Community Players of Concord, NH Present the World Premiere Comedy “Not A Word” May 5, 6, 7 at Concord City Auditorium

CONTACT: JIM WEBBER  (603) 540-1117

The Community Players of Concord, NH wrap their 95th season with a world-premiere comedy written and directed by Wallace J. Pineault, “NOT A WORD.”  Pineault, who joined ‘The Players’ in 1975, has directed numerous plays and musicals for the group and over 50 plays at New England College, where he taught directing, acting and dramatic theory.  His sabbaticals in Hollywood working for a golden age casting director inspired this delightful and hilarious look back at the last years of silent movies over 100 years ago.

NOT A WORD takes place in a boarding house on a dusty side street off Hollywood Boulevard in the year 1920, when innocent Miriam Van Hiberhauser arrives and unpacks her dreams of becoming the next Mary Pickford on the silver screen.  Overwhelmed by a new world of dreamers and eccentrics, including a fortune-telling makeup artist, an ambitious young writer, a lecherous retired colonel and more – Miriam becomes swept up in a fly-by-night movie production fueled by ego as much as talent.  Director Otto Detuchmann’s tantrums do nothing to calm his vision-impaired cameraman and clueless script girl, while Italian actor Lorenzo Primadoni fumes impatiently for his close-up.  Their silent epic reaches comic pandemonium when Mrs. Callahan’s boarding house becomes the location for their climactic scene.  Following a disastrous premiere and a mysterious telegram from a film studio which puts everyone on edge, their all-or-nothing gamble on screen success writes a surprising twist (and a surprise ending!) in the final reel.

The Community Players production of NOT A WORD features nine actors, some veteran Players and some who’ve joined just this season: Seth Bunke, Cindy Dickinson, Kaj Hache, Erik Hodges, Valerie Kehr, Hannah McCauley, Anne Orio, Nathan Osburn and Dana Sackos.  Producers Allwyne Fine, Elizabeth Lent, Colleen Schwarz, Douglas Schwarz and Mary Walker have secured a design team of Steven Meier, Suzanne Potoma and Wallace J. Pineault for lighting, costumes and set.  The stage manager is Donna Julian assisted by Corinne Stanley.  The 95th season presenting sponsor is Merrimack County Saving Bank – show sponsor is NHTrust Financial Advisors.

NOT A WORD will be performed at Concord City Auditorium, 2 Prince Street in Concord on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, May 7 at 2:00 PM.  Tickets are now available online at communityplayersofconcord.org.  Phone: (603) 344-4747.  Box Office hours: 4/30 – 1 to 4 PM.  5/5 & 6 – 6 to 7:30 PM.  5/7 – 12:30 to 2 PM.

 

“The 39 Steps” Postponed to Feb. 24-26

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 14, 2023

Contact Ellen Burger 

partenen@comcast.net

(603) 344-1444

The Community Players of Concord NH production of THE 39 STEPS, originally scheduled to be performed at the Concord City Auditorium on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 17-19, 2023, has been POSTPONED due to illness within the company. The show will be presented the following weekend: Friday and Saturday, February 24 and 25 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, February 26 at 2:00 pm. Tickets for those new dates are now available at http://communityplayersofconcord.org/tickets/

Tickets previously purchased for the original February 17-19 show dates will be valid during the February 24-26 show weekend for the same day of the week and the same seat location – there is no need for patrons to exchange their tickets.  

Patrons wishing to exchange their original February 17-19 show tickets for a different performance day of the week during the February 24-26 show weekend, or who wish to turn them in for a refund, are asked to email Box Office chair David Murdo at nhdm40@comcast.net or call him at (603) 344-4747, preferably by Wednesday, February 21, 2023. 

The Community Players of Concord, NH, extends thanks to the community for supporting their 95th Anniversary Season of bringing live theatre to the heart of the capital region and sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience this postponement may cause our valued patrons. 

The Community Players of Concord, NH to Present “The 39 Steps”

A COMEDY BASED ON THE HITCHCOCK THRILLER

FEBRUARY 17, 18, 19 AT CONCORD CITY AUDITORIUM

Contact: Jim Webber    jbw1026@aol.com    (603) 540-1117


The Community Players of Concord, NH will be presenting the comedy The 39 Steps on February 17, 18 and 19, 2023 at Concord City Auditorium. Based on Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie that thrilled audiences in 1935, the stage version is now a “comic thrill ride” performed by a cast of only five actors. Adapted by Patrick Barlow, this 2005 comedy hit played in London’s West End for nine years and was nominated for six Tony Awards on Broadway in 2008.

