Guest Blogger – Molly Parker-Myers

Here is our final guest blog of the season from actress Molly Parker-Myers who joined us for Talley’s Folly, the final show of the summer season.  Thanks Molly!

 

“Theatre is creation. Unlike all the other arts, the theatre creates a world. As human beings, we need to actualize ourselves by creating. The theatre, as an art form, is the height of creation, for we literally create a complete and living world which focuses on ourselves as human beings. The experience itself, both by the artist and the audience member, makes the created world living. The situation may be made or fabricated, but the experience is completely real…. Because the experience is real and vital, the theatre literally creates the world in which we live, at least during the actual experience. Theatre, then, has the potential to significantly change lives, and help create the world outside the theatre.”

                                                                                                 –Debra Bruch

  

In the Talley’s Folly script, Lanford Wilson has Sally “climbing through the tall weeds and willow” to make her first entrance.  She messily scrambles her way into the world of the play and down to the rundown boathouse where waits the love of her life. It’s a pretty good metaphor. The path to true love can be messy and difficult – and that’s essentially the substance of this lovely play, which I’ve had the pleasure of performing these last weeks here at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse. These two lonely and roiling souls, Matt and Sally, find and create and tear down obstacle after obstacle to forge their way into each other’s lives and hearts. Such is love.

 

There is something about that course of forging down a largely untravelled path toward something great that also puts in mind the process of creating theatre. Although (like love) there is much fun and wonder involved, the path toward getting a show (or a season) up and running is often anything but smooth! And yet, it’s a path well worth taking. Theater is a reflection of our human experience, and we all need to shine a light upon and illuminate our lives on this earth.

 

Telling the story of Matt and Sally in Talley’s Folly, we have created a small world that says: take risks, get messy, take chances and be vulnerable. Indeed, Lanford Wilson may well be saying that the only way to find the love and the life you deserve is to drag yourself through the reeds and rushes and get to the end of the path. That’s at least a start. Matt says that humans are all eggs, protective of their shells, unwilling to get their “yolk broke.” The only way to make something greater is to break your shell. If Sally and Matt, two “such private people,” can eventually find it within themselves to do this, then maybe we all can, huh?

Take the untraveled path. Tear down obstacles. Break your yolk. Leap into the process of doing a play, or help to create and sustain a beautiful theater in Meredith, NH, fall for somebody, or find your passion in life, whatever that may be. And whether it be falling in love, doing a show, or creating an entire stellar theater season, what you have to remember is that though the obstacles may well be grand, the rewards are more than worth what it took to get there.

 

Go down to the boathouse. Just go.

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Blog Post from Marta Rainer, director of Talley’s Folly

“This country.  I mean, this countryside.  Is so beautiful.  Do you think about that when you live in it all the time?… Or do you take it for granted?” – “Matt”, TALLEY’S FOLLY 
 
The first time I pulled up to The Winnipesaukee Playhouse, in a strip mall next to Weirs Beach, I was ten years younger, ten pounds lighter, and eager to stake my claim to being a part of their inaugural season.  My college cohort, former summer stock crewmate and fellow New Yorker Lesley had actually gone and done what so many of us were talking about going and doing: she was part of creating a new theatre company. Wowie!  But…in New Hampshire?  I mean – would I be performing for moose?  Having no experience of the area, I didn’t know what I’d find, but said yes, because that’s the only gateway to finding anything out, right?
 
My youngest brother was my travel buddy that trip, and we took full advantage of the weekend – a working vacation, if you please.  When I wasn’t teching or performing my solo show Unaccustomed to My Name we were driving in search of ice cream and adventure.  For urban kids set free in the country, mini-golf was a relished treasure, farm stands brimming with local produce were tear-inducing, the arcade with its Skee-Ball delights provided a gleeful romp for us and my friend Jeremy, who came up from Boston to see the show, and the actual existence of a drive-in movie theatre blew our minds, but we didn’t have time to go. Throwing ourselves into the water and driving off in our wet bathing suits and flip flops left soggy puddles on our rental car seats – badges of our damp delight.  Everyone took immensely good care of us, and at the end of the experience, as we drove off, singing “Susie Q” at the top of our lungs at 8 in the morning heading down 93 South towards home, we were stopped for speeding and ticketed.  But that couldn’t damp our spirits!  We were sold on the Lakes Region experience.
 
