Guide to 2019 Summer Theater in New Hampshire

Andy’s Summer Playhouse features outstanding plays performed by talented children. Photo by John Hession

NH is home to some truly excellent talent and venues. Whether you appreciate Shakespeare or Broadway, there’s sure to be something happening that you’ll love. Here you’ll find, in alphabetical order, seasonal summer theater venues from across the state.

This summer you could spend a sunny afternoon with the family watching a production of “Beauty and the Beast” at the Prescott Park Arts Festival in Portsmouth, experience Shakespeare’s eternal brilliance at the Sandwich Fairgrounds, see an original work at The Players’ Ring, enjoy a night at the opera with Opera North and much, much more.


Advice to the Players | Andy’s Summer Playhouse | Barnstormers Theatre | Hatbox Theatre | Interlakes Summer Theatre | Jean’s Playhouse | Little Church Theater | M&D Playhouse | New London Barn Playhouse | Opera North | The Palace Theatre | Peterborough Players | The Players’ Ring | Prescott Park Arts Festival | Seacoast Repertory Theatre | Weathervane Theatre | The Winnipesaukee Playhouse

Advice to the Players

As Hamlet said in his advice to the players, “Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor” and head over to the Advice to the Players to hear the challenging but inspiring words of Shakespeare. Advice to the Players is an award-winning company that brings Shakespeare’s words to life every spring and summer in Sandwich and North Conway. This talented group of Shakespeare enthusiasts has been presenting Shakespeare performances and workshops in New Hampshire’s Lakes and Mountain Region since 1999. The company is a mix of professionals, community members and teenagers.

Summer 2019 Performances:

  • Kevin G. Coleman’s “Shakespeare and the Language that Shaped the World,” July 12-21. This Second Stage production will take place at The Arts Center, 12 Main St., Center Sandwich.
  • “Measure for Measure,” August 2-11. The mainstage production can be seen at Quimby Park and the Sandwich Town Hall Theatre.

Click here or call (603) 986-6253 for information and tickets.

Andy’s Summer Playhouse

July 12-August 18
Andy’s Summer Playhouse features innovative plays by children but they’re intended to be enjoyed by those of all ages. From the website: “Andy’s Summer Playhouse exists to provide a safe environment for children to experience and learn about all aspects of the performing arts, with the goal of creating innovative theater for the surrounding community. Andy’s emphasizes education and community building, encouraging all participants to explore their own creativity.”

Summer 2018 Performances:

  • Mainstage production: “Goblin Secrets,” July 5-13.Adapted and Directed by Wyckham Avery, from the National Book Award-winning novel by William Alexander. Hoping to find his lost brother, Rownie escapes the home of the witch Graba and joins a troupe of goblins who perform in Zombay, a city where humans are forbidden to wear masks and act in plays.
  • “Ripe Frenzy,” July 18-20. One of two Teen Intensive performances. Winner of the National New Play Network’s 2016 Smith Prize, this site-specific production brings us to Tavistown, New York, where a recent tragedy has rocked the community to its core. Narrator and town historian, Zoe, recounts the days leading up to the incident, as the high school prepares for the semi-annual production of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” Jennifer Barclay’s new play is a stunning narrative about community in the wake of unspeakable devastation.
  • URL vs. IRL,” July 25-27. This is the second Teen Intensive play. What is more real, the lives that we lead in “the real world” or “the online world?” Combining the use of high-tech gaming technology and low-tech theatricality, “URL vs. IRL” will follow a group of teenage characters as their lives intersect and collide online and off.
  • The Resisters: A Football Musical” August 8-17. When a group of girls want to shake things up in their high school by creating a new sports team, they are met with a series of unexpected set backs. What’s the big deal with an all-girls high school wanting to join the rest of the New England prep school league in a sport that has been around since the American Civil War? Join this group of rule-bending, form-smashing, heart-crushing girls as they line up against their All-American, Undefeated, “Nothing-Has-Ever-Been-In-Their-Way” team of Boys. Yes, this gang of female bandits has started a football team, named “The Resisters.” 11 men on a field, they say? Hut hut, HIKE!

Click here or call (603) 654-2613 for information, tickets and details on other programs such as the Andy’s Academy workshops, the apprenticeship program and more.

