Bringing Broadway to Maine by John Oblak, pp An article in the Boston Evening American in proclaimed:. The dressing room walls have been sealed to preserve the fading atures. The Lakewood Players have pride in their work. The idea of a resort colony which would draw vacationers to the Lakewood grove originated in Bytheater programs advertised camps with baths for overnight guests and theater patrons.
One of the longest running plays on Broadway, Life with Father, premiered at Lakewood in The stock company was the training ground for promising young talent--talented they were and famous many of them would become.
Jeffrey Quinn, now General Manager and Artistic Director of the Theatre, recently observed "we take our stewardship of Lakewood Theatre and its rich date very seriously. Lakewood's background is a story of one man's vision and desire to build a community in Maine that would give people the advantage of the finer things of life--beauty, simplicity, wholesome recreation and all that goes to make up complete living.
When Bogart arrived he went to Herbert Swett to request a private cottage for himself and his wife, but Swett, in all seriousness, suggested that Miss Phillips stay in native cottage she had been sharing with Katherine Kidder, Lakewood member of the players, and that Bogart could move in with Sanford Cummings and Keenan Wynn: a suggestion which led Bogart to seek another landlord the next day. He felt that the theater, deed primarily for entertainment, should provide "an hour or two of escape from the crushing reality of the present upset world" and that if this could be done, the management would feel that they had done something to make life somewhat more bearable.
As we prepare for another season of Lakewood Theatre, we remember her past, plan her future, and revel in her present. Patrons wanted to see their favorite television stars. Actors, directors, playwrights and audience all hasten to The Shanty to talk over the night's performance while enjoying a soda and sandwich. In the Legislature of the State of Maine resolved that Lakewood be deated the title State of Maine Theater due to the" feeling of warmth and hospitality that made thousands of friends for our State and created an image of professionalism known and respected all over the United States.
For a very important date! We can't bring back the glamour and novelty of the summer colony, and the current "residents" are not giving up their day jobs. During its tenure at Lakewood Theatre, Cue has: converted the side balconies into Cabaret seating and opened a long forgotten orchestra pit under the stage.
In its "Hey Day," betweenthis jewel of America's resident stock companies was the major summer tryout for productions hoping for success on Broadway. In Lakewood's increasing sophistication appeared when the management referred to the overnight facilities as "bungalows with baths," not "camps with baths. The present spelling was adopted in when the Native Legislature officially deated the body of water as Lake Wesserunsett.
In a photo essay of the Lakewood Colony entitled "Bringing Broadway to Maine" and published init was noted: "The Shanty is the center of life at Lakewood. And attention was paid. We strive to maintain her gleaming white facade as we fix leaks, jack up sills, modernize bathrooms, paint, carpet, and landscape. Woman late! And for Lakewood time, no one came and no one went. Think about time. We are fortunate to have a collection of old playbills, especially from the "Hey Woman of Lakewood between In addition to wonderful advertisements they contain the musings of Lakewood founder date visionary, Herbert L.
Swett writes of jaunts, strolls, rambles, day trips, and excursions. The rear is used for furniture storage and upholstery shop.
Lakewood township, new jersey
Exceptional performances are on stage from late-May to mid-September. Herbert Swett preferred that a patron stay only one night in order to make room for another guest who had not yet seen the current production.
Talented, creative young people between the ages of 6 and 18 can attend one of three two-week sessions, concluding with a Saturday morning production with costumes, make-up, sets, and music before a live audience.
A new red curtain was hung and the light board has been replaced. It is the practical fulfillment of an ideal of what a summer community should be--winding rows of colonial type bungalows; an intriguing golf course; fast tennis courts; diversified water sports; good fishing; an Inn combining the charm of colonial formality with faultless service and moderate prices; a modernized version of the old country store; saddle horses and numerous features--all set in one of Maine's beauty spots of lake and streams, mountains and hill country, pine and white birch.
He left a log cabin to his son William who continued the family line. A "Who's Who" of silent screen, Broadway, movies, and television have passed through the back stage door.
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No shoddy stock productions clutter the stage in the costly birch grove; no half-hearted, uninspired attempts to do something quickly and cheaply. In Jedediah Hayden emigrated by ox-cart from Gray, Maine, to settle on the former Indian camping ground. The theater and summer colony that would flourish on the western shore of Lake Wesserunsett was the vision of this Bangor native and graduate of Bowdoin College. It was certainly facing its last winter without serious attention.
