June, 2015

Four Summer Theatre & Film Camps Offered to New Hampshire Youth

Alchemists’ Workshop is in its 16th year of offering theatre and film camps in Henniker, Weare and Hillsboro New Hampshire.  The camps are for young people ages 6 to 18 and are staffed by professional directors, actors and designers–many of whom are alumni of past camps.

This year’s offerings include a musical, a literary classic and one well known historical story and another almost unknown story–both from the Henniker/Hillsboro area :

Cinderella–the musical favorite July 13 to 18th (9 to 3 Mon. to Thurs. and 2 to 8 pm Fri: and Sat.) at John Stark Regional High School.

Henniker the Center for Deaf Education–a film camp about the remarkable story of early 19th century education in Henniker, July 24th & 25th (9 to 3) at Henniker Community Center and various locales around town.

Jo & Amy–a new adaptation of the literary classic Little Women by former Hillsboro playwright, Karin Eveyn Haug.  A play with music at John Stark Regional High School August 10th to 14th (9 to 3 Monday to Thursday, 2 to 8 pm Friday).

Beach Clubs–the arts in education phenomenon that was started in Hillsboro by famed composer Amy Beach during the Depression and  that grew into an international movement with more than 1800 clubs.  A film co-produced with Living History August 14th and 15th (9 to 3 with a rain day Aug. 16th).

Alchemists’ Workshop has won several national and regional awards including the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America’s Aurand Harris award, Dollar General Literacy Award, Sodexo Generation On Award, Youth Serves America’s M. Richard Award and A Points of Light Presidential Youth Service Medal.

This year’s staff includes Fred Sprague of Hillsboro, Mary Armstrong of Harrisville, Dartmouth’s Bob Robertson, Carson and Tom Dunn of Henniker, Jacob Fitts of Weare, former state poet Marie Harris, and  Jordan Vachon and Sandra Kaliscik of Bow.  This year we’re adding adult volunteers (who are free during our camp hours) to our projects with good roles for seniors in particular in each of the camps.

To register for one or more of the camps or for more information about The Alchemists’ Workshop e-mail: dunn.t@comcast.net, call 568-5102 or go to our web site: www.alchemistsworkshop.org.

Submitted by Tom Dunn, Alchemists’ Workshop

Weston, MA Resident to Receive National Theatre Award

Guy Dillaway of Weston, Massachusetts is being honored with the Robert E. Gard Superior Volunteer Award from the American Association of Community Theatre (AACT). The award will be presented at an awards ceremony during AACTFest 2015, the national community theatre festival, in Grand Rapids Michigan June 23-27, 2015.

The AACT Robert E. Gard Superior Volunteer Award is presented to individuals above the age of 65 who have faithfully served community theatre on a non-paid basis for over 25 years.

In 1965 the Weston Friendly Society (Weston, Massachusetts) needed an actor to fill a vacated role due to an emergency. Guy Dillaway stepped into that role and has never left! Guy has actively and selflessly promoted the art of community theatre on a volunteer basis for a half century.  He has worked back stage, catalogued donated items, organized props and storage, built cafe tables and a Shakespearian stage to allow the group to perform in the round, designed and helped build sets, and served several terms as president. Guy is the keeper of the keys to the Weston Town Hall where the group performs and is there, come sunshine, rain, hail, or snow, to open the hall for every rehearsal and performance. Community theatre service has become a family affair with his wife, son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren all joining in to help.


The American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) provides networking, resources, and support to suit the needs of those involved in community theatre. AACT represents the interests of more than 7,000 theatres across the United States and its territories, as well as theatre companies with the armed services overseas.

Submitted by Beverley Lord, NETC Board Member (Community Theatre) and NETC Fellow

NETC Moss Hart Winner and Convention  Presenter

Honored by New Hampshire Humanities Council

The New Hampshire Humanities Council will celebrate 40 outstanding New Hampshire based people who, over the past 40 years, have demonstrated what it means to create, teach, lead, assist, and encourage human understanding – notable writers, filmmakers, teachers, volunteers, civic leaders, philanthropists, and scholars – who over the past 40 years have vastly enriched our human understanding and whose original works and passion for excellence have put NH on the cultural map.

Among those to be honored is Patricia (Trish) Lindberg, Ph.D.