582 Isaac Frye Hwy., Wilton

The Barnstormers Theatre

June 27-August 31
Located in the charming small village of Tamworth, the Barnstormers is one of the longest-running professional summer theatres in the country. The company was founded in 1931 by Francis Cleveland, the youngest son of President Grover Cleveland, Francis’s wife Alice and their friend Ed Goodnow – all of whom were involved with theatre on Broadway. Today, The Barnstormers is one of three Equity theatres in New Hampshire, and consists of over 40 professional actors, some of which have been performing at Barnstormers for 50 years.

Summer 2019 Performances:

  • “Damn Yankees,” June 27-July 6
  • “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” July 11-20
  • “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” July 25-August 3
  • Agatha Christie’s “Spider Web,” August 8-17
  • “Things My Mother Taught Me,” August 22-31

104 Main St., Tamworth
(603) 323-8500
Click here for tickets and information

Hatbox Theatre

Boundary-pushing black box theatres may seem like a luxury reserved for college campuses and big cities but, with the opening of Hatbox Theatre last year, Concord has recently gained one of its own. The 99-seat space (located in a former Coldwater Creek in the Steeplegate Mall) hosts a wide variety of theatrical and performing arts productions throughout the year, from one-act plays to magic shows by the theater’s owner, Absolutely Magic’s Andrew Pinard. Here’s a sample of what’s coming up this summer:

  • Absinthe & Opium Burlesque: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” June 1-2. This 18+ and BYOB show features Absinthe and Opium Cabaret and Burlesque, central New Hampshire’s premiere cabaret troupe. They will present a light hearted frolic through love, lust, whimsy and dreams with their tribute to Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
  • Shakespeare’s “Richard II,” June 15-July 1. Presented in modern dress, you will feel yourself transported into a very familiar world of political machinations by power-seekers in the corridors of government.
  • “It’s Academic,” July 27-August 5. New World Theatre presents a collection of four new works, all based on an academic theme, written by four regional playwrights.
  • “Best Enemies,” August 27-26. A rodeo cruise ship; an explosion. Two survivors are stranded on a desert island – Rex, a grizzled rancher, resigned to his fate, wanting only to die in peace and Cody, a rodeo clown with love in his heart for everything except silence. Written by award-winning playwright Michael Kimball.

270 Loudon Rd., Concord,

Interlakes Summer Theatre

July 5-August 19
This company seeks to bring the Lakes Region a wide variety of productions, from children’s theatre to classic favorites.

Summer 2018 Performances:

  • “Evita,” July 5-15
  • “Show Boat,” July 18-29
  • “La Cage Aux Folles,” August 1-12
  • “Newsies,” August 15-19

1 Laker Ln., Meredith.
Click here or call (603) 707-6035 for information and tickets.

Jean’s Playhouse

This North Country theatre has been open for 31 years and prides itself on bringing the community together. Over 150,000 locals have come out to support the theatre and each summer the children’s theatre entertains over 12,000 members of nearby communities. The new Jean’s Playhouse (opened in the summer of 2012) features comfortable seating, a bigger lobby and better heating and air conditioning. Jean’s Playhouse is home to many concerts and events throughout the year, but stop by in the summer and fall for great theatre.

Summer 2018 Performances:

  • “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” July 5-14
  • Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” July 19-August 4
  • “Seussical,” August 9-25
  • “Always Patsy Cline,” September 6-15
  • “Driving Miss Daisy,” September 27-October 6

34 Papermill Drive, Lincoln
Click here or call (603) 745-2141 for information on summer show and tickets

Little Church Theater

This Holderness venue — located in, sure enough, a small former church — has a knack for fun productions and bold choices.

Summer 2018 Performances:

Details not yet available — check back soon!

Little Church Theater
Route 113, Holderness

M&D Playhouse

Tucked away in a strip mall on the edge of the White Mountains, North Conway’s M&D Playhouse has quietly amassed a reputation in its 17-year history for staging some of the most challenging theatre in the state. Daring past productions include “Equus” and “Glengarry Glen Ross.”

