Payomet’s Staying Power

By Marina Davalos | Above photo by Julie Levesque

Founded in 1998 by the late Guy Strauss (pictured below), a professional stage and film actor who lived in Truro, Payomet Performing Arts Center originally started with theater productions and has since grown into a popular music venue. “In the beginning, our audiences numbered anywhere from 6 to 60,” laughs Kevin Rice, artistic director of 11 years and an award-winning playwright and actor. Today, the venue’s 600-plus seats are usually filled to capacity. Payomet, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last August, features legendary artists such as Arlo Guthrie, Judy Collins and Aaron Neville. The venue’s location is unusually located, as it is situated on the abandoned Cold War-era North Truro Air Force Station. The National Park Service/Cape Cod National Seashore subsequently took it over after the Air Force vacated the area in 1984 and created the Highlands Center, whose mission is to use the property for scientific research, educational programs and the arts. In 2017, four buildings on the former base were demolished and Rice plans on using the open space for a circus lot. This summer will be Payomet’s sixth year of offering circus camp for kids. “We’re excited to focus more on the circus over the next few years,” he says. Also watch for more concerts in the shoulder seasons since the tent is insulated and heated.

Payomet Performing Arts Center, 29 Old  Dewline  Road, North Truro, 508-487-5400

Photo by Christine Hochkeppel

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