Behind the Curtain: Weathervane Theater


Exterior of the Weathervane in August 2019 Photo by Lew Whitener

Summer is just around the corner, which means that summer theater is too. To help celebrate this season of sunshine, rising temperatures, barbecues and outdoor fun, we’re starting “Behind the Curtain,” a series of profiles introducing you to the many unique (and even historic) summer theaters around New Hampshire.

For our latest profile, check out Weathervane Theatre in Whitefield. The theater is the only professional alternating repertory theater in the country, producing seven shows in eight weeks with a different show every night. We reached out to Marketing Associate Carrie Greenberg to learn about their 56th summer season in the North Country.

Tell us about the history of your theater.
Carrie Greenberg:
“Founded in 1966 by Gibbs Murray and the late Tom Haas, the Weathervane continued the tradition of live, professional summer entertainment in Whitefield that began at the Chase Barn Theatre. The Chase opened in 1934 in a barn on the Chase Farm property. From 1934 through 1962, William Chase, arts critic at the New York Times, began importing performers every summer from Broadway, the Met and beyond to the delight of North Country residents and vacationers.

The Weathervane as we know it was born in 1965  when Lucy Chase Sparks introduced Tom Haas and Gibbs Murray to a property on Route 3 that offered two conjoined antique barns just begging to be transformed into a new stage space. For 36 summers, the 1860s-era, 225-seat barn served generations of theater-goers.

Open staging (no proscenium) and a raked, moveable pie section combined with the intimacy of the space made for creative staging and an immediacy, which eager audiences were drawn to. [This created] Weathervane’s signature alternating repertory style — presenting seven different productions in eight weeks. Over the years, the space has been updated (and even survived a devastating fire), and has continued to present high-quality plays and Broadway-style musicals.

Despite the pandemic, Weathervane was able to successfully produce a virtual summer season last year consisting of Mainstage and children’s theater programming, utilizing live-streaming for the first time and increasing Weathervane’s reach worldwide. Weathervane was also given approval by the artist union Actors’ Equity Association as the first theater post-pandemic to be able to produce a multi-person production indoors, which gave way to a successful inaugural fall season. What was once a small summerstock theater has grown into a theater with a summer and fall alternating repertory season with 11 productions over 15 weeks, plus a growing education program (Intern Program, theatrer camp, children’s theater series) and community initiatives (student tickets, free events, etc.). Constant to the Weathervane is its high-quality productions brought to life with top tier talent with a lot of heart.”

What makes your venue special or different?
“Our cofounder, Gibbs Murray. At 81 years old, Gibbs still designs some of our sets, our season poster and show logos, and gives curtain speeches. Even his handwriting is synonymous with the Weathervane. You may also find him on a hot July afternoon helping paint in the scene shop (and giving some pointers). Also something special to the Weathervane is that you are hard pressed to find another venue where the employees are so giving. Everyone here works for the betterment of the institution and the quality of life for the community.”

What’s the story behind the name of your theater?
“When Tom and Gibbs purchased the property from the Chase family, there was an inn next door named The Weathervane Inn, and as the theater space originally started as a barn there was a weathervane on the roof of the building. While the weathervane was stolen after that first summer, the inn still stands but is now the award-winning Inn at Whitefield, a very popular restaurant that we still partner with for our dinner and a show packages.”

What are you best known for?
“Our signature alternating repertory. Over the course of the summer we are known for presenting seven shows in eight weeks.”


August 2020 production photo from the virtual production and original revue “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.” Pictured: Ethan Paulini, Grace Livingston Kramer and Ira Kramer Photo by Lew Whitener

Tell us about the most memorable play you’ve done.
“I think last season as a whole was incredibly memorable. When many arts organizations had understandably shut their doors, through outdoor and livestream programming, as well as rigorous health and safety standards, we figured out a way we could safely create and deliver theater. The performance that was especially memorable was when The New York Times was in the audience for a performance of “Little Shop of Horrors.” They got wind of what we were doing and came up for a visit which resulted in a really beautiful feature in the NYT Arts section.”

Tell us about what you have been up to this season. Do you have anything exciting planned for 2021?
“Our new student ticketing program! All current high school juniors and seniors in Coös County are eligible to receive two tickets to a mainstage production of their choice. We are so happy to make the arts even more accessible here in the North Country.”

What keeps you passionate about doing what you do?
“The arts are so important. In times like these, people need an outlet, whether it’s as a form of self-expression or as a means of escape. For us at the Weathervane, theater enriches our lives and we want our communities to experience that same level of fulfillment. While we are known at the Weathervane for our dedication and work ethic, we are also known for bringing joy. You can get through any obstacle when you know what you’re doing will ultimately improve someone else’s quality of life.”

How can people best support you right now?
“Come see a show! Single tickets, ticket packages, subscriptions and gift certificates available at”

Categories: Behind the Curtain

The post Behind the Curtain: Weathervane Theater appeared first on New Hampshire Magazine.

40+ NH Museums to Visit This Summer

When the summertime impulse to get out of the house encounters the drearier forces of nature, don’t just hunker down in front of a screen. Hit the road and discover the many bright worlds to be explored inside New Hampshire’s inner space. Museums, large and small, offer journeys into the past and the future and provide new ways of looking at our state and our planet. And if you are feeling lucky, pack a picnic lunch, ’cause you never know when the sun might break through.

Before you head out, make sure you check each museum’s website for updates on reservations, rules and capacity limits. 

North Country | Lakes Region | Concord Area | Manchester Area | Seacoast Region | Monadnock Region | Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region

North Country Museums

Museum of the White Mountains
17 High St., Plymouth, NH
(603) 535-3210
Hours: Open to staff, faculty, and students Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Saturdays and Sundays. Open to general public online at any time.
Admission: Free.
About: Opened in February of 2013, this relatively new museum is located on the Plymouth State University campus. The museum’s mission is to preserve, celebrate and promote the history, environmental legacy and culture of the region.

New England Ski Museum
Route 16, North Conway, NH
Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
About: The New England Ski Museum in North Conway (the Eastern Slope Branch) houses a history of skiing. Their mission is to collect, conserve, and exhibit elements of ski history for research, education and inspiration.

Stay tuned for opening updates
The Frost Place

158 Ridge Rd., Franconia, NH
(603) 823-5510
Hours: Opens for the season on Memorial Day weekend and closes the week after Columbus Day. Museum hours and days of operation vary by season. The museum grounds, the poetry trail, and Robert Frost’s porch are always open to the public.
About: Simple country cottage where Robert Frost and his family spent summers and lived full time from 1915 to 1920. The cottage has a half-mile nature trail with plaques displaying poems written during the poet’s Franconia years and a small exhibit of signed first-editions of Frost’s work.

Old Man of the Mountain Museum
Franconia State Park, Franconia, NH
(603) 823-8800
Hours: Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
Admission: Free
About: The stone face might be gone, but his memory lives on in this small museum, located in the Cannon Mountain aerial tramway base station, with an Old Man gift shop (open from Memorial Day Weekend to Columbus Day) and a display of photos and artifacts. The collection includes the turnbuckle used to fasten the Old Man to the mountain when the stone face was crumbling.

