By Heidi Masek firstname.lastname@example.org
• Roadtrip: The Players Ring in Portsmouth is finishing a run of an original script by Susan Morse of Berwick, Maine, called Roadside America. Maggie ends up on an unplanned journey with her young neighbor when their worlds collide one Fourth of July. Maggie has a wandering husband, but her troubles pale compared to those of 9-year-old Sam. Morse is a journalist for the Seacoast Media Group. Roadside America is her first play, and took second place in the Gary Newton Play Writing Contest at the Players Ring. Ralph Morang directs Sarah Kennedy, Scott Degan and Larissa Fogg. Guitarist and singer Jenn Adams of South Berwick, Maine, performs and wrote “Nothing at All” for the production. Adams recently moved to the Seacoast from Nashville and has released four CDs. Roadside America runs Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 1, at 7 p.m., at 105 Marcy St. in Portsmouth. Ticket costs range from $8 to $12 (www.playersring.org, 436-8123).
The nonprofit theater provides space for local theater companies to produce published and new scripts. They also have a tradition of presenting a Shakespeare play in June. The Winter’s Tale is this year’s choice, and it runs from June 6 through June 22. Sarah Bailey directs and Barbara Newton produces. The tragic comedy is best known for its infamous stage direction “Exit, pursued by bear.”
• Whatever turns you on: New Hampshire native Andrew Hobgood opens his new musical Love is Dead: A NecRomantic Musical Comedy at the New York International Fringe Festival in August (www.fringenyc.org, (212) 279-4488). Hobgood, an alum of Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow, won the 2006 Outstanding Musical Award at Fringe. At Timberlane, Hobgood discovered his love of writing, directing and musical composition while studying under Eric Constantineau, Tony DiBartolomeo and Louise Pajak. “Honestly, my career in Chicago is entirely inspired by those teachers,” Hobgood said. His parents, Patricia and Charles of Atkinson, encouraged him to take risks, he said. In 2005, Hobgood co-created, produced and performed in 58! A Comedy about Bike Messengessengering, which premiered at Second City.
• Going to Disney World: The Bedford Youth Performing Company (www.bypc.org, 472-3894) took eight performers to perform a Hairspray medley for hundreds of vacationers at “Downtown Disney” in Orlando, Fla., in April. The BYPC group took advantage of a workshop with Disney performer David Houde while there. “We learned a lot about what it takes to make it onto a Disney stage. It was intense but David made it fun,” West High School senior Nick Piccola said. BYPC dance director Julie Pappas Smith previously worked at Walt Disney World and in Broadway touring companies. The BYPC Company also attended a meet-and-greet with nine Disney professionals including performers, stage managers, production assistants and production executives. The members started their year of preparation with a backstage meeting with the director and cast of A Chorus Line in New York City.