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 True North Theatre in Bangor, the Piscataquis Regional Food Center, the The Commons at Central Hall. He also volunteers with the Slightly Off-Center Players Community Theater group.
Ashlie McLeish, Operations Manager
Ashlie grew up in Monson as a free spirited townie, she attended Foxcroft Academy and earned her Human Services degree from the University of Maine. After working at The Acadia Hospital and Charlotte White Center respectively, she took time to stay at home and raise her children Mason and Emily. Getting back into the workforce was something that Ashlie had been looking forward to, and not long after making the decision, was hired at The Center Theatre as Box Office Manager, and has recently been promoted to Operations Manager. Ashlie has been with Center Theatre since 2016, loving every minute and she credits her "home family" for going with the flow and her "theatre family" for making work days fun! Aside from her time at the theatre, Ashlie enjoys reading, time spent with her friends, road trips and weekend adventures, attending her children's multi seasonal sports activities, sunshine, and the beach.
Tammy Parker, Americorps Vista Volunteer Coordinator
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 also 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. Tammy will be not only coordinating volunteer acitivities at the Center Theatre, but also holding trainings for our volunteers to improve their job skills and, if they wish, make them more employable in the community.
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
Secretary: Sheila Ashburn
Treasurer: Dan Sharrow