2023 – 24 Season

Welcome to our 33rd Season!

We have a great lineup of shows for you in 2023-24.

You can purchase a four-show Subscription for $125 and get a FREE Bonus Ticket! The Subscription includes one ticket to each of the following shows:

  • Paint Night by Carey Crim
  • Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help by Katie Forgette
  • Secret Hour by Jenny Stafford
  • Lunenburg by Norm Foster

Read more about Subscriptions here >>

2023 – 24 Season

Paint Night | Oct 20-29, 2023

Paint Night

by Carey Crim

October 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29 – 2023

A world premiere! Imagine Steel Magnolias with modern day issues, as six women get together for a much-needed girls’ night out. The plan is to eat, drink and create works of art at a local Paint and Sip night studio while celebrating a bride to be. But as the alcohol flows, so do their thoughts about motherhood and womanhood, and their carefully curated lives get hilariously and heartbreakingly real. Paint Night is about the powerful way women support each other in an unpredictable world and what happens when we put down our cellphones, truly connect, and paint outside the lines of our comfort zone.

My Witch: The Margaret Hamilton Stories | Nov 10-12, 2023

My Witch: The Margaret Hamilton Stories

by John Ahlin, performed by Jean Tafler

November 10, 11, 12 – 2023
*Sold separately from Subscriptions

In a delightful and spellbinding evening, Jean Tafler portrays Margaret Hamilton, whose Wicked Witch of the West has left an indelible mark on all of us. My Witch: The Margaret Hamilton Stories is the amazing tale of how a gentle kindergarten teacher from Cleveland became one of America’s favorite character actresses and scared the living daylights out of every one of us. Take a trip down memory lane from her home in Boothbay Harbor as she shares entertaining stories from her long career including the set of The Wizard of Oz.

A Christmas Carol | Dec 8-10, 2023

A Christmas Carol

adapted by Christopher Schario

December 8, 9, 10 – 2023
*Sold separately from subscriptions

This beloved Lewiston/Auburn holiday tradition returns to The Public Theatre! Six actors and a fiddler perform the Dickens out of this beloved holiday classic—in a way you’ve never imagined and will never forget. Children 18 and under only $15!

Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help | Jan 26 - Feb 4

Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help

by Katie Forgette

January 26, 27, 28 & February 1, 2, 3, 4 – 2024

Whether you grew up Catholic, lived through the 1970’s, or your family resembles the “fun” in dysfunctional – this nostalgic and heartfelt new comedy is for you! Travel back in time to a world before cellphones and social media when public ridicule in a hermetically sealed Catholic parish was the ultimate nightmare. It’s 1973 and the O’Shea family faces a comic crisis of biblical proportions when their 19-year-old daughter tells her younger sister about “the birds and the bees” and their bawdy conversation is overheard by the parish priest. Holy hell and hilarity break loose as the O’Shea’s band together to preserve their good name and prove that nothing is more sacred than family. Get ready for heartwarming laughter and all the polyester you can handle!

Secret Hour | March 15-24

Secret Hour

by Jenny Stafford

March 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24 – 2024

Is it possible to be your authentic self in a relationship if sharing your life with another person means having to compromise what you want? Like most married couples, Kate and Ben hold back being completely honest with each other to avoid conflict and feel loved. For fun, they invent a game called “Terrible Secret Hour” where they each confess an unflattering truth and promise to love one another regardless.  But is being truthful the same thing as being true to oneself? Thankfully their wise and hilarious handyman has a life coach certificate and is happy to help them navigate life’s tough spots. Entertaining, humorous, poignant, and thoughtful, you’ll be talking about this provocative new play all the way home.

Lunenburg | May 3-12, 2024

Lunenburg

by Norm Foster

May 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12 – 2024

It’s the perfect combination of mystery, comedy, and romance. When Iris’s husband is unexpectedly killed in a plane crash, her lawyer reveals she has inherited a beautiful home in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia – that she never knew existed! Setting out from her home in Brunswick, Maine with her best friend in tow, she begins a laugh-filled, poignant road trip North to unravel the mystery of her husband’s secret life. What follows is a series of gasp-worthy surprises, powerful personal transformations, and lots of funny flirting between her best friend and new neighbor. Don’t miss this intelligent comedy about accepting change and learning how to move forward by the author of the hit comedy The Ladies Foursome.

Cinderella | May 19, 2024

Cinderella

by Tanglewood Marionettes

May 19, 2024 at 2:00 pm

Tanglewood Marionettes’ award winning production of Cinderella is a classic fairy tale told with wit and style, sure to please audiences of all ages.

Set in the eighteenth century and featuring a dozen lavishly costumed 30” marionettes, the story unfolds as the pages of a giant book open to reveal a beautifully painted village square, rustic kitchen, magnificent ballroom, plus many more settings.

All your favorite characters are here, from gentle Cinderella to the silly stepsisters and the charming Prince, and yet we offer a few surprises. Cinderella’s conveyance to the ball is NOT the traditional horse-drawn coach, and, when all hope seems lost, a clever little bluebird saves the day!

Don’t miss this magical classic told in a way you’ve never seen before.

