August 23, 2007

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Curtain calls
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

• Much Ado: The Nashua Theatre Guild presents Much Ado About Nothing, that Shakespeare comedy that so many 1990s teen movies borrow from, Saturday, Aug. 25, and Sunday, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. in Greeley Park on Concord Street in Nashua. It’s free. See nashuatheatreguild.org or call 320-2530.

• Gallery stage: Henniker Youth Theatre brings its one-act tour to Gallery at Well Sweep, 584 Center Road, Hillsborough, 464-6585, Saturday, Aug. 25, at 3 p.m. “Elbowless” is an award-winning one-act by Melanie Yergeau, who wrote it while participating in a Young Playwrights’ Workshop run by Henniker Youth Theatre’s parent company, The Alchemists’ Workshop. David Ive’s “Universal Language” tells the story of a young man who sets up a language school to teach a language that he has invented.

• Be a star: Fall classes at the Acting Loft Academy for the Performing Arts start Sept. 17. Courses are available for kids and adults including “Performance Techniques for Teens,” “Adult Shakespeare Techniques,” plus dance and vocal instruction. Workshops cover stage fighting, make-up, improv and auditioning. Learn more at an open house Wednesday, Sept. 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 516 Pine St. in Manchester. Tuition costs $150 and there’s a 10 percent discount if you register before Sept. 1. Financial aid is available for Manchester residents.

• In the money: The Friends of the Concord City Auditorium (Audi) have received a decent amount of financial support to keep the 1904 municipal building looking good. They recently installed a code-compliant stage curtain to replace the asbestos fire curtain they had. Friends funds combined with grants from Cogswell Benevolent Trust, the Oleonda B. Jameson Trust, the Merrimack County Savings Bank Foundation and the NH State Council on the Arts made up the $34,100 needed.

• Winners: The New Hampshire Community Theatre Association held its annual festival in the beginning of August at the Majestic Theatre in Manchester. The best production award went to Ghostlight Theater Co. of New England for Hamlet. Ghostlight’s John Sefel took best director. Neil Blaiklock and Mari Keegan of Milford Area Players took best actor and actress. Len Deming of the Nashua Theatre Guild won best supporting actor. Best supporting actress was Megan Peabody of Ghostlight. Ghostlight’s Tom Morgan, Craig Brennan, Robert C. Haas, Carol Bassermab, Val Verge and Anja Parish took best production design elements. Five groups competed, including Manchester Community Theatre Players and Acting Loft.

• In the money II: St. Mary’s Bank recently pledged $25,000 over three years to help The Palace Theatre make theatrical experiences available to more children, especially those among underserved populations. Ronald Rioux, the bank’s president and CEO, said, “The arts are vital to the life of a community and helping to expand the Palace’s outreach to young people in the communities we serve is at the heart of this successful partnership on the part of St. Mary’s Bank.”.