Gorham Historical Society & Railroad Museum
25 Railroad St., Gorham, NH
(603) 466-5338
Hours: Open Wednesday through Saturday from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
About: Situated in a 1907 depot, this museum contains memorabilia of the Grand Trunk Railroad including a B&M 4265 diesel, a Baldwin steam locomotive, Russell snow plow, a caboose and four freight cars, and Fairmont ST2 Track Inspection Car.

Lakes Region Museums

Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm
58 Cleveland Hill Rd., Tamworth, NH
(603) 323-7591
Hours: Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Admission: Pay what you wish during these COVID-19 times. Fridays are free for Tamworth residents.
About: You can see a working farm with sheep, goats, pigs, cows, steers and chickens. Nestled in the heart of New Hampshire, the farm offers year-round history, season-based learning opportunities and exploratory fun for all generations. Discover Remick!

The Poore Family Farm

Stay tuned for opening updates
Poore Family Homestead Historic Farm Museum
629 Hollow Road Route 145, Stewartstown, NH
(603) 237-5500
Hours: Open June through September 30, Friday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Suggested admission: $5 per person and children under 12 are free.
About: A working farm and museum recounting one farm family’s life on the property from the 1830s through the 1980s.

  • Did you know that the most lucrative period of farming in New Hampshire was during the sheep farming boom from 1810-1830?

New Hampshire Boat Museum
399 Center St., Wolfeboro, NH
(603) 569-4554
Hours: Open Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday from 12-4 p.m. Thursday admission is free.
Admission: Adults are $9; seniors (65+) and children ages 7-17 are $7; children 13 and under are free
About: Displays of historic and contemporary power boats, canoes and other watercraft used on local lakes.

The Wright Museum

The Wright Museum
77 Center St., Wolfeboro, NH
(603) 569-1212
Hours: Open May 1-October 31, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Monday-Saturday and 12-4 p.m. on Sunday. Closed November through April, except by appointment.
Admission: Adults are $10; military and seniors are $8; children ages 5-17 are $6; and children under 4 are free.
About: Exhibit of World War II memorabilia, including tanks, posters, home front exhibits and other art and artifacts from the Greatest Generation.

American Classic Arcade Museum
Funspot, 579 Endicott St. North, Laconia, NH
(603) 366-4377
Hours: Monday through Friday from 12-10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Admission: Donations
About: Claims to have the largest collection of vintage working arcade games in the world.

  • Did you know that the cult film “King of Kong” was filmed at Funspot, the site of the arcade museum?

Harold S. Gilman Museum
Rt. 140 and Main St., Alton, NH
(603) 875-2161
Hours: Open by appointment only.
Admission: Free
About: Harold S. Gilman left his collections of guns, buttons, furniture, dolls and photographs to the town. Exhibit includes a rare Regina music box. This varied collection offers insights into the domestic life of nineteenth century Americans and the business and family relationships of Alton families.

New Hampshire Farm Museum
1305 White Mountain Hwy., Milton, NH
(603) 652-7840
Hours: Open to the public Memorial Day to June 21, weekends only from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. From June 21 to August 30, open Wednesday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Open August 29-October 20, weekends only from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Admission: Adults, $10, children age 4-17, $5; seniors and students, $7.50; family rate, $25.
About: Learn about three centuries of New Hampshire farm life at this working farm.

Stay tuned for opening updates
Lake Winnipesaukee Museum
503 Endicott St., Laconia, NH
(603) 366-5776
About: Exhibit includes vintage souvenir postcards, photographs and memorabilia of summer camps and steamboats.

  • Did you know that at one time there were more than 100 summer boys and girls camps on Lake Winnipesaukee, the majority run by educators interested in the physical and moral health of youth? There are now about two dozen camps left.

Libby Museum
755 North Main Street, Wolfeboro, NH
(603) 569-1035
Hours: Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day, except Mondays. Open Sundays from 12-4 p.m.
Admission: $5 for adults and free to seniors and veterans
About: A natural history museum built in 1912 by local dentist Henry Libby includes mounted animals, Abenaki Indian artifacts and more.

The Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum

Concord Area Museums

New Hampshire Historical Society
30 Park Street, Concord, NH
(603) 228-6688
Hours: Open for appointment only Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Admission: $7 for ages 18 and older.
About: The New Hampshire Historical Society’s museum includes a Concord Coach, 19th century paintings of the White Mountains, Abenaki artifacts and the “mystery stone” (don’t ask, you’ll have to visit). The museum even has a re-creation of a fire lookout tower on the roof with a magnificent view of the Merrimack River as it corkscrews its way north.

Canterbury Shaker Village
288 Shaker Rd., Canterbury, NH
(603) 783-9511
Hours: Open June 12 through September. Hours TBD.
About: Canterbury Shaker Village is a tribute to the 200-year history of the Canterbury Shakers with 25 restored original Shaker buildings, four reconstructed Shaker buildings and 694 acres of forests, fields, gardens, nature trails and mill ponds. On site is one of the best museum gift shops in the state and The Shaker Box Lunch & Farm Stand offering sandwiches, salads, soups, baked goods and local products.

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
2 Institute Dr., Concord, NH
(603) 271-7827
Hours: Open all year, but hours vary due to seasons and school vacation weeks. See a complete list of hours here.
Admission: Ticket prices vary
About: Foster a sense of wonder and curiosity about astronomy, aviation, earth and space science with the center’s many exhibits, activities, planetarium and more. There are also a number of programs and events scheduled throughout the year.

  • Did you know that when New Hampshire’s own Alan Shepard became the first American in space in 1961, his 302-mile trip took only 15 minutes?

New Hampshire Telephone Museum
1 Depot St., Warner, NH
(603) 456-2234
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: $7 per person; seniors (60+) are $6; school-age children are $3 and military members are free.
About: View a collection of telephones, equipment and tools from the very first telephones to the latest wireless devices. Display includes hand-cranked magneto boxes familiar to viewers of old movies – you know, “call me on the Don Ameche.” Visitors to the New Hampshire Telephone Museum can now also enhance their experience by using our mobile tour app.

  • Did you know that until the New England Hurricane of 1938 small, private telephone companies were common in New Hampshire? It was only after all those trees fell that Bell Telephone bought them out and prospered.

Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum
18 Highlawn Rd., Warner, NH
(603) 456-2600
Hours: Open daily from May 1 to October 31. Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Sunday from 12-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults are $9; seniors and students are $8; children ages 6-12 are $7 and children under 6 are free. Native Americans are free.
About: View exhibits of Native Americana – dioramas, clothing and crafts as well as teepee mockup and a nature trail highlighting plants used for medicine and native American rituals.

The Aviation Museum of New Hampshire. Photo by Kevin Harkins

Manchester Area Museums

Currier Museum of Art
150 Ash St., Manchester, NH
(603) 669-7194
Hours: Open Thursdays from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults are $15; senior (65+) are $13, students are $10; youth (13-17) are $5.
About: The Currier is considered to be one of the best small museums in the country and includes European and American paintings, decorative arts, photographs and sculpture, including works by Picasso, Monet, O’Keeffe and Wyeth. The museum also offers tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House, and has an on-site café, The Winter Garden.

SEE Science Center
200 Bedford St., Manchester, NH
(603) 669-0400
Hours: Open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m.
Admission: $9 per person ages 3 and up.
About: Includes hands-on exhibits about light, sound, electricity and simple machines. There is also a model of the Amoskeag millyard made from three million LEGOs on permanent display.

