New England

New England Summer Playhouses & Theaters

If it’s quality summer stock theatre you’re looking for, you’ve found it. Here’s our list of some of the best summer playhouses and theaters in New England.

By Chris Burnett

Jul 01 2022

ogunquit-summer-playhouses

The Yankee Guide to New England Summer Playhouses & Theaters

Photo Credit : Boston Public Library

No matter if it’s in an old, renovated barn in the boonies or in a brick theater downtown, summer stock theatre is a beloved seasonal pastime that’s especially popular in New England. The region is home to some of the oldest and most-respected summer playhouses in the country, and these theaters put on a wide range of shows—from comedies to operettas. We’ve put together a list of some of the best summer playhouses and theaters in New England.

New England Summer Playhouses & Theaters

Connecticut Summer Playhouses & Theaters

Ivoryton Playhouse

Known as the first self-supporting summer theater in the country, the Ivoryton Playhouse produces quality theater from spring to fall.
103 Main St., Ivoryton, CT. 860-767-7318; ivorytonplayhouse.org.

Sharon Playhouse

The Sharon Playhouse presents acclaimed plays and musicals on its stages throughout the summer months. After each performance, late-night cabarets are offered outside on the theater’s open-air patio.
49 Amenia Rd., Sharon, CT. 860-364-7469; sharonplayhouse.org.

Westport Country Playhouse

The Westport Country Playhouse was revitalized in 2000, making the theater into a modern beauty. The playhouse’s performers put on a number of plays and musicals all summer long.
25 Powers Court, Westport, CT. 203-227-4177; westportplayhouse.org.

Maine Summer Playhouses & Theaters

Acadia Repertory Theatre

The Acadia Repertory Theatre, located only 20 minutes outside Bar Harbor, puts on a wide variety of plays during its summer season, which runs from June to September.
1154 Main St., Mt. Desert, ME. 207-244-7260; acadiarep.com.

Deertrees Theatre

From June to August, the Deertrees Theatre offers plays and other performances in a historic theater designed in the 1930s with acoustics specifically in mind.
156 Deertrees Rd., Harrison, ME. 207-583-6747; deertrees-theatre.org.

Hackmatack Playhouse

The Hackmatack Playhouse puts on its shows in a beautifully renovated barn from the early twentieth century. It offers an authentic, small-town summer theater experience.
538 School St., Berwick, ME. 207-698-1807; hackmatackplayhouse.org.

Lakewood Theater

In operation since 1901 and designated the State Theater of Maine in 1967, the Lakewood Theater presents a variety of shows every summer from May to September on its beautiful and historic grounds.
76 Theatre Rd., Madison, ME. 207-474-7176; lakewoodtheater.org.

Maine State Music Theatre

Performing at the Pickard Theater on the grounds of Bowdoin College, the Maine State Music Theatre presents a generous selection of dazzling musical productions from June to September.
Pickard Theater, 1 Bath Rd., Brunswick, ME. 207-725-8769; msmt.org.

Ogunquit Playhouse

The beautifully unique playhouse, combined with the excellent productions put on within it, make for an unforgettable experience at the Ogunquit Playhouse—one of the oldest summer theaters in the nation.
10 Main St., Ogunquit ME. 207-646-5511; ogunquitplayhouse.org.

Massachusetts Summer Playhouses & Theaters

Barrington Stage Company

The Barrington Stage Company presents its plays and musicals to great acclaim at its two performance locations—both of which are located in the heart of downtown Pittsfield.
30 Union St., Pittsfield, MA. 413-236-8888; barringtonstageco.org.

Berkshire Theater Group

In Stockbridge, the Fitzpatrick Main Stage is an iconic 1928 venue that brings in classical productions and world premieres every summer, while the smaller Unicorn Theatre presents experimental and avant-garde work. In Pittsfield, the Colonial Theatre is the go-to for summer musicals.
83 E. Main St., Stockbridge; 6 East St., Stockbridge; 111 South St., Pittsfield. 413-997-4444; berkshiretheatregroup.org

The Cape Playhouse

The Cape Playhouse—gracing Cape Cod with its exceptional productions since 1927—has been the summer workspace of a number of famous Broadway actors and actresses throughout its storied past.
820 Main St., Dennis, MA. 877-385-3911; capeplayhouse.com.

Chester Theatre Company

The Chester Theatre Company prides itself in presenting contemporary and pensive productions that will surely leave you both entertained and in deep thought.
Chester Town Hall, 15 Middlefield Rd., Chester, MA. 413-354-7771; chestertheatre.org.

The College Light Opera Company

Providing southern Cape Cod with musicals and operettas throughout the summer, the College Light Opera Company is known to be a great source of high-quality musical entertainment.
58 Highfield Drive, Falmouth, MA. 508-548-0668; collegelightoperacompany.com.

