September 11, 2008


†††Home Page

News & Features


Columns & Opinions

†††Publisher's Note





Pop Culture



†††Video Games
†††CD Reviews







†††Music Roundup

†††Live Music/DJs

†††MP3 & Podcasts






†††View Classified Ads

†††Place a Classified Ad




Contact Us

†††Hippo Staff

†† How to Reach The Hippo

Past Issues

†† Browse by Cover

Stage sports
Granite State theater groups compete
By Heidi Masek

Community theater companies that are willing to hear what professionals have to say about them have the chance to show off each fall. They can bring something new, or pull from one of their full productions to compete in the New Hampshire Festival of Community Theatre.

In its 37th year, it takes place over two days at the Amato Center in Milford, Saturday, Sept. 27, and Sunday, Sept. 28.

Each group has 60 minutes to perform plus 10 minutes for setup and 10 minutes for breakdown of their set and props. Nine theater companies entered this year.

Every two years, the event feeds into a regional festival that, in turn, feeds a national community theater festival. Having nine entries allows New Hampshire to choose two to send to the regional in Groton, Mass., in March.

The only other thing in the state that’s somewhat comparable is the New Hampshire Theatre Awards, Mariah Sefel said. That trains volunteers from each participating professional and community group to judge other performances. Dozens are entered.

Sefel has either directed or stage managed or produced for competing companies in past years. As president of the New Hampshire Community Theatre Association this year, she’s a festival co-chair.

“The nice thing about this one is [that the] same three adjudicators are looking at all the shows,” Sefel said about the community festival. The adjudicators give their assessment directly after each performance. That means everyone gets to learn from each entry, Sefel said. The audience and participants can see each performance at this one. At the Theatre Awards ceremony, the winning and nominated shows are usually long over.

The theater professionals who adjudicate also run workshops both mornings of the festival. All three adjudicated in the past. “It’s a nice variety,” Sefel said.

Genevieve Aichele is the artistic director of the New Hampshire Theatre Project. PeggyRae Johnson is a theater professor at Keene State College and Franklin Pierce University. Rick Lombardo is soon leaving Massachusetts to take over the role of artistic director of the San Jose Repertory Theatre.

The workshops are open to the public and participants. One’s on directing, another is on using your voice and the other on using your body, Sefel said. “It’s really nice to be able to offer to public that,” she said.

Lombardo will teach “Directing Actors to their Best Work.” PeggyRae Johnson presents “Making Sound AND Sense: Exploring Vocal Choices.” Aichele offers “Creating Character: The Physical Actor.”

Sefel said it’s been a great experience working with the adjudicators as well as the American Association of Community Theatre. The organization has been “extremely helpful,” she said. For example, they helped take care of finding the author and rights for a piece that one of the groups wanted to use.

Being judged
What: New Hampshire Festival of Community Theatre
When: Saturday, Sept. 27, and Sunday, Sept. 28
Competitors: Saturday, at 1:30 p.m.: Manchester Community Players produce Surviving Evil: The Holocaust Though The Story of Stephan H. Lewy; Community Players of Concord present Dinner for One; The Acting Loft teens present Rhinoceros, by Eugene Ionesco. Dinner break, followed at 7 p.m. by Nashua Theatre Guild’s production of Dinner With Friends; and Milford Area Players’ The Party Guest. Sunday sessions starts at 1 p.m. with the Resort Players of Mt. Washington’s performance of Shirley Valentine; Franklin Footlight’s I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; the Actorsingers produce Vital Signs; and Ghostlight Theater Company of New England will perform short plays. Awards follow.
Workshops: Saturday at 9 a.m. “Directing Actors To Their Best Work,” and at 10:45 a.m., “Making Sound and Sense: Exploring Vocal Choices.” Sunday at 10 a.m. is “Creating Character: The Physical Actor.”
Where: Amato Center of Performing Arts, 56 Mont Vernon Road in Milford
Tickets: $10 per session, $5 per workshop, or $25 for access to everything.
Contact: Call 930-9536 or visit

