The Center Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit with a mission to make arts, culture, education, and entertainment accessible to our rural communities. We are located in the Center Theatre, a historic movie theater and local landmark located in downtown Dover-Foxcroft, the County Seat of Piscataquis County, Maine. The theater was built circa 1939 and enjoyed a long run as the area’s cultural hub. Unfortunately, due to the advent of television and other forms of entertainment, Center Theatre closed in 1971 and was essentially forgotten. Abandoned and obscured from public view, Center Theatre was in danger of being torn down to make room for new development.
In 1998, a group of citizens formed a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called Center Theatre, Inc. to protect and raise awareness of the historic landmark. They also recognized a lack of cultural activities and entertainment in Piscataquis County and saw an opportunity to use Center Theatre as a way to make such activities available. To that end, in 1999 Center Theatre Inc. bought and began renovating the building, and started planning the creation of Center Theatre for the Performing Arts, a regional performing arts center.
After 8 years and 2 Million dollars raised, the Center Theatre for the Performing Arts held it's grand opening in August of 2006. Since then, it has provided a year-round schedule of affordable entertainment, arts, education, and cultural programming. Our community theater group, The Slightly Off-Center Players produce several productions every year along with a variety of educational programming including the Center Theatre Children's Summer Drama Camp.
In 2009, the Center Theatre hosted the first ever Maine Whoopie Pie Festival. That first festival drew 600 people to the parking lot behind the Center Theatre. Now the largest festival in Piscataquis County, the annual festival draws over 8,000 to downtown Dover-Foxcroft on the 4th Saturday in June. Visitors celebrate the taste of Maine's Official State Treat, enjoy a wide variety of other food vendors, artists, and crafters, listen to live music and children enjoy bounce houses, rides, and activities.
Center Theatre Staff:
Patrick Myers, Executive Director
Patrick Myers grew up in the Dover-Foxcroft area, went to school at Foxcroft Academy, earned a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from the University of Maine in Orono, and then had to get out of the state for awhile. After travelling around the country and the world for 10 years he realized that it was time to head home. He and his wife bought the house in Sebec that he grew up in and settled down. A year later he was hired as the Center Theatre's founding Executive Director. He grew the organization for five years and then resigned to follow other pursuits and spend more time with his family. In 2015 the Center Theatre was once again looking for a new Executive Director and Patrick was thrilled to take the helm once again. Aside from his work as Executive Director of the Center Theatre, Patrick is on the Board of Directors of the Piscataquis Regional Food Center and The Commons at Central Hall. He also volunteers with the Slightly Off-Center Players Community Theater group.
Tammy Parker, Projectionist
Tammy Parker is a familiar face around the Center Theatre. While never getting on stage herself, her daughter Rebeclyn has been in many shows and Tammy has helped out backstage and as Secretary of the Slightly Off-Center Players. She has worked part-time at the Center Theatre in various capacities over the years. In 2017 she became an Americorps Vista member through a partnership with Goodwill of Northern New England. In 2020, Tammy was hired as a full-time projectionist.
Gretchen Huettner, Americorps Vista Volunteer Coordinator
Gretchen joined the Center Theatre in 2020 thanks to the Americorps Vista program and Goodwill of Northern New Engalnd. Gretchen is no stranger to the Centerr Theatre after having children in several plays over the years. Gretchen will be working on volunteer recruitment, training, and rentention.
Center Theatre Board of Directors:
The Center Theatre Board of Directors meets quarterly, with monthly committee meetings and various ad-hoc projects. The Board charts the long-term vision and strategy for the Center Theatre and ensures that it is fulfilling it's mission for the community.
President: Cynthia Freeman-Cyr
Vice President: Kristen Gilbert
Treasurer: Dan Sharrow