History: The Beginning
A Tradition Begins
The organization now known as Gaslight Theater was formed as the Augusta Players in the fall of 1937 as an outgrowth of a women's theater class held at the YMCA. Maybelle Tarr, who led the class, formed the group at the request of some students.
Miss Tarr had worked professionally in New York theater in the same troupe as Lillian Gish and Edward G. Robinson. After performing a few acting scenes, Maybelle Tarr directed the first show, Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw in the spring of 1938 and began a theatrical tradition in the Maine Capitol region.
Miss Tarr led the group for at least the first 20 years. Some of our archives were destroyed or lost in a house fire. We are currently trying to reconstruct our past through newspaper accounts and accounts from past members. The group has been producing shows continuously every year since 1938, and we are slowly finding out what those are.
If you have information, clippings, old programs or other information about the early days of the Augusta Players or Gaslight Theater, please contact us.