East End Theater Groups Deserving of Applause in Summer 2023

Hampton Theatre Company performing "Admissions" theater
Hampton Theatre Company performing “Admissions,” Photo: Tom Kochie

The East End is widely regarded as a haven for the arts to flourish, with esteemed venues like Bay Street Theater and Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater producing some of the region’s most anticipated productions year-round. However, there are several lesser-known theater companies, both professional and community, providing the East End with additional top-notch, approachable productions.


The Hampton Theatre Company fills a unique niche in the Long Island performing arts landscape. From its start as a small community group bound together by a love of live theater, it has grown into a successful professional company: one that is still dedicated to the dream of promoting primarily East End talent.

May 25–June 11

In the first-announced show of the summer, The Portuguese Kid, Oscar and Tony winner John Patrick Shanley has created a hilarious show about 50-somethings Atalanta and Barry, who grew up together in Providence and are mismatched with 20-somethings Freddie and Patty, who once had a disastrous affair. Barry’s overprotective mother Fausta looks on as the four would-be lovers bay at the moon, write terrible poetry and shout the wrong names during intimate moments in their efforts to unravel this humorous romantic tangle. The show runs through June 11 at the Quogue Community Hall, located at 125 Jessup Avenue Quogue. Talkback with the cast follows the June 2 and June 9 performances.

For tickets, call 631-653-8955 or visit hamptontheatre.org.


The North Fork Community Theatre (NFCT) promotes the study of, and stimulates public interest in, the dramatic arts, affording residents of the Town of Southold and surrounding communities an opportunity to participate in dramatic activities.

May 18–June 4

Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s stunning masterpiece Sunday in the Park with George, inspired by the painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat, merges past and present into beautiful, poignant truths about life, love and the creation of art. This moving study of the enigmatic painter Georges Seurat won a Pulitzer Prize and was nominated for an astounding 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

July 20–August 6

The NFCT’s Youth on Stage (YOS) program will wrap up the summer season with 9 to 5 the Musical. Talented youth ages 14–22 from a variety of schools on the East End come together to make magic on stage. The musical, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnick, is based on the 1980 hit movie telling the story of three unlikely friends who take control of their office and learn there is nothing they can’t do, even in a man’s world.

The NFCT is located at 12700 Sound Avenue, Mattituck. For tickets, call 631-298-6328 or visit nfct.com.


The mission of Our Fabulous Variety Show (OFVS) is to create accessible, innovative cultural arts experiences and to bridge the arts opportunity gap by cultivating inclusive arts experiences for all. Founded in 2010 by Anita Boyer and Kasia Klimiuk, OFVS is a nonprofit 501(c)3 performance and arts education organization that produces full-scale plays, student showcases and drag shows, and provides educational performing arts programming to the community. 

Friday, June 16, 6 p.m. & Saturday, June 17, 4 p.m.

This production is the culminating showcase for the recent OFVS semester of performing arts classes, featuring students ages 5–18. The Winter Varietal added a fabulous After Hours Diva Cabaret featuring female impersonator RaffaShow, but the founders have yet to unveil a potential Spring After Hours Show. Keep an eye on the OFVS website for announcements about this showcase and more coming this summer. The Spring Varietal takes place at LTV Studios, located at 75 Industrial Road, Wainscott.

For more info, call 631-507-4603 or visit ourfabulousvarietyshow.org.


The mission of Northeast Stage is to continue the tradition of free summer outdoor performances of Shakespeare in Greenport’s Mitchell Park and to expand its reach to include classics as well as other creative theater projects in different venues. All presentations aim to involve the community through participation as both presenters and audience and to develop actors, directors, producers, designers, set builders and costumers through workshops and exposure to professionals in visual and performing arts.

July 30–August 6

The Tempest is a classic Shakespeare comedy written in the 1610s, and thought to be one of the last plays that he wrote alone. This Northeast Stage production, directed by Tony Tambasco, will preview at Meadowlark North Fork in Cutchogue on July 28 before heading to East End Arts in Riverhead on July 30, further up island August 2–3, and coming to Mitchell Park August 4–6.

To learn more about this show, including auditions in the last week of May, call 631-835-2727 or visit northeaststage.org.


Founder Bonnie Grice’s mission for Boots on the Ground Theater is to boldly go where many boots have gone before and march them into the 21st century — chronicling moments in history, collaborating with local organizations, celebrating local talent and bringing classic theater to life.

October 2023

While Boots on the Ground Theater’s first announced show of 2023, Enid Bagnold’s The Chalk Garden directed by Mark Heidemann, isn’t until the fall, it would be a shame to discuss local theater groups without a mention of the Southampton Cultural Center’s resident players.

Save the date and look for updates on bootsonthegroundtheater.com.