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Andy’s Summer Playhouse features outstanding plays performed by talented children. Photo by P.T. Sullivan

New Hampshire 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 “Footloose” at the Prescott Park Arts Festival in Portsmouth, experience Shakespeare’s eternal brilliance in Sandwich, 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 | M&D Playhouse | New London Barn Playhouse | Opera North | The Palace Theatre | Peterborough Players | 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. This talented group of Shakespeare enthusiasts has been presenting Shakespeare performances and workshops since 1999. The company is a mix of professionals, community members and teenagers. The 2023 season theme is “All’s Not Fair in Love and War.”

Summer 2023 Performances:

  • “War of the Roses: She Wolves and Queens Part One,” August 4-13
  • “An Iliad, by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare, Based on Homer’s The Iliad, Translated by Robert Fagles,” August 18-27

Click here or call (603) 996-3912 for tickets and information.

54 Maple St., Sandwich

Andy’s Summer Playhouse

Andy’s Summer Playhouse features innovative plays by children  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 2023 Performances:

  • Season Opener 2023: This is a family meet-and-greet alongside the season orientation for all enrolled young artists; Sunday, June 25, 4-6 p.m.
  • Mainstage 1: “The 24 Hr. Plays,” July 7-8
  • Mainstage 2: “The Meetinghouse Tragedy,” July 3-29
  • Mainstage 3: “Giant Slalom (Teen Show/Touring Show),” July 10-August 5
  • Mainstage 4: The Mini-Musical Special, “The Waffle House Musical” and “Folding Time,” July 17-August 19

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

Located in the charming small village of Tamworth, the Barnstormers is one of the longest-running professional summer theaters 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 theater on Broadway. Today, The Barnstormers is one of three Equity theaters in New Hampshire, and consists of over 40 professional actors, some of which have been performing at Barnstormers for 50 years.

Summer 2023 Performances:

  • “Dan Goggin’s Nunsense,” June 29-July 8
  • “Joseph Kesselring’s Arsenic and Old Lace,” July 13-22
  • “Agatha Christie’s The Stranger,” July 27-August 5
  • “Becky Mode’s Fully Committed,” August 10-19
  • “Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery,” August 24-September 2

Click here or call (603) 323-8500 for tickets and information.

104 Main St., Tamworth

Hatbox Theater

Boundary-pushing black-box theaters may seem like a luxury reserved for college campuses and big cities, but Concord has 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.

Summer 2023 Performances:

  • “Queen City Improv,” select Thursdays and special events
  • “Discovering Magic with Andrew Pinard,” select Sundays
  • “The College Games Plus Two,” June 23-July 2
  • “Cabaret,” July 7-16
  • “Big Fish,” July 21-30
  • “Private Lies,” August 4-20
  • “Masked,” August 25-27

Click here or call (603) 715-2315 for tickets and information.

270 Loudon Rd., Concord,

Interlakes Summer Theatre

June 30-August
This company seeks to bring the Lakes Region a wide variety of productions, from children’s theater to classic favorites.

Summer 2023 Performances:

  • “Fiddler on the Roof,” July 5-16
  • “Kinky Boots,” July 19-30
  • “South Pacific,” August 2-13
  • “Footloose,” August 16-20

Click here or call (603) 707-6035 for tickets and information.

1 Laker Ln., Meredith.

Jean’s Playhouse

This North Country theater has been open for more than three decades and prides itself on bringing the community together. Over 150,000 locals have come out to support the theater and each summer the children’s theater entertains over 12,000 members of nearby communities. Jean’s Playhouse is home to many concerts and events throughout the year, but stop by in the summer and fall for great theater, including an outdoor production of “The Wizard of Oz” planned for summer 2023.