Ten years later, when Lesley got in touch to invite me back to the Winnipesaukee Playhouse – this time to direct one of my favorite love stories, TALLEY’S FOLLY – I practically said yes before she got the offer out.  And so back I came, ten years later and ten pounds heavier, to find the key components of the experience remained even though my life had so much changed – everyone took immensely good care of me, I ate a lot of ice cream, drove through the mountains in a borrowed car, finally went to that mind-blowing drive-in with Molly Parker Myers (who is fine company for exploring new places, it should be noted!), ate farm stand apple cider doughnuts (cucumbers, too, but on working vacations we don’t discuss healthy foods) with my friend Angela and her 5 year old daughter who came over from Paris (via Maine) to see the playhouse, and I missed my husband back in Brooklyn dearly.  And even though I still have not seen a moose (probably a good thing) I did encounter a black bear face to face on an evening jog.  I have a good answer for “why New Hampshire”: it is a gift of a location for a theatre artist looking to work hard, communicate with a supportive and enthusiastic audience, collaborate with a dedicated team, and still benefit from the total beauty of the region.  
 
In TALLEY’S FOLLY, the beauty of the Ozark countryside is what makes the meeting between “Matt” and “Sally” – and thus the whole play – possible.  “Matt” listens to a little voice that says: go to the countryside, and see what there is to see.  It changes his life.  I see a lot of pride in the people who support the Winnipesaukee Playhouse – and I don’t think anyone is taking it for granted.  When you say yes to beauty, who knows what adventures await you? I hope to be back, and to share it with others (starting with you, Paul!) to deepen the discovery.
 
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Memories of a Summer at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse

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Today we have a guest blog from our Scenic Artist, Rachel Fischer.  

 

Rachel says:

Not being much of a writer, I had no idea where to start for a blog post.  After much thought, I decided to compile a list of things that made my summer so special.  Some of them are inside jokes, folks, so just go with it.

Memories of a Summer at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse

 

Blue sky

Hills

Mountains

Wet blend

Hair ties

Quick changes

Spoons

Wheelbarrow

Leaf

Candle

Carrot

I know that!

The Klan

Blasny, Blasny

Raccoons

Pond

Ducks

Black magic

Scene changes

Marble

MORE SPATTER!

Books

boats

beach

FUNSPOT

Fences

White ally

BEAR?!?!?!!?

Banjo

Cats

Stain glass

Unicorns

Quilts

Caves

Witchblade

Bricks

Gel Stain

Molding

Poems

Prison pajamas

Bread

Missing Teeth

Campfires

S’mores

The Avengers

Trees

Vines

Ice skates

Adventures

Memories

Friends old and new

Family

 

Thank you for a fun and unforgettable summer.  Until we meet again.

  

Blit

What is it about a fire?

Richard Brundage

This week’s guest blogger is Richard Brundage.  Now in his 6th summer with us, Richard may be considered the grande dame of the Playhouse (or at least the male equivalent of a grande dame.  Don’t bother googling to see if there is a male equivalent, three of us have already tried!).  In his time here, Richard’s roles have run the gamut from a befuddled Frenchman to a befuddled Englishman – with lots and lots in-between!  We are so lucky that he considers The Winnipesaukee Playhouse his summer home…

This past week, some of the younger stagehands here at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse have inaugurated a curious ritual. They’ve been starting fires. They’ve found a safe spot—no grass, no trees—the site of the recently demolished education building—now just a flat little meadow of rocks and dirt. They use some of the bigger rocks to build a circle, and within that circle they build a fire. Not much of a fire, just a small campfire-sized fire, but fire is fire, and it works. As night falls, actors and crew members put down their scripts and smart phones and power tools and video games and wander out of the house or the scene shop and over to the fire. Some claim it’s just an excuse to enjoy “s’mores,” but it’s really the fire that draws them. People sit or stand, chatting, sipping beer, noticing the rising moon, watching the fire. And soon the circle is complete.

