New Bern
  North Carolina

In New Bern we choose "To Be" with the arts

Civic Theatre

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 Broker for 30 years. Steve's wife Jana is also a Real Estate Broker and together with their 3 assistants they form the Tyson group New Bern's most comprehensive Real Estate team. 

If the arts and theatre are of interest you will be delighted to know that New Bern has a vibrant arts community. The following is an excerpt from the July 2008 Where to Retire Magazine which featured New Bern NC.

The Wards are not golfers and their interest in sailing was waning so they shifted their attention to the arts. We do so much more cultural stuff in New Bern than we did in Indianapolis, John says. I was astonished at the talent here, the high school performances and the North Carolina Symphony, which performs here 4 times a year, and the art shows sponsored by the Craven Arts Council. There's also a huge number of retirees who do impromptu dinner theatre, singing, and performances with 2 different theatre groups.


In August, the Carolinian Shakespeare Festival is performing "Romeo and Juliet" with a combination of professional actors in summer stock and local talent.

New Bern was called the Athens of the South during the early part of the 2oth century. Music and theatre were important to this thriving river town where  booming lumber and naval store businesses were creating wealth on a scale once considered unimaginable.

The Athens Theatre is home to one of New Bern's Civic theatre's

The Athens Theatre, shown above, is located on Pollock Street in historic downtown New Bern. Designed by renown New Bern Architect Herbert W. Simpson this theatre was opened in 1911. At the time of its opening it was considered one of the best equipped and decorated theatres in the south. During this era vaudeville, traveling theatre troupes, and silent movies were often the headline shows. Theatre and the Arts are thriving in New BernThe great depression put a halt to much of the arts and it was not until the mid 1970's that they started to make a comeback in New Bern. The influx of retiree's many of whom came from large metropolitan areas has significantly added to the cultural awareness of the city.

New Bern Civic Theatre

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New Bern has 2 historic theatres

The Masonic Theatre shown above was built in 1805 and remained New Bern's center of cultural and civic activity for well over 100 years.

During the Civil War it was used as a hospital by Union soldiers who occupied New Bern for much of the war.

Among the many activities that the theatre has been used for include .concerts, talent shows, vaudeville, political rallies, and stage plays.

In 1917 it became a motion picture theatre and remained so until it was closed in 1974. My mother used to drop my brother  sister and I off every Saturday to catch a double feature while she did her shopping. The cost for admission for children was $.25. Of coarse popcorn and a soda were extra. At the time of its closing it was the nations oldest continually operating theatre.

Today the majestic Masonic is still being used for plays and concerts. The Serendipity Players, currently inactive, use it as their home theatre.

The Rivertowne Reperatory Players are New Bern's newest theatre group. Formed in 2001 they are dedicated to promoting the theatrical arts in the New Bern Area. The Rivertowne performances take place at the Shrine Auditorium, shown above, located in downtown New Bern.

For more information on the Repertory Players call 252 637 2662.

This information was brought to you as a public service by The Tyson Group

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252 514 9157

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