Millyard Museum
200 Bedford St., Manchester, NH
(603) 622-7531
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults are $8; seniors and college students are $6; children age 12-18 are $4; and under 12 are free.
About: On permanent display is “Woven in time: 11,000 Years at Amoskeag Falls.” Amoskeag Mills was one of the largest textile mills in the world and employed more than 17,000 people at its peak. The museum houses the over 600,000 documents and artifacts from the Manchester Historical Society, from neon shoe store signs to textile looms. Visitors to the Millyard Museum can also now enhance their experience by using a new mobile tour app as they explore the museum.

Aviation Museum of New Hampshire
27 Navigator Rd., Londonderry, NH
(603) 669-4820
Hours: Open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.- 4 p. m. and on Sunday from 1-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults are $5; seniors are $4; children 12-16 are $2.50; under 12 are free; veterans are $4; max family price is $15.
About: Airplane models, photographs and memorabilia of Granite State’s history in the air. The museum is housed in the original Art Deco terminal building built in 1937.

  • Did you know the terminal building was one of only two structures in the United States moved across a working runway?

American Credit Union Museum
420 Notre Dame Ave., Manchester, NH
(603) 629-1553
Hours: Open by appointment only Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. or by virtual visit online.
About: The museum was the former dwelling of Joseph Boivin, manager of the St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association, with period offices and exhibits on the history of the credit union.

  • Did you know that St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association was the first credit union in the country? It was founded by Monsignor Pierre Hevey and his Manchester parishioners in 1908.

Seacoast Area Museums

Strawbery Banke Museum
14 Hancock St., Portsmouth, NH
(603) 433-1100
Hours: Open June 19 to October 17 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adult are $19.50; children ages 5-17 are $9; children under 5 are free; families (two adults accompanying children under 17) are $48.
About: This 10-acre site was the location of the first Portsmouth settlement in 1630 and continued to be a residential area until the 1960s. The restored buildings represent over 300 years of our state and our nation’s history. Check out their calendar to see what special events are happening throughout their season. 

Portsmouth Athenaeum
6-9 Market Square, Portsmouth, NH
(603) 431-2538
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Free33
About: Genealogy, maritime history, biographies and Civil War memorabilia are featured here.

The Seacoast Science Center

Seacoast Science Center
570 Ocean Boulevard, Rye, NH
(603) 436-8043
Hours: Open Friday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Ages 13 and above are $10; seniors and active military are $8; ages 3-12 are $5; and under 3 are free.
About: Enjoy a variety of fish tanks and exhibits of the Seacoast. The 32-foot-long skeleton of a humpback whale hangs from the museum’s ceiling.

  • Did you know that the heart of the average humpback whale weighs 430 pounds – about as much as three adult humans?

Children’s Museum of New Hampshire
6 Washington St., Dover, NH
(603) 742-2002
Hours: Open Wednesday and Sunday from 9-11:30 a.m. and Thursday-Saturday from 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m.
Admission: $11 for adults and children over age 1; seniors (65+) are $9.
About: Check out hands-on learning and fun for all ages. Climb through caves, discover dinosaurs and learn to fly. There are also numerous ongoing STEAM innovation programs as well as special events.

Derry History Museum
29 West Broadway, Derry, NH
(603) 434-1247
Hours: Open Sunday 1-5 p.m. and by appointment
Admission: Free
About: This local potpourri includes Native American artifacts like a dugout canoe and a quill basket. There’s also a room devoted to native son, astronaut Alan Shepard, and a rock artifact commemorating the growing of the first potato in North America in town in 1719.

Stay tuned for opening updates
Tuck Museum
40 Park Ave., Hampton, NH
(603) 929-0781
Hours: Open in the spring, summer and fall on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Free but donations are appreciated.
About: Exhibit of millstones, monuments, a fire station museum, old postcards and memorabilia of this seaside town first settled by Puritans in 1638. Collection includes the Viking’s Stone thought by some to be a relic of an early visit to the area by Norsemen.

Woodman Institute Museum
182 Central Avenue, Dover, NH
(603) 742-1038
Hours: Book a tour online
Admission: Adults are $13; senior citizens are $10; students 13-college and active military are $9; children 4-12 are $7; and children 3 and under are free.
About: Eclectic collection of local art artifacts including 1,300 labeled rocks and minerals and a 10-foot tall polar bear. Exhibit also includes the last cougar killed in the state, in 1843.

  • Did you know that the last cougar in the state was killed in 1843?

American Independence Museum
1 Governors Lane, Exeter, NH
(603) 772-2622
Hours: Tours available on Thursday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Admission: $5 a person
About: Permanent collections include American furnishings, ceramics, silver, textiles and military ephemera. The museum was founded in 1991 to display rare Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration of Independence found on the property in 1985.

USS Albacore Museum Albacore Park
600 Market St., Portsmouth, NH
(603) 436-3680
Hours: Open June to September 6, Monday to Sunday from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults are $9; children age 5-14 are $4; children under 7 and active military are free.
About: Take a hands-on tour of submarine built in at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. You can sit on the bunks and tables in the cramped quarters and even check out the traffic on Route 1 Bypass through the periscope.

  • Did you know that the USS Albacore was an experimental submarine built expressly for speed in 1953? Fish were used as a model. The vessel ship has a cod’s head and a mackerel’s tail.

Monadnock Area Museums

Mariposa Museum and World Culture Center
26 Main St., Peterborough, NH
(603) 924-4555
Hours: Open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults are $8; seniors are $6; children ages 3-16 are $5.
About: An interactive museum of artifacts from around the world including drums, costumes, chimes and marionettes in a historic Baptist church. Make sure to visit the outdoor zen garden.

Florence H. Speare Memorial Museum
5 Abbott St., Nashua, NH
(603) 883-0015
Hours: Open Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Free
About: Operated by the Nashua Historical Society this small museum features Industrial Age artifacts, an impressive selection of historical textiles and rotating exhibits.

Stay tuned for opening updates
Horatio Colony Museum and Nature Preserve
199 Main St., Keene, NH
(603) 352-0460
Hours: Open May 1 through October 15 on Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: Free.
About: The four-square Federal-style house built in 1806 was the home of Horatio Colony, descendant of one of Keene’s historic families and is filled with original family furnishings.

Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee museums

Stay tuned for opening updates
The Aidron Duckworth Art Museum
21 Bean Rd., Meriden, NH
(603) 469-3444
Hours: Open April 28 – October 28 on Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
About: This museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting the artworks of Aidron Duckworth. The building, Meriden’s former “White School,” was an elementary school from 1940 to 1972. From 1977 to 2001 it was Duckworth’s home and studio, and a for a brief time his art school for adults. You’ll also find works from guest artists, four changing exhibitions each year, and sculpture outdoors on the former school grounds and Duckworth’s gardens.

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
139 Saint Gaudens Rd., Cornish, NH
(603) 675-2175
Hours: Park grounds, gardens, outdoor monuments and trails are open. Historic buildings are temporarily closed.
Admission: $10 for ages 16 and over. The receipt is valid for seven days and may be used for re-entry to the park. Children 15 and under are free.
About: This is the home, studios and gardens of famed American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The park’s trails and grounds are open year-round, dawn till dusk for hiking use. The Visitor Center is typically open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Memorial Day weekend (late May) to Oct 31. Guided tours are offered during this time.