For a little while, time slows and everyone breathes a little easier. Anxieties about an upcoming audition or grad-school application drift away. Details blur. People in the circle are transformed into dancing shadows and firelit outlines, voices in the dark. The voices are familiar but different somehow. You listen more carefully, your hearing sharpens even as voices grow softer. In the dark, your imagination wanders. Maybe you remember a fire from some other night long ago. Maybe the dark is scary, a little, and you feel a childlike shiver, but it’s safe here with your friends and the fire to keep you warm.

It’s the perfect time for a story. A ghost story, a funny story, any kind of story.

Back when people did this all the time, every night of the year, building a fire to cook their freshly-killed dinner or to keep from getting eaten themselves, I’m sure they must have gathered around the fire and shared stories as night fell. And at certain special times of the year, the stories would frame a sacred ritual; there would be singing and dancing, costumes and masks and painted bodies to delight or terrify. And once again, for a little while, the people in the circle forgot their quarrels and hunger and sickness and joined in something bigger than themselves, recalling for each other the mysteries of death and rebirth, the comedies of love and failure, the hero’s journey, the reasons the gods do what they do.

Theatre, when it works, should feel like that circle around the fire. I hope it does.

Thank you…

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This week’s guest blogger is Nicholas Wilder.  Joining us for his second summer, the versatile actor has really run the gamut of roles this summer…

When I started writing this blog I had the intention of talking about the four roles I’ve played this summer.  The challengers of working on two shows at once, finding the energy to rehearse all day and then perform at night (caffeine is my best friend).  The balance of comedy and drama…but then I received an email from a patron about her visits to the Playhouse and her kind words about my performances and it hit me very suddenly how happy I am to be here.

It’s very easy to be cynical in this career.  The hardships usually significantly outweigh the joy.  There are so many challenges that we face, from money worries to finding the next job, but occasionally I’m reminded of how extremely fortunate I am to be doing what I love.

Opening night for Any Other Name, about 5 minutes before the show started, an enormous smile appeared on my face.   Even through all the hardships and doubt and fear, moments of pure bliss seem to occur. When I stop for a moment and realize how privileged I am to share the stage with Rebecca, Richard, and Toby each night.  How lucky I am to be an actor in the theater, to be doing what I love; how lucky I am to be here at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse.

Last year was my first summer here and to be invited back was an honor and a joy, especially for these four roles.  People often ask how you memorize all those lines, and I honestly don’t know.  Every time I start a new show, no matter how big the role it seems like an impossible task.  The idea of putting a show on in a week and a half seems unthinkable, but it always manages to work.  This has been one of the harder, but most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had.  Going from a racist southern to an upper-class British romantic to a nine-year-old Missouri boy and finally back to England again for one poet’s tragic decent.  I couldn’t have asked for a better or more fulfilling summer.  In fact, the only thing that perhaps could have made this experience more satisfying would be if I had actually had the fat cat that Lesley always secretly suspected I was hiding in the basement. But there’s always next year.

So – thank you. To the people who run the Playhouse, the people who work here along side with me, and the patrons for coming and sharing these experiences with me each night. I only hope to keep making you proud.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

Editor’s Note: Lesley never really suspected he was hiding a cat in the basement… though she thinks a resident Playhouse cat would be a lovely idea…!