Like the Hitchcock thriller which first put the fast-paced, location-shifting spy thriller on the screen, The 39 Steps tells the story of an ordinary man flung into extraordinary circumstances. When a spy is murdered in his London flat, Richard Hannay is chased by a team of killers across England and Scotland, defying death in one seemingly inescapable scrape after another – including a romance! Based on a 1915 spy novel by John Buchan, Patrick Barlow’s adaptation not only spoofs old movies and Hitchcock tropes (Psycho, Vertigo, etc.), but also adds a dash of Monty Python comedy as five actors instantly transform into over 150 characters with lightning precision.

Kevin Gardner, well-known author, commentator and theatre director in New Hampshire, directs the Community Players’ February presentation. Having directed the Shakespeare program at St. Paul’s School, numerous plays at Plymouth State, as well as at New Hampshire’s professional summer theatres, Kevin is happy to be returning to The Players, where he began appearing in plays as a teenager with his family in the 1960s. In 2008, Kevin directed the brilliant production of Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of Metamorphoses with the Community Players.

The multi-talented cast of The 39 Steps includes Todd Bubier (of Manchester) in the role of the pursued everyman-with-movie-star-looks, “Richard Hannay.” Todd is the only actor who plays one role in the show. Julia Kehr (of Concord) and Suzanne Watts (of Penacook) are playing, respectively, “Margaret” and “Pamela” as well as other roles. Julia was seen in the Community Players’ The Farnsworth Invention and Suzanne in Last Gas. Seth Bunke (of Boscawen) and Daniel Kehr (of Concord) are listed as “Clown 1” and “Clown 2.” Both actors bring technical polish and unbridled passion for comedy to over 100 roles they’ll be playing in the comic tour de force on the City Auditorium stage in The 39 Steps.

With The 39 Steps, The Community Players of Concord, NH continue the celebration of their 95th Season, which began with The Wind In The Willows (young@part) followed by Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express. Wayland Bunnell, Sharon Sweet, Ellen Burger and Allwynne Fine produce the upcoming February production.

Local supporting sponsors: NH Trust Financial Advisors and Sanel-NAPA (Show sponsors.)  Merrimack County Savings Bank (Presenting 95th Season sponsor.)

Performance dates and times for The 39 Steps: Friday, February 17 at 7:30 PM – Saturday, February 18 at 7:30 PM – Sunday, February 19 at 2:00 PM. Tickets are now available online at communityplayersofconcord.org. Adult tickets are $20 and Student / Senior tickets are $18. Concord City Auditorium is located at 2 Prince Street, at the rear of Concord City Hall, 45 Green Street. Theatre box office will be open 2/12 from 1 PM to 4 PM – 2/17 & 2/18 from 6 PM to 7:30 PM – 2/19 from 12:30 PM – 2 PM.

 

The Community Players of Concord, NH to present Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express

Concord, NH – All aboard! You are in for a thrilling ride when Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, newly adapted for the stage by Tony Award winning playwright Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor) pulls away from Istanbul station at the Concord City Auditorium on November 18, 19 and 20, 2022. 

It is winter, 1934 and the luxurious Orient Express passenger train, surprisingly full for the time of year, is hurtling down the tracks in a heavy snowstorm when its journey is suddenly halted by a snowdrift, trapping everyone aboard. An American tycoon is found stabbed in his bed, door locked from the inside. The famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, happens to be a passenger and is pressed to solve the mystery in case the killer decides to strike again.  Poirot’s fellow passengers – a stylish, international cast of characters including a colonel, a princess, and a countess – are all suspects, but all have alibis. With plenty of twists and turns heightening the suspense, this famous whodunnit takes the audience on a ride they won’t soon forget.

First published in 1934, Murder on the Orient Express is widely regarded as one of Agatha Christie’s greatest literary achievements. After decades of refusing requests to allow the enduring novel to be adapted as a stage play, the Agatha Christie Estate approached Ken Ludwig, a legendary master of stage farce, to do just that.  Ludwig’s adaptation brilliantly infuses the glamour, intrigue, and suspense of the original masterpiece with healthy doses of wit, charm, and humor. The result: a captivating blend of crime and comedy that will leave audiences thoroughly entertained.

The Community Players’ production is directed by Elizabeth Lent and features a cast of seasoned community actors, including Jim Gocha in the role of Poirot, joined by Chris Demers, Nora McBurnett, Griffin Stuart, Dana Sackos, Cindy Dickinson, Kathyrn Giddins, Katharine Demers, Anne Orio, Nathan Osburn, Kevin Guimond, and Kaj Hache. 