Summer 2023 Performances:

  • “The Bootlegger’s Casino Club Night” June 17
  • “Juston McKinney’s Comedy Show” July 1
  • “The Adventures of Snow White” July 5 (Impact)
  • “The Wizard of Oz in Concert and outdoors,” July 6-8
  • “Pinocchio,” July 12 (Impact)
  • “Into the Woods,” July 13-29
  • “Jack & the Beanstalk,” July 19 (Impact)
  • “Sleeping Beauty,” July 26 (Impact)
  • “The Little Mermaid,” August 2 (Impact)
  • “Legally Blonde the Musical,” August 3-19
  • “Hansel & Gretel,” August 9 (Impact)
  • On Golden Pond,” August 24-September 2
  • “North Country Comedy Series Labor Day Weekend Show,” September 3

Click here or call (603) 745-2141 for for tickets and information.

34 Papermill Dr., Lincoln

M&D Playhouse

All year
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 19-year history for staging some of the most challenging theater in the state. Daring past productions include “Equus” and “Glengarry Glen Ross.” Below are this summer’s shows, but performances continue into the fall and winter.

Summer 2023 Performances:

  • “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” June 22-July 16
  • “Fun Home,” August 10-27
  • “Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express,” September 21-October 8

Click here or call (603) 733-5275 for tickets or more information.

2760 White Mountain Hwy., North Conway

New London Barn Playhouse

One of the oldest summer stock theaters in the country, the New London Barn Players combine emerging talent with seasoned professionals to produce high quality theater. Although some things have changed since its 1933 opening (such as the 50-cent tickets), Mr. Holmes’ core mission still stands true — “To establish … a theater group presenting dramas of stimulating artistic and literary merit.”

Summer 2023 Performances:

  • “Spelling Bee,” June 14-25
  • “Guys and Dolls,” June 28-July 9
  • “Fully Committed,” July 12-16
  • “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” July 19-August 6
  • “The Wedding Singer,” August 9-20
  • “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” August 23-September 3
  • Children’s Theater Series at the Barn: The 2023 Children’s Theater Series consists of four shows performed by the Barn’s own Junior Intern Company: “Larger Than Life! A Musical Revue,” July 6 and 8; “Much Ado About Nothing,” July 22; “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” July 27 and 29; “Finding Nemo Jr.,” August 17 and 19.

Click here or call (603) 526-6710 for tickets and information.

84 Main St., New London

Opera North

In 2017, the National Park Service chose Opera North to partner in the creation of a park for the arts at the 46-acre property, which is deeded to the adjacent Saint-Gaudens National Historic Park. Augustus Saint-Gaudens was one of America’s great sculptors, and he lived seasonally in Cornish starting in 1885 and year-round from 1900 to his death in 1907. The sculptor’s friends — some of the most talented artists, musicians and writers in the country — joined him there, creating what became known as the Cornish Colony. Today, you can visit the gorgeous home and grounds, which is sprinkled with Saint Gaudens’ sculptures. Opera North is reviving that artistic spirit, and Summerfest is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the exciting process.

Summer 2023 Performances:

  • “Cavalcade,” July 7-9
  • “Disco Inferno,” July 15
  • “Carmen,” July 16-21
  • “Carousel,” July 27-30

Click here or call (603) 448-0400 for tickets and information.

20 West Park St., Lebanon

The Palace Theatre

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

Summer 2023 Performances:

  • “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” June 2-25
  • “Music Man Jr.,” June 6-7 (Palace Youth Theater)
  • “Fame Jr.,” June 13-14 (Palace Teen Apprentice Company)
  • “Chicago,” June 20-21 (PTAC)
  • “Matilda Jr.,” July 7-8 (PYT Camp)
  • “Summer Series: Beauty and the Beast,” July 11-14
  • Peter Pan,” July 14 (PYT Camp)
  • “Summer Series: Rapunzel” July 18-21
  • “Summer Series: Peter Pan,” July 15-28
  • “Elf Jr.,” July 28-29 (PYT Camp)
  • “Summer Series: Snow White,” August 1-4
  • Snow White,” August 4 (PYT Camp)
  • “Summer Series: The Little Mermaid,” August 8-11
  • “Summer Series: Disney’s Frozen KIDS,” August 15-18
  • High School Musical Jr.,” August 18-19 (PYT Camp)
  • “Summer Series: Finding Nemo Jr.,” August 22-25
  • “Winnie the Pooh,” August 26 (PYT Camp)

Click here or call (603) 668-5588 for tickets and information.