So, let’s talk about the covered bridge…

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Today’s guest blogging duo is A.J. Ditty and William Vaughn.  Currently appearing onstage as Tom and Huck in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, these two talented actors met as first year students at NYU.  A.J. made his Winnipesaukee Playhouse debut last summer and clearly had so much fun that he recommended that William audition for us this year.  This blog is a little glimpse into their… unique… and interesting… minds…

 

So, let’s talk about the covered bridge. Here’s a picture of it:

bridge

LOOK AT IT. LOOK AT IT IN ALL ITS QUAINT HOMESPUN GLORY! CAN’T YOU FEEL THE QUAINTNESS?! QUAAAAAIIINNNNTTTTNNNNNEEEEEESSSS.

When I first got to Meredith last summer for my first foray into the madness of The Winnipesaukee Playhouse, it was the covered bridge that attracted my attention in a weirdly hypnotic way that I usually attribute to fine art or grainy videos of penguins on Youtube. There was just something so alluring about a bridge built to cross a stream that you could easily jump over (even during the heaviest of rains, the stream barely gets up to a foot deep).  I sat down with my friend/life-partner/Don Quixote in a lizard suit William Vaughn to discuss bridges and the coverings that go over them.   

Q: So, William-

William Vaughn: WHAT?!

Q: Oh, I just, we have to do this blog thing, for the Playhouse.

(William staggers out of a bathtub full of marmalade)

WV: I didn’t agree to any blog thing.

Q: Yes you did, Lesley asked us and I was standing right there.

WV: Wasn’t me.

Q: William, I was standing right-

WV: YOU CAN’T PROVE THAT.

Q: Will you just-I mean, people are going to be reading this, important people.

WV: FINE. But only if we talk about covered bridges.

Q: What an amazing coincidence. That’s what the blog is on.

WV: So, like, Jeff Bridges in a mink coat or, like Beau Bridges under a big tarp?

Q: No, like, the one outside, that gets us to work everyday?

WV: Let me tell you a story about Beau Bridges.

Q: That’s not-

WV: When I was in the war, Beau was in my fighting regiment. We had guns. He makes a mean sloppy joe and won’t tell you his middle name.

Q: Vernet.

WV: What?

Q: Beau Bridges middle name. It’s Vernet.

WV: That can’t be right.

Q: Lloyd Vernet Bridges III.

WV: THERE ARE THREE OF THEM?

Q: I mean, yeah, I think so.

WV: SO WHICH ONE DID I KILL?

Q: I think we’re getting off topic here.

WV: Right, so, Bridges of Madison County-

Q: No-

WV: It’s okay. I thought the music was sort of redundant, but, Rebecca likes it, so-

(Rebecca Tucker glides by, riding an emu)

Rebecca Tucker: I DOOOOOOOOOOO-

(The emu explodes)

WV: That movie though. Meryl, AM I RIGHT?

Q: No, but, what do you think of the bridge on the walk to the theater every morning?

WV: It exists.

Q: Well, yeah, but, like, what do you THINK of it?

WV: So, we’re in the trenches. Beau’s got a grenade in one hand, and three sloppy joes in another-

Q: What war was this?

WV: The good one.

Q: Okay.

WV: So, I says to Beau, I says: Beau, baby, Baby Beau, you gotta throw something buddy, or we ain’t makin’ it back to Jeff. He’s waiting for us, gotta nice juicy sequel to Tron waiting for us. Aren’t you in suspense about what became of Flint? And Beau goes I think we’d better- AND THEN THE GRENADE EXPLODES. And that’s how Beau lost his middle name.

Q: It’s Vernet.

WV: We’re in New Hampshire, A.J.

Q: Vernet not Vermont.

WV: Gesundheit.

Q: I just…I just hate you. SO much.

WV: So, is this a bad time to tell you I charged all this marmalade to your credit card?

Q: I think the covered bridge symbolizes the great combination of nature and society, and that by building this structure, it shows how mankind can cohabitate with nature and, perhaps, make each other better, fuller, more alive than they ever thought-

WV: THINK FAST-

(William throws a sloppy joe at A.J.’s face)

Q: Why?

WV: FOR BEAAAAAUUUUU.