Performance details:

Friday and Saturday, November 18 and 19 at 7:30 pm; Sunday, November 20 at 2:00 pm

Performances at Concord City Auditorium, 2 Prince Street, Concord, NH

Tickets $20 (Seniors/Juniors $18) (or $16 with purchase of tickets to this and at least one other Players show this season)

Purchase online at www.communityplayersofconcord.org, or at the box office 

Box Office hours: November 13, 1:00-5:00 pm; November 17 & 18, 4:30-7:30 pm; Nov. 19, 6:00-7:30 pm; Nov. 20, 12:30-2:00 pm.

Box Office phone: (603) 228-2793

For more information, contact box office chair David Murdo at nhdm40@comcast.net or (603) 344-4747

The Concord City Auditorium is fully open. Check our website for current COVID protocols

Contact:   Publicity volunteer Ellen Burger, Ellen.burger@communityplayersofconcord.org, (603) 344-1444;  

                 or Director Elizabeth Lent, Bettylent54@gmail.com, (603) 496-2179

 

THE CHILDREN’S THEATRE PROJECT TO PRESENT THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, young@part

CONCORD – When The Community Players of Concord, NH established its children’s company, The Children’s Theatre Project (“CTP”), 27 years ago, its first production was The Wind In the Willows, the classic children’s tale based on the Kenneth Grahame novel first published in 1908. On October 14 and 15, 2022, CTP will present a sparkling new musical adaptation of the story penned by Oscar-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, with songs by Olivier Award-winning composers and lyricists George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

 

The full-length version of this popular new musical premiered in London’s West End in 2017 and is currently in the works to become a major motion picture. The “young@part” edition of the show that CTP will present is a clever 60-minute adaptation specifically designed for young performers. Full of humor and wit, a gorgeous, soaring score and heartwarming lessons of friendship, The Wind In the Willows is the perfect fit for family audiences.

 

The story follows Mole, Rat, Badger and the impulsive Mr. Toad, who all live in the English countryside in the early 20th century. Mole, Rat and Badger try to keep the impulsive Toad out of trouble, but after Toad borrows a motorcar, crashes it and lands in jail, they are ready to give up on him. But when the friends discover that Weasels and Stoats have taken over Toad Hall in Toad’s absence and that the jailer’s daughter has helped Toad escape so that he may do battle with the Weasels, the friends band together to help Toad reclaim his home.

 

Director Karen Braz and her band of 24 young performers are excited to keep this classic children’s tale alive for today’s audiences.

 

Performance details:
Friday, October 14 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, October 15 at 2:00 pm
Performance at Concord City Auditorium
2 Prince Street, Concord, NH
Tickets $15, Reserved Seating
Purchase online at www.communityplayersofconcord.org, or at the box office
Box Office hours: Oct. 9th 1:00-5:00 pm; Oct. 13th &14th 4:30 – 7:30 pm; Oct. 15th 12:30-2:00 pm
Box Office phone: (603) 228-2793
For more information, contact box office chair David Murdo at nhdm40@comcast.net or (603) 344-4747
The Concord City Auditorium is fully open. Check our website for current COVID protocols.

 

The Community Players of Concord presents The Bald Soprano

by Eugène Ionesco (Translated by Donald M. Allen)

“I started writing for the theatre because I hated it.”

                                                 — Eugène Ionesco

In The Bald Soprano, a clock chimes seventeen times for seemingly no reason, the doorbell rings but there are no visitors, and the Bald Soprano never changes her hairstyle. Inspired by the cliché dialogues in an English phrasebook for beginners, Eugène Ionesco rejected the coherent plot, character development, and concept of realistic drama, instead creating his own nihilistic form of comedy to convey the tragedy of language in a universe ruled by chance.  As a testament to the play’s unique appeal and continuing relevance in an electronically dependent society that is developing its own instant message language of emoticons and anagrams, The Bald Soprano has been performing continually at the Theatre de la Huchette in Paris since 1957 — a world-record run.  A hilarious satire on the futility of meaningful communication in contemporary society, this is a theatre experience in which non-sequiturs fly, people talk at cross-purposes getting nowhere, and the concept of time is turned on its head. This thought-provoking tour-de-force of linguistic acrobatics is sure to delight.

“The Bald Soprano,” directed by Elizabeth Lent, will be performed June 17-19 and 24-26 at Hatbox Theatre, located in the Steeplegate Mall in Concord, NH.  Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. — Sunday performances begin at 2:00 p.m.  Tickets are $22 ($19 for students, seniors and Hatbox members; $16 for senior members), available online at hatboxnh.com.

“The Bald Soprano (trans. Allen)” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. — www.concordtheatricals.com.  

