grange hall

"Dedicated to providing arts, cultural and educational programs to the general public by operating a community gathering place which shall serve as a theater, cultural arts center, dance hall, educational facility and function space."


   
   

History

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The Saco River Grange Hall was built as a Universalist Chapel in 1897. In 1908 the Maine State Grange bought the building, and it prospered for sixty years as the primary social center for Bar Mills. It was then used as an auction house until purchased by the Packard family in 1990. After four months of renovations, SRGH officially opened as a cultural arts center on April 21st, 1990. The name was retained for its landmark value, reflecting the town’s rural history and its reliance on agriculture and the river’s mills.

After three successful, privately funded years of plays, concerts and dances, the IRS granted Saco River Grange Hall, Inc. 501c-3 status, and a Board of Trustees was formed. The mailing list has since grown to nearly 4,000 patrons who receive flyers three times per year, one of which includes the Annual Fund drive. To date, the hall has hosted more than 300 concerts, many silent films with live piano accompaniment, 120 contra-dances, dozens of private social functions and over 60 full-scale theatrical productions by The Originals, the resident professional theatre company at SRGH.

The Originals presents a wide range of material, from cutting edge dramas, to comedies, to full scale musical productions. Audiences have come to expect unusual and exciting material from the group, which routinely presents Maine and Northeast premieres. Although The Originals has maintained a relatively low profile, it is widely regarded as one of the finest theatre companies in New England. Ticket prices are the lowest of any professional company in the state, and each production has at least one “pay-what-you-can” night to ensure that the plays are accessible to anyone wishing to attend. The multitude of artistic events has not changed the quiet and picturesque feeling of the neighborhood. SRGH has been referred to as greater Portland’s “Little Carnegie Hall.”

   
   

   
   

In 2012, due to a change in the trademark policies of the National Grange Organization, SRGH Inc. became The Saco River Theatre.

Contributions of any size are welcomed. The Saco River Theatre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible, as provided by law. Checks may be made payable to Saco River Theatre and mailed to PO Box 1, Bar Mills, Maine 04004. Please e-mail us for more information at packaa@sacoriver.net.


   
       
   
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