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Cape Playhouse

Cape Playhouse

The non-profit Cape Playhouse was founded in 1927 by Californian Raymond Moore, who spent several summers in Provincetown painting scenery, writing plays and acting in local theatre. His vision, however, was to have a theatre of his own – a smart, sophisticated summer theatre, which would bring Broadway to Cape Cod. He purchased a 19th century former Unitarian Meeting House for $200, had it moved to 3 ½ acres of pasture land fronting the Old Kings Highway in Dennis, and converted it into a professional theatre. The Cape Playhouse has been kept true to its original structure – even the original pews still serve as seats. The opening performance on July 4, 1927 was The Guardsman, starring Basil Rathbone. Over the years, many big name stars from Broadway and the silver screen have acted there including Bette Davis (who first worked as an usher), Gregory Peck, Gertrude Lawrence, Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers, Humphrey Bogart, Tallulah Bankhead, Helen Hayes, Julie Harris, Paulette Goddard – it’s no wonder the Cape Playhouse is known as “The Birthplace of the Stars. Many young aspiring performers spent their summers here. In 1956, a young student was given a small part in The Male Animal, starring Henry Fonda (his daughter, Jane)! Today, most of the stars still come from Broadway, but it seems that almost every well known star of stage, screen and TV has walked the stage of the Cape Playhouse.

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