We greatly admire The Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Massachusetts, which opened in 1927—the very first summer playhouse! We at the Theatre Guild followed their arrival in 1931 with the opening of the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Connecticut. Through the years we have produced many plays together, and have served on many summer playhouse councils together. They are a great example of American Theatre at its best!
In the 1920s, founder Raymond Moore wanted to create a summer theatre close to Boston and the more affluent Cape communities. He purchased 3 ½ acres of land fronting the Old King’s Highway in Dennis and found the abandoned 19th century Nobscussett meetinghouse located in another part of Dennis.Amazingly, Moore had the large meetinghouse hauled down the road and placed on its present site.
Before air conditioning, New York was unbearable in the summer. The theatres would close and people escaped the heat by traveling to the coastal resorts. By offering actors the prospect of paid summer work in a professional theatre, away from the heat of New York City, Moore convinced the big name stars to come perform at the new theatre. [from The Cape Playhouse website]
The Cape Playhouse is having a party celebrating their anniversary on August 16, 2015 from 6-8pm. If you live near or are visiting the Cape and would like to attend the event, click on the invitation below!
You can read more about The Cape Playhouse history on their website.