Priscilla Beach Theatre (PBT) is a school that has been educating thousands of young people through an extraordinary “learn-by-doing” education in theater arts. Many consider this discipline life changing and essential to a successful and fulfilling life.
At PBT, students are taught stagecraft, teamwork and respect. They realize their creative potential, the importance of right effort, faith in themselves and others and how to participate not only on stage, but in life. PBT’s theater arts education provides young minds with skills not available in a strictly academic curriculum. This instruction not only improves communication skills, enhances critical thinking and creative expression, but also can improve scores in reading and math.
PBT offers students of all ages workshops that train them in the theater arts. These workshops run for a two week period in which the students come to the school to prepare for a final performance. The performances range anywhere from theatrical classics, such as Romeo and Juliet, to original productions written by the directors, such as Grade School Musical.
PBT’s performance workshops are designed to provide young performers professional theater training and to teach some of the most important skills they will ever develop: self-esteem, respect for others, responsibility, integrity, focus, teamwork, communication, self-discipline, and self-awareness.
These workshops give young performers the opportunity to rehearse and perform productions for live audiences. The instruction is offered by highly qualified theater professionals in a setting that is warm, supportive, challenging and extremely fun.
If you are an aspiring actor or actress with a tremendous love and passion for performing, we would like to meet you. Please view our upcoming workshops and plan to visit us. You may also call us at (508) 224-4888 if you have any questions.
Priscilla Beach Theatre has been educating young actors for more than 70 years. Not only have Paul Newman, Rob Reiner, Peter Gallagher, Pat Carroll, Jennifer Coolidge, Jean Seberg and a host of other acting luminaries learned their craft here at a young age, but Andrew Lack, CEO of Sony Music and Andre Bishop, artistic director of Lincoln Center Theatre, who has won multiple Tony Awards, also trained at PBT. These Hollywood stars, high achievers, and many more have, in part, credited PBT with their success.
Research has shown that theatre arts education improves communication skills, enhances critical thinking abilities, and liberates creative expression. PBT has provided this in-depth education with exceptional results for more than 75 years. The creative process, joy of performance, ensemble accomplishment and accolades from enthusiastic audiences are unique experiences here at PBT. The learning they receive gives children a foundation they can build on for the rest of their lives.
Life Skills through Stage Skills
PBT’s performance workshops are designed to provide young performers professional theatre training and to teach some of the most important skills they will ever develop:
- Personal Responsibility
- Respect for Others
- Communication Skills
These workshops give young performers the opportunity to rehearse and perform productions for live audiences. The instruction is offered by highly qualified theatre professionals in a setting that is warm, supportive, challenging and extremely fun.
PBT has 75 years of history building performers. But more important, PBT builds future leaders.
Be part of history at PBT.
A hilarious and heartbreaking look at auditioning for A Chorus Line.
Rehearsal 6/17 – 6/27
Performances 6/28, 6/29, 7/5, 7/6
Fairy Tale Courtroom
Trial of the Big Bad Wolf and the Wicked Witch. Testimonies includes flash back sequences with many favorites.
Rehearsal 7/1 – 7/11
Performances 7/12, 7/13, 7/19, 7/20
Your favorite puppet story gets a modern renovation.
Rehearsal 7/15 – 7/25
Performances 7/26, 7/27, 8/2, 8/3
Wizard of Oz in the Wild West
A spell gets Dorothy and friends to the 1880 West with Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley and others.
Rehearsal 7/29 – 8/8
Performances 8/9, 8/10, 8/16, 8/17
Comedy of Errors
A Shakespeare classic of two sets of identical twins accidently separated at birth.
Rehearsal 8/12 – 8/22
Performances 8/23, 8/24, 8/25
PBT: The next Act
Over the last 20+ years we have all witnessed the continued high quality children theatre training that Geronimo and PBT has produced. At the same time we have all been saddened by the deterioration of the physical assets of the theatre.
I am happy to announce that my wife and I have recently purchased the theatre from Geronimo and will be working hard to ensure the theatre’s continued success. I’m equally thrilled to announce that Geronimo will continue his role as the theatre’s creative engine as the Artistic Director Emeritus. We will also be introducing new directors that will continue the high PBT standard for theatrical training under Geronimo’s guidance.
