Turn Up the Limelight Campaign

It takes a lot of pieces for an organization like ours to function.

During the past few years, we were lucky enough to receive generous support through grants and government entities to help meet our budget. This year, those aren’t an option. So today, we ask for your help.

This year, we aim to raise $500,000 for the Turn Up the Limelight Campaign. Every dollar donated goes directly toward covering the costs that are front and center this year.


The origin of “limelight”:

Before electricity was widely used, theatre companies who wanted to produce shows inside or at night needed to find a way to safely light the stage and keep the actors visible to the audience.

Before limelights, theatres were lit by candle. Accidents involving fire were common and a safer alternative was desperately needed. This is an 18th century rendering of a fully candlelit theatre in Denmark.

The chemical quicklime (referred to in slang as “lime”) burns slow and steady with a bright white light providing the perfect solution. These theaters adopted the practice of lining the front edge of their stages with “lime lights” and were successfully able to open their doors to the night time theatre crowds.

We’ve come a long way since then.

We have high tech moving lights that can be moved from a computer on the other side of the room and can change color with a single click of a mouse. But no matter how our technology improves, we still use the term limelight to describe the focus and attention one gets when front and center before an audience.

This year, MSMT is launching the Turn Up The Limelight campaign. Our goal is to raise $500,000 by the end of the 2023 season, and as a part of this campaign, we will be shedding some “limelight” on what it takes to produce Broadway-quality theatre in Brunswick, Maine.


In celebration of what MSMT is able to create each season with the help of our donors, we will be announcing several exciting opportunities for patrons throughout the summer of 2023 as part of our Turn Up the Limelight Campaign.

  • Tours of our scene shop, costume department, and paints deck
  • Virtual backstage tours
  • Interviews with our visiting artists and technicians
  • An insider view of the MSMT production process

We are lucky to have an organization like MSMT in our backyard, and we want to keep our theatre strong for many years to come. I hope we can count on you to help us Turn Up The Limelight and help insure the future of theatre in the Maine!

All my best,

Morgan Rodgers
MSMT Development Director


MSMT is making news!

In January, MSMT’s Turn Up the Limelight Campaign was featured in the Portland Press Herald and The Times Record as part of an article about the challenges we have been facing in the past few years and how we are still navigating through difficult times.

“After slashing its annual budget by $1.5 million last year to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, Maine State Music Theatre is beefing back up with the launch of a new fundraising campaign.

Launching in May, “Turn Up the Limelight” is a new fundraising incentive that offers ticketholders a chance to peek behind the curtain — literally.”


Check out the full article here!