[Questions?  Contact Elizabeth Lent at:  bettylent54@gmail.com]

 

THE COMMUNITY PLAYERS OF CONCORD TO PRESENT JOHN CARIANI’S “LAST GAS”

CONCORD – John Cariani hails from way-northern Maine, and his plays are set in that sparsely-populated region on the edge of what’s wild and what’s not. Concord audiences have seen two other Cariani plays in recent years: Almost, Maine, produced by the Players in February 2011, and Love/Sick at the Hatbox Theatre in September 2018.

Last Gas is set in a very small, unincorporated town near the Canadian border. Nat Paradis, almost 41, runs the convenience store he’ll inherit from his father, Dwight, a 63-year-old who likes dating young Canadian women. Paradis’ Last Convenient Store is the final stop for fuel and supplies before leaving the U.S. It may also prove to be the last stop for some of life’s most universal events: love, loss, connection, and joy.

Nat never married Cherry-Tracy (a forest ranger who fancies herself The Law) – but they have a teenage son, Troy, 16, a tall young man with bigger dreams than this small town can hold. When Nat’s high school girlfriend, Lureen, comes home from New York to bury her mother, he gets a chance to rekindle a romance he gave up on 21 years ago, but his best friend from high school has bought him tickets to a Red Sox game in Boston for his birthday, a perfect road trip for these devoted Red Sox fans.

Wayland Bunnell (from way-northern New Hampshire) directs, and says “There are other things besides moose that can wander onto our paths and make big changes. Last Gas is a sweet, funny, moving and thought-provoking look at love, and what it means to ‘get back to happy’ ”.

Performance details:
Friday and Saturday, May 6 & 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 8 at 2 p.m. Performance at Concord City Auditorium
2 Prince Street, Concord NH
Tickets for reserved seating are available at: www.communityplayersofconcord.org or by contacting Box Office chair David Murdo at nhdm40@comcast.net or by calling (603) 344-4747.
There is a $2 per ticket discount if purchased before May 4.
The City Auditorium is fully open. Check our website for current COVID protocols.

Gutenberg! The Musical!

4th Time’s the Charm!Gutenberg! logo

Gutenberg! The Musical!

Presented by The Community Players of Concord, NH
Friday & Saturday, May 20-21, 7:30 pm ~ Sunday, May 22, 2:00 pm
Hatbox Theatre ~ Steeplegate Mall ~ hatboxnh.com

Featuring David Peck and Doug Schwarz
with Brandon Buteau on piano

Doug Schwarz and David Peck spent a year rehearsing Gutenberg! The Musical! for its debut at the Community Players Studio in July 2015. They had no idea what kind of reception to expect. Though Schwarz was a Players veteran, Peck was a newbie with virtually no theater experience. But the two were lifelong friends, and their infectious stage chemistry brought the production to uproarious life before a standing-room-only crowd that almost never stopped laughing.

Flushed (and perhaps even a bit giddy?) with success, they decided to give the show another try before a wider audience. And so in February 2016 they reprised their performance for a sellout crowd at the Capitol Center for the Arts’ Spotlight Café — a crowd that was perhaps even more wildly enthusiastic than the first. Their enthusiasm not yet depleted, Doug and Dave brought Gutenberg! to the Hatbox Theatre in Concord’s Steeplegate Mall in May 2017.

But if you missed all those earlier productions (or just have to see this show again!) this is your chance! By popular demand (well, at least of the actors) Gutenberg! is coming back to the Hatbox in 2022 for one weekend only: Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, May 22 at 2:00 pm! Tickets are $22 ($19 for students, seniors and Hatbox members; $16 for senior members), available online at hatboxnh.com.

The Hatbox, with its intimate, stadium-style seating, may be the perfect venue for Gutenberg!, allowing each patron to catch every nuance of this fast-paced, quick-witted show. You’ll even be able to see the hats (trust us, it’s important).

But under the Hatbox’s COVID social distancing rules there are only about 50 seats in the theatre, and nearly every previous performance of Gutenberg! has been standing room only! So don’t wait — get your tickets now!

Gutenberg! The Musical!, by Anthony King and Scott Brown, was developed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City, where it ran for over a year. The full two-act version premiered in London in 2006. A subsequent Off-Broadway production was followed by a six-month run at the Actor’s Playhouse, which was nominated for Best Musical by the Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards, as well as Best Book and Best Director of a Musical by the Drama Desk Awards. Regional and worldwide productions are ongoing.

And yes, it really is a show about Johann Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press. But it’s also about Bud and Doug, two wannabe playwrights who’ve written a show about Gutenberg — a show they’re convinced is the best musical ever written, ever! Now they’re doing a showcase for some really big Broadway producers. But can two guys with no set, no costumes and just a few props possibly stage an entire Broadway show? They can sure have fun trying — and so can you!

