Auditions Being Held For Annisquam Village Players Summer Production



Auditions to be held May 28 – Real Fishermen Wanted!

In honor of the City of Gloucester’s 400th+ Birthday Celebration, the Annisquam Village Players – the country’s longest continually running community theatre – will perform Clayton B. Stockbridge’s “Gloucester Story” Aug. 10-13, 2023, on the docks at the Maritime Gloucester Wharf.

The show will require many cast and crew members so auditions will be held starting at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 28, at the Annisquam Village Hall, 38 Leonard St. in Gloucester.  To add to the show’s flavor, local fishermen are encouraged to audition and be part of this historic production.

The play was performed in Gloucester several times in 1953 and in subsequent years. And, for a short period of time, it became a popular pick for summer stock theaters.  This summer, the AVP will transform the original two-act play into a musical for the first time. 

In keeping with the celebration’s community theme, the show will incorporate original musical numbers from local musicians, including Daisy Nell, Peter Souza, and Corey Wrinn. Longtime AVP Music Director Marcia Groom will lead the musical transition.

In celebration of the Gloucester 400th+, there will be no charge for performances, but a ticket reservation is required. Tickets will be available starting July 10.

“Gloucester Story reflects the heart of old Gloucester and what it was like to be part of the fleet in 1905,” said Terry Sands, AVP director. “Given the historic nature of this year’s performance and the connection to our community, we’d love to have some of the local salts be part of the show – either on stage or helping behind the scenes. It takes a community to stage a theatre!” 

Known as the Plumber Playwright of Gloucester, Stockbridge (1895-1973) crafted “Gloucester Story” to reflect the Cape Ann fishing industry in 1905 when schooners still ruled the seas and dory fishing claimed many lives. It tells the tale of a young son of a fish merchant dreaming about a life at sea, only to get his wish and some of the tragedy that came with it.

The play was published in 1953 in response to a 1952 Cape Ann Festival of Literature and Drama competition, sponsored by Broadway Playwright/Librettist Russel Crouse, for the best play about Gloucester from a resident of Gloucester. A life-long upper Main Street resident, Stockbridge had spent his youth working on the fishing docks before becoming a career plumber. He drew upon that experience, local lore, and the environment to create a story that genuinely depicts the livelihoods, personalities, and superstitions of that era. It is entirely fictional but the names, businesses, and plot motivations dealing with the folklore are all factual.

Sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more details about “Gloucester Story,” the life of Clayton Stockbridge, or the upcoming auditions, please visit

Photo credits:

Photo of below deck, 1953 scene: Photograph by Bill Worden. Clayton Stockbridge Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library and Archives, Gloucester, MA.

– Photo of Paul Lundberg as Capt. Nate Morrison in the 1969 performances:  Clayton Stockbridge Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library and Archives, Gloucester, MA

Deck At Minglewood A Winner!

It’s been beautiful for a couple of days so we went down to Minglewood on Rogers St for a couple of drinks and snacks on the back deck. WIN WIN is all I have to say. I ordered the frozen strawberry margarita (on the specials menu) and Jim got a beer. Since Zach had done such a great job at the meatball challenge, we had been hoping to get the meatball special but they had sold out of those on the first night they were offered on the specials menu. We soothed our disappointment with Veggie Spring Rolls and the nacho Plate of Love under the watchful eye of one of the resident seagulls. We had a blast thanks to our server Shawna but were even more tickled to learn there was a $10 bonus waiting for us on our Serenitee Rewards card! BOOM. It’s not hype that this reward program is a winner in money saving at participating restaurants. If you’re not enrolled, I gotta wonder…….