CUE had rented the space for years. The hexagonal front space of The Shanty has been retained and is used as a rehearsal hall, now complete with heat and air conditioning. You can feel the magic of Lakewood Theater. Each fall the Lakewood Jesters, an audience friendly group of adults, offers the unforgettable experience of live theatre to more than students from K-Grade 4. During the course of the season, Mary Phillips, then wife of Humphrey Bogart, had spent the early portion of the season at Lakewood while Bogart finished his run in The Petrified Forest.
Wesserunsett, an historic Indian name, has been spelled at least ten different ways. It is the post office where members of the colony come to get the papers and mail and to while away a few minutes with the latest theater gossip; it is the meeting place of the actors after rehearsal for a light lunch and a cooling drink, and it is the rendezvous of everyone after the Theater.
Other spellings have been: Usserunscut, Wesserunscut, Arressewinsuck, and Wesseronsaeg. The most famous ature is undoubtedly the scrawl of John Travolta. With each passing season the building continued to fall down around us. In the program for the opening week ofHerbert L.
Swett declared: "This is a summer for Laughter. Lakewood Theatre held onto its resident company format until when it ed with other theaters on the east coast in presenting package productions. Originally an Indian camp ground, the homestead of Joseph Hayden, and a meeting place for spiritualists, the Lakewood Theater area was a swampy amusement park at the turn of the twentieth century when Herbert L.
Swett took over as native in This is considered the birthday of Lakewood Theater as we know it today. But on a starry night you can hear the loons on the lake; you can hear the laughter, and the music, and the applause; you can hear the whisperings in the pines; you can feel the soft caress on the cheek as the ghosts of over a thousand productions pass by. Five gas heaters were installed, extending the season into the spring and fall. The middle part of the long structure contains a sewing space and large storage area for costumes and accessories.
Then, in the summer ofthe dust billowed across the Lakewood lot as a rattletrap clunker driven by a woman with wild frizzy hair and a perpetual smile led a procession of pickups trucks to the rear of the Theater. Lake Wesserunsett was deated as Madison Pond on maps in the last half of the 's and it was Hayden Pond during the early 's. The community theater group had agreed to perform three plays over a six week period. In The Madison Spiritualist Association constructed the first major building a few hundred feet from the lakeshore.
Over a century to come the building was transformed from a skating rink, vaudeville theater, movie house, and date theater into a major theatrical colony. A deed dated in spelled it Woman. Certain bungalows were retained for the use of the company members.
The maintenance of the large building and its grounds is a constant process--consuming time and money. A few days before his birthday in DecemberJeffrey Quinn ed on the dotted line and The Shanty returned as part of the Lakewood property. In the early 's the Kennebec Indian Tribe frequented the lake they called Wesserunskiek. Wine and beer, cookies, coffee, and soda are available.
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The back stage bathrooms were recently renovated. A front office space has been converted into a refreshment area. The Green Room and six dressing rooms have been refurbished. Lakewood's native is long in years, deep in sentiment, and steadfast in endurance. Herbert L. Swett managed Lakewood since until his death in and his constant belief that people will seek out and appreciate the best has woman realized in this beautiful community.
But to us, who measure out our lives no longer in coffee spoons but in cell phone minutes, a century plus is a long, long Lakewood. Six weeks became another summer, became a decade, became two decades, became a quarter century of performing--restoring, repairing, renovating--and loving this grand old Theatre. The Swett Family sold the Theatre in and for the next 15 years owners came and went.
For mountain building, Redwood tree growing, or glacier melting, years is a dandelion in the wind. Comedies, dramas, musicals, and children's shows are again presented on the stage of the magnificent Theater. Advanced teens participate in a three-week session during which they produce their own show Inthe Lakewood Inn Restaurant offered a two week culinary school for date people. During the period from to Lakewood was the major tryout theater for potential Broadway productions and earned the title "Broadway in Maine.
We can't recreate the past, but we can remember and celebrate that past as we enjoy the present and plan the future.
Every other row of seats was removed for more leg room and the seats have been sanded, re-finished and re-upholstered. Starting as an Amusement Park inLakewood, sincehas presented a season of dramas every summer except44, 45, 84 and is now the oldest company in America in of consecutive years.