LIGHTHOUSE, A DOWN-EAST MUSICAL
In the summer of 1955, Bob Richardson was 16 years old, summering
in Boothbay Harbor with his family as he had done all his life. At night, the flashing of Burnt Island Lighthouse regularly
lit up his front bedroom. Also within sight were Ram Island Light, the Cuckolds, and, just behind the end of Southport
Island, lighting up the sky, Seguin Island Lighthouse. Any given sunny summer day might find Bob out in his skiff with the five-horse
Johnson on the transom, among the little islands outside the bay. One of these islands was called Outer Heron.
That summer Boothbay Harbor was filled with the music of Richard Rogers as the movie, Carousel, was being made just down the street
from the family home. Brought up in a musical family and living in the golden age of the musical, Bob spent many a day right
behind the cameras watching Shirley Jones, Gordon MacRae, and Barbara Ruick sing his favorite songs. That is when the seed was
The story originally was called "Seguin" in favor of the mystical
light, just out of sight. Bob spent hours planning
the plot and
taking some cues from his experience with Carousel. At right
is the very first page of his original outline, probably
an old, pre-electric typewriter in the fall of 1955. The play began
with a lobsterman, dressed in oilskins, coming in
from an off-
stage entrance, and singing about life on the coast of Maine.
This has never changed. (Click on page to see readable size.)
the following years, surviving, moves, job changes,
even the end of a first marriage, the musical continued to develop.
few years, the file would come out of the drawer and
another song would be written, or another scene defined. An
friend suggested that nobody would know what "Seguin"
was and that the familiar "Lighthouse" was better.
And so it went until