2022 – 2023 Season

Our 2022-23 Season ran from September 2022 - May 2023. Finally returning to our four-show subscription series, we produced a full season of shows and a family-friendly musical. Over 2,900 students, educators and families attended our production of Polkadots: The Cool...
Craig Bockhorn, Joych Cohen, Allison Briner Dardenne, Douglas Rees in Middletown

2021 – 2022 Season

A lot has changed in our world since we all sat together in the theatre. Thank you for your patience and support as we resume producing under these new conditions.

2020-21 30th Season - Loading . . .

2020 – 2021 Season

You’re probably wondering what’s happening at the theatre and when you’ll be able to see a play again. And the truth is, we are still figuring that out. Our ability to produce live on stage will depend upon the cost of meeting CDC guidelines, gaining permission from...

2019 – 2020 Season

“Women in Jeopardy” and “Sexy Laundry” get our season off to a terrific start and we break our previous box office set by “Ripcord” with the hit “Sexy Laundry.”

2018 – 2019 Season

It’s a season for partnerships as Janet is reunited with old friend and scene partner, Paul Schoeffler, for A Doll’s House, Part 2 and we co-produce Grease with Maine State Music Theatre.

2017-2018 Season

Costumer designer Anne Collins designs and builds by herself four stunning period costumes for The Revolutionists.

2016 – 2017 Season

Playwright John Cariani joins us to rehearse Last Gas and offers final tweaks to the soon to be published script.

2015 – 2016 Season

Two-time Tony Award winning actress, Judith Ivey, directs the runaway box office smash, The Ladies Foursome.

2014 – 2015 Season

The Cocktail Hour brings real life couple Ellen Crawford and husband Mike Genovese from NBC’s E.R. back to our stage.

2013-2014 Season

In Moonlight and Magnolias the three characters were trapped in a room until they finished writing the script for Gone with the Wind with nothing to eat but . . .

2012-2013 Season

Janet directs The Hound of the Baskervilles and “silly” becomes her plan of action.

2011-2012 Season

Joel Leffert stars as the artist Mark Rothko in Red. He returns as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol the next season, and in Outside Mullingar in 2015.

2010-2011 Season

Producing the Off-Broadway hit, Animals out of Paper, we needed to fill our set with the highest level of origami possible, as two of the characters were an origami prodigy and his teacher.

2009-2010 Season

For Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde we went on a hunt for “scientific equipment” to fill Dr. Jekyll’s lab.

2008-2009 Season

Preparing for Secrets of a Soccer Mom, we went in search of an artificial grass lawn to put onstage.

2007-2008 Season

We perform Almost, Maine, the first of three productions of Maine playwright John Cariani’s plays that we will produce. John flies in to see it and quickly becomes our friend.

2006-2007 Season

The entire first act of Enchanted April was played in front of a curtain painted to look like the black and white newspaper ad. What was behind it?

2005-2006 Season

Deathtrap was set in the study of a mystery writer and the set required a wall filled with unusual weapons that he collected.

2004-2005 Season

After the final preview of The Woman in Black, we didn’t think the show was scary enough, so the next day we went back into rehearsal and added several new tricks.

2003-2004 Season

The 1950’s Cold War spoof Red Herring had one of our all-time favorite jokes: “How do you make a stiff drink? Feed him salty snacks.” . . .

2002-2003 Season

We opened our season with Art. One day during a design meeting we were discussing the various shades of gray the set might be. “Like the gray in Bart’s shirt” said someone at the table.

2001-2002 Season

When 9/11 happens we realize an actress we hired for the upcoming show Blithe Spirit lives in the World Trade Center neighborhood. It took us almost a week to locate her and find out she was okay.

2000-2001 Season

We open with The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (abridged). The Portland Phoenix Reader’s Poll votes The Public Theatre “Best Theatre Company”.

1999-2000 Season

Dracula sells like wildfire. Multiple audience members showed up in capes and fangs. Are they really vampires? Who knows?

1998-1999 Season

In June, Ellen Crawford, Nurse Lydia Wright on the NBC hit E.R., returns to perform The Belle of Amherst, a one-woman show about American poet Emily Dickinson.

1997-1998 Season

That summer we audition David Harbour for the role of Evans in Terra Nova.

1996-1997 Season

Talented thirteen-year-old local actor Seth Schlotterbeck is cast as the younger brother in “Lost in Yonkers.”

1995-1996 Season

Janet discovers she is pregnant the day before rehearsals begin for the opening show of the season “Dancing at Lughnasa.”

1994-1995 Season

During a TV interview, the host of the show publicly laughs when we tell him the theatre has gone Equity, scoffing at the feasibility of a professional theatre surviving in Lewiston.

1993-1994 Season

Christopher is hired as the Artistic Director. He pays his own way from New York to Maine to interview for the job and becomes the only full-time paid staff position along with a part-time technical director who designs, and builds sets and lights for every show.

1992-1993 Season

The Public Theatre rents the Ritz theatre and volunteers from the entire community individually reupholster every seat in the house in time for the theatre’s opening performance of Scapin. The paint was still drying on the walls as the lights went down.

1991-1992 Season

Did you know that The Public Theatre’ first show, That Championship Season, was produced in a borrowed space in the Auburn mall?