We realize the task of getting PBT’s properties back into good operational shape will not be easy. A key part of our success will rely on you, the community. However we will not be coming to you asking for donations but instead asking for community support. Loud community support!
Over the next several months we will be putting plans together to either restore or rebuild the barn theatre. At that point we will need the community to reach out to town officials letting them know of your support for this important project. Please continue to check our web site or get on our mailing list (info@PBTheatre.org) for updates.
In the meantime, we are excited about this summer’s children’s workshop and hope to see you soon.
Bob & Sandy Malone
Priscilla Beach Theatre
My personal PBT story – Bob Malone
By now most people are aware of the very long list of famous actors that got their start at PBT and all the theatrical accolades that have PBT origins. However the majority of PBT alumni will not go on to pursue acting but the training they receive at PBT will prove to be invaluable. Here is my story.
In the summer of 1976, I was 13 years old and living near Priscilla Beach Theatre. A few of my friends and I heard all the activities at the theatre and were drawn to it. Soon we found ourselves helping with set, props, cleaning the theatre after shows.
For the next several years as different theatre company’s came and went, I made myself a permanent fixture. I was fortunate to work with many talented actors, take classes from Franklin Trask, perform with Geronimo Sands in Carl Sandburg and see many wonderful shows that would transport me to another time and place and greatly expand my view and understanding of the world.
During these years I also found myself on stage for many shows. With the benefit of hindsight, I can now tell you that I was not very good. But at the time, it never felt that way because the PBT community was so supportive, encouraging and inclusive.
Fast forward to today, I find myself in a successful and fulfilling career in the computer industry, blessed with a lovely wife, 4 amazing children and living a few blocks away from my beloved PBT.
I realize how much my PBT years set me on the road toward success by providing me the confidence, discipline, teamwork, professionalism, work ethic and an understanding of the human condition. This for, I am eternally grateful.
VIEW OUR HISTORY TIMELINE
VIEW OUR HISTORY PICTURES
SEE WHO HAS PASSED THROUGH OUR DOORS
The historic Priscilla Beach Theatre is the oldest barn theater still in operation in America. Founded by Dr. Franklin Trask in 1937, the theater quickly became one of the most respected schools of theater training in America. This innovation of summer stock "in a barn" rapidly flourished throughout the country. The barn playhouses brought theater into the hinterlands and provided needed laboratories for both young and experienced actors to learn and perfect their craft. In its heyday (in the 1940s and early 1950s) the complex included dozens of cottages, a mansion and carriage house, a 200-seat theater, and a 60-seat theater. As many as 150 actors and actresses were in residence. In 1962, James Lonigro (a.k.a Geronimo Sands), an accomplished performer of stage, screen, radio and television, bought the theater from Dr. Trask and has been its creative force since. PBT has more than 75 years of history building performers. But more important, PBT builds future leaders.
PBT's top staff is ever concerned with maintaining the atmosphere of professional theater and creating a disciplined ensemble. This sets the proper mood for the young artist to combine training and rehearsal with practical stage experience.
The following timeline was primarily created from a wonderful book by Bojan Hamlin Jennings titled Priscilla Beach Theatre (January 2000).
VIEW OUR HISTORY TIMELINE
VIEW OUR HISTORY PICTURES
SEE WHO HAS PASSED THROUGH OUR DOORS
Mrs. Jennings is not only an accomplished published author but also an accomplished chemist who taught at Wheaton College in Massachusetts and happens to live in one PBT’s original houses that sites on the bluff overlooking Cape Cod Bay.
“As my relationship with this small theatre progressed, I became convinced that the saga of Priscilla Beach Theatre should be recorded. Not only because of my personal interest, but more importantly because PBT has from its beginning had unusual, if not unique, aspects which earn it a place in the chronicles of American theatre”.
- Priscilla Beach Theatre by Bojan Hamlin Jennings 2000
PBT is always collecting alumni information for all those who have passed through its doors. We would love to hear from you to see what you are up to now and hope that you’ll be able to share stories, reflections or photos related to your time at PBT. Please email us at alumni@PBTheatre.org.