Payomet History


The Payomet experience is like no other. In the course of just twenty years, it has become a world-class cultural destination…and it all began with a passion for theater.

Payomet Founder Guy Strauss
Guy Strauss, Payomet founder
Founded in 1998 by Guy Strauss, a professional stage and film actor residing in Truro, Payomet began as a passionate theatre company steadily gaining a reputation for excellence over the years. From the beginning, our theater productions have sought to use highly trained professional actors and directors.Payomet’s many theatrical successes were affirmed by press coverage locally and regionally, including in The Boston Globe and The New York Times, our stage was home to talent with credits on Broadway, Off-Broadway, film and television.In 2008 Kevin Rice became Managing Artistic Director of Payomet Performing Arts Center. Kevin is an award-winning playwright, director and actor. His plays have been produced at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, in Russia, and in New York. Three of his plays have been produced by the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater including “Oblomov”. His most recent work, “Hoppers Ghost”, played to sold-out houses at Payomet and at the Provincetown Playhouse.Rice has continued Payomet’s tradition of professional theatre and humanities while greatly expanding its music programming and adding an exciting Circus Arts program – Cirque by the Sea. He has engaged a professional circus troupe that created original circus shows to rave reviews and created circus arts classes for kids of all ages. Our Circus Camp is an accredited Summer Camp by the State of Massachusetts.Kevin has successfully pursued synergies and collaborations with other Cape Cod non-profit organizations to broaden Payomet’s community reach. He has made it a priority to bring the performing arts into the local schools.
Executive Artistic Director Kevin Rice
Kevin Rice, Executive Artistic Director
Originally sited just off Route 6 in North Truro, Payomet Performing Arts Center is now located at the Highlands Center in partnership with the Cape Cod National Seashore. The Highlands Center is located in Truro, Massachusetts, on the very edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The National Park Service acquired the decommissioned air force station in 1994. The Highlands Center is a 110 acre property. The Highlands Center is envisioned as a site which will foster the unique cultural and natural heritage of Cape Cod by facilitating scientific research, the arts tradition, and educational programs atop the dramatic sea cliffs of Cape Cod National Seashore.Payomet Performing Arts Center is celebrating its 25th year in 2023 as one of Cape’s leading producers of live music, circus, theatre and humanities.Our diverse programming can be summed up as “outside the box and inside the community.” Payomet’s mission is to bring high quality performing arts to everyone. Our audiences have come to expect national talent on the local stage whether in the form of Grammy-winning music artists and emerging young stars, or our summer theater productions showcasing local talent and professional actors and directors from around the country. Our Cirque by the Sea professional circus performances surprise and delight, and our Circus Camp allows kids to get in on the action. We are continually expanding our off-season programming at venues including the Tilden Arts Center, the Eastham Music Hall, Wellfleet Preservation Hall, and Provincetown Town Hall. But most importantly, we bring music and circus arts into our local schools with performances and workshops for our kids. We also actively seek sponsors for scholarships so as many children as possible can attend our summer Circus Arts classes.Payomet is a member of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), Cape Theatre Coalition and the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod. In addition we are members of the Truro Chamber of Commerce, the Provincetown Business Guild, the Wellfleet Chamber of Commerce and have received generous support from the Truro Non-Resident Taxpayers’ Association, the Barr-Klarman Massachusetts Arts Initiative, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.