What: Second annual New England Fringe Festival
When and where: Thursday, Sept. 25, through Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theater, 539 Tremont St., Boston; and Thursday, Oct. 2, through Saturday, Oct. 4, at the 14 Court St. Theater in Nashua.
Fringing: The audience votes for their favorites at this relatively new event produced by Atlantis Playmakers, based in Burlington, Mass. All kinds of performance can register, including dance, comedy, music, theater and clowning. In its second year, NEFF saw fewer groups register for the Nashua stage. “I’m not sure exactly what happened,” said organizer Kimberly Davis Basso. Some improv groups might be at a comedy festival in Lowell happening at the same time. NEFF moved their dates, this year, hoping that New Hampshire Festival of Community Theatre competitors would bring their entries to the NEFF. Each show is expected to be 40 minutes long for Fringe.
NEFF was held at Roxbury Center for the Arts at Hibernian Hall in 2007, plus Court Street. Basso said the move to the BCA means a higher profile, but NEFF could fit fewer acts there for 2008. She hopes to use more BCA spaces in 2009.
Nashua acts: Atlantis Playmakers presents FIGHT!!! Episode V: Return of the Jed-Pie (; Traveling Rose Theatre Company presents three short plays in “Unbalanced,” written and performed by Michael Molineaux and Amy Laffin; Sonar Dance presents “Miscellaneous Madness” ( Shows start at 8 p.m. on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3, and at 2 and 8 p.m. on Oct. 4.
Contact: Read more about NEFF acts in Nashua and get the Boston schedule at Also call (978) 667-0550.
Tickets: $10-$20.