Summer 2018 Performances:

  • “Sweeney Todd,” June 21-July 7
  • “August: Osage County,” August 2-18
  • “Things My Mother Taught Me,” September 13-23

M&D Playhouse
1857 White Mountain Highway, North Conway
Click here or call (603) 733-5275 for more information.

New London Barn Playhouse

June 13-September 2
One of the oldest summer stock theatres in the country, the New London Barn Players combine emerging talent with seasoned professionals to produce high quality theatre. Although some things have changed since its 1933 opening (such as the fifty-cent tickets), Mr. Holmes’ core mission still stands true – “To establish … a theatre group presenting dramas of stimulating artistic and literary merit.”

Summer 2018 Performances:

  • “Camelot,” June 13-24
  • “Little Women,” June 27-July 8
  • “Sylvia,” July 11-15
  • “42nd Street,” July 18-August 5
  • “Newsies,” August 8-19
  • “Murder for Two,” August 22-September 2
  • Select Mondays (July 2, 23 and August 13) see the new Spotlight Series, formerly known as New London Barn Idols.
  • Children’s Theater Series at the Barn: The 2018 Children’s Theater Series consists of five shows performed by the Barn’s own Junior Intern Company.

84 Main St., New London
Click here or call (603) 526-6710 for information and tickets.

Opera North

July 13-August 14
Opera North (ON) is in its 36th season in the Upper Valley. Opera North is a nonprofit, professional opera company serving residents of this region and beyond. Throughout its 36-year existence, ON has focused on bringing classical music theater to this region in its myriad of styles and through the nurturing of talent. Opera North is the only full-time opera company in the tri-state region of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine that stages original productions.

Summer 2018 Performances:

  • “Singers & Swingers,” at Blow-Me-Down Farm, July 13-15
  • Offenbach’s “Tales of Hoffmann” at the Lebanon Opera House, August 3
  • Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” at the Lebanon Opera House, August 5-14
  • Special events include Artist Showcase at the Lebanon United Methodist Church on July 21, the Veranda Concert at The Fells on July 22 and a Lake Sunapee dinner cruise on July 26. On opening nights, join Opera North on Lebanon Green (Colburn Park) for wine and appetizers at the VIP tent.

51 North Park St., Lebanon
Click here or call (603) 448-4141 for information.

The Palace Theatre

July 10-August 23
The Palace Professional Theatre for Children Series takes the stage this summer at one of New Hampshire’s most well known and historic theatres. The beautiful 840-seated theatre is the only one of it’s kind in the area. The children’s series will have you and your children leave the theatre singing.

Summer 2018 Performances:

  • “Beauty and the Beast,” July 10-12
  • “Cinderella,” July 17-19
  • “Aladdin,” July 24-26
  • “The Little Mermaid,” July 31-August 2
  • “The Wizard of Oz,” August 7-9
  • “Peter Pan,” August 14-16
  • “The Jungle Book,” August 21-23

Also, don’t miss the 2018 Summer Children’s Series including events like Magician BJ Hickman (July 3-5)

80 Hanover St., Manchester
Click here or call (603) 668-5588 for an updated list of plays and ticket information.

Peterborough Players

June 20-September 16
A true rustic theatre company, the Peterborough Players was founded in 1933 and perform in an 18th-century barn to this day, but don’t worry — there’s air conditioning. Each season seven main stage productions are showcased and two second company children shows. Though the summer season is a must, the Players are now offering a full year of events.

Summer 2018 Performances:

  • “Tru” from the words and works of Truman Capote, June 20-July 1
  • “The Skin of Our Teeth,” a comedy by Thorton Wilder, July 4-15
  • “An Inspector Calls,” a J.B. Priestley mystery, July 18-29
  • “The Drowsy Chaperone,” August 1-12
  • “The Man of Destiny,” A classic comedy by George Bernard Shaw, August 15-26
  • “Sexy Laundry,” an adult comedy by Michele Riml, August 29-September 9
  • “The Dork Knight,” written and performed by Jason O’Connell, September 12-16

Second Company Children’s Shows:

  • “The Wind in the Willows,” June 23-July 21
  • “Pippi Longstocking,” August 18-25

55 Hadley Rd., Peterborough
Click here or call (603) 924-7585 for information and tickets.

The Players’ Ring

The Players’ Ring aims to promote local artists by performing original works at an affordable price. Each winter, The Players’ Ring holds the Producers’ Meeting where theatrical artists of all types come to propose plays and performance pieces for the upcoming season, including the Late Night Summer Season.

