For many park users who grew up around Franklin Park, the park is synonymous with “The Playhouse.” For twelve years, from 1966 – 1978, Elma Lewis brought summer performances to Franklin Park and helped bring the park back from neglect and disuse. Today, in response to huge community interest and to draw diverse Boston residents into the park, the Franklin Park Coalition works with the Boston Parks Department to bring music and dance to the portable ParkARTS stage.
You can look forward to summer concerts Tuesday mornings and evenings throughout July and August. Morning shows target summer camps and youth programs. Evening concerts are for everyone. Families bring a picnic basket and lawn chairs. Neighbors and friends make it a social evening.
Elma Lewis was adamant that the revived summer concert series follow the artistic vision and standards of the original Playhouse in the Park. Miss Lewis worked tirelessly to ensure that African-American children and community members receive disciplined, skilled artistic training and exposure to the most talented musicians and performers of the day. The first summers included gospel concerts, Commonwealth Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and theatre workshops for youth directed by Our Place Theatre in Roxbury.