Did you know that Augustus Saint-Gaudens was the first sculptor to design an American coin? The $20 gold piece he designed in 1907 at the request of Theodore Roosevelt is known as a “Saint-Gaudens” by coin collectors. Click here for our guide to the Saint-Gaudens estate plus a history of the artist’s life.

The Fells Historic Estate and Gardens
456 Route 103A, Newbury, NH
(603) 763-4789
Hours: House, trails and garden hours vary. Click here for complete details.
Admission: Adults are $10; seniors and students are $8; children ages 6-17 are $4; and ages 5 and under are free.
About: The Fells spans across 83 acres of beauty and tranquility. Visitors can learn the legacy of diplomat and statesman John Milton Hay, tour the 22-room Colonial Revival home, explore the forests, walk the woodland trails and enjoy the renowned gardens. The Fells is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a preservation project of The Garden Conservancy.

Stay tuned for opening updates
The Hood Downtown
53 Main St., Hanover, NH
Hours: Open on Wednesday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday-Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed on Monday and Tuesday.
About: The Hood Museum of Art dates back to 1772 and is owned and operated by Dartmouth College. It houses both permanent collections and visiting exhibitions.

Stay tuned for opening updates
Enfield Shaker Museum
Rte. 4A, Enfield, NH
(603) 632-4346
Admission: Adults are $12; ages 11-17 are $8, children 6-10 are $3; and children 5 and under are free.
About: Canterbury was not the state’s only Shaker village, one also once thrived on Mascoma Lake in Enfield. Thirteen of the original buildings still survive and the Great Stone Dwelling, the largest structure ever built by the sect, is now a museum. The collection includes clothing, furniture, tools and photographs of the earnest agriculturists. The museum also has an extensive herb and flower garden.

Categories: Family-friendly things to do, Summer Attractions

The post 40+ NH Museums to Visit This Summer appeared first on New Hampshire Magazine.

Dahlia Nomadic Restaurant


The duck confit course from Dahlia’s pop-up dinner at Industry East in Manchester Photo by Michael-Hauptly Pierce

Pop-up restaurants are fairly new to the New Hampshire food scene, but they are essentially an opportunity for a publican to allow another chef and staff to take over to present a different vision for just one night. It might be as simple as a brewery letting a taco joint set up shop for the evening, or it might be a whole lot more. When I heard, after the fact, about several pop-ups featuring a “Nomadic restaurant” called Dahlia, I committed to paying more attention to their social media feed. When I saw an ad for a pop-up they were organizing, hosted by Industry East, I cancelled the plans I already had and made reservations.

Industry East owners Dan Haggerty and Jeremy Hart have been frequent co-conspirators in my column from their days at The Birch to their recent independent venture. I love these guys, but this is not their story. This is the story of Lauren Foster Berry and Matt Berry, proprietors of perhaps the only nomadic restaurant in the state — Dahlia. The couple met at Greenleaf in Milford and decided to do something different after COVID-19 changed the hospitality scene a year ago. When I asked Matt about the concept, his answer was precise and succinct, like the answer an executive chef would give a line chef in response to a problem: “The restaurant industry was at a transition point — it called for unprecedented solutions.” The goal was to create a fine-dining pop-up experience without the long-term overhead of bricks and mortar. Their team had run several sold-out events at places like Dunks Mushrooms in Brentwood (plant and fungus based), Noodz in Manchester and Otis in Exeter, and I looked forward to trying their food as I walked down Hanover Street with my wife. 

Greeted with hugs by Dan and Jeremy (scoff if you must), we were shown to our requested bar seats. I met Matt, who it turns out went to culinary school with Jeff Martin, executive chef for Industry East, which only served to build my anticipation of a great meal. After the obligatory shot of Fernet Branca with the crew, we settled in to overindulge. Matt apologized that I would not get to meet Lauren, who was home with their baby, as we ordered cocktails. My wife Charlene had a Foxy Drip of tequila, Aperol, cherry heering, pineapple, lime and cinnamon; I selected a Gentleman’s Choice, made with mezcal, orange/carrot shrub, lemon, honey and Thai chili, and I stuck with those all night, as Charlene lost the DD coin toss. 

Baker Erin channeled her Mexican, Russian, Polish and Irish heritage with a whiskey currant brown bread, which is leavened only with baking powder, and served with a dollop of bacon jam. Self-restraint was required to not ask for a big plate of just this. The next dish was a play on scallops and bacon, with a nod to I.E.’s potato salad, also with braised and pressed pork belly, miso carrots and parsnip, fiddle fern mustard and pea shoots. This dish practically screamed “SPRING IS HERE!”

The third course was prepared by chef Jeff, and featured housemade warm ricotta and duck confit. Chefs Jeff and Matt bantered black and forth about culinary school and the state of the hospitality industry as the plates were delivered, and it was a great reminder of what a collaborative and resilient community we have in New Hampshire hospitality. Next up was a blue fin tuna tartare on a sorghum puff pastry, with micro wasabi, burnt onion, popped sorghum and caviar.  The sorghum balanced the oceanic pop of the caviar beautifully, and once again, I felt as if I could have just eaten this dish all night. This would prove to be an ongoing theme. 

Goose from Julie’s Happy Hens farm would be the star of the next course, including sunchokes lacquered in pine, foraged morel and hedgehog mushrooms and moss cake croutons. Yes, moss cake croutons, and they are exactly what they sound like, and they were perhaps the biggest happy discovery of the evening for me. 

Up next was the Million Dollar Dog. A wagu beef hot dog on brioche bun, with foie gras mousse, truffle relish, shaved truffle and gold leaf. Quite a pricey two bites, but the richness of flavor and textural contrast was worth its weight in gold. The following course was a veal ribeye with pan-seared fennel, savory cheesecake with herby sourdough and cabbage purée. I was starting to doubt my ability to carry on, until my wife reminded me of my dedication to the written word, so carry on I did. 

The last thing I remember (after my third or fourth Gentleman’s Choice) was a glorious vision of bourbon vanilla poundcake, topped with bitter orange curd, preserved cherry compote, Angostura creme and salted bourbon creme. I remember smiling, likely with bitter orange curd in my beard, as I thanked everyone for a wonderful night. I remember getting into the passenger seat of my wife’s new and unfamiliar car, feeling postprandial and most content as we drove the half a mile home. I remember sleeping quite well, and somehow waking up the next day with enough notes to recreate the evening in my mind. Book a reservation for Dahlia’s next pop-up, I promise you won’t forget. 

Coming up on Sunday, May 23 is a dinner focused on open-fire cooking — seating will be limited, so make sure to an eye on Dahlia’s Instagram and Facebook page. Reservations open Saturday, May 15 at 8 a.m. You can also sign up for email notices at their website, as well as find information on how to book a private event.

Categories: Food & Drink

The post Dahlia Nomadic Restaurant appeared first on New Hampshire Magazine.

Behind the Curtain: Winnipesaukee Playhouse

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Summer is just around the corner, which means that summer theater is too. To help celebrate this season of sunshine, rising temperatures, barbecues and outdoor fun, we’re starting “Behind the Curtain,” a series of profiles introducing you to the many unique (and even historic) summer theaters around New Hampshire.