The Community Players of Concord, NH presents “Last Gas” by John Cariani

NEW DATES! – May 6, 7 & 8, 2022

John Cariani hails from way-northern Maine, and his plays are set in that sparsely-populated region on the edge of what’s wild and what is not. Concord audiences have seen two other Cariani plays in recent years: Almost, Maine, produced by the Players in February 2011, and Love/Sick performed at the Hatbox Theatre in September 2018.

Last Gas, Cariani’s most recent play, is set in a very small, unincorporated town near the Canadian border. Nat Paradis runs the business he inherited from his father, Dwight, a 63-year-old who likes dating young Canadians. Paradis’ Last Convenient Store is the final stop for fuel and supplies before leaving the U.S. It may also prove to be the last stop for some of life’s most universal events: love, loss, connection, and joy.

Nat never married Cherry-Tracy (a forest ranger who fancies herself The Law) – but they have a teenage son, Troy, who is now a tall young man with bigger dreams than this small town can hold. When Nat’s high school girlfriend, Lureen, comes home from New York to bury her mother, Nat gets a chance to rekindle a romance he gave up on years ago. But sparks fly as he’s forced to choose between new love and old.

Wayland Bunnell directs, and says “There are other things besides moose that can wander onto our paths and make big changes. Last Gas is a sweet, funny, moving and thought-provoking look at love lost and love found, and at what it means to ‘get back to happy’ ”.

Last Gas will be performed on Valentine’s Day weekend – Friday and Saturday, February 11-12 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, February 13 at 2 pm at the Concord City Auditorium, 2 Prince St., Concord, NH. Tickets for reserved (and socially-distanced) seating are $20, with a $2 per ticket discount for purchases prior to Wednesday, February 9. Information and tickets are available at www.communityplayersofconcord.org or by contacting Box Office chair David Murdo at nhdm40@comcast.net or (603) 344-4747.

Note: All performers and crew have been fully vaccinated, and masks are required for audience members and others in the Auditorium (except performers while on stage). All COVID-19 precautions are subject to change depending on circumstances at show time.

The Children’s Theatre Project Returns to the Audi Stage November 12th and 13th!

The Children’s Theatre Project of the Community Players of Concord, NH (“CTP”) will be celebrating its 25th anniversary (albeit in its 26th season) with a very special production of All Together Now! – A Global Event Celebrating Local Theatre at the Concord City Auditorium on November 12th and 13th, 2021.

Performances are Friday, November 12 at 7 pm and Saturday, November 13 at 2 pm. Reserved seating at the Concord City Auditorium, 2 Prince St., Concord, NH.  Tickets are $15, with a $2 per ticket discount for purchases prior to Wednesday, 11/10/2021. Information and tickets are available at www.communityplayersofconcord.org or by contacting Box Office chair David Murdo at nhdm40@comcast.net or (603) 344-4747. Box office hours are November 10-12, 4:30-7:30 pm, and November 13, 12-2 pm.

CTP was unable to celebrate its 25th Anniversary properly in 2020 due to the pandemic, when theatres were shuttered and vaccines were not yet in place.

Their grand return this year will thus be all the more joyous, as they present this special fundraising musical revue featuring young actor/singers ages 12 and up, along with some young adult CTP alumni and some adult “Guest Performers” to round out the cast.

Theatre companies around the world will be performing various versions of this exciting musical revue all on the same weekend in November to celebrate our collective return to live theatre. Music Theatre International is licensing the show free of charge so that groups around the world can present the show as a fundraiser. 

This CTP 25th Anniversary Fundraiser will include songs from Broadway favorites including Come From AwayWaitressJekyll and HydeMatildaNewsies, Once On This Island, Godspell and others. There will be several large group numbers, including  “Be Our Guest” (Beauty and the Beast), “Spread the Love” (Sister Act), “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat” (Guys and Dolls), and “Seasons of Love” (Rent).

Director Karen Braz notes that one advantage of doing a musical revue as opposed to a traditional musical right now, when COVID-19 is still in our midst, is that rehearsals can be held in relative isolation. Only small groups of singers need to rehearse together for most numbers. The revue format also makes it easier to continue rehearsing even if some performers are absent due to COVID. Rehearsals have been great fun so far and the gang can’t wait to get back to their happy place – on stage at the Audi.

 

Note: All performers and crew have been fully vaccinated and masks are required for audience members and others in the Auditorium (except performers while on stage). All COVID-19 precautions are subject to change depending on the circumstances as they exist at show time.