New Bedford Festival Theatre celebrates 50 years of Performing Arts with “Welcome to the Theatre!”


New Bedford Festival Theatre presents Welcome to the Theatre! 50 years of Performing Arts in Our City; a Tribute to Armand Marchand and George Charbonneau. The event will take place on October 22, 2022 at 7:00 PM at New Bedford High School’s Phillip Bronspiegel Auditorium.

In 1972, the “new” New Bedford High School opened with the promise that Broadway caliber plays and musicals would be presented by Marchand and Charbonneau on the stage of its brand new auditorium… New Bedford has never been the same.

From 1972-2001 Marchand and Charbonneau produced and directed 60 plays and musicals on the stage of the Phillip Bronspiegel Auditorium at New Bedford High School.
In September 1982 Marchand and Charbonneau began their 40 year association with the Zeiterion Theatre starting with the reopening night of the historic downtown theatre featuring Shirley Jones: In concert.

In the summer of 1983 the New Bedford High School Drama Club production of Jesus Christ Superstar was chosen to transfer to the stage of the Zeiterion Theatre, and in 1984 Marchand and Charbonneau were hired as co-directors of Zeiterion Summer Musicals from 1984-1989. In 1990 Marchand founded New Bedford Festival Theatre which is now entering its 33rd Season as the area’s only professional theatre devoted to musical theatre.

Welcome to the Theatre! will be a full evening’s entertainment including:
● The premier of Legends Among Us, a short documentary film about Marchand and Charbonneau shot in November 2019.
● Musical performances.
● Special tributes from alumni and special guests.
● A preview of the exhibit:
“Looking Back/ Looking Forward: 50 years of Performing Arts in Our City; a tribute to Armand Marchand and George Charbonneau.

Welcome to the Theatre! One Night Only! October 22, 2022 7:00 PM
at New Bedford High School’s Phillip Bronspiegel Auditorium. General Admission Seats are $25
All proceeds will benefit Festival Theatre’s Summer Academy Scholarship Fund and New Bedford High School Drama Club.

Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone (508) 994-2900, or in person at the Zeiterion Box Office 684 Purchase Street New Bedford, MA 02740.

About leonbg

Lifelong New Bedford Resident, Umass Dartmouth & NBHS alum. Passionate, sarcastic and informed. Avid duckpin bowler and a lover of amazing food, fine wine and awesome movies.

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One comment

  1. Mr. Charbonneau and Mr. Marchand were 2 of the best teachers in the years when Fine Arts at NBHS. (1979 grad) The program included English, music, art, drama and dance. Being in that program made me the creative person I am today. It helped students with no confidence, gain confidence. It taught you to sing, draw, act and dance whether the world is watching or not. They will always be forever in my heart

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