Welcome to the Dolard & Priscilla Gendron Franco Center’s Performance Hall. At the moment it’s one of Maine’s largely unheralded performing arts venues, but we’re out to change that. As more people hear about and attend concerts in this physically and acoustically lush room, the more that word is getting out about our magnificent space. Each season we feature four concerts by the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, three more by the Maine Music Society (with each repeated in a Sunday matinée), the annual (and growing) Emerge Film Festival, six piano recitals featuring New England’s best classical pianists, such as Michael Lewin, Igor Lovchinsky, Mauro Bertoli, and more. Individual concerts by artists like mezzo-soprano Joëlle Morris, and groups such as the Rustic Overtones and the New York Funk Exchange, along with dozens of other events also occur throughout the season. We have previously had comedy acts come to the center that we hope to see come back soon, including Bob Marley, Krazy Jake, Late Nite Catachism, and more.

Franco_American_Center_Marley

While the room boasts a state of the art sound system, very few of these events require much in the way of amplification. In fact, most of those listed in the above paragraph do not require any at all. With room for 428 patrons to sit comfortably in plush theater seats — with not a bad one in the house, acoustically or visually — concerts in the Performance Hall are simultaneously grand and yet intimate affairs.  If you’ve been here, you know. If you have not, we promise you that your first visit is unlikely be your last.

Performance Hall PlanAnd thanks to the generosity of one of our major sponsors, Central Maine Hearing Center, even those with hearing impairments can enjoy the marvelous acoustics of the Performance Hall. In January 2013, CMHC installed a “hearing loop” system under the lower seating section of the hall. This system amplifies the room’s natural sound and allows those with cochlear implants or newer hearing aids containing telecoils (or “t-coils”) to hear every little note. And if someone’s hearing aid is an older model not outfitted with a t-coil, we have six battery-powered sets of earphones available for patrons to borrow that accomplish the same task — just ask at the box office.

Artists will enjoy the large and comfortable green room away from the audience in which to relax before the show. Our friendly wait staff will accommodate your every need, and our knowledgeable technical staff will plan with you weeks in advance of your performance to ensure that the stage, the lights and the sound are just the way you want them. For a nominal per-ticket fee of $3 each, artists or their agents who want to rent the hall and yet leave the job of ticket sales and order fulfillment to us may do so.  And pianists will delight at the prospect of performing on our nine-foot Steinway & Sons Series D concert grand piano, purchased new in 2006 and selected specifically to complement the natural acoustics of the hall. The sound is simply amazing!

 

Upcoming Events in the Performance Hall

  • Jul 24
    7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

    The Bates Dance Festival – "Musicians Concert"

    Performance Hall

    Join us for one of our favorite concerts of the year! The Bates Dance Festival’s “Musicians Concert”

    Thoughtful, playful and profound music takes center stage when these extraordinary composers, known for their collaborations with dancers, perform a program of original and improvised works that blend musical styles from around the globe. The evening features multi-instrumentalists Glen Fittin, Jesse Manno, Terrence Karn, and Shamou whose collective musical repertory spans Africa, Asia and the Middle East; composers and pianists, Peter Jones, Carl Landa and Mike Vargas; and violin prodigy Rob Flax.

    Gendron Franco Center 7:30 p.m.
    $16/$12/$8 (Adults/Seniors/Students)

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  • Aug 25
    7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

    The Taffetas

    Performance Hall

    Journey back in time for a fun, nostalgic romp through the songs of ‘50s. A quartet of sisters – THE TAFFETAS – from the Midwest is determined to sing their way onto national television. Enjoy being a part of their debut studio audience as they knock your bobbysocks off with a musical revue paying tribute to the McGuire Sisters, The Fontane Sisters and the Chordettes with hits like “Johnny Angel,” “Mr. Sandman,” “You Belong to Me,” “Sh-Boom,” “Where the Boys Are,” and many more. Be there or be square!

     

    Reserved: $15 for Rows A-D;  $10 for Rows E – BB

    Tickets sales will open Jul 26 2017

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  • Oct 28
    6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

    Thrilla – An Unusual and Ghastly Gala

    Performance Hall

    “Thrilla”, one of the Center’s more “unusual and ghastly” galas, is another annual event produced by the Franco Center, featuring a gourmet reception and concert.  The concert will include songs of Broadway such as Phantom of the Opera, Little Shop of Horrors, Sweeney Todd, Dracula, Young Frankenstein, Addams Family, Wicked and many more.

     

    Tickets will open on July 3, 2017.

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  • Dec 3
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    A Maine Christmas

    Performance Hall

    Debbie Morin Entertainment presents “A Maine Christmas” concert for the entire family, featuring Denny Breau, the Girls of L/A, Frank Coffin, the Edward Little High School Choir, and Melinda Liberty.  Other performers include Andy Happel, Ronnie Bouffard, Arthur Melendy and many more with Peter Allen as master of ceremonies.  The concert supports local “Music in Our Schools” with a portion of the ticket revenue to benefit the ELHS Choral Music Program.

    Reserved: $20.

    Ticket sales will  open Jul 26 2017.

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