(A.J. lets the sloppy joe hit the floor with a sickening splat. William smiles at A.J. A.J. does not smile back. In that moment, there comes a great reckoning on both the spiritual and physical planes between the two of them, as if a chasm of unearthly sorrow has opened and threatens to suck them both in and never relinquish them from its depths. If only they had some kind of-)

WV: COVERED BRIDGE. COVERED BRIDGE. WERE YOU GONNA WRITE COVERED BRIDGE?

Q: …Maybe.

WV: I like you. Let’s go to the circus.

(And they do.)

beau

 

 

The Man Behind the Curtain (What does the Technical Director Do?)

josh jansen

This week’s guest blogger is Technical Director Josh Jansen.  

 

During my time here at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse I have met and been introduced to a number of patrons, board members, and donors. Usually such introductions all go the same way; I say, “Hello, I am Josh…” and they say,  “ Hello, I am … what do you do here?” to which I reply,  “ I am the Technical Director”  and of course this is usually met with wide eyes and a smile of uncertainty. Explaining what I do can be difficult rather like Dorothy’s companions trying to explain the Mythical Wizard of Oz. If I have done my job well, the audience oftentimes won’t even know I have done it. Oftentimes I simplify my explanation and tell people I am in charge of the engineering and construction of scenery, but that really only just scratches the surface on things I do day-to-day around the company.   So In order to be clearer I thought I would sum up my duties and talk about some of the projects I have been working on recently.

What do I do? The proper least-confusing answer is a little bit of everything. I am, and really must be a Jack of all trades. Like the Playhouse’s own superhero-of-old I descend on the campus and its various buildings to organize, plan, and fix everything from squeaky doors to burnt out light bulbs and many things in between. Now looking at it from this angle it is extremely exciting to rush in, screw guns ablaze, save the day and then return back the my bat cave (more commonly known as the scene shop) and get back to building scenery. Now if that does not sound like the task of your local neighborhood crime fighter, I don’t know what does. However, it is not always so glamorous a position for sure. Yet I get a great satisfaction in keeping our theatrical machine running like a well-oiled clock (clocks are another hobby of mine).

Now when it comes to the production side of my job, I have multiple duties to ensure the season gets going even before we put the first stick of lumber through the saw. For example, I began working on this summer’s season in early March this year. Under a sea of paperwork ranging from emails, cost sheets, material orders, tool repairs, drafting, and lists of stock goods that may prove useful; all of these things necessary to figure out if and how we can bring the designers’ and directors’ visions to life. A mentor of mine once said that “you can only buy time on the front end” and as fast as we produce our summer season, there is very little room for error or recalculation. It’s exciting to think that, planned well enough and executed properly, what we can achieve is nearly endless.

The Winnipesaukee Playhouse has excited me these past two seasons as we push the envelope of what we can do in so little time with the resources that we have farther and farther. For example, our first production of the summer The Foriegner  we built the Playhouse’s first ever steel framed flats for the large proscenium arch way that spanned the stage. Also this summer we all have joked is the “Summer of Trap Doors” and testing the limits of our stage. We have had four trap doors this summer counting the one in The Foreigner that the clansman “melts” through and three in the current production of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer that range from grave sites complete with sand to a treasure chest that is pneumatically lifted out of the floor.

Now hold it… I can tell I lost you there in all of my excitement.  A pneumatic WHAT you ask? A lift or platform that rises on its own out of the stage with the help of two pistons powered by compressed air. So basically they fill with air and the platform goes up exposing the treasure chest to the audience (check out a video of the prototype here) But did we stop there? No we did not!  To see what other special effect treats we cooked up you will have to come see the show.

Prior to this production, the Playhouse has never had any automation in a summer season show. In fact, before the Community Theatre production of Harvey this fall (which you might remember the doors that opened and closed by themselves) there have been no non-human powered effects to speak of. The Playhouse staff has encouraged me to bring our techniques and tricks into new fields and we are well on our way to acquiring a stock of automation and metal working equipment that will hopefully continue to grow.

