Winnipesaukee Playhouse Enjoys Successful First Season in New Home

The new main stage theatre of the Winni Playhouse.

The new main stage theatre of the Winnipesaukee Playhouse.

When the Winnipesaukee Playhouse moved from its small, storefront location in Laconia to its new one-of-a-kind performing arts campus in Meredith this past spring, the directors predicted a small increase in attendance for the first season in their new home. What they got was a show of support that far exceeded their expectations!

The Winnipesaukee Playhouse was founded in 2004, becoming so successful that it soon outgrew its intimate Weirs Beach theatre of 84 seats. With sights set on a bigger venue, the Playhouse assumed ownership of the former Annalee Doll Complex in Meredith in 2008, and put into action a plan to renovate the complex into a “Tanglewood type of setting” for their theatre and workshops. The 11-acre campus now boasts a state-of-the-art main stage theatre, nature trails, an outdoor amphitheater, picnic tables, and plenty of parking. Continue reading

Lakes Region Summer Theatre Still Going Strong

Dan Roach and Amy Prothro in “It Had to be You” at The Barnstormers Theatre.

Although it’s almost time for “back to school,” there’s still a lot of summer still left to enjoy. Summer theatre is a long-standing tradition in the area, and our local Lakes Region playhouses are ending the season in style with top-quality performances that are sure to keep you warm well into fall!

Founded in 1931 by Francis Cleveland, The Barnstormers in Tamworth is one of the longest-running professional summer theatres in the country. The Barnstormers is now one of three Equity theatres in New Hampshire and is the only theatre in the world that maintains the summer theatre tradition of eight plays in eight weeks. During July and August, the theatre features plays that are considered the “gems of American and British theatre.” This weekend, guests can catch the final performances of the madcap comedy, It Had To Be You, which runs until August 18. Next week is the last show of the season—Larry Shue’s The Foreigner, running August 21-25. “The Foreigner is an amazing play that incorporates comedy, drama, farce and a hint of darkness,” says Artistic Director Bob Shea. Continue reading

Construction of Winni Playhouse’s New Campus Well Underway

Artist's rendering of the Winni Playhouse's new main stage theatre at the Meredith Campus.

After nearly two years of planning and fundraising, the new theatre at the Meredith Campus of the Winnipesaukee Playhouse is on its way to becoming a reality. Construction on the new building, which will house the main stage theatre, began in the spring and is moving along without any delays this summer, bringing the entire campus project well past its halfway point.

The “Winni” Playhouse was founded in 2004, becoming so successful that it soon outgrew its current location, an intimate Weirs Beach storefront that seats 84. With sights set on a bigger venue, the Playhouse assumed ownership of the former Annalee Doll Complex on Reservoir Road in Meredith in 2008, and put into action a three-phase plan to renovate the complex into a “Tanglewood type of setting” for their theatre and workshops. Continue reading

The Winni Playhouse is Moving to Meredith!

Audience members enjoy strolling the grounds before a performance at the proposed main stage theatre in Meredith

Audience members enjoy strolling the grounds before a performance at the proposed main stage theatre in Meredith

The Winnipesaukee Playhouse, founded in 2004 by siblings Lesley Pankhurst and Bryan Halperin along with their spouses, has followed a vision of bringing quality entertainment and arts education to The Lakes Region, and has quickly become a cultural destination in New Hampshire.  In fact, the Playhouse has been so successful it has outgrown its current location in Weirs Beach and is setting its sights on a new state-of-the-art venue in Meredith, NH.

Since its very first show, The “Winni” Playhouse has garnered community support and critical acclaim for its award-winning productions and educational programs, and for providing year-round opportunities for locals and visitors alike.  The current intimate Off-Broadway style theatre, which seats 84, is no longer able to meet the increasing demand for tickets.

In response, the Playhouse is planning to develop a theatre campus at the former Annalee Doll factory on Reservoir Road in Meredith.  The completed campus will have increased seating capacity in the main theatre, as well as expanded classroom space, administrative offices, lobby, concession, and bathroom facilities.  The plan also includes an outdoor performance space, eating area, and nature trails. Continue reading

Ongoing Summer Fun in Meredith, NH

Music in the MIll Falls Marketplace

Music in the MIll Falls Marketplace

It seems there is always something going on in this town!  Whether you want to take a cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee, or catch some live entertainment, there is no shortage of culture in this quaint NH village…

Looking for something different to do with the kids?  Pack up your lawn chairs and take the gang to Hesky Park for an outdoor movie!  Every Thursday night at dusk, the Meredith Parks and Recreation Department shows a family-friendly feature under the stars.  A $2 donation is appreciated, and all proceeds from sales of concessions go to programs for local youth.

Every Friday night, the Mill Falls Marketplace hosts live music in the courtyard, featuring various local musicians.  Enjoy the music of Tom Robinson Creamsicle, The Craig Jaster Duo, Jared Steer Experience, and Casual Labor as you stroll through all the little shops.  Music in the Marketplace takes place Friday evenings from 5:30 – 8:30, now through the end of August.

The Summer Theatre in Meredith Village is featuring musicals this summer!  This recently renovated and air-conditioned theatre is dedicated to providing professional theatre experiences for all residents and visitors to the area, and will offer four Broadway hits in August:  “Chicago,” “My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra,” “Camelot,” and the hysterical new musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

So get out and enjoy those summer nights while they last—if you’re in Meredith, there is no excuse for boredom!

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

The Barnstormers Theatre will present Meredith Village Savings Bank their ‘Business for the Arts Award 2009′

At their 2009 Gala and Auction, Barnstormers Theatre will present the ‘Business for the Arts Award 2009′ to Meredith Village Savings Bank for their generous support of the arts and other nonprofit organizations in our community.  Meredith Village Savings Bank will be recognized for business leadership in the arts and culture, which are vital to a strong economy and vibrant and healthy community.  This year, the Barnstormers Theatre will be holding their Gala and Auction at the Chase House Flagship Room at the Inns & Spa at Mill Falls on Sunday August 16th, at 5:00 pm.   It is expected to be a rollicking, romping, brigadoon bash filled wtih live entertainment, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction and live auction.  If you would like to join Barnstormers Theatre on this festive occasion, tickets are $35.00 each, or two for $60.00.  For more information and tickets visit their website at

BTfront.lrwww.barnstormerstheatre.org or call 603.323.8500.

The Barnstormers Theatre is located in the center of picturesque Tamworth Village in east central New Hampshire.  Built in the 1820s as a store, the building was remodeled as a theatre in 1936.  Following renovation in 1998-1999, it became a year-round facility.  With a 28-foot proscenium stage, the auditorium has 282 comfortable seats in orchestra and balcony, air-conditioning, and superb acoustics.