Look no further than the Monadnock Region for a variety of theater experiences! You will find aspiring actors treading the boards, fun community theatre productions, a quality regional LORT theatre with performers who have been on stages from Broadway to the West End, and even experimental theatre professionals expanding the definition of the art form. With a long history of pageants, play-making, and professional theatre in the Monadnock region, you’ll be delighted what our stages have to offer.
If you’ve ever thought attending a play was boring, try out an event with the Ewing Award-winning Firelight Theatre Workshop! This Peterborough-based ensemble hosts affordable, immersive, and out-of-the-box programming. Attend open workshops and rehearsals to get a behind-the-scenes experience! If you’re around in the spring, look into their scene study and acting workshops. For a venture into the past, try a period drama by Keene’s resident professional theatre company, The Edge Ensemble. Look online for films of their past productions! The ensemble also offers private and group classes in acting and directing. Not ready to take classes? Live vicariously through students! Project Shakespeare in Jaffrey helps young actors develop their voice, presence, and stagecraft with the classics! Don’t miss an opportunity to celebrate this region’s young artists during their summer season and holiday break performances! Another staple in the region for student actors is Andy’s Summer Playhouse in Wilton. Attend one of their creative and spirited end-of-summer performances, sign up for a workshop, or head online to immerse yourself in one of their unique digital projects! Last but not least – a visit to the Monadnock region would be remiss without a stop by our only League of Resident Theatres member, the Peterborough Players. The Players have been operating since the 1930s in a renovated 18th century barn! Plays run throughout the summer and winter seasons. Past productions include The Emperor’s New Clothes, Cabaret, and Circle Mirror Transformation. In downtown Keene, The Colonial Performing Arts Center, has a variety of scheduled shows and performances throughout the year.
Do you feel good when you move? Take it to another level and try a dance class! MoCo Arts in Keene has offerings for all ages, from camps for young kids to beginner and intermediate classes for adults. Possibilities include hip hop and jazz to tap and ballet, see what style speaks to you! If you are a kid or have kids, MoCo provides theatre workshops and camps for school breaks and summer vacation. Take a chance to build up confidence and have fun! Regular performances are open for the public to enjoy, with past shows including The Nutcracker (where professionals dance with students!), Alice in Wonderland, and Beauty and the Beast. Their season highlights are conveniently available to view online. Also in Keene, the outreach non-profit New Hampshire Dance Institute’s (NHDI) mission is to enliven the lives of students by bringing the joy of choreographed dance to schools. Look out for their event of the year at Keene State College’s Redfern Arts Center to see schools across southwestern New Hampshire come together in performance! And what would a thriving regional arts community be without folk art? The Monadnock Folklore Society in Peterborough is known to host community socials for contradancing and English country dances! They’ve taken a hiatus during the pandemic, but keep your eyes peeled for the next chance to hit the dance floor. Looking to improve flexibility and flair? Keene Fusion Studios offers pilates, fitness, and ballroom dancing. Work on strength, movement, and flexibility with Everglow Wellness! Everglow also holds occasional arts events and workshops. If you’re an adult beginner looking to dance, a specialized program with Peterborough’s Monadnock Academy of Movement Arts (MAMA) might be for you! Alternatively, private ballroom lessons are available with The Grand Monadnock Ballroom in Swanzey. Taking dance classes can deepen your appreciation for the art form. Stay up to date with contemporary choreography with the professional company WeathermakersDance!
For a calendar of upcoming events visit Discover Monadnock. There you can sign up for the weekly cultural events newsletter to get the week’s roundup straight to your inbox.
About our Guest Blogger
Arts Alive contributed this post. They are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization creating and supporting a sustainable landscape for the arts in the Monadnock region. Through memberships, creatives and artlovers can connect at fun meetups, go on artist field trips, attend workshops, and hear about all the great opportunities for creatives and creative businesses in our region. The whole community is welcome to join Arts Alive for the annual Keene ArtWalk each June, Ewing Arts Awards each July to celebrate arts of excellence in our region, and our Arts Track sessions at the national Radically Rural summit in September. Learn more and become a member at monadnockartsalive.org