For our latest profile, check out Winnipesaukee Playhouse in Meredith. The Playhouse aims to provide a fun and challenging theatrical environment for all Lakes Region locals and visitors in both performance-based and educational arenas. Whether your interest is to be onstage, behind-the-scenes or in the audience, The Winnipesaukee Playhouse has something for you. We reached out to Patron and Company Services Director Lesley Pankhurst to learn all about their mission to advance the art form of theater through work that inspires, engages and entertains the people of their community and beyond.

Tell us about the history of your theater.
Lesley Pankhurst: “The Winnipesaukee Playhouse was founded in 2004 and started in a small trip mall in Weirs Beach. At the time we could seat less than 100 people and had no room for storage, building, rehearsing, etc. After a big fundraising effort, we completed construction in 2013 of a state-of-the-art theatre on 11 acres that formerly housed the Annalee Doll Company in Meredith. We have multiple buildings for storage and construction, housing of our staff members, and a covered bridge and nature walk.”

What makes your venue special or different?
“We offer award-winning professional theater, community theater, and education department productions. The three wings of the Playhouse are very different but support each other. For example, it allows students in the Education Department the opportunity to work with professional directors and designers. Our campus also sets us apart as most theaters don’t have the luxury of space that we have on our campus.”

What’s the story behind the name of your theater?
“We are named for the lake we are near!”

What are you best known for?
“We are best known for balancing the three branches of the organization and our top-quality production values. We are very lucky that really talented actors, designers, directors, etc., all really enjoy working here and return to us year after year.”

Tell us about the most memorable play you’ve done.
“Prior to the pandemic, we were producing upwards of 18 productions across the three branches each year. With so many productions it’s hard to choose just one!”

Tell us about what you have been up to this season. Do you have anything exciting planned for 2021?
“We managed to perform three professional productions in 2020 – two on our newly renovated outdoor amphitheatre and one inside our theater. For 2021, we have a season of seven professional shows, three of which will be performed in the amphitheater. Then we will produce two Education Department shows and one community theater show.”

What keeps you passionate about doing what you do?
“We love working with talented, kind individuals who join us from all over the country.”

How can people best support you right now?
“Purchase tickets to our 2021 season!”

Categories: Family-friendly things to do, Summer Attractions

The post Behind the Curtain: Winnipesaukee Playhouse appeared first on New Hampshire Magazine.

BubbleMania! Brings Science, Art and Comedy to the SEE Science Center

Casey Carle’s BubbleMania! will be at the SEE Science Center in June. (Photo by Devlin Photography)

When is a bubble more than just a translucent sphere destined to slip along the drafts for a few seconds before disappearing in a soft pop? When Casey Carle is creating them.

Then it can be a spaceship, volcano, column, crystal ball or a mass of foam.

Carle is part scientist, part artist and part entertainer. He’s also a renowned bubble expert who can do eye-popping things with a little soapy water and air.

Carle (who describes himself as “not your average maniac”) will be bringing his unique form of entertainment to the SEE Science Center in Manchester as it reopens this summer. Starting June 21, the SEE Science Center will be open seven days a week, and to celebrate, it will feature BubbleMania! — a science, art and comedy show created and performed by Carle.

The Center will open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., close for an hour for deep cleaning, and then re-open from 2-5 p.m. Shows will be held in each session.

“He’s amazing — world class,” says SEE Science Center Design Coordinator Adele Maurier. “He’s an expert at what he does, and he’s a Ringling-trained performer, so he brings the pizazz as well as the skill.”

During BubbleMania!, Carle creates a flying bubble spacecraft, a square bubble, bubbles bigger than his head and longer than he can reach, and he can put an audience member inside a bubble. The award-winning educator/entertainer’s expertise in bubble-ology — it’s a thing — is based in the scientific knowledge, formulas and physics of air, soap and pressure, and how all the elements interact.

Shows will be held daily during both sessions that SEE will be open. The show is $5 per person age 3 and up plus $9 admission ($14 per person total). Children under 3 are free. (SEE members just pay $5 and enjoy free admission all year long). Free raffles will be held daily.

According to Carle, “Pre-schoolers will enjoy it, but this program was developed for and aimed at kids 5-to-12 and adults 20-to-120 (give or take a few years).”

Tickets will go on sale for this special week-long celebration beginning on May 21st on the SEE website.

“We hope people are excited to learn throughout the summer, enjoy informal science learning, and get out and explore science here at SEE Science Center and all around them all summer long,” Maurier says.

Categories: Things to Do

The post BubbleMania! Brings Science, Art and Comedy to the SEE Science Center appeared first on New Hampshire Magazine.

NHBCA Hosts 37th Annual Arts Awards


See the film “Hidden in Plain Sight” at the 37th Annual Arts Awards show on June 2.

Help support the intersection of New Hampshire’s arts and business worlds with an inspirational online celebration.

The New Hampshire Business Committee for the Arts (NHBCA) will host their 37th Annual Arts Awards show on the “Digital Stage” next month. It will honor groups and individuals across New Hampshire for their excellent contributions to arts and culture. The event is free to attend, with an option to donate when registering.

As a statewide nonprofit membership organization, the NHBCA works to connect professionals through art-related experiences while building partnerships between the business and artistic communities. Focusing on improving the “creative economy,” the NHBCA works to boost engagement with the arts through a variety of projects and people, while advocating for its values in economic, social and community development.

“The NHBCA is the only organization designed specifically to break down barriers between the business and arts communities. Together with our members we ensure that the creative sector is recognized for its economic power in the state’s workforce and community development. We are focused on developing partnerships that promote the intersection of art, commerce, technology and cultural tourism,” says NHBCA Executive Director Tricia Soule.

The show itself will be an artistic masterpiece. All nominees and award winners will be recognized, and the event will feature an augmented reality (AR) presentation, as well as “Hidden in Plain Sight,” a film by New Hampshire Dance Collaborative (NHDC) representing the vision of the NHBCA, to highlight the important role art plays in the local economy. Interviews with creative leaders Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, Dean Kaman, inventor and founder of FIRST and Howard Brodsky, CEO of CCA Global Partners helped inspire the production. It utilizes a combination of dance and text to emphasize the importance of creativity in the world of business.

Soule is looking forward to the film, and praised the entire team for their innovative productions and exquisite performances. Joan Brodsky and the NHDC, Theatre Kapow Artistic Directors Carey and Matt Cahoon, and New Hampshire State Artist Laureate Amanda Whitworth collaborated with 20 of New Hampshire’s best and brightest performing artists to produce the film. New Millennium Studios’ John Hession is the cinematographer for “Hidden in Plain Sight.”

Telling the stories of the award nominees is an exciting part of the event for Soule as well. “It’s so important that people know about those committed to making the arts part of the state’s vibrant, diverse and prosperous communities. All New Hampshire residents and visitors benefit from their generosity and hard work,” she says.

Though the arts awards show is their signature event, the NHBCA puts on many events throughout the rest of the year, such as Artful Networking and Augmented Reality art exhibitions and installations — including the upcoming summer-long AR Art Walk, available at locations in Lebanon, Manchester, Portsmouth and Whitefield from May 15 through October 15.