What is most exciting however is that we are never done trying to outdo ourselves.  We are always trying to do it better, faster, and cooler than before. Now you might say that such technology has no place in the theatre. Well I must strongly disagree with the antiquity of that thought. We must aim to better our audience experience in any way we can. Now if we have such great tools (such as pneumatics and steel) at our disposal why wouldn’t we use them?

The Winnipesaukee Playhouse staff is always looking for ways to bring in the newest tools and tricks that we are able to use and for that I must commend them. It is one thing to build a state of the art theatre but it is a constant multifarious task to keep the theatre and its productions state of the art for years to come.

-Josh Jansen

Five Weeks of Smiles

Nicole Soriano

This week’s guest blogger is actress Nicole Soriano.  Nicole joined us for her second summer, having spent most of Noises Off in her underwear last year!  Tomorrow’s final performance of The Importance of Being Earnest marks her fond farewell to us for Summer 2014…

 

Time has never gone by faster than these past five weeks. It has been quite a gift to come back to The Winnipesaukee Playhouse this summer! As I prepare to pack up and move on to the next job, I find myself thinking of all the moments that have made up my time here, from read-throughs and rehearsals, to dinner breaks and taco nights (that may have been more than once a week), to taking in with true, genuine appreciation the sound of the audience applauding at the end of each performance.

I think of the first day of rehearsal for The Foreigner, and seeing Keith [Weirich, director] for the first time since Noises Off. Preparing to take on another hilarious farce and laughing from the moment we first sat down to read the script. I think of seeing the set for the first time and stepping back on that beautiful stage. Biting the inside of my cheeks every night so as not to laugh at Nick [Wilder] when he did his Owen-Kung-Foo moment towards the end of the show. Running backstage to get William [Vaughn] in to the Klan costume, all the while laughing together as we heard the megaphone bit and the audience’s response. Rachel [Fischer, scenic artist and backstage crew] always having at least three hair elastics backstage for me and helping me put up my side ponytail before the breakfast scene. Realizing on stage in the middle of my monologue how connected I felt to Catherine some nights, talking so easily to AJ [Ditty] and never knowing exactly if people were going to laugh or cry. My eyes filling up closing night as I said my final line: “We’ve got all the time in the world.”

I think of putting on my corset for the first day of Earnest rehearsal. The two sets of lovers running lines in the fort while Sprinkles [aka Assistant Technical Director Jeremy Reimer] reads for Lady Bracknell. Reading through the Gwendolyn/Cecily catfight scene for the first time and realizing how much I will look forward to doing this scene with Rebecca [Tucker] every single night.  Hearing the audience whisper “Earnest! It’s Earnest!” in the pause before Nick said it himself, and feeling in the air just how invested they were in that moment. Talking to Donna [Schilke] about the influence Cecily and Miss Prism have on each other. Seeing the company slide down the kiddie slide at Steele Hill Resort and spending our days off by the Lake-pond, I should say pond (we often got lost on the way to the beach). Dinner at Town Docks for John’s [Nagy] birthday, trips to the Beer cave, crying over pug YouTube videos in the kitchen, making friends at Hannaford’s, speaking in a Southern dialect 24/7, dance parties in the kitchen at 1 AM, accidentally making 16 cups of coffee my first day here, seeing my parents beaming in the second row opening night of Earnest, and this lovely lunch alone by the water, listening to my favorite Sondheim song on repeat as I reflect back on all that I have experienced, learned, and felt with the fondest of thoughts. I fell in love with this experience and wouldn’t have changed a thing. Full to the brim of moments of all kinds, I will remember these five weeks and smile.

 

“Let the moment go. Don’t forget it for a moment, though.”

-Stephen Sondheim

Roommate Forts and Other Perks of the Job

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Welcome to our latest guest blogger, Rebecca Tucker.  Rebecca is joining us for her first summer season and is currently performing as Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest. Audiences will be pleased to also see her in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Any Other Name.