2018 Late Night Summer Series

  • “New Hampsketch,” featuring live music, storytellers, improv comedy and more. June 22-July 1
  • “Emotion Without Name,” July 6-15
  • “Death Comes to the Food Court,” July 20-29
  • “Under the Aguacate Tree,” When drug lords took over Honduras, the Martinezes, both educators, left with their son Manuel and their maid, Odalma. But Odalma is a maid with a secret. What will she do — stay with the Martinezes or find a way to get to New York City on her own? August 3-12
  • “Private Property,” an original dark comic mystery by William Ivor Fowkes. August 17-26

105 Marcy St., Portsmouth
Click here or call (603) 436-8123 for information and tickets.

Prescott Park Arts Festival

A delightful s summer tradition since 1974. Held in the waterfront Prescott Park, the festival offers a full summer of events that are family appropriate. Live theater is highlighted here, but the festival includes much more, including outdoor movies, music, a fairy house tour, chowder fest, road race, chili cook-off, brew fest and other entertainment and special events.

Summer 2018 Performances:

  • “Seussical” shows every Thursday-Sunday from June 22 to August 19. Thursday and Sunday shows will begin at 7 p.m. while Friday and Saturday shows start at 8 p.m. At each show you can buy a table, reserve a blanket and even order a pizza.
  • Check out Camp ENCORE, where performers, artists and aspiring technicians, ages 8-17, all work together towards a common goal – a fully produced musical presented at the end of each session.

Click here for tickets and more information.

Seacoast Repertory Theatre

All year
This award-winning professional performance space once acted as the warehouse for the Portsmouth Brewing Company in the ’70s but has since made a great addition to the seacoast community’s theatre life. Though there are performances all year long, Portsmouth is a popular summer destination, and it would be a shame to leave out this excellent theatre. While you’re in town to soak up some summer seaside life, stop in at the Rep for an excellent show. For something unique, the Speakeasy By The Sea nights take place each month in the Rep’s intimate lobby. Drink wine and enjoy the voices of Seacoast Rep’s best performers as they sing songs they’ve selected just for you.

Summer/Fall 2018 Performances:

  • The Who’s “Tommy,” June 29-July 29
  • “Xanadu,” August 2-26
  • “Avenue Q,” September 14-30

125 Bow St., Portsmouth
Click here or call (603) 433-4472 for information and tickets.

Weathervane Theatre

July 8-September 2
The Weathervane Theatre brings Broadway all the way to North Country New Hampshire for its 53rd season this summer. Weathervane is the only professional alternating repertory theatre in the country, producing seven shows in eight weeks – a different show every night. See the full calendar here. *The 2018 dates will be posted soon, but the play titles have been announced.

Summer 2018 Performances:

  • “The Little Mermaind,” opens TBA
  • “The Foreigner,” opens TBA
  • “Always, Patsy Cline,” opens TBA
  • “Chicago,” opens opens TBA
  • “Our Town,” opens opens TBA
  • Monty Python’s “Spamalot,” opens TBA
  • “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” opens TBA

389 Lancaster Rd., Whitefield
Click here or call (603) 837-9322 for information and tickets.

The Winnipesaukee Playhouse

June 13-September 9 (and all year long)
The Playhouse is a non-profit, award-winning theatre churning out high-energy shows. Newer to the theatre scene, The Playhouse was founded in 2004, but is still considered a gem to central NH. You can catch performances all year long, but there’s something extra special about catching a show on a warm summer evening after a day spent on the lake. The Playhouse also offers some excellent summer youth educational camps and other programming.

Summer 2018 Performances:

  • “Miss Julie,” June 13-23
  • “Welcome to Boeing Boeing,” June 27-July 7
  • “Charlie’s Aunt,” July 11-21
  • “Mamma Mia,” July 26-August 11
  • “Ghost,” August 16-September 1
  • “Master Harold and the Boys,” September 5-9

50 Reservoir Rd., Meredith
Click here or call (603) 366-7377 for information and tickets.

Categories: Summer Attractions