Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Priscilla Beach Theatre Restoration, Priscilla Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

It's been a fascinating journey but, this is my FINAL edition of this multi-part series which I began in May 2014 to chronicle this extraordinary project to restore a precious part of our American theatrical heritage - the Priscilla Beach Theatre (PBT) Barn Stage.

A few days ago, PBT received final approval from the Plymouth Building Department and the Plymouth Fire Department. That means that they are now officially open for business at the restored PBT Barn Stage!!!  The PBT Barn Stage is one of three performance venues on the campus which also includes the GMO Black Box Theatre, and the Outdoor Stage.

This may be my final post about the restoration but, it is not the end of the story - it's really the beginning of a new phase of the story for PBT. On July 10, at 7:30pm, owners and guardians Bob and Sandy Malone will welcome "Fiddler on the Roof," to the Barn Stage. (You can call 508-224-4888 or go online to get your tickets/reservations. Here's their website -

The Barn Stage now stands regally as the centerpeice of the PBT campus.

The new official sign has been installed - "Priscilla Beach Theatre, Barn Stage, Built in 1875, Broadway in a Barn since 1937."  PBT, now in its 79th year, is the oldest barn theatre still in operation in the United States. The venue will welcome both "Fiddler on the Roof," and "Chicago" this summer to this reborn space.

Campus view - the former actress dormitory at left, the farm house and PBT GMO Black Box Theatre at center, the PBT Box Office and Concession stand at center, and the PBT Barn Stage at right.

Another angle of view - the PBT Outdoor Stage will soon be erected in the left foreground, the PBT Barn Stage at left rear, the former actress dormitory at center, the Box Office and Concession Stand at center, and the farm house and GMO Black Box Theatre at right.

Inside the Barn Stage, two hundred new seats are located on the main floor.  Cutouts in the front rows are for wheelchair patrons.

A comfortable place to enjoy the show(s).

Graduated risers afford a clear line of sight to the stage from the seats farthest away.

Note the mixture of light and dark wood on the walls.  It is purposefully left that way to show the original wood (dark) and the newly restored portions (light).

View of the stage from audience right. Although many improvements have been made including state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, it was critically important to owners Bob and Sandy Malone to ensure that the feel and ambiance of the barn theatre experience be retained. From my perspective, they've been very successful in achieving that goal.

Looking out toward the audience area from center stage. The brightly glowing orb is.........

....the original wagon wheel light which has been re-hung in its original location over the audience area.

The new rest room wing was built with rough hewn lumber to keep the old barn feel.

One of the two new restrooms. 

Beneath the stage, dressing rooms and make-up areas are convenient for the performers.

Also below stage is an additional area for prop storage. This area was formerly unfinished with a mud floor which dated back to its previous life in the 1870's as an actual barn.

More props - chairs from many eras to fit the time period of a particular production.

This restored 1937 Chevrolet pick-up truck can be seen around town with a sign marquee in the truck bed announcing upcoming shows. Or, you can simply call 508-224-4888 or go online to get your tickets/reservations. Here's their website -

If you have missed my other blog posts over the past year, here's the starting point back in May 2014. The building was in sad shape and many thought a complete demolition was its only future. Against all odds though, Bob and Sandy Malone persevered and followed the more difficult (and costly) path of restoration.

View of the stage from audience right - May 2014.

View of the audience area - May 2014.

View from center stage - May 2014.

Unfinished mud floor area under the stage and audience areas - May 2014.

I extend my best wishes to owners and guardians, Bob and Sandy Malone, as they continue to rejuvenate the entire theatrical campus and bring outstanding live theatre to our community.  The multi-venue campus creates opportunity for young children, teens, and adults to enjoy the magic of live performance while building and strengthening important life skills along the way.  

I also extend my thanks and appreciation to Bob and Sandy for allowing me access to the site over the past year to record the progress. From your comments, I know that many of you who have followed these blog posts have enjoyed watching this community icon being rebuilt, too. 

