Scott Moreau remembers the first time he stood on the stage at the Chocolate Church, a nervous 17-year-old, with a handheld microphone, hearing his voice for the first time in a place with “amazing acoustics.”

Giving kids their first theater and musical experience has been in the forefront of the Chocolate Church since the late ’70s.

As the Maine native traveled to Bath two weeks ago for his tribute performance of Johnny Cash, Scott remembered his early years growing up in Litchfield, a town of about 6,000.

“I wanted to be a professional baseball player,” he said in a phone conversation from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, last week. He was doing a tech rehearsal for a show called “Million Dollar Quartet,” which he has performed nationally and internationally over 1,000 times.

But his career in baseball wasn’t in the cards.

“When that didn’t work out, I told my parents I wanted to take voice lessons,” he said.


His parents found him a voice teacher, Joyce Alderslee, who after working with him for several years, arranged for that first appearance at the Chocolate Church over 25 years ago. After graduating from Winthrop High School in 1997, he earned a bachelor of fine arts in music theatre at Illinois Wesleyan University in 2001.

His fascination with Johnny Cash began in 2002 when he and a friend were at Bull Moose in Lewiston listening to Cash singing “I Won’t Back Down.” Although Cash died in 2003, Scott was hooked on Cash’s music and everything about the country singer’s music and his life. Scott continued his own acting and singing career, taking on a number of different roles in theaters from New York to Florida. Getting cast as the lead in “Ring of Fire” on Broadway led to many more performances in regional theaters around the country.

As he ended his performance at the Chocolate Church to a sold-out audience on March 18, Scott had some warm and thoughtful comments about that first time he stood on the stage as a teenager. He praised the Chocolate Church for giving children an opportunity to learn about the arts, to perform, to develop a love for the theater and to appreciate good music.

“The Chocolate Church is an icon in Bath,” he said. “Kids would be missing out on so much if it wasn’t here. It was places like this that gave me the chance to do this for a living. I can’t underestimate what an organization like this can do to foster talent in a kid.”

Opportunities for children have continued since the 1847 church building was converted to a performing arts center in 1977.

Fast forward to this year when Resurgence Dance Company presented a contemporary ballet in January and “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” was performed by the Children’s Museum in March. Two more children’s shows are planned for April.


For more information on upcoming shows, check out the website at or call the box office at 442-8455 Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Coming up:

• Saturday, April 1 – David Mallet & the Mallet Brothers.
• Saturday, April 8 – Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus.
• Sunday, April 16 – KindKids Family Concert.

Paula McKenney is a volunteer at the Chocolate Church and a retired newspaper editor.

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