Penobscot Theatre Company celebrating 50 years in business

Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 5:52 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - “George Vafiadis started this company 50 years ago with the intent of building a strong and lasting relationship with the community. And I think that that’s really clear that he has done that in the way that people have continued to come and support the theater,” said Jonathan Berry, artistic director of Penobscot Theatre Company.

That support came through at a time when theaters all over struggled.

“Theaters all over the United States are reducing programming or are closing. We are not in that group. But for us to stay out of that group. We need what we’ve always had from Bangor and beyond, which is like incredible support,” said Jen Shepard, executive director of Penobscot Theatre Company.

As live entertainment returned to the stage, so did people to the seats.

“We saw people coming back with “Mary Poppins.” Seven thousand people came and saw that show and we hope that trend continues for the season because we have some great we have some great stuff planned for the 50th,” said Shepard.

And to celebrate that 50 years, Penobscot Theatre Company is bringing back some old favorites as well as some brand new shows.

“We have three shows that are from our past and three shows that are new to our audiences,” said Shepard.

“One of the big shows we’re bringing back is “A Christmas Carol” which I think people will be really excited about,” Shepard added.

The celebration goes beyond the show schedule.

Events like script readings and even a costume gala hope to bring the community together that kept the theater alive for 50 years.

As Penobscot Theatre Company looks towards the next 50 years.

“Through a whole bunch of different opportunities to get people to kind of come through our door and re-experience the Opera House in a different kind of way and re-experience and re-engage with Penobscot Theatre Company. So I’m excited for all of that and just to see sort of where, where we grow,” said Berry.