Updates on NH Theater Project, Governor’s Arts Awards, LAACA


The New Hampshire Theater Project is working on its 2021-2022 season, with four productions, along with other projects.

“The good news is we’re still here,” said founding CEO Genevieve Aichele. “Year of madness.”

The business is in a state of transition with the departure of artistic director Catherine Stewart and Aichele’s plan to step down in the next few years. Still, everything is going well, she said.

The coming season has been the result of teamwork with the help of the Board of Directors, the Artist Advisory Board, the Programming Committee and the Company’s artists.

“Making a season takes an extraordinary amount of decisions – the theme, the little shows because of COVID, and which plays fit our space and our actors and are a little bit forward-thinking for us.… It’s finding a balance. “, Aichele said. “That’s what an art director does, but we did it as a team. It was an amazing experience.”

Angela Gendron and CJ Lewis perform a play during the Body and Sold presentation as part of the NH Theater Project's Elephant in the Room series.

The NHTP season begins with “Tulane”, directed by Samantha Smith, based on a children’s book loved by adults.

“It’s a particularly charming adaptation that takes the story very seriously,” she says. “This is something that all ages can come up with, and it will take place during Thanksgiving.”

Then, two “fairly new” comedies, “Women Playing Hamlet”, from January 14 to 30, 2022 and “Small Mouth Sounds”, from March 11 to 27, 2022.

(ACTORS PLEASE NOTE: All main stage auditions are August 23, 5-9 p.m. Reserve a seat at [email protected])

As for the hiring of a new artistic director; “I can’t answer that question at the moment. It doesn’t depend on me as much as it does on the board and the company,” says Aichele. “We’re exploring (several) formats. I’ll be hiring someone in the fall, but probably an outreach coordinator, to do the groundwork, so I can focus on the big picture, the transition and all. development work. “

Announcement of the 2021 Governor’s Awards for the Arts

The NH State Council on the Arts has announced the recipients of its 2021 Governor’s Arts Awards, including several Seacoast winners: New Hampshire Theater Project, Portsmouth, for Arts in Health; Dover Arts Commission for Creative Communities, and Jeff Johnston and Mark Stebbins, Portsmouth, for Individual Arts Champion.

“We are very honored to receive this special award, which recognizes our Elephant-in-the-Room® series,” says Genevieve Aichele. “(This) would not have been possible without the support of the many state social service organizations that have partnered with us. … This program is a profound expression of NHTP’s mission to inspire community transformation through the art of theater. “

The Seacoast Repertory Theater received a Silver Lining Resilience Award, a special category created to recognize perseverance and excellence in 2020.

“We are delighted and honored.… We have said time and again that this past year has been rich in glimmers of hope, of all kinds, and this award embodies what we were most proud of,” said the artistic director Ben Hart. “What’s amazing about all of this is that while we were just trying to keep the organization alive, we ended up strengthening the model. … We felt incredibly blessed last year, and this award is a wonderful icing on the cake. all!”

Actor Jason Faria stars in the Honey Punch series, which returns this Christmas at the Seacoast Repertory Theater.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for StudioLab in Derry on October 26. For more information, visit nh.gov/nharts/artsandartists/gaa/index.htm.

Revitalize the Alliance of Lamprey Arts and Culture

John Herman is back at the Newmarket Mills Community Center, overseen by the Lamprey Arts and Culture Alliance (LAACA).

Herman was a member of the board of directors for three years in its early days. He hosted Millspace’s inaugural event in 2014. The 200-seat capacity space has been widely used for large-scale community and rental space ever since.

During a recent visit to the center’s improvements with President Anna Visciano, “I started to think,” he says.

“Maybe the emphasis on big community events came at the expense of more regular activities there. It’s such a cool space, but, between events, the space is mostly dark. ”

Given his own more recent fine art practice, his mind turned to the possibility of energizing the defined gallery space, which is often empty.

“Two weeks after this meeting with the president, I proposed to the board of directors an artists’ gallery managed by its members,” he says. “Coming back to space, I hope to foster a community of artists that provides activity… almost every weekend.”

Herman has sought the advice of artists and is already building a team. He expects to have a document up and running within a week (at 24 pages and counting a week ago).

It is only at the initial design stage, developing the best formula for the artist and the community. Still, they plan to launch for the first time in October.

“It may not be a typical association or art gallery,” he says, “but a space focused on community building and learning the arts from each other.”

If you are interested in helping the fledgling organization or exhibiting, write to the Lamprey Arts and Culture Alliance. For more information, visit https://millspace.org/faq-category/what-is-the-lamprey-arts-and-culture-alliance/.

The Players’ Ring is testing a new model on a trial basis

A little more information regarding the changes to the Player Ring.

Bretton Reis discussed his arrangement with the Players’ Ring for their upcoming production of “Barefoot in the Park,” in last week’s column, revealing that the venue will take on all production responsibilities, a most unusual arrangement for the Ring.

The common formula is that independent companies produce their shows and share the box office with the house. The Players’ Ring usually produces only one show per season, its “Christmas Carol”.

The Reis-Ring collaboration is a test for a possible new formula. It is he, along with two other shows scheduled for the season, that will determine whether the practice continues.

“I think the genesis of this one came from… our contact with artists of the past who, for one reason or another, haven’t been in orbit of the Ring for a few years,” said the Managing Director Matthew Parent.

The house shared its future changes and hopes with the artists, and asked for their input and what would keep them coming back.

Reis, among others, noted that the cost and risk of producing as small independent businesses were taxed at best and made it difficult to focus on the artistic end.

“They said they enjoyed working with the Ring,… but producing, writing checks, securing rights, handling the box office, marketing and advertising were burdens,” said Parent. “(Reis) said he would welcome the opportunity to be an artist and do the things he wants to do and not produce.”

“This is something that, from a strictly business standpoint,… would be ideal for us. It sounds like a good symbiosis,” he says. “This is how (the trial) took place.”

The Ring will be producing three shows this season, “Barefoot,” its annual “Christmas Carol” and “Moonglow” by renowned playwright Jack Neary, who has reached out to the Ring.

“It’s a trial year. I think what we want … is to be nimble enough to be able to run a production when the artist really wants to do that piece, … but for the producer who wants the traditional (pitcher and autoproduire) offer the usual contract. This is another way of attracting great artists to the Ring. “

Interest is mixed and, hopefully, sufficiently balanced. For example, Patrick Dorow prefers to produce his own shows, says Parent. But time will tell if the percentages are fair.

“It’s a business model that’s new to us. We have to be careful. If someone wants to put on a really expensive show and the risk is entirely on us, there will be that question mark,” says Parent. “It’s on a case-by-case basis.… Hopefully over time the artist gets what he wants (and) it will be mutually beneficial. It’s a little scary, but exciting.”

Jeanné McCartin keeps his eyes and ears open for gossip at [email protected]

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