“The arts are an invaluable resource in New Hampshire that requires a business community that is committed to investing in their continued growth and sustainability. It is important to recognize those that support the arts because it encourages others to do the same,” says Soule.

The awards show will take place virtually via Studio Lab in Derry on June 2 at 7 p.m. Registration for the event will be available here.

New Hampshire Magazine is a proud sponsor of this event.

Categories: Arts & Shopping

The post NHBCA Hosts 37th Annual Arts Awards appeared first on New Hampshire Magazine.

The Best Gardens to Explore in NH

Bedrock Gardens Photo by Nancy Horton

Bedrock Gardens
45 High Rd., Lee
(603) 659-2993
Opening to the public on May 12, 2021; visit their website for 2021 visitation guidelines.

Bedrock Gardens is a 37-acre private garden that is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the first and third weekends of the month, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The garden, which also houses a number of whimsical sculptures, has been carefully cultivated over the past 38 years. Stroll through the formal Parterre Garden, the Garish Garden, the Dark Woods and more while pausing to admire the Japanese teahouse, a gazebo, the 200-foot water works called the Wiggle Waggle and, of course, plant species from all over the world. There is a $10 suggested donation.

Also, check out the schedule of special events, from a visit by The Caterpillar Lab to a celebration of Executive Director John Forti’s new book.

The Fells Historic Estate & Gardens

John Hay Estate at The Fells
465 Route 103A, Newbury
(603) 763-4789
Opening on Memorial Day weekend 2021 (May 29, 2021). At this time, COVID-19 protocols (wearing a mask and social distancing) remain in place. Visit them on Facebook for additional updates.

This combination of gorgeous gardens, outdoor sculptures, nature trails and art gallery is located on a nearly 1,000-acre hillside overlooking Lake Sunapee. Discover the spectacular art of well-known New England sculptors as you explore the beautiful gardens and grounds of The Fells. Each piece is sited to seamlessly integrate into the surrounding gardens and natural landscape. Don’t miss the robust calendar of events for workshops, hikes, classes, concerts and more.

Spring hours: Starting Memorial Day weekend, open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Summer hours: Wednesdays through Sundays, June 16 through September 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

When the main house is open, fees are $10 for adults; $8 for seniors and students; $4 for children ages 6-17; free for 5 and under; families of two adults and two or more children ages 6 or above, $25.

If the main house is closed, fees are $8 for adults; $6 for seniors and students; $3 for children ages 6-17; free for 5 and under; families of two adults and two or more children ages 6 or above, $15.

Fuller Gardens Photo by Denise F. Brown

Fuller Gardens
10 Willow Ave., North Hampton
(603) 964-5414
Open May 9, 2021 through mid-October. The annual Mother’s Day plant sale will be held May 7-9, 2021 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The last day of the sale is the 2021 opening day.

This turn-of-the-century estate is a nonprofit, public botanical garden that feels secluded and private. The gorgeous formal rose gardens, which were designed in the Colonial Revival style, were commissioned during the late 1920s by Massachusetts Governor Alvan T. Fuller at his summer estate. In addition to the show-stopping roses, you can also stroll through a Japanese garden and see the English perennial plantings.

Open seven days a week from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Fees range from $4-$9.

Wildflower trails, secret gardens and more

Looking for another fun outdoor activity to do this summer? Grab your friends and family and head to one of these gardens grown in public spaces, at historic sites and at living history museums.

Kirkwood Gardens of the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
900 Route 3, Holderness
(603) 968-7194

Colorful plants in full bloom bring this informal garden to life, naturally attracting bees, butterflies and birds of many species. Free.

Rhododendron State Park
424 Rockwood Pond Rd., Fitzwilliam
(603) 532-8862

This rhododendron garden produces fragrant clusters of pink blossoms at peak bloom time in mid-July. Free.

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
139 Saint Gaudens Rd., Cornish
(603) 675-2175

While the majority of this historic property is still closed in early 2021, you can still explore the beautiful gardens and walking trails. Although you can enjoy the trails any time during daylight hours, they are not maintained for public use during the off season (the park officially opens in May), so use caution. $10. Read about the planned phased reopening here.

Maple Hill Gardens at Beaver Brook Association
117 Ridge Rd., Hollis
(603) 465-7787

Visit one of the 13 theme gardens, walk the wildflower trail, or get a demonstration at the Compost Court at these volunteer-run gardens. Free.

Botanical Gardens at Canterbury Shaker Village
288 Shaker Rd., Canterbury
(603) 783-9511

For a historic garden, head to Canterbury Shaker Village and check out the botanical, herb and vegetable gardens. Self-guided outdoor tours are free. Fees apply for other admission and guided tours.

Tarbin Gardens
321 Salisbury Rd., Franklin
(603) 934-3518

This is the destination for nature lovers, bird and butterfly watchers, photographers and artists, and, of course, for garden enthusiasts. Flowering trees, shrubs and perennials fill the English landscape style gardens creating a parade of new vistas. $8-$10.

Prescott Park
Marcy Street, Portsmouth
(603) 431-2000

Located within easy walking distance of Portsmouth, this park has large flowerbeds and demonstration gardens available to view as you enjoy other views of tugboats and fishing boats.

Castle in the Clouds Garden Tours
455 Old Mountain Rd., Moultonborough
(603) 476-5900

Held every Friday from June 4-September 17. Pre-registration is required. Visit the website for more information.

Join gardener Gretchen Large in touring both Lucknow’s historic and modern garden landscapes, and leave with some general gardening tips and tricks for you to use at home. Gretchen is excited to share her passion for gardening – displayed in the beautiful and thoughtfully designed outdoor spaces around the Castle – with you. She even has her own business, The Random Gardener.

Categories: Guide to Summer, Things to Do

The post The Best Gardens to Explore in NH appeared first on New Hampshire Magazine.

Behind the Curtain: North Country Center for the Arts at Jean’s Playhouse

Jeans Playhouse2

Summer is just around the corner, which means that summer theater is too. To help celebrate this season of sunshine, rising temperatures, barbecues and outdoor fun, we’re starting “Behind the Curtain,” a series of profiles introducing you to the many unique (and even historic) summer theaters around New Hampshire.

For our latest profile, check out North Country Center for the Arts at Jean’s Playhouse in Lincoln. We spoke to producing Artistic Director Joel Mercier to learn more about the playhouse’s award-winning summer plays and musicals, their off-season presenting acts and their youth education programming. Read on to learn all about their vision of being “a premier center for the arts from the heart of the White Mountains.”

Tell us about the history of your theater.
Joel Mercier: “The North Country Center for the Arts started as a children’s theater festival under a tent back in 1986. From there, the company developed into a 501(c)3 nonprofit and built its home in a closed paper mill factory, where it became known for its touring children’s theater as well as professional summer stock productions.

Over more than two decades, the Papermill Theatre would perform over 80 professional productions in the historic paper mill building and establish a reputation for excellence, winning many New Hampshire Theatre Awards and becoming a vibrant center for the arts in New Hampshire and New England.

After years of success, NCCA played its final summer season in the Papermill Theatre in 2009, due to the age and deterioration of the building. That fall, the paper mill was demolished, making way for a new facility, Jean’s Playhouse, which would house the NCCA and expand programming beyond just the summer. Opening in 2012, Jean’s Playhouse has picked up the tradition of award-winning professional summer theater, the touring children’s theater that started it all back in 1986, as well as adding youth education programming, and fall and winter entertainment, including comedians, cover bands, films and holiday productions. You can read more of our story here.”

