Love Maine Radio #320: The Gem Theater and Celebration Barn Theater

Today’s guests are Beth Weisberger and Wade Kavanaugh, the owners of the Gem Theater in Bethel, and Amanda Huotari and Fritz Grobe, the executive artistic director and board president of the Celebration Barn Theater in South Paris.


Beth Weisberger and Wade Kavanaugh

Beth Weisberger and Wade Kavanaugh are the owners of the Gem Theater in Bethel, which offers accessible and diverse arts programming. Ten percent of the Gem’s yearly profits support local arts initiatives. After ten years of teaching in New York public schools, Weisberger launched Gneiss Spice, a company that sells hexagonal jars for organizing spices. Kavanaugh is also an artist who creates large installations that have been featured in multiple national art publications.

Amanda Huotari and Fritz Grobe

Amanda Huotari is the executive artistic director of Celebration Barn Theater in South Paris, where she annually produces 30 performances on-site and at community events. The venue also hosts 150 international artists who come to train in physical theater workshops, create projects in residencies, and perform in the Barn’s show series. Amanda’s own solo show, The Soiree, is directed by Broadway’s Avner the Eccentric and has received accolades at festivals in the United States and internationally. A 7th generation Mainer who spent seven years outside the state, she’s now raising her family in her hometown community and is dedicated to supporting the development of a local culture of curiosity and creativity.

Fritz Grobe is board president of Celebration Barn Theater. He is also co-founder of EepyBird Studios, best known for viral videos featuring the explosive combination of Coke and Mentos that have been viewed over 100 million times. He has appeared on Late Show with David Lettermanthe Today Showthe Ellen DeGeneres Show, and MythBusters, and he has performed live in London, Paris, Istanbul, and Las Vegas. In addition to his work with EepyBird Studios, Fritz has over 20 years’ experience as a professional juggler, creative director, and choreographer for award-winning circus acts and stage performances.