Friday, July 25, 2008

Ogunquit Playhouse Receives American
Masterpiece Grant

The Ogunquit Playhouse is the proud recipient of an American Masterpiece Grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, in the amount of $20,000 for the re-staging of Lerner and Loewe’s timeless classic My Fair Lady. Originally developed by the National Endowment for the Arts to fund projects with a national stature and scope, the Maine Arts Commission offers American Masterpieces as a major initiative to acquaint Maine people with the best of their cultural and artistic legacy. The Ogunquit Playhouse has a long history of producing some of the most spectacular American masterpieces on its stage since its humble beginnings in 1933.
The middle of the twentieth century is described as The Golden Age of American theatre – a time when Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin and others were at the height of their illustrious careers. The progression of musical theatre culminated in what some have called the perfect musical, Lerner and Loewe’s American Masterpiece, My Fair Lady (1956). My Fair Lady went on to become the greatest commercial triumph the American theatre had known up until that time. My Fair Lady won Tony® Awards for: Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Director, Best Conductor or Musical Director, Best Scenic Design, and Best Costume Design. It played to acclaim in numerous languages all around the world and has been revived several times in both New York and London, remaining a worldwide favorite for a half a century. Cameron Mackintosh’s National Theatre of Great Britain’s new production of My Fair Lady enjoyed critical acclaim and sold out performances throughout the United States this past year.
Executive Artistic Director, Bradford Kenney signed world renowned actor/director, Shaun Kerrison, who has staged the show all over the world with Trevor Nunn, to direct My Fair Lady for the Ogunquit Playhouse. He will arrive from London on a special work visa for a “person with extraordinary talents” to work on this special project. Among Shaun Kerrison’s many achievements he was Associate Director of Les Misérables at the Palace Theatre in London and Tour Director for the national company, Associate Director of My Fair Lady at both the National Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the Associate Director on J M Barrie’s original play of Peter Pan and The Pirates of Penzance, both at The Savoy Theatre, London, the resident director of The Lion King (Lyceum) and last year staged Les Misérables in concert for a special gala performance at Windsor Castle to celebrate 100 years of the Entente Cordiale, for Her Majesty the Queen and President Chirac.
Through American Masterpieces, the Maine Arts Commission has the opportunity to provide significant support for exhibitions, performances, tours and educational programs across all art forms that will reach large and small communities throughout Maine. The Ogunquit Playhouse is grateful to be the recipient of such a prestigious and generous award.
My Fair Lady opens on the Ogunquit stage August 13th and runs through September 6th. The 2008 season concludes with a glorious production Les Misérables starring international Broadway star Andrea McArdle and Ryan Landry (September 10 – October 12). Main Stage ticket prices range from $39-58 per show and are available through the Box Office at 207-646-5511 or online at
The Ogunquit Playhouse is America’s Foremost Summer Theatre producing the best of Broadway at the Beach each season, now running twenty-one weeks from Memorial Day to Columbus Day Weekends! For a complete list of show times visit us online at The Ogunquit Playhouse is a 501(c)3 non-for-profit charitable organization.