9/11/2008 Second Life to the rescue

9/4/2008 Curtain calls
8/28/2008 Tennessee Williams at Weirs
8/21/2008 Change for the moment
8/14/2008 Curtain calls
8/7/2008 Wicked experience
7/31/2008 Merry tales
7/24/2008 Review: the great outdoors
7/17/2008 Curtain calls
7/10/2008 Musical monsters
7/3/2008 Curtain calls
6/26/2008 Curtain calls
6/19/2008 Summer stock
6/12/2008 Curtain calls
6/5/2008 This one time, at drama camp...
5/29/2008 Curtain calls
5/22/2008 Making it big
5/15/2008 Curtain calls
5/8/2008 Curtain calls
5/1/2008 Forging ahead
4/24/2008 The Bard, condensed
4/17/2008 'Balance' in Bedford
4/10/2008 Curtain calls
4/3/2008 Singing for a cause
3/27/2008 These aren't recitals folks
3/20/2008 Albee at MRT
3/13/2008 Murder and rhinos
3/6/2008 Murder and rhinos
2/28/2008 The art of theater criticism
2/21/2008 Breaking the cycle
2/14/2008 Curtain Calls
2/7/2008 NH Theatre awards sixth year
1/31/2008 Elvis fans and ghost stories
1/24/2008 Building an audience
1/17/2008 Curtain Calls
1/10/2008 Fate of Annicchiarico
1/3/2008 A little confidence
12/27/2007 Stage notables in 2007
12/20/2007 If all they want for Christmas is two good seats ...
12/13/2007 Summer stock vs. southern NH
12/06/2007 Curtain Calls
11/29/2007 Curtain Calls
11/22/2007 Broadway composer and actress hit Granite State
11/15/2007 One-man play turns audience into students
11/8/2007 Curtain calls
11/1/2007 First times
10/25/2007 Curtain Calls
10/18/2007 Curtain Calls
10/11/2007 American History
10/04/2007 Active in the community
9/27/2007 Stringing single
9/20/2007 Curtain Calls
9/13/2007 Free range
9/6/2007 Curtain Calls
8/30/2007 Curtain Calls
8/23/2007 Curtain Calls
8/16/2007 Curtain Calls
8/9/2007 Curtain Calls
8/2/2007 That deaf, dumb and blind kid
7/26/2007 Potty humor
7/19/2007 Ease on down the road
7/12/2007 Jekyll vs. Hyde
7/5/2007 If it's free, it's for me
6/28/2007 Transformations
6/21/2007 Curtain calls
6/14/2007 No really, you'll get it
6/7/2007 Curtain calls
5/31/2007 Curtain calls
5/24/2007 Putting the camp in camp
5/17/2007 Curtain Calls
5/10/2007 Curtain Calls
5/3/2007 Curtain Calls
4/26/2007 Still going strong
4/19/2007 Vietnam the the Palace
4/12/2007 Confluence
4/5/2007 First look
3/29/2007 Reluctant star
3/15/2007 In a town far away
3/8/2007 Curtain calls
3/1/2007 Into the future
2/22/2007 But will it play in New Hampshire
2/15/2007 Curtain calls
2/8/2007 Family affair
2/1/2007 Curtain calls
1/25/2007 Curtain calls
1/18/2007 Curtain calls
1/11/2007 Curtain calls
1/4/2007 Fork in the road
12/28/2006 Standout performances of '06
12/21/2006 Curtain Calls
12/14/2006 Players remember Peter Bridges
12/07/2006 Young talent
11/30/2006 Lighthearted farce for the holidays
11/23/2006 Curtain Calls
11/16/2006 Good theater
11/9/2006 Preview roundup
11/2/2006 Access to the ancients
10/26/2006 Aida on a Nashua stage
10/19/2006 Children of a Lesser God brilliantly played
10/12/2006 A true love triangle
10/05/2006 Curtain Calls
09/28/2006 Bringing people back to life
09/21/2006 Getting judged
09/14/2006 Long strange journey
09/07/2006 Curtain Calls
08/31/2006 Curtain Calls
08/24/2006 Putting kids in charge
08/17/2006 Curtain Calls
08/10/2006 All theater, all summer
08/03/2006 A Jesus musical, reworked
07/27/2006 A match made in Maine
07/20/2006 Variations on a theme
07/13/2006 I Hate Hamlet
07/06/2006 Serious theater
06/29/2006 L.A. in Peterborough
06/22/2006 Da Vinci to Rube Goldberg
06/15/2006 Peter Bridges remembered
06/08/2006 From Hairspray to monkeys
06/01/2006 Special Theatrics
05/25/2006 Live Brit-com
05/18/2006 Evil stepsisters earn the yuks
05/11/2006 A message to mom
05/04/2006 Meet the cast
04/27/2006 'I hope i get it'
04/20/2006 Find yourself in Yonkers
04/13/2006 Nashua rocks The Wiz
04/06/2006 Nashua rocks The Wiz
03/30/2006 Cabaret is Mnchester bound
03/23/2006 A 42nd Street detour
03/16/2006 Actor-director wants your ideas
02/23/2006 Yellow Taxi's Theater Festival opens March 1
02/16/2006 Herding CATS
02/09/2006 An†actors' studio
02/02/2006 A thing about love
01/26/2006 Spring theater season warming up
01/19/2006 Gearing up for the big night
01/12/2006 This Phantom is not a menace
01/05/2006 Jim Kelly, sci-fi writer and alternate historian
10th anniversary at Capitol Center
10 Ways To Survive The Audition
A Chorus Line
A Figaro Worth Cheering
A 'Living Newspaper' on stage
A tale of two wives
A Tribute To Music
Actorsingers Deliver On Superstar
Beauty and the Beast
Bedford Off-Broadway Gets Spooky
Being The Beatles, 1964 The Tribute
Bringing NYC to Wilton
Creating the venue from antiques
Crimes Of The Heart
Curtain to rise on Dana Center
Dana Center Takes Center Stage
Ensemble elevates Palaceís Godspell
From stage to the silver screen
Great play, too bad itís over
Greater Tuna
Humble Boy
Itís cabaret, hear it sing, joke, tease
It's Child's Play
Jesus Christ Superstar
Kids Tackle Edgar Allan Poe
Local boy hits the big time, doesnít lose his head
Lowell theater opens with a winner of a satire
Madco welcomes Boston actor-director
Meet John Sefel, Director
Meet Suzanne Delle, Yellow Taxiís driver
Music Man to run three weekends
New Thalian Players
Palace announces 2005-06 season
Peterborough Playersí Solidarity is solid gold
Plaid (II)
Playing with manís best friend
Proud of the Peacock
Racy, crazy blast at the Palace
Reviving His Passion
Robert Dionne, The man behind the Majestic
Rosemary Dann
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know
Short-Attention Span Theater
Side Show
Sideshow slips sideways
Spending The Summer On Stage
Stages of learning
Steel Magnolias
Suessical: The Musical
Theater Of The Imagination
Theater Kids Without A School
Theater in the park draws big
The Drawer Boy
The Festival
The†Five best shows of 2005
The Prisoner Of Second Avenue
The Russian/American Kids Circus
The Senator Wore Pantyhose
The Tony Awards, they're grrrrreat
The Warmth Of The Cold
Three nights, three shows at the Palace

Under the Caribbean with the little mermaid

Wake up to Ďnight Mother