Playhouse History story published in Kennebunkport Historical Society 's The Log


1900 Betram who was born in Munich, is 25, single and living with his Massachusetts born parents, artist  j. F Currier and his wife, Indiana born Catherine Brandenburg, at Marshall St in Duxbury, MA

1912 Nov. 24,  Robert Courier, the third of five children children was born in Boston, Massachusetts.  Many years later, propriety will not allow us to specify a date, his beautiful and hugely talented little sister Florence was born.

Bob acted with Somerville Stock Company for two years

1930s early, Newton Conservatory of Music and Dramatic Arts. Bertram taught violin and cello, Olga taught Piano and voice and Bob directed the school of Dramatic Arts.  Home of the Garrick Players called the New Art Theatre in Newton, MA

1931 Bertram Currier Harvard '32 was swimming instructor at the River Club it being his second season According to Currier, with two dollars in his pocket, he met Tarkington and formulated a plan to "put on a few plays" 

1933 Garrick Players at the Olympian Club July 19, 1933 8:30pm - The cast is made up of members from the Art Theatre of Newton, MA Robert Currier, director and Robert Reed, Manager at the Olympian Club.  Patrons included The Tarkingtons, Eliot O'Hara and Margaret Deland.  Takington hosted the end of the season party and took the whole cast for a cruise on his yacht, the "Zantre".  Robert Currier was 21 years old in 1933 when he started the Kennebunkport playhouse with Robert R. Reed. Currier was already Director of the Newton Conservatory of Music and Dramatic Arts, instructor of public speaking at Huntington School in Boston.  He had been a leading man with the Somerville stock company for two years.  Robert R. Reed was director of the dramatic Workshop and an artist who showed his paintings at the Olympian club for theatre goers to enjoy

1934 Bertram Sr. died.  Sherwood Lacount joined the Garrick Players.  He was a summer resident at Cape Porpoise and worked with Currier in the Somerville Players.   Ads listed Currier as Director and Sherwood (Lacount) Keith as Production Director and Dorothy Manners in the Box Office. 

1935 Florence Currier has 2 roles in "Murder in the Red Barn" Jenny Bump and a gypsy child.

1936 Dorothy Kent Manners, vaudeville star and Playhouse business manager becomes a year-round resident of Kennebunkport.

1937 June 23, Currier purchases the house on River road from the estate of Harrison A. Wells and Sherwood (Lacount) Keith opens Boothbay Playhouse.

1939-40 winter Currier remodeled the barn of his new home on River Rd as a state of the art summer theatre with 300 seats.  Local Artists displayed their work in the pine paneled lobby.

1941 Florence Currier is listed as the Treasurer of the Kennebunkport Playhouse 

1942-1945 Currier, having enlisted to do his part in the war, procured entertainment for troops at Victorville Air Force Base in California. The Playhouse was dark. 

1946 Playhouse patron, Booth Tarkington died on May 19 just missing the re-opening of the Kennebunkport Playhouse by six weeks.

1949 The season opened with Glass Menagerie, July 4-9.  After the cast party, 76 year old Dorothy Kent Manners passed away.  The season closed with Claudia on September 3.  Less than 4 hours after the curtain fell, the playhouse was engulfed in flames as the cast celebrated at Bob Currier's house less than 25 yards away.  There was no one in the barn when the fire broke out but a few of the revelers were leaving the party at 3:30 am and saw what looked like a huge cloud of fog.  Suddenly it burst into flames.  The fire started in the rear of the barn.  Losses were reported to be $65,000.  Paintings and antiques loaned by community members were also lost.  State arson inspector, Lawrence Dolby of Saco, investigated but no cause was for the blaze was determined.

The new, old barn came from the Alfred E. Burnham farm in North Kennebunkport.  It was carefully dismantled and reassembled on the Currier property by local contractor, Arthur Hendrick.  Seating for 456 opened July 5

1953 Playhouse leased by Richard Stride of Saco from Chester Doherty of New York. huh? Sherwood Keith started bought The Deertrees Theatre in Harrison, ME.

1955 Playhouse enlarged by Currier after a banner year.

1956 Mother, Olga Currier died in Duxbury at the home of her daughter, Olga Sterling.  Florence was still married to Smithat the time  and Bertram, Jr. and Steven are living in Newton.

1958 Faulty wiring causes panic at Kennebunkport Playhouse

Playhouse 1960

1961 Learn how for 75 cents, public relations genius Robert Currier reached more than a billion readers in an move that got mixed reviews in his home town.  Read what 1961 was  like at the Kennebunkport Playhouse for Robert Patrick O'Connor

Ghosts at the Currier house


1965  Miriam (Mye) Eolis of Yonkers and Ken Gaston of NYC

1968 When Broadway's Ziegfield Theatre was torn down to make way for an office building, the famous royal blue show curtain was purchased from the estate of the late Billy Rose.

1970  Dr. Mike Rossi and Bob Carley  ran the theatre.  The ensemble stock venture is a financial failure and closes after one season.

1971 Playhouse is leased by CCB Productions, Dorothy Chernuck, Dennis Cooney and Saul Braverman.  The night before their scheduled appointment to exercise an option to buy the theatre, Playhouse burns to the ground. October 29, 1971. Fire investigated by State fire inspector, Lawrence Dolby again.  Empty 2 gallon motor oil can was found in the charred remains that could not be identified by Currier or Cooney.  Robberies of summer homes that same night including the Tarkington Estate.