August 31, 2018

Maine State Music Theatre tackles tight housing challenge in Brunswick

Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick has taken the challenge of a tight housing market into its own hands.

The Forecaster reported the theater purchased an 11-bedroom house at 5 Noble St. from Bowdoin College two years ago, conducted extensive renovations and opened it as new staff housing. The theater owns two other apartment buildings in Brunswick, which it rents in the off-season, typically to college students or professors. The theater guarantees housing to performers and technical workers as part of their contracts, the newspaper reported.

The theater announced the building's official ribbon-cutting on its Facebook page: "We were so happy to house our department heads in the building this summer and are looking forward to housing many more educational fellows in the years to come. Huge thank you's to Linwood & Sons Construction, the Brunswick Town Council and Village Review Board, Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber, our Board of Trustees and countless volunteers who helped make this possible."

According to its website, the theater started in 1959 as the Brunswick Summer Playhouse. In the 2000s, the theater's board of trustees purchased the Maine Line Bus Garage at 22 Elm St., renovating the space as the theater's permanent home for its administrative offices, storage and rehearsal space.

In 2015, the theater announced a three-year $2 million capital campaign to pay for replacement of carpeting and seats at Pickard Theater on the Bowdoin College campus as well as upgrades to the hearing system; provide housing for theater professionals; and attend to the repair and maintenance of current properties used for housing, administrative offices, technical shops, and studios. The theater is having its 60th season this summer.


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