
Acorn Acting Academy is run by Acorn Productions, a performing-arts organization that has been going strong for more than a decade. Its artists supply the people of southern Maine with a lens through which to view their emotions and proclivities for using the word "thee" via annual play festivals and theater series such as Naked Shakespeare.
Owner Geoff Houghton transformed an abandoned 1830s mill into a bustling pub on Factory Island, a place dominated for centuries by the iron and sawmill industries. Today, the only things milling there are Houghton's handcrafted beers, which flow from The Run of the Mill's 14 barrels straight into the bar's taps. These lagers, ambers, and cask-conditioned ales complement classic pub meals of wings, crab cakes, and burgers. The Run of the Mill also organizes a Mug Club, which awards guests who drink 300 of its beers in one year with a handmade ceramic mug, an official hat or T-shirt, and a heartfelt, bar-top eulogy to all the fallen hops.
Late Nite Catechism's solitary actress takes the role of Sister, a nun tasked with teaching an adult catechism class. The audience becomes the students as Sister engages an all-ages crowd with both fond and fearful memories of the classroom—asking questions and rewarding correctness with souvenirs and punishing faulty reasoning with derision and a barrage of flavorless rice cakes. As laughs permeate the 90 general-admission seats of Freeport Factory Stage's black box theater, parched learners can take solace in concessions such as beer, wine, soda, and snacks.