Sandwich MA: It was in 1834 when it was decided Sandwich MA needed to have a civic Town Hall separated from the local church. A place to gather the community for meetings and activities of the community. The perfect location was next to the local grist mill at the northern end of lower Shawme Pond. In this area a majestic Greek revival building complete with stage for performances and orations by local towns people was built. The upper Town Hall floor, besides Town Meetings, hosted military balls during the Civil War, school presentations, silent movies, and at the turn of the century actor Joseph Jefferson (the George Clooney of his day) in Rip Van Winkle his most famous role. Knowing all this history, The Sandwich Town Hall Preservation Trust, after the renovation and restoration of the building, began to think about the use of the historic stage. What began as an idea in December 2014 has now been realized.
The Sandwich Town Hall Preservation Trust (STHPT) has been pleased to present the inaugural season of the Glass Town Stage 2015-16. This inaugural season featured community theater, children’s theater, art shows, movies and concerts. The STHPT proudly partnered with various cultural groups around the area including Cotuit Center for the Arts and the Sandwich Arts Alliance.
Melinda S. Gallant
The Town Hall Preservation Trust has been proud to produce this exciting program.
What began as an idea in December 2014 has now been realized. There were five simple goals:
- Brand the auditorium, for cultural events as Glass Town Stage
- See if a “season” would be appealing to the community and could be financially sustainable
- Bring in a variety of arts offerings
- Partner with other community and regional arts organizations
- Support the economy of Sandwich Village.
Thanks to the Board of the “Trust” for supporting this effort and being the sounding board along the way. Thanks to my fellow sub-committee members, Melinda Gallant and Joe Carlson for their inspiration, time, and efforts and especially to Melinda for her outstanding management skills. Thanks to the many arts organizations we are collaborating with. It has been fun to negotiate this effort with you. Special thanks to the Kathy Coggeshall and all the supportive staff at Sandwich Town Hall for their continuous help and support. And most importantly, thanks to the audience for being here.
Linell M. Grundman
Chair, Glass Town Stage Committee
Sandwich Town Hall is at 130 Main Street, Sandwich, MA 02563
Tickets will be sold in advance for Glass Town Stage performances and events at:
Sandwich Town Hall, 130 Main Street
Splash Stationers, 126 Rte. 6A, Sandwich
Tickets will be sold on the date of the performances/events beginning one hour before the start time. We offer no senior or student discounts with the one exception of a child centered performance. Our facility is fully accessible but we do not have hearing enhancement technology. There is no reserved seating.
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 508-776-3256
Thank you for a Great Season!
(check back here for additional updates)
For more information on the Glass Town Stage Season–
Sandwich Town Hall is at 130 Main Street, Sandwich, MA 02563
The Glass Town Stage Season is sponsored in part by:
September’s Radio Musical was a blast. Thanks to all who came and of course to all the cast and crew. It was a hot time in the old town that night!
Featured were some of Sandwich’s’ favorite local performers including:
- the Ellis Family singers with the Grand Dame of Sandwich music and Radio Diva Jane Ellis, James (Jimmy) Ellis and Kathy Ellis Knowles.
- Local real life radio personality Dave Read as the Announcer
- Selectman Patrick Ellis played the part of the Master of Ceremonies
- Carol Mc Manus performed in “Carols’ Literary Nook Readings for a Mad World ”
- Christine Norton reprised her role as Annie
- Mickie Mc Manus tap danced his way into the hearts of the audience
- Other locals strutted their talents with the help of Marge Dolby pianist
Classic Silent Films with Live Piano Accompaniment:
The Sandwich Town Hall transforms back into its origins as an early 1900s film auditorium (see articles, below) with special screenings of classic silent films, complete with John Read of Yarmouth playing piano accompaniment and Liisa Niemi of Mansfield offering pre-movie narration dressed as a flapper. John and Lisa are enthusiastic supporters of this unique art style.
Continuing its celebration of the oldest running Town Hall in Massachusetts the volunteer group Sandwich Town Hall Preservation Trust (the recent winners of the 2011 Massachusetts Historical Commission Award) are presenting this acclaimed film series to support the stewardship of this historical 1834 building.
Tickets are only $5 and are available at:
- Town Hall, 130 Main St., Monday – Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm
- Splash Stationers, 126 Rte 6A, Monday – Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Sunday: noon – 5:00 p.m.
The Piano, the Projectionist and the Preservation
In 1915 or a little later silent movies began to be shown in the Town Hall and a piano, an upright in the Mission style made by Jacob Doll & Sons for the Frederick Piano Company, was acquired. It was played by local residents, Minne Bunker Wimmer, Eva May Harlow, and Mary Haines Morrow, to accompany the silent movies.
The projectionist turned the film by a hand-crank illuminated by a carbon-arc. A primitive generator located in a garage across the street from the Town Hall provided the electricity. Nonetheless using a carbon-arc projector was dangerous business and likely to set a building on fire. To protect the Town Hall from fire, the projectionist was provided with a urinal and required to remain continuously on duty when the carbon-arc was running. It is said that occasionally the engine of the generator would fail, the screen would dim, and boos and hisses would arise from the audience who had paid a nickel to attend.
The Sandwich Town Hall reflects over 175 years of Sandwich’s history, government and culture as well as the larger issues of State and National life that have had an impact on the Sandwich community. The Town Hall has been in active use as the seat of Town government for every one of those 175 years. There are few towns that can make this claim.
In 2009 the entire building was restored to its former glory. The second floor ballroom is particularly beautiful with its historically accurate stenciling of tan and brown paint and gold leaf, theatrical stage, balcony seating and fully restored historic shuttered windows. Once again, the second floor is used for movies and theatrical productions.
The Sandwich Town Hall, within the newly designated Glass Town Cultural District, was granted a Preservation Award for Rehabilitation & Restoration by the Massachusetts Historical Commission in 2011.