My thanks also to Paul Kelleher of Kelleher Fine Builders, Inc., Kingston, Massachusetts, who was the hands-on general contractor for the project and his associate, Van Quenuque.  Although many sub-contractors played a part in this project, it was Paul and Van who, day-in and day-out, good weather or biting cold, brought this space back to life with their craftsmanship.  They kindly let me wander through their work areas as it was ongoing.

I hope you'll join me in supporting live local theatre in our community at Priscilla Beach Theatre!


If you would like to review the entire project, links to each of my 26 previous blog posts over the past year follow below in chronological order:


Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Walk in the World, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

I enjoy it when a beach reveals itself shyly, starting with a peek-a-boo view and growing as I get closer.

This boat has been in this yard for a few years up on jacks but, is now available, as the small print says, "free to a good home."

The foliage grows greener and thicker with each passing day.

An azalea bush is peaking at this traditional New England style house.

A quiet spring morning.

Recently in other posts, I have talked about winter storm damage to beach revetments.  I think this one has managed to go unscathed for years as evidenced by the large trees/bushes still growing out of it.

A spring shower beads up on this fading flower - a flower which coincidentally, carries the same colors as the kayak in the preceding image.

Note: all images made with my cellphone.

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Spring Walk, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

A petal blizzard begins to fall.

I don't know if this is a work of art called, "Snow Shovel in a Bin," or, someone throwing their snow shovel away in disgust after the past brutal winter.

More spring color.

The power of wind and waves to push the water up high enough to breech the revetment and destroy the supports to this stairway is a sobering reminder that Mother Nature almost always has the final say in a contest with humans.

A neighbor's stone wall and walkway is nearing completion.

Shadowman at a late-afternoon low tide. Spring is a great time to be alive in New England!

Note: all images made with my cellphone.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Return of Mayflower II, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Drawn like a magnet, folks from around the area converged by foot, bicycle, and auto on the downtown Plymouth dock to welcome the return home of the Mayflower II.  The vessel (approaching outside the harbor in the center distance above) had spent the winter in Connecticut for periodic maintenance and painting.

Even the dogs sensed something big was happening. Either that or, more likely, there were some great scents on the breeze.

Timing is everything - this could have been a great image but for split-second timing.  The main elements are just not quite right. Oh well, better luck next time.

A juxtaposition of various types of seagoing vessels. (A patch of cloud passed overhead the Mayflower which rendered this darker look).

Approaching the harbor entrance, passing Long Beach in the background, the harbor breakwater in the foreground.  (She was tugged in stern first since that is how the docking needed to occur.

Tugged into the harbor against a very stiff breeze.

Almost home.

Plymouth Harbor is the permanent home of the Mayflower II, a replica constructed in the mid-1950's of the original Mayflower that carried the Pilgrims from England to the "New World" in 1620. The replica was built in Devonshire, England by private donations from folks in both countries and sailed to the United States in 1957. It is a very popular tourist attraction here in "America's Hometown."

The crowd of many hundreds, young and old, burst into applause as she edged into the dock.

Setting the lines to tether her to the dock.

Welcome home, Mayflower II!

The original Mayflower journey took 66 days with 102 passengers and crew of 25-30 in a vessel approximately 100 feet long by 25 feet wide. They arrived on November 11, remained living on board the ship until spring, and when the winter ended barely half the colony was still alive. Imagine all those people living in cold New England winter conditions in a space smaller than a tennis court. Some hearty folk those Pilgrims. According to the Mayflower Society, there are approx 10 million descendants from that original group.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

More Signs of Spring, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

There is a child somewhere missing her rubber chicken squeeze toy. Or, it might have actually belonged to a dog but, I can't imagine a dog leaving such a precious thing behind. There's something special about a rubber squeeze toy........

Winter storm damage repairs to the revetment along the beach are nearing completion. 

An exact color match - life imitates art, or, art imitates life.

The trees are exploding in green and pollen is piling up on most surfaces.

The foliage gets thicker and denser every day.

This image isn't from Manomet but, I was here in nearby Sandwich on the same gray and cloudy day and liked this pensive and reflective scene at the Sandwich boardwalk.

Note: all images made with my cellphone.