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Past Productions
Click on the links above for complete show details by the decade.


  • North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) was first organized in 1954 by founders Stephan Slane, Managing Director, and Ruby Newman, Musical Director.  NSMT opened as a part of a national circuit of summer stock theaters designed to present (rather than produce) touring packages of Broadway successes and star-centered comedies.
  • Originally designed by Boston architect Ralph LeBlanc, NSMT opened in June of 1955 with
  • Kiss Me, Kate, soon after the completion of Route 128 on the site of a former gravel pit resulting from the highway construction.  NSMT was the first permanent stage in the country to be designed in the arena-style, with a roof supported by clear-span trusses to provide patrons with unobstructed sightlines.
  • NSMT introduced theater programs for youth in 1956.


  • NSMT was an open, canvas-sided theater.  In the early 1960’s the canvas walls were replaced with permanent walls and seating was expanded from 1,000 to 1,750.  In the late 1960’s, installation of heat and air-conditioning added to the comfort of patrons and actors.
  • NSMT began applying for non-profit status and assembled the first NSMT Board of Trustees. In 1967, NSMT became a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and established North Shore Community Arts Foundation, Inc., the governing and policy-setting body for NSMT.


  • Jon Kimbell, Executive Producer, and James Polese, General Manager, took over after Stephan Slane’s retirement in 1983.  Polese and Kimbell dedicated their first 10 years at NSMT to upgrading all aspects of the theatre, from the quality of productions, actors, designers and directors to the building and grounds.
  • The Montserrat School of Art was established as a North Shore Music Theatre initiative.
  • NSMT reinvented itself, its facilities –a new lobby, box office and back stage area –and grew into an award-winning theater with a renowned Theatre Arts and Education Academy that became recognized as a leader in education programming and the production of classic, contemporary and vibrant new musical theater.


  • NSMT evolved from presenting musicals to producing all musical theater productions in-house.  NSMT continued to concentrate on further enhancing the quality of work and developing loyal subscribers.
  • To fulfill its goal of granting degrees and to secure additional space, Montserrat College of Art became independent and relocated to downtown Beverly in 1994. 


  • NSMT had evolved into the largest non-profit producing theater in New England, with approximately 350,000 patrons annually.  NSMT gained a national and regional reputation for artistic achievement, specifically in the areas of developing new works and providing outstanding theater arts and education programs.  NSMT received numerous industry awards including The Elliot Norton Award (Boston’s equivalent of the Tony Awards), The Rosetta Le Noire Award from Actors’ Equity, and The Moss Hart Award.  NSMT annually produced a six musical subscription series, a production of A Christmas Carol and an acclaimed concert series. With a Theatre for Young Audiences program, a school touring program, and year-round classes for children, NSMT became one of the region’s leading providers of theater arts and education.
  • In February 2008 Artistic Director Jon Kimbell retired and Barry Ivan took over the leadership at NSMT. 
  • Due to a shrinking audience, failing fund-raising efforts and $10,000,000 in debt, NSMT announced a suspension of business operations and laid off the entire staff in January 2009. The leadership at NSMT pleaded to the community that they could not produce a 2009 season unless they could raise $500,000 by February 1, 2009 and $4,000,000 in before June 2009. They failed and in June 2009, the announcement was made that North Shore Community Arts Foundation, the not-for-profit business that operated at NSMT, was bankrupt and the NSMT property was foreclosed on and put up for auction.

  • 2010 - Present

    •  In February of 2010, Local businessman and producer Bill Hanney purchased the theatre property and opened NSMT as a for-profit business. NSMT continues to produce a musical subscription series, celebrity concerts, special events and A Christmas Carol as well as offer educational opportunities for young performers.
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Phone: (978) 232-7200 • Fax: (978) 232-9999
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