Our History


Exploring Toddler Park.
Click here for Children's Museum of Maine history dating back to 1976!

Click here for Children's Theatre of Maine history dating back to 1923!

2008

November: The Children's Theatre of Maine merges with the Children's Museum of Maine, and the Museum is renamed the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine. The Museum & Theatre produces a highly successful four-show season of theatre by children and for children.

December: 12 Dancing Princesses becomes the first theatre production of Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine.

2009


February: The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet premieres in the Dress Up Theatre to sold out crowds.

April: The new logo is revealed at the Annual Auction.

May: Attack of the Bloodsuckers! exhibit moves out to make way for DinoTracks, a new Environmental Exhibits Collaborative (EEC) exhibit that will stay through December 2009.

July: The Museum store is converted into an exhibit space where the popular Have a Ball! exhibit now makes its permanent home. A selection of educational books and playthings is still for sale at a kiosk in the front lobby.
The rainy days of July bring in over 14,000 visitors to the Museum & Theatre.

September: Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine holds its 4th annual Golf Tournament at Nonesuch River Golf Club.
The Boston Globe features an article on the Museum & Theatre.
The Kids on the Block puppet troupe begins rehearsing a series of vignettes created to entertain and to educate children about disabilities.

October: Everyone Knows What A Dragon Looks Like premieres in the Dress Up Theatre, kicking off the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine's first full theatre season.

November: Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine joins the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad in presenting The Polar Express, a unique holiday experience for families that features a theatrical reading of Chris Van Allsburg's classic story.

December: Dancing With Books, a series of innovative early childhood reading programs, makes its debut at the Museum & Theatre. This program uses music and movement to build literacy skills, and is offered to local child development centers and Museum & Theatre visitors.

2010


January: DinoTracks leaps out of the way as What About Whales? swims into the big gallery. What About Whales? explores humpback whales and features Istar, a life-sized inflatable humpback whale.

February: Cinderella and The Emperor's New Clothes play in repertory in the Dress Up Theatre. With funding from Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust, the Simmons Foundation, and the Phineas W. Sprague Memorial Foundation, local performing arts professionals are brought into the rehearsal process as teachers and mentors to young members of the cast and crew.

March: The Museum & Theatre 2010 Auction: Make Dreams Come True exceeded its budget by over 15 percent with all proceeds supporting educational exhibits, programs and theatre productions.

April: In conjunction with Autism Awareness Month, the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine hosts the Autistic HeART art show from April to June 2010.

The Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings attracts new young actors and opens in the Dress Up Theatre to enthusiastic audiences.

May: What About Whales? leaves the Big Gallery as SmartArt moves in, the fifth Environmental Exhibits Collaborative (EEC) exhibit to be featured at the Museum & Theatre.

June: As the new sponsor of the Our Town Market, Whole Foods Market begins making exciting improvements to the beloved space, including new signage and a wide array of healthy and local foods.

July: The 2010-2011 theatre season commences with Pinocchio, opening to sold out crowds.

September: The fifth annual golf tournament is held at Nonesuch River Golf Club in Scarborough, netting more than $10,000 to support exhibits, programs and productions for families throughout Maine.

October: Beauty and the Beast, replete with an ambitious set and elegant costumes, has a nearly sold out two-week run.

November: With a grant from the Quimby Family Foundation, the Growing Kids Greenhouse is erected in the shipyard, the first step in a multi-phase project designed to educate children about the origins of their food and to provide a sustainable source for onsite food programs and yield fresh foods to donate to a local shelter.

December: Santa's Reindeer Revue, an original holiday production, debuts on our stage as the cornerstone of our seasonal programming. The show is a huge hit, inspiring the Theatre Artistic Director to institute it as an annual tradition.

2011


January: The Marvelous Improv Comedy Show, a free performing arts program aimed at reaching more male and minority children, launches with the support of the Phineas W. Sprague Memorial Foundation.

February: Teachers, guidance counselors and administrators from four Maine elementary schools gather at the Museum & Theatre for an educational workshop with anti-bullying expert Stan Davis. This is the first step in Youth Voices on Stage, an innovative program in which teen actors work with elementary school students to model positive peer interactions. The program, funded by the Davis Family Foundation, is covered on MPBN's Maine Things Considered.

James and the Giant Peach captures the attention of audiences and local media.

March: Following a unique interdepartmental development process, the What About Whales? exhibit reopens in the Big Gallery. The reinvented exhibit includes a ball-toss whale feeding game, a "Mini Gulf" game and an immersive underwater room for watching and listening to whales.

Smart Snacking opens in the lower level cafe. This exhibit, sponsored by local vending company Life's Healthy Pleasures, emphasizes the importance of fresh produce, whole grains and low- or non-fat dairy when choosing snacks.