The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911, the building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After state-of-the art renovations, the center includes a 250-seat theatre that presents work in several genres including music, theater, opera, dance, comedy, film, and a variety of children’s programming. The theater lobby encompasses a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident.
The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center exists to present a full repertoire of cultural and performing arts and provide a lasting legacy for Connecticut’s iconic actress.
- The Kate averages 18 performances a month or 216 performances a year.
- To date, there have been more than 1,500 performances of everything from ballet to magic, music to dance.
- The Kate serves between 30,000 and 35,000 children and adults each year.
- Specifically for children, the Kate offers a children’s performance series each season, brings Missoula Children’s Theater to town twice a year to allow young area thespians a chance to get up on stage and perform, and each summer hosts 4 weeks of Kate’s Camp for Kids, a week-long intensive introducing children to the performing arts.
- Along with its live performances, the Kate has 3 satellite dishes and shows simulcasts from the National Theatre of London, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Bolshoi Ballet of Russia.
- Beginning in 2015, the Kate partnered with Connecticut Public Television on a new national series affectionately called ‘The Kate.’ This CPTV original series presents bold performers with something to say.
Just a few of the performers who have appeared at the Kate:
The Allman/Neville/Pitchell Show at the Kate
Ed Asner, Aztec Two-Step, Booker T, Karla Bonoff, Betty Buckley, Paula Cole, Celtic Tenors, CT Ballet, Jonathan Edwards, Steve Forbert, Art Garfunkel, Richie Havens, Anne Heaton, Garth Hudson, Janis Ian, Eileen Ivers, Judy Collins, Lucy Kaplansky, Zoe Keating, Patty Larkin, Melissa Manchester, Richard Marx, Raul Midon, Momix, Roger McGuinn, Aaron Neville, Joan Osborne, Poco, Pure Prairie League, Pousette-Dart Band, Graham Parker, Leon Redbone, Tom Rush, Rusted Root, Chris Smither, Mavis Staples, Al Stewart, Richard Thompson, Paul Taylor 2, Suzanne Vega, Sam Waterson, Jimmy Webb, The Ann Wilson Thing, George Winston, Jesse Colin Young, Buckwheat Zydeco.
Local organizations that regularly partner with the Kate include:
Community Music School, Chestnut Hill Concert Series, Oddfellows Playhouse, Salt Marsh Opera, Small Town Concert Series, The Saybrook Stage Company, Vista Life Innovations, and Eastern Connecticut Ballet.