Gloucester Stage Company

The Gloucester Stage Company performs a variety of captivating productions in a theater located right on the shore of Smith Cove.
267 East Main St., Gloucester, MA. 978-281-4433; gloucesterstage.com.

Priscilla Beach Theater

Started in 1937, the Priscilla Beach Theater is one of the oldest barn summer stock venues in the country and its alumni list includes such notables as Paul Newman, Jean Seberg, Albert Brooks, Rob Reiner, and Jennifer Coolidge. Each season runs from May to October and features six shows.
800 Rocky Hill Rd., Plymouth, MA. 508-224-4888; pbtheater.org.

Shakespeare & Company

Founded in 1978, Shakespeare & Company has educated performers and entertained audiences with seasonal shows on a campus featuring five unique performance venues.
70 Kemble St., Lenox, MA. 413-637-3353; shakespeare.org.

Theatre Workshop of Nantucket

Since 1956, the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket has provided quality summer entertainment for both guests and inhabitants of the popular vacation spot.
62 Centre St., Nantucket, MA. 508-228-4305; theatrenantucket.org.

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Every summer, the Williamstown Theatre Festival hosts a variety of both new and old plays featuring award-winning actors who are sure to entertain.
’62 Center for Theatre and Dance,1000 Main St., Williamstown, MA. 413-458-3200; wtfestival.org.

New Hampshire Summer Playhouses & Theaters

The Barnstormers

One of the oldest summer theaters in the country, The Barnstormers acquired its reputation for excellence by regularly putting on high-quality plays featuring talented actors.
104 Main St., Tamworth, NH. 603-323-8500; barnstormerstheatre.org.

Interlakes Summer Theatre

From June to August, the Interlakes Summer Theatre provides delightful musical theater productions in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.
1 Laker Lane, Meredith, NH. 603-707-6035; interlakestheatre.com.

New London Barn Playhouse

Founded in 1933, the New London Barn Playhouse is known for being the longest continuously operating summer stock theater in New Hampshire. A variety of musicals and plays can be enjoyed at the playhouse from June to September.
84 Main St., New London, NH. 603-526-6710; nlbarn.org.

Peterborough Players

A renovated eighteenth-century barn houses the Peterborough Players’ productions, acting as a rustic and unique backdrop for the theater’s plays, which the company has been putting on—to great acclaim—for nearly eight decades.
55 Hadley Rd., Peterborough, NH. 603-924-7585; peterboroughplayers.org.

The Players’ Ring Theatre

The Players’ Ring Theatre is housed in a nineteenth-century red brick building adjacent to the grounds of the Strawbery Banke Museum. Every late summer and fall, it offers a series of original plays in its intimate, 75-seat theater space.
105 Marcy St., Portsmouth, NH. 603-436-8123; playersring.org.

Weathervane Theatre

The number of plays the Weathervane Theatre puts on in a span of only a couple months is comparable to that of a theater twice its size. Rather than offer one play for a set number of weeks, this theater has a repertoire of plays—a selection of which it performs every week.
389 Lancaster Rd., Whitefield, NH. 603-837-9322 (summer only); weathervanenh.org.

Rhode Island Summer Playhouses & Theaters

Theatre by the Sea

This quaint theater, located only minutes from the Rhode Island coast, presents a series of musical performances and children’s theater from June to September.
364 Cards Pond Rd., Wakefield, RI. 401-782-8587; theatrebythesea.com.

Vermont Summer Playhouses & Theaters

Dorset Theatre Festival

Located in a rustic theater in a picturesque Vermont town, the Dorset Theatre Festival presents engaging summer theater from June to September.
104 Cheney Rd., Dorset, VT. 802-867-2223; dorsettheatrefestival.org.

Lost Nation Theater

The Lost Nation Theater in downtown Montpelier puts on a variety of compelling plays for both children and adults during its summer season.
39 Main St., Montpelier, VT. 802-229-0492; lostnationtheater.org.

Oldcastle Theatre Company

The Oldcastle Theatre Company offers both contemporary and classic productions in its downtown-Bennington theater throughout the summer.
331 Main St., Bennington, VT. 802-447-0564; oldcastletheatre.org.

Saint Michael’s Playhouse

Started in 1947, Saint Michael’s Playhouse is known to be a great source of theatrical entertainment for the greater Burlington area.
1 Winooski Park, Colchester, VT. 802-654-2281; saintmichaelsplayhouse.org.

Weston Playhouse

The Weston Playhouse’s beautifully-designed, Greek revival theater is a sight to behold. A wide variety of plays are performed on the playhouse’s stage throughout the summer.
703 Main St., Weston, VT. 802-824-5288; westontheater.org.

Where is your favorite New England summer playhouse?

This post was first published in 2016 and has been updated. 

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