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North Fork Community Theatre’s production of ‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’ from 2023. (Photo credit: Nicholas Grasso)

North Fork Community Theatre has existed, in some shape or form, since 1956 — but don’t let its age and the bucolic appeal of this blue church building deceive you. This Mattituck-based community theater has produced some cutting-edge plays over the years. Judging by its current season, the repertory is only beginning to fully ripen. 

“Some Greenport High School teachers put a note in the newspaper that said they’re starting a theater group,” says Mary Motto Kalich, the company’s current president, of NFCT’s nascent beginning. While NFCT’s first productions were held in Greenport High School’s auditorium, starting with The Man Who Came to Dinner and Harvey, the theater moved to its current, beautiful spot on Old Sound Avenue in 1961. 

North Fork Community Theatre building in Mattituck. (File photo)

The building, which dates back to the 1640s, was originally a meeting house next to a graveyard before becoming a consecrated church in the 1700s. In 1960, a professional summer stock theater took over the space, affording the NFCT the opportunity to use it in the off-season. Their first production there was Tennessee Williams’s seminal work The Glass Menagerie. In 2012, North Fork Community Theater completed a four-year capital campaign — which Kalich says is the first fundraising effort the group ever held — to buy the building.

“Our overall goal is to try and be as accessible to as many people as possible to experience live performances,” says Kalich, who’s been with the group since she was 13. Today, her husband and son are all involved, too, from performing to working the box office to sweeping the floors.

NFCT has bloomed into a theater that produces plays, musicals, annual variety shows, and even has a “Youth on Stage” program that performs a large-scale show every year. Some productions are broadly popular shows, like The Sound of Music, while others veer contemporary such as The Laramie Project, a play about the murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard and the impact it had on the small Wyoming town where the crime occurred. 

But it’s the community support that makes NFCT so special. The group is 100 percent volunteer-driven, with members of the company running the box office, choosing the plays and handling the ever–evolving tech. 

“There are two halves of why the theater is so important,” says Kalich. “Because half of what is important to me is the culture, the performance, building up experience singing or dancing or working the sound system…the other half is having a place you can grow. That you can try. My son is almost 20 and has a lot of confidence because he’s been performing on that stage since he was 5.”

So go see a show! From March 8 to March 24, NFCT will present The Father, a play by Florian Zeller that was recently adapted into a film starring Anthony Hopkins. Follies will run from May 16-June 2, followed by a Youth on Stage production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.  

If you have a hankering to perform, NFCT holds open auditions. But if you find yourself intimidated by the stage, the company is always looking for box office help, technical help and more. Says Kalich: “There are so many ways to get involved.” 

For more about North Fork Community Theatre, visit