What makes your venue special or different?
Joel: “NCCA at Jean’s Playhouse is the best of both worlds! Not only do we have a producing summer stock season, we are also open in the fall and spring in order to present acts from all over New England. We cater to our loyal local base, but also to the thousands of second homeowners and vacationers who have turned the town of Lincoln into a major resort destination. From the industry perspective, NCCA provides opportunities to bridge the gap between educational and professional theater by hiring young emerging artists and pairing them with established directors and designers and guest artists in order to create quality entertainment, but also an educational experience for all involved.”

What’s the story behind the name of your theater?
Joel: “Our official name has and always will be the North Country Center for the Arts, as we always envisioned ourselves a center of culture for the North Country community. However, we are also known by the name of our venue, Jean’s Playhouse, which was named after Bill and Jean Hallager, the incredible and generous benefactors who spearheaded the creation of Jean’s Playhouse when the Papermill Theatre was no longer a suitable venue for us.”

What are you best known for?
Joel: “We are known for high-quality Broadway-style musicals and plays in the summer, but we are also known for our comedians and bands in the fall and spring, and many families all over the Granite State who can’t make it up to Lincoln know us because of our touring children’s theater, the IMPACT program, which travels to Lancaster, Franconia, Plymouth, North Conway, Concord, Claremont and Plainfield on a weekly basis in the summer, bringing a new musical fairytale each week.”

Tell us about the most memorable play you’ve done.
Joel: “There are so many, it’s tough to pick one, but here’s a recent story that sticks with us. In 2019, we produced ‘Titanic the Musical,’ which is a beautiful play that introduces the audience to the people who were on the ship. A look into the lives of the first-, second- and third-class passengers and staff, coupled with gorgeous music, creates a piece of theater that truly tugs at the heartstrings. The audiences really responded and loved the show.

During those three weeks, we heard from at least a dozen patrons who had a family member on the Titanic, but one story in particular really stuck out. Once night, a woman told us at intermission that her great-great-grandfather was a survivor of the Titanic. Knowing the story and how few men escaped, we asked if he was a first-class passenger or a staff member? She answered no, he was in third class, but he knew how to row a boat, so he was allowed onto one of the rescue boats in order to row the first-class women to safety. In fact, there was a pregnant woman on his boat who was shivering and he took his coat off and gave it to her. She turned out to be Madeleine Astor. In the musical, Mrs. Astor is indeed a (pregnant) character, and there is a story line where a third-class passenger gets saved because he was able to row. But that part of the story was in Act II, so this patron hadn’t seen that part yet. We have no idea if it was just coincidence or not, but it gave us chills!”

Tell us about what you have been up to this season. Do you have anything exciting planned for 2021?
Joel: “2020 was certainly a challenge. We had planned a wonderful season, including ‘Mamma Mia!’ and the professional area premiere of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame.’ However, we had to cancel the season out of safety concerns and state restrictions. We were able to bring in a few comedians and cover bands and dip our toe into ‘Covid Producing,’ which helped prepare us for 2021. We mostly used the time to clean, repair and reorganize our building, catch up on administrative duties, overhaul our box office software, and we did dabble in some online producing as well. We took our original annual holiday musical, ‘A White Mountains Christmas,’ and reimagined it into four short videos that were released each Monday of December leading up to Christmas. We chose not to charge for viewing, but to think of it as a Christmas gift to our community and a way of spreading holiday cheer!

We are re-opening for 2021, and we couldn’t be more excited! While ‘Mamma Mia!’ and ‘Hunchback’ will have to wait until 2022, we have come up with a terrific season of shows, both indoors and out, which we think will be an appealing and entertaining return to live — and safe — theater. We will be producing three smaller musicals in our theater, ‘Clue the Musical,’ ‘Evita’ and ‘Forever Plaid,’ which will be performed by a small company of between four and 11 actors, and a reduced technical staff.

Our company will be regularly tested and isolated to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of our patrons and volunteers. Our IMPACT program will once again tour throughout New Hampshire, producing musical fairytales each week. We are working closely with each venue to ensure that proper distancing and safety measures are in place.

As excited as we are about these shows, we are even more excited about our opening summer project. In order to provide entertainment to our patrons who are not yet ready to be inside, we are teaming up with Loon Mountain to create an outdoor concert version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Classic ‘The Sound of Music,’ which will utilize the natural, beautiful settings of our area as its backdrop. The hills of Loon will truly come alive with ‘The Sound of Music,’ and we can’t wait for this special weekend event! You can watch our season announcement here.”

What keeps you passionate about doing what you do?
Joel: “Our work matters to a lot of people. Being closed for a year has been a huge reminder of that. We get messages from our patrons telling us how much they miss our shows and that means the world to us. Last summer, we launched a fundraising drive called ‘Just the Ticket’ where we asked patrons to help by donating the cost of a ticket we were not able to sell because of COVID-19. As a thank you, we had donors send in a photo of themselves and we put their pictures all over the seats they donated, and we also gave them access to an exclusive Alumni Video. We were overwhelmed at how willing our alumni were to help us out with this video. They told wonderful stories about their time with us. One of the actors had just gotten engaged to the stage manager he met at our theater, and another had been cast in his first Broadway show, a brand new musical he heard about through one of his cast mates during a summer with us. Reconnecting with our alumni and seeing where their lives had taken them, and how they attributed some of their success to their time at NCCA, was a really emotional and wonderful reminder that we make a difference in the lives of these young performers every year.”

How can people best support you right now?
Joel: “There are two ways. One is to donate. We probably sound like a broken record, but donations are down this year for obvious reasons, and as a nonprofit, ticket sales only cover about half of our costs. The other thing people can do is just come see our shows! The theater industry is hopeful, but understandably concerned, that attendance will be low this year and we want nothing more than to entertain you. We need that boost in morale and we need the income. Buy a ticket and come see a show. COVID-19 policies are in place for the safety of our patrons, staff and volunteers. Parties will be social distanced from each other, and our performers are tested and isolated from risk. Most theaters in New Hampshire are restricted to about 25 to 30% of their usual occupancy; however, last summer and fall, most theaters were not even able to fill those seats due to lack of public confidence. We hope this year will be better with news of the vaccine and the in-depth safety precautions theaters are taking, but there is still of course a concern. Please come see some wonderful theater this summer!”

Categories: Family-friendly things to do, Summer Attractions

The post Behind the Curtain: North Country Center for the Arts at Jean’s Playhouse appeared first on New Hampshire Magazine.

Mother’s Day Events and Brunches

There are plenty of great things to do during Mother’s Day weekend 2021, including special brunches at local wineries, a plant sale, craft fair, arts festival and much more.

Fuller Gardens Plant Sale

Does Mom like to garden? If so, then take her to pick from hundreds of field grown hardy perennials, potted hardy rose bushes of all varieties and herbs. A fun event for all ages; there’s something for everyone! You won’t want to miss this annual event that runs rain or shine.

Date: May 7-9, 2021
Where: Fuller Gardens, 10 Willow Ave., North Hampton
More Info: Visit

11th Annual Mother’s Day Weekend Craft Festival

Meet the makers at the Mother’s Day Weekend Craft Festival.