 

To anyone unfamiliar with the world of regional theatre, the idea of packing up all of your things, getting on a plane or bus, travelling to some place you’ve never been to before, and moving into a house with fifteen strangers in order to undertake the impossible task of creating a piece of art in an absurdly short period of time is completely, utterly insane. To me, however, it has become one of the greatest blessings of my life. When I first arrived at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse, just over two weeks ago now, it was with a multi-layered nervousness. As a nonunion actress who primarily works regionally, you never really know what you’re signing up for when you sign your life away for months at a time to work on a show. The horror stories could fill this blog endlessly; but that isn’t always the case.

There are times when you are given the gift, miraculously, of an instantaneous family. There are times when you walk into a rehearsal room and are given the blessing of an incredible director and inspiring cast mates. There are times when friendships form so easily, so quickly, that they seem to defy what we’ve come to understand as the proper social process for meeting new people. There are many aspects of theatre that can be compared to a childlike sense of play, but this specific occurrence is one of my favorites- the innocent, possibly naïve idea that the only real requirement to making friends is saying yes.  Working at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse has been one of these experiences for me. Before my first week here was up, I had built a fort with my roommate, formed a band, and dissected the future of musical theatre, all in addition to building one of the smartest, funniest plays I have ever performed.

Yes, it can be a risky and sometimes frightening experience, but it is also, first and foremost, the most joyous, wonderful job on the planet.  And then it’s all over.  And you’re on to the next gig.  And you start this crazy adventure again; hoping it will somehow manage to live up this current glorious summer of bears and banjos and Nicole Jordans and forts .

 

The Buzzing Hive at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse

John C. Nagy III

Our latest guest blogger is cast member John C. Nagy III. This is John’s first season at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse where he will be appearing in The Foreigner, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  John’s post was written this past Monday, a two-performance day for The Foreigner.

Hello, Winnipesaukee Playhouse-blogosphere! It has been sixteen days since I have arrived at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse, and we have begun our second week of performances for The Foreigner, and are about halfway through blocking The Importance of Being Earnest. To briefly touch on my journey: I submitted a video audition tape to Bryan Halperin and Neil Pankhurst, followed by a live callback via Skype a few days later. Shortly thereafter, I received the casting offer, and I accepted! This is my first time in New Hampshire, and I feel very fortunate to be performing in such a beautiful part of the country, and in this fantastic theatre space!

Now when Lesley Pankhurst approached me about contributing to The Winnipesaukee Playhouse-blog, I had a few different ideas of what I wanted to touch on, until this morning, when the busy little hive that is our “campus” started buzzing with a different air. One of our actors fell very ill and was not able to perform in our double performances of The Foreigner. During our morning rehearsal for Earnest, our director, Neil Pankhurst, received word that he was to go on in actor’s place. This can be jarring news for even the most well-seasoned actor, but Neil took up the script and worked with the other actors and our Stage Manager just hours before the performance to prepare for the first of two performances. Neil informed us (rather coolly, I might add) that he had not performed since 1991… side note: I am writing this piece mid-performance, and judging from what I’ve seen on the tv monitor, and my brief moments on stage with him, it seems to me like he was long overdue to be on stage again!

Suffice to say, the unfortunate events of today have once again proved that old adage holds true: the show must go on! I am throwing the risk of sounding self-indulgent completely out the window here, but I must say that it never ceases to amaze me how deeply theatrical performers and production members take that adage to heart. It was extremely encouraging to me to watch our proverbial “bee-hive” buzzing with an continuously positive air in the short time before curtain. The audience took their seats, and the show did indeed go on.

In the last entry, Winnipesaukee Playhouse staple, Adam Kee, discussed how The Winnipesaukee Playhouse has a distinctly familial nature, and I believe that this nature was revealed in earnest today. Obviously one’s health is of the utmost importance, and our collective thoughts and hope for a speedy recovery is with our fellow company member. While we are investing our time and effort to put on artistic productions here at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse, I feel confident in knowing that this company, this family, will look out for us, and can still put on a darn good show.