Maine's Captivating Performing Arts
From thrilling dance to boisterous music festivals, Maine’s vibrant performing arts community entertains visitors year-round. With internationally acclaimed festivals, like the Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston and Rockland’s North Atlantic Blues Festival, and world-class theater companies such as the Ogunquit Playhouse — from dance, to theater, to music — Maine serves up incredible performances. Discover new talent in intimate venues or rock out at the waterfront — here you will find your community for the performing arts.
Maine has a long history of musical appreciation and as being a place of inspiration for musicians. The Bangor Symphony Orchestra is one of the country's oldest continuously operating orchestras and the state is home to many beloved musicians. Kneisel Hall in Blue Hill is considered the “cradle of chamber music in America” and its chamber music festival is now joined by many others throughout the state. A commitment to the arts in towns such as Gardiner and Waterville has led to a resurgence of performing arts in historic venues, like the newly renovated, state-of-the-art Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center, Maine’s oldest operating opera house, and the Waterville Opera House.
Unique music venues like Stone Mountain Arts Center Snow Pond Center for the Arts, Maine Savings Amphitheater and Thompson's Point offer up both new and well-known artists. Maine has dozens of music festivals for fans of pop, rock and traditional as well as classical and orchestral music.
Theater lovers find exceptional acting talent from home and away at innovative Shakespeare festivals, top picks from new playwrights, and productions of Broadway’s finest big name shows at theaters throughout the state. The diversity of performing arts mediums is impressive as well; Portland is home to a festival of international puppetry arts each September and the Celebration Barn is Maine’s center for physical theater.
Maine’s stages are filled with inspiring ballet, modern dance and performances from all other disciplines. Portland Ballet offers classic ballets and contemporary works throughout the year at the gorgeous Merrill Auditorium and Westbrook Performing Arts Center, and The Maine State Ballet Company is directed by a former student of the legendary choreographer George Balanchine.