Begun in 1931 by the Portland City Council as a means of booking world-renowned performers for appearances at City Hall Auditorium, Portland Ovations has offered a broad and varied schedule of classical music, theater and dance for over 80 years. These days, Portland Ovations’ yearly slate tends to consist of about two-dozen offerings per season, which runs September to May. Shows are staged at four venues around town – Merrill Auditorium, Hannaford Hall, the Westbrook Performing Arts Center and South Portland Auditorium – depending on the size and type of performance. There is also a community outreach series, Ovations Offstage, offering pre-performance lectures, master classes and workshops with visiting artists.
Portland Ovations Information
- Venues: Merrill Auditorium (389 Congress Street); Hannaford Hall (Abromson Center, University of Southern Maine at Portland); Westbrook Performing Arts Center (471 Stroudwater Street, Westbrook); South Portland Auditorium (637 Highland Avenue, South Portland)
- Public Transportation: Good for Merrill Auditorium (a 3-minute walk from Metro buses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 at Congress Street/Chestnut Street, and from South Portland buses 21, 24A, and 24B at Monument Square) and Hannaford Hall (steps from Metro bus 4 at Bedford Street in front of the Abromson Center; and a 3-minute walk from Metro bus 2 and Shuttle Bus route ZM at Bedford Street/Forest Avenue). Fair for South Portland Auditorium (a 3-minute walk from South Portland bus 24B at Evans Street/Highland Avenue). Poor for Westbrook Performing Arts Center (a 25-minute walk from Metro bus 4 at Main Street/Mason Street)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good at each venue
- Performances/Programs: 25-40 events presented per season. Performance schedule varies
- Ticket Prices: Range from $10–$65, depending on event. Members and Students receive discounted tickets for most shows
- Memberships: Friend ($40–$99); Advocate ($100–$499); Partner ($500–$999); Standing O Circle ($1,000+). Member benefits are tiered with every member receiving advanced ticketing opportunities; discounts on full-price tickets to presentations; a one-year subscription to the “members-only” e-newsletter; acknowledgment in Portland Presents, the season’s performance program; and a window sticker with the Portland Ovations logo
- Other Benefits: Depending on level, members also receive ticket exchange privileges; invitations to receptions, meet-the-artist opportunities, and other members-only performance- and education-related special events; invitations to the annual Season Preview Party; tickets to the annual Epicurean Auction Benefit; complimentary beverage for two at all performances; complimentary tickets to a selection of performances; and a courtesy meet-and-greet with artists.