As summer approaches in Monmouth, driving by the signs at Exit 86 of the Maine Turnpike has reminded me to write in appreciation of Nancy Smith, Monmouth’s member of the Maine House of Representatives.

Monmouth is home to The Theater at Monmouth, one of Maine’s premier theaters and designated by the Legislature as the “Shakespearian Theater of Maine.” For years, the theater has struggled with the perception that “You can’t get there from here” – Monmouth was too hard to find, and too far from Portland, to attract any but the most dedicated fans of summer theater.

Rep. Smith’s efforts to support a small business in her home town led the Maine Turnpike Authority to add signs at Exit 86 and on Route 9, directing drivers to Monmouth. Those helpful signs have helped the theater to attract a broader audience, and to continue a nearly 40-year tradition of live theater – and its substantial contribution to the local economy – in a small central Maine town.

The value of Rep. Smith’s crucial contribution to the performing arts in Central Maine should not be underestimated.

Benjamin Lund, Monmouth


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