The scenic Town Common in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, will come alive with color, flavor and music for the 11th Annual Mother’s Day Weekend Craft Festival.

More than 75 juried craftsmen and craftswomen from all over New England will display and sell their American-made works, including stained glass, original watercolors, photography, pottery, carved wildlife, folk art, hand-crafted soaps, country wood, quilts, doll clothes, fine jewelry, floral design and more.

Come and sample the culinary delights of herbal dips, kettle corn, maple, pickles, jams, jellies, lemonade, homemade fudge, oils, sauces and more.

The fair is held rain or shine, handicap accessible and admission is free.

Hampton Falls Town Common is located directly on Route 1 in the lovely and picturesque village of Hampton Falls.

Date: May 8-9, 2021
Time: Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Hampton Falls Town Common, 4 Lincoln Ave., Hampton Falls
More Info: (603) 332-2616 or click here.

Mother’s Day Three-Course Plated Brunch at Flag Hill Distillery & Winery

Enjoy brunch in a vineyard! Sparkling Cayuga white is included with your brunch, and there will be plenty of delicious food options for you to enjoy.

Date: May 9, 2021
Time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: 297 North River Rd., Lee
Cost: $48 per person
More info: Reservations are necessary. Click here to register.

Mother’s Day Brunch at LaBelle Winery

Visit this lovely winery and enjoy gorgeous views for a special brunch.

Date: May 9, 2021
Where: 345 Route 101, Amherst
Cost: $73 for adults
More Info: Visit the website to see the full menu or to reserve a table.

Mother’s Day High Tea Brunch & Wine Pairing at Averill House Vineyard & Winery

This Mother’s Day High Tea Brunch & Wine Pairing is an experience to share with mom, sisters, friends and the wine lover’s in your life.

High Tea Brunch & Wine Pairing: Includes a pre-set four-course brunch, cup of tea, a tasting flight of four wines (must be 21+) per guest and a souvenir glass.

While enjoying a delicious meal enjoy a wine tasting of four wines that will be the perfect balance to our High Tea theme.

Chef Debbi from The Seasoned Chef NH has come up with a scrumptious four-course menu that will highlight traditional High Tea finger sandwiches, patisseries and more.

Date: May 9, 2021
Time: 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Where: 21 Averill Rd., Brookline
Cost: $50
More Info: Register here and find more information.

Mother’s Day Takeaway at the Currier Museum

Celebrate Mother’s Day with a delicious takeaway brunch to enjoy at home that includes menu items like broccoli and cheddar frittata, chicken madeira with sweet onion, sundried tomatoes, and mushrooms and strawberries and cream with fresh biscuits.

Date: May 8, 2021
Where: The Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash Street, Manchester
Tickets: $150, serves 4-6, add Prosecco for $20
More Info: (603) 669-6144 or click here.

More Brunch Suggestions

The Bedford Village Inn

The BVI offers both a Mother’s Day brunch and dinner. Menus and more information can be found here. Reservations required.

Date: May 9, 2021
Time: Brunch seating: 9:30 a.m.-2:15 p.m. Dinner seating: 2-7 p.m.
Where: 2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford
Cost: Brunch: $65 per person, $32 for children (plus tax and gratuity). Dinner: $65 per person, $34.95 for children (plus tax and gratuity)
More Info: (603) 472-2001 or click here.

Mother’s Day Grand Buffet at Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa

Enjoy a delicious spread in the hotel’s Harvest Tavern that includes an omelet station and smoked ham carving station. Buffet options include eggs Benedict, pancakes, cornmeal-crusted catfish, New Hampshire squash bisque and more.

Date: May 9, 2021
Time: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Where: Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa, 101 Mountain View Rd., Whitefield
Cost: Ages 13 and older are $24, ages 6 to 12 are $12 and children 5 and under eat free.
More Info: 1-888-589-6661 or click here. Reservations are required.

Mother’s Day Dinner at Omni Mount Washington Resort

Savor a delectable four-course Mother’s Day Dinner in the newly renovated Main Dining Room and prepared by an award-winning culinary team.

Date: May 9, 2021
Time: 12-8 p.m.
Where: Omni Mount Washington Resort, 310 Mt. Washington Hotel Rd., Bretton Woods
Cost: $65 for adults, ages 6 to 12 are $30 and children 5 and under eat free.
More Info: See the event schedule here.

The Old Courthouse

Enjoy a brunch buffet with a cooked-to-order omelet station and fresh sliced North Country Smokehouse applewood-smoked ham in this lovely restaurant that’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

Date: Available every Sunday
Time: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Where: The Old Courthouse, 30 Main St., Newport
Cost: $18.95 for adults and $9.50 for children under 12.
More Info: (603) 863-8360 or click here. Reservations are recommended.

The Grazing Room at The Colby Hill Inn

The Grazing Room, which is certified local by the New Hampshire Farm-to-Restaurant Connection, is located at the charming Colby Hill Inn. The special Mother’s Day brunch has a three-course prix-fixe menu that everyone in the family will enjoy.

Date: May 9, 2021
12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Where: 33 The Oaks St., Henniker
Cost: $70 for adults and $35 for kids
Reservations: Call (603) 428-3281
More Info: See the menu here.

The Foundry

The Foundry’s regular Sunday Riverside Brunch changes slightly depending on the season, but most weeks you can expect the buffet to include a custom omelet station, local meats, handmade pastries, fresh oysters, Belgian waffles, shrimp cocktail, hand carved roasts and much more.

Date: Brunch is regularly available on Sundays
Time: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: 50 Commercial St., Manchester
Make reservations via OpenTable or call (603) 836-1925
More info: See the website for more information.

Atkinson Resort & Country Club

This special Mother’s Day brunch buffet has a carving station with ham, prime rib and pork loin, plus made-to-order omelets and waffles, salads, fruit, dessert table and much more.

Date: May 9, 2021
2 p.m.
Where: 85 Country Club Dr, Atkinson
Cost: $59 for adults, $25 for kids ages 3-10 and free for kids under 3
Reservations: Call (603) 362-8700
More Info: See the full brunch menu here.

Oak & Grain at the Inn at Pleasant Lake

Oak & Grain is the farm-to-table restaurant at the Best of NH award-winning Inn at Pleasant Lake. The Sunday brunch is inspired by their excellent prix-fixe dinners, with a three-course menu that includes appetizer, entrée and dessert.

Date: Regular Sunday brunch begins with a cocktail reception at 11:30 a.m. with seating at 12 p.m.
Where: 853 Pleasant St., New London
Cost: $40
Reservations: Reservations are required, and can be made by calling (603) 873-4833 or online.
More Info: See the website for more information and sample dishes.

The Common Man Mother’s Day Brunch To-Go

Date: May 9, 2021
Time: Times vary
Where: See the website for all participating restaurants.
Cost: Costs vary

Various restaurants in the Common Man family will hold special Mother’s Day brunches available to-go and enjoy at home. Click here for the full list.

Woodstock Inn, Station and Brewery

Offering the “brunch of all brunches,” featuring an omelets, french toast, waffles, plus tons of desserts and much more.

Date: May 9, 2021
Where: 135 Main St., North Woodstock
Cost: Costs vary
More Info: See the website for more information.

Categories: Things to Do

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