Patricia (Trish) Lindberg is professor of education and coordinates the M.Ed. in Integrated Arts and the CAGS in Arts, Leadership and Learning at Plymouth State University. She is the artistic director/co-founder of the Educational Theatre Collaborative, the Kearsarge Arts Theatre, and the Emmy Award-winning Theatre Integrating Guidance, Education and Responsibility (TIGER), a theatre company that has performed for over 350,000 children regionally, nationally and internationally. In 2007, Trish co-authored a musical with NH composer Will Ogmundson, based on NH author Eleanor Porter’s Pollyanna, which is available worldwide. Trish has won numerous awards including the National Youth Theatre Director Award, the NH State Council of the Arts Governor’s Arts Award, the PSU Distinguished Teaching Award, the Carnegie Foundation NH Professor of the Year Award, an Edie Excellence in Education Award, a Regional Emmy Award, and is a two-time winner of the Moss Hart Trophy given by the New England Theatre Conference.

During the 63rd NETC Convention last Fall, Trish presented a workshop on “Nuts and Bolts: What makes a successful collaboration.” Trish has directed over 100 theatre productions for family audiences, including performances in the US, Europe, Africa, Canada, and New Zealand, blending literature, history and the arts on the stage.

Biographies of all 40 honorees are available at www.nhhc.org/40Over40.php

Submitted by Patricia White, NETC  Fellow

Quannapowitt Playhouse Still

Calling All Playwrights!



QP is still seeking one-act play submissions for our fourth Suburban Holidays production of new holiday plays the for November/December, 2015 Production.

Suburban Holidays explores the theme of the holiday season (in whatever form that means for the playwright) in a town “very much like Reading, MA.” As this festival is being produced in November/December, a preference for date-appropriate holidays (Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, etc.) may come into play; however, all holidays are appropriate material for this festival.

This year’s festival will consist of 4-5 full one-act plays. This means that plays under 20 minutes will not be considered. Plays must be no less than 20 minutes and no more than 45 minutes in length when performed. PLEASE NOTE: If your script is fewer than 20 pages long, the play reading committee will discard it without consideration.

Since this festival draws a large pool of talented actors, plays featuring more than 4 characters will be considered first. Larger cast plays are strongly encouraged!

Preference is given to playwrights from New England, though any playwright may submit. If you are not a resident of New England, your play will be considered, but we do give preference to our area, to increase the chances of having the playwrights visit and see their plays in our festival.

Modern/contemporary plays are given preference. Costuming restraints might not allow for period pieces at this Festival.

Plays must be submitted electronically in MS Word or PDF format, written in standard play format to the festival Producing Director, Patrick Cleary at patrickjamescleary@gmail.com. Paper copies of plays will not be accepted.

Submissions must be received by noon on July 31, 2015.

Submitted by Patrick Cleary, Quannapowitt Playhouse



“NEW | HOME | LAND: Strangers, Newcomers & Neighbors in a New America”

July 10—August 9, 2015 on the Amherst College campus in Amherst, MA

AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS – The Ko Festival of Performance – in its 24th season – is a perennially popular summer experience in Western Massachusetts offering five weekends of theatrical performances, two one-night events, and three 6-day intensive theater workshops.  The five weekend-long performances and the annual KoFest Story Slam event all explore this year’s theme of “NEW|HOME|LAND: Strangers, Newcomers & Neighbors in a New America.”

All KoFest performances, except one special outdoor event, take place in Amherst College’s air-conditioned Holden Theater, located behind the Admissions Office off South Pleasant Street in Amherst, MA. The all-ages event by the Mettawee River Theatre Company is staged on the lawn of the Amherst College Observatory, off Snell Street.  Unless otherwise noted, tickets are priced at: $20 Adults / $16 Students & Seniors. Tickets and further information on the savings that come with the KoFest “Passes & Posses” program are also available at www.kofest.com or by calling (413) 542-3750.  Call about a limited number of $8 tickets.

Ko Festival performances are all are original pieces, created by professional solo and ensemble theatre artists from across the U.S. This year the KoFest artists are all US residents, but were born as far away as Cuba, Thailand and China.

The five weekends feature performances by: Judith Sloan of EarSay (July 10-12)Nadia P. Manzoor of Paprika Productions (July 17-19)Sokeo Ros (July 24-26)Chinese Theater Works (July 31-Aug. 2), and Onawumi Jean Moss (Aug. 7-9), as well as the annual KoFest Story Slam & Benefit Party (July 26).  The works curated for the 2015 season all look at the nature of the immigrant experience of new homes, new lands and examine what “homeland” means in this new America we all inhabit.  Lively, post-show discussions follow every performance and serve as an opportunity for community dialogue on the ideas and issues raised in the piece.  All shows are accompanied by a lobby display that contextualizes the work and audience members will have the opportunity to view or participate in an art installation by visual artist/designer Miguel Romero on their way into the theatre.

