Adapted from information at www.buckscountyplayhouse.com
The building known as the Bucks County Playhouse was built in 1790 as a grist mill. Named "New Hope Mills," by local businessman Benjamin Parry (whose previous mill had burned down), it came to identify the whole town.
In the 1930s, playwright Moss Hart and others bought the historic mill building and turned it into a theater. Renovations began in 1938 and work continued until a few minutes before the first paying customers arrived on July 1, 1939 to see Springtime for Henry
, starring the well known comic actor Edward Everett Horton.
Bucks County Playhouse swiftly became known as America's most famous summer theatre. Well-known stage, screen and television personalities trod the boards, and many shows went on to Broadway -- including Harvey, Nobody Loves Me
(retitled Barefoot In The Park)
and Give 'Em Hell Harry.
Actors and actresses who have appeared at Bucks County Playhouse include Kim Hunter, Helen Hayes, Kitty Carlisle, Colleen Dewhurst, Shirley Booth, Sara Seegar, Lillian Gish, June Lockhart, Frances Reid, Peggy McCay, Grace Kelly, Bonnie Franklin, Kaye Ballard and Sandy Dennis; Farley Granger, Robert Redford, Paul Lynde, Kevin McCarthy, Bert Lahr, Leslie Nielsen, Jack Klugman, Gale Gordon, Roddy McDowell, Walter Matthau, Merv Griffin and Larry Hagman. The tradition with today's brightest young talent.