80 Hanover St., Manchester

Peterborough Players

A true rustic theater company, the Peterborough Players was founded in 1933 (2023 marks its 90th anniversary!) and perform in an 18th-century barn to this day, but don’t worry — there’s air conditioning.

Summer 2023 Performances:

  • “Souvenir by Stephen Temperley,” June 22-July 2
  • “Maytag Virgin by Audrey Cefaly,” July 6-16
  • “Grand Horizons by Bess Wohl,” July 20-30
  • “Pipeline by Dominique Morriseau,” August 3-13
  • “Tell Me on a Sunday by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black,” August 17-27

Click here or call (603) 924-7585 for tickets and information.

55 Hadley Rd., Peterborough

Prescott Park Arts Festival

A delightful summer tradition since 1974, and held in the waterfront Prescott Park, the festival offers a full summer of events that are family appropriate. The main musical is featured here, but the festival includes much more, including other live theater performances, outdoor movies, music, a fairy house tour, chowder fest, road race, chili cook-off, brewfest and other entertainment and special events.

Summer 2023 Performances:

  • “Little Shop of Horrors,” June 23-August 13
  • Check out Camp ENCORE, June 19- August 6, 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 or call (603) 436-2848 for tickets and information.

105 Marcy St., Portsmouth

Seacoast Repertory Theatre

All year
This award-winning professional performance space once acted as the warehouse for the Portsmouth Brewery in the ’70s but has since made a great addition to the Seacoast community’s theater 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 theater. While you’re in town to soak up some summer seaside life, stop in at the Rep for an excellent show.

Summer 2023 Performances:

  • “Newsies: The Musical,” May 26-July 8
  • “Hair” July 14-August 27

Click here or call (603) 433-4472 for tickets and information.

125 Bow St., Portsmouth

Weathervane Theatre

The Weathervane Theatre brings Broadway all the way to North Country New Hampshire for its 58th season this summer. Weathervane is the only professional alternating repertory theater in the country, producing seven shows in eight weeks — a different show every night.

Summer 2023 Performances:

  • “Jersey Boys” June 9-18
  • “North Country Shakes,” June 14-25
  • “Stones in his Pocket” June 28-July 22
  • “Honky Tonky Laundry” July 3-August 3
  • “Meteor Shower,” July 26-August 26
  • “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” August 10-31
  • “The Old Man and the Old Moon,” August 4-September 1
  • “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” August 22-October 5
  • “Mamma Mia!” September 3-October 7
  • “A Chorus Line,” opens in September
  • Check out their theater for young audiences, which runs July and August

Click here or call (603) 837-9322 for tickets and information.

389 Lancaster Rd., Whitefield

The Winnipesaukee Playhouse

June-September (and beyond)
The Playhouse is a nonprofit, award-winning theater specializing in high-energy shows. Newer to the theater scene, The Playhouse was founded in 2004, and was soon thereafter regarded as a cultural gem of central New Hampshire. You can catch performances in the fall and winter as well, but there’s something extra special about catching a show on a warm summer evening after a day spent on the lake. This year, two shows will be performed at the outdoor amphitheater (noted below). The Playhouse also offers some excellent summer youth educational camps and other programming.

Summer 2023 Performances:

  • “Mamma Mia!” June 15-July 18
  • “Shout! The Mod Musical,” July 12-22 (Performed in the outdoor amphitheater)
  • “Murder on the Orient Express,” July 27-August 12
  • “Driving Miss Daisy,” August 16-26 (Performed in the outdoor amphitheater)
  • “Sweeney Todd,” August 31-September 9
  • “The Glass Menagerie,” September 14-24
  • “Lionel Bart’s Oliver!,” August 18-September 3
  • OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE “The Conference of the Birds,” September 7-17

Click here or call (603) 279-0333 for tickets and information.

33 Footlight Circle, Meredith

Categories: Arts & Shopping, Guide to Summer