KoFest’s outdoor all-ages event on Sunday, July 19 will be Mettawee River Theatre Company’s “OUT OF THE PAST: Celebrating 40 Years of the Mettawee Journey.” A perennial KoFest favorite, this is Metawee’s last year of regular summer touring.  Performed out under the stars, on the Amherst College Observatory lawn, off Snell Street, it will be a night of puppets, masks, live music and a spirit of celebration.

In addition to the performance schedule Ko Festival is now accepting enrollment for three 6-day workshop intensives for performers, writers, storytellers, directors, educators, and all those wanting to kickstart their creativity. Past participants have ranged in age from 18 to 80 and the workshops are taught by expert teachers who are adept at gearing their classes for all levels of experience. Perfect for Story Slam participants, Gerard Stropnicky’s “FIRST PERSON: Crafting Your Story for Performance” is an on-your-feet writers and performers story intensive, designed to release the enormous potential energy already in you and your story; July 20-25. In Jubilith Moore’s workshop, ”ZEN & THE ART OF PERFORMANCE,” experience playing in a deep, articulated, sacred theatrical space; July 27-August 1. The final workshop is IMAGE-OBJECT-PUPPET Creating a Poetic Theatre, with John Farrell participants will use objects, learn principals of puppet animation, and create bunraku style puppets and an original, poetic, devised performance (August 3-8).

July 10—12 | CROSSING THE BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new americaJudith Sloan (EarSay)

A multimedia vision of the future based on 3 years of oral histories with immigrants in Queens, NY. A celebration of resilient people – in search of home.

July 17—19BURQ OFF! Nadia P. Manzoor/Paprika Productions

A show about growing up in London in a conservative Pakistani Muslim home – 21 characters punctuated by fierce Bollywood dance moves and a choice between a burqa and a bikini.

SPECIAL EVENT July 19 • 8:00OUT OF THE PAST: Celebrating 40 Years of the Mettawee Journey Mettawee River Theatre Company

*Location: Amherst College Observatory Lawn, 192 Snell St., Amherst, MA

Our annual favorites in their last year of touring. With live music, masks & exquisite puppets.  Tickets $9 Adults / $7 Children under 12.

Born into a traumatized Cambodian family in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge genocide, Ros finds himself trapped in a ghetto, courted by gangs. A tale of art as redemption, told through hip-hop dance, traditional Khmer dance, spoken-word, storytelling and video.


True stories on “FISH OUT OF WATER” – told, perhaps, by you! Visit kofest.com to see how you can participate.  Coaching available!  All tickets $15. CASH BAR & PRIZES!

July 31—August 2DAY JOBS, OPERA DREAMS | Chinese Theater Works

By and about Peking Opera performers who’ve left China to try their luck in the U.S. On arriving in NYC, the truth is stark – not stardom, but work in restaurants and nail salons. Told through a blend of Peking Opera and personal narrative.

August 7—9SERIOUSLY…WHAT DID YOU CALL ME? | Onawumi Jean Moss

This noted, local storyteller brings the season home with an autobiographical solo that focuses on her resilient migration through the Jim Crow South and the Civil Rights Movement to reclaim her name and cultivate her own Africentric identity.

Funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; the Amherst Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the MA Cultural Council; the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies, The Harold Grinspoon Foundation; Art Angels; and by local businesses and individual donors.  The Mettawee River Theatre Company Performance is sponsored by the Amherst Montessori School.


July 20—25 | FIRST PERSON: Crafting Your Story for Performance

Gerard Stropnicky

Well-crafted story can bring laughter, or tears, or understanding, or lasting social change. Perfect for Story Slam participants.


Jubilith Moore

Zen is the way to a goal, not the goal itself.  The same can be said for performance. For the inter-culturally curious . . .

August 3—8 | IMAGE–OBJECT–PUPPET: Creating a Poetic Theatre

John Farrell

Use objects. Learn principals of puppet animation, and create bunraku style puppets and an original, poetic, devised work.

The Ko Festival, where the only certainty is surprise!




