UP NEXT: Deertrees Theatre Ramps up Summer Entertainment

Deertrees Theate side view 2024 by Gail Phaneuf

McGRATHPR.com – Deertrees Theatre, Maine’s most enchanting playhouse, presents exceptional Lakes Region entertainment at 156 Deertrees Road, Harrison. Deertrees has served the Greater Maine region since 1936, offering an eclectic summer season of entertainment, featuring theatrical highlights, local art, dance, trivia shows, and a wide range of live music annually from June through early September.  Tickets and details at deertrees-theatre.org.

(L) On Golden Pond actors actor Phil Thompson (Norman) and Barb Stauble (Ethel), image by Craft and Field’s Aaron Skolfield,
(R) actors Phil Thompson (Norman) and Daniel Rennie (Billy), courtesy image

On Golden Pond – Fri., June 28, 7:30 pm, Sat., June 29, 7:30 pm, and Sun., June 30, 4 pm, $30

“On Golden Pond,” the beloved 1979 play by Ernest Thompson, explores the story of Norman and Ethel Thayer (featuring actors Phil Thompson and Barb Stauble), a couple on the “far end of middle age” who have returned to their cherished lake house on Golden Pond in Maine, for their 48th summer. Norman is in the early stages of memory loss, and Ethel is determined to have a wonderful summer, knowing this may be their last. A visit by daughter Chelsea, her new boyfriend Bill Ray and his son Billy Ray Jr. prompts the play’s exploration of the turbulent relationship Chelsea shared with her father growing up, and the struggles experienced in the family.  The multi-generational characters grapple with challenging family dynamics as old scars are laid bare. This timeless play explores love, loss, humor, and the complex relationships that define our fragile human condition.

“This play offers insight and humor from the perspectives of a young boy, a new middle-aged couple, and parents in their twilight years,” shares Deertrees’ Executive and Artistic Director Gail Phaneuf.  “There are elements of your life you thought would never change or evolve over time. At an age when adults no longer have a filter, or the physical abilities of youth, they attempt to reconcile where they stand in life’s journey and begin to let go.  Closure might not happen, but it can resolve in acceptance of the inevitable next stage of life.  Embrace it, because you only have today!” Also serving as the play’s director, Phaneuf relates deeply to the script, through decades of summers spent at her family’s own Crystal Lake-front retreat home.  She committed to produce this show after witnessing actor Phil Thompson (Norman) in a film noir musical.  Realizing he was perfect for the role, she engaged him for the production.  Phaneuf revels in the local cast, and its symbiotic connections, like actor Barb Stauble’s (Ethel) relationship to her grandson, also appearing in the ensemble as Billy Ray Jr.

“On Golden Pond” strongly resonates with the Deertrees’ Lakes Region community, many of whom have cherished their families’ multi-generation lake homes – that special place where they’ve gathered for years, enjoying the beauty and respite of Maine summers.  Deertrees is a perfect setting for this beloved story, nestled in a tiny Maine town between Long and Crystal Lakes. This “time capsule” play may seem disconnected to the universal modern sensibility, helming from its 1979 setting.  Nonetheless, it is an honest, snapshot in time and a portrayal of a family and a couple nearing the end of their chapter in a precious and magical place.

The local cast of “On Golden Pond” also features actors Allison Taber, Bob Sawyer, Daniel Rennie, Buddy Tucker, and the inimitable Sandy Swett as the quintessential Maine operator.  Directed by Gail Phaneuf. Cast bios, tickets, and details: deertrees-theatre.org/on-golden-pond.  Sponsored by Pine Tree Paving.

Kid’s Movie Day: The Goonies – Weds., July 3, 11 am, $5

For $5, kids and their families can enjoy the classic movie “The Goonies” on the big screen, with popcorn and a brief tour of the historic Deertrees Theatre.

Tartan Terrors at Deertrees Theatre, image by Ram Sport Entertainment

Tartan Terrors – a Celtic Invasion – Fri., July 5, and Sat., July 6, 7:30 pm, $35

Tartan Terrors bring their Celtic Invasion to Deertrees Theatre, blending the energy of a Celtic rock show with humor, stepdance and a fantastic sound that inspires audiences to jump out of their seats!  With a distinctive sound and a proud tradition of making Celtic music fun and accessible to any audience, the Terrors have played big stages across North America, including The Iridium, Times Square, NYC; Daryl’s House Club, Pawling, NY; Freeman Arts Pavilion, Selbyville, DE; Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival, Florence, MA; and The Celtic Music & Craft Beer Festival in Dunedin, FL. The Terrors will tear up the Deertrees stage and delight all audiences!  A perfect way to spend the 4th of July weekend in Maine! Sponsored by Migis Lodge and Relaxen Manor.

Tacos and Trivia – Tues., July 9, 6:30 pm, $25

Indulge in delicious tacos while testing your knowledge at Deertrees’ trivia night. Bring your appetite and your A-game for an evening filled with fun, food, and friendly competition in Deertrees’ cozy Salt Lick Café. Order tickets by July 5 to secure limited table seating at deertrees-theatre.org/tacos-and-trivia.  Don’t miss out on this spicy and brainstorming experience – a taco-filled fiesta and trivia showdown! Let’s taco ’bout it and have a great time, prizes will be awarded! 

Trivia emcee Travis Harden is a photographer, filmmaker, DJ, and teacher based in Central Maine. He has a variety of experience in these fields working on weddings, portraits, dances, business events, theater and dance performances, film sets and karaoke and trivia nights.

About Deertrees Theatre

A cultural mecca, Deertrees Theatre’s respite destination is nestled in Maine’s magical Lakes Region. Founded and built in 1936 as an opera house by prominent opera singer/director Enrica Clay Dillon, Deertrees Theatre has long been home to countless Broadway stars and local actors, world-acclaimed musicians, and aspiring students. Nestled in the beautiful foothills of Southern Maine’s Lakes Region in the community of Harrison, the picturesque property has historically served as a secluded retreat and cultural center for artists. The acoustically perfect theatre, set in its idyllic location, boasts a wood structure built from rose hemlock harvested on the property, featuring hand-carved beams, doors, trim, and light fixtures. The building, abundantly restored since 1990, is prominently featured on Maine’s State Register of Historic Landmarks and is a National Historic Landmark property.

Situated on an old deer run site, Deertrees Theatre enhances the beautiful forest set above the quaint Harrison village nestled between Long Lake and Crystal Lake. The certified nonprofit presents an eclectic summer season of theatrical productions, comedies, family entertainment, and a variety of musical concerts from late June through early September. Deertrees has been home to the Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival (SLLMF) on Tuesday evenings in July and August for 52 years.

Deertrees Theatre is located at 156 Deertrees Road, in Harrison, Maine. The theatre’s ticket prices include a $2 Heritage Fee that supports the ongoing restoration and improvements to the historic building. For more information, or to purchase tickets or season subscriptions, visit deertrees-theatre.org, email gail@deertrees.org.  For the latest, follow Deertrees Theatre on Facebook and Instagram.

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