Submitted by Michaela O’Brien, Ko Festival


August 6 – 8 at 7:30 pm

Matinee August 9th at 2 pm

Performances in the Outdoor Amphitheater

Rain Location and Matinee in the Stuart Black Box Theatre

Tickets at Catamountarts.org

Though May was anything but warm in the Northeast Kingdom, located on the farthest eastern corner of Vermont closer to Montreal than Boston, an intrepid group of actors gathered for auditions for the summer Shakespeare, The Tempest, slated for August 6 – 9.  There was still “frost on the pumpkin” but the snow had melted from the outdoor Greek- inspired amphitheater where performances are held in summer.  To save possible frostbite, the auditions were held inside the rain location, the Stuart Black Box Theatre, which is situated on the first floor of the Morse Fine Arts Center on the St. Johnsbury Academy Campus, 1000 Main Street, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819.

After two nights of auditions, a cast was assembled that ranged in age from rising 9th graders to adults with experience that varied from participants in middle school productions to actors from local community theatre groups, to high school acting students to actors who also take part in the local professional productions.

Known as Shakespeare’s last play before those he collaborated on with John Fletcher, The Tempest, written in 1611, has some masquelike features and is considered by the critic, Harold Bloom, in his 1998 book, Shakespeare; The Invention of the Human, to “share the sad distinction (with A Midsummer Night’s Dream) of being the worst interpreted and performed.”  Bloom feels that the play is often hijacked and used to forward ideological agendas.  Though many from Peter Brooke to George C. Wolfe have had success using the play to express ideas about colonialism, it is the characters and their unique situation that appeal to the director, Janet Warner-Ashley.  “This play is about the roles we play when thrust into situations.  All of the characters are isolated on an island so we can look at their relationships.  Prospero begins as an arrogant father and dictator of his tiny kingdom.  His daughter, Miranda, is a budding teen and is beginning to disagree with his autocracy.  Caliban is like a step-son from a previous marriage who is vilified for his mother’s sins and treated like a monster.  Ariel has amazing powers as a sprite but has had a long history as a victim of abuse by those who have powers as well.  This is a comedy so we get to laugh at the folly of these people but we also, hopefully, see a little bit of ourselves in them so we can learn from their mistakes and their triumphs.”

The Tempest is the fifth Summer Shakespeare done in the outdoor amphitheater in as many years.  Starting with A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2011, Twelfth Night in 2012, Much Ado About Nothing in 2013, As You Like It in 2014, The Tempest takes advantage of the experience of the actors who have earned their chops doing other lead roles.  Director Warner-Ashley, returning for her fifth summer, is thrilled to have such a talented cast and crew with veterans from all five years to very young actors, all working side by side.

Peter Gair is shared with Weathervane Theatre, where he is slated to play Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof.  Peter, who was Oberon and Sir Toby Belch in 2011 and 2012, takes the lead as Prospero.  Nathan Colpitts, our local blacksmith and star of many local productions in Vermont and New Hampshire, plays the drunken butler, Stephano, and has had leads in every summer production starting as lover Lysander in 2011, the Duke in 2012, Benedick in 2013 and Touchstone in 2014.  Local novelist, Travis Barrett, played Malvolio in 2012 and Dogberry in 2013, but he is the much maligned Caliban, this summer.  Ariel, will be played by local musician and artist, Andrea Otto, who was a musician in Much Ado.  .  .   and Celia in As You Like It.  Alice Morrison, a rising senior in high school, began as one of the watch in Much Ado.  .  .  , then played several roles including Audrey in As You Like It but she steps in as Prospero’s daughter Miranda this year.  Logan Samuels is another example of a rising sophomore who began with small roles in 2013 and 2014 but who is the King of Naples, Alonso, this summer.  Local Highland Dancer, rising senior and veteran of three summers, Mariah Rust, returns as Trinculo.  Math teacher and community theatre star, Elizabeth Graziose, who was the Friar in Much Ado, returns as Gonzalo.  Brahms Barrett, Lucas Masure, James Rust, Emma Robertson and Bryan LeBlanc are new to Summer Shakespeare and will be playing Ferdinand, Antonio, Sebastian and a Sprite, respectively.

Jane Vinton, five year veteran of Summer Shakespeare, returns as Costumier, Amanda Allen as Stage Manager and Josh Duncan as Technical Director with Jeremy Baldauf as Lighting Design and Bill Vinton as Producing Director.   Diego Melendez does the poster design and has won several awards for his Summer Shakespeare designs.

Join us under the stars for a magical night of Shakespeare but bring a pillow or a lawn chair, a sweater and a picnic lunch to make the night complete.  Tickets are available at Catamount Arts or at the door and are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens.

Submitted by Janet Warner-Ashley, St. Johnsbury Academy, NETC Board Member (Secondary Education)

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