Winnipesaukee Playhouse Launches 2019 Shows and Events, Honors Volunteers
While visions of sugarplums may be on your horizon, the Winnipesaukee Playhouse has just
turned the calendar to 2019 by announcing the nineteen productions destined for their Meredith stage
in the coming year.
And what a year it will be for visitors to the Playhouse: popular musicals, prize-winning dramas,
hilarious comedies, and some special events, all chosen to offer audiences superb entertainment and
thought-provoking experiences all year round. The 2019 announcement was made to invited guests at a
Volunteer Recognition Brunch, where not only the Playhouse volunteers were celebrated, but also
Trustee and Volunteer Coordinator Laura Stephan, who received statewide recognition earlier in the
week by receiving a NH Spirit award of her own.
Artistic Director Neil Pankhurst introduced the unifying theme for 2019, “Made in America,”
which acknowledges the spirit of ingenuity, discovery, and eclectic character that not only defines
culture, but is in turn shaped by it. With three branches, the Winnipesaukee Playhouse titles offer a
range of experience not only for audiences, but also for community performers, youth and students, as
well as the professional actors drawn to perform there.
The Winni Players community theatre titles introduced by Rick Morten and Thom Beaulieu of
the Winni Players Community Theatre Committee are: The Skin of Our Teeth, a Pulitzer Prize winning
drama from Thornton Wilder; Company, the Sondheim/Furth musical that set the tone for modern
musicals; Eugene O’Neil’s semi-autobiographic and powerful drama Long Day’s Journey Into Night; and
their annual staged radio play will lead off next year’s holiday season with It’s A Wonderful Life by Joe
Tim L’Ecuyer, Winnipesaukee Education Department Director, announced the titles designed for
youth interest and performance, beginning early in 2019 with Love/Sick by John Cariani (author of
Almost, Maine); followed by Harriet the Spy, based on an enduring YA book. Education Program
productions resume later in the year with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by John Heimbuch & Jon
Ferguson, followed by the musical Urinetown by Mark Hollmann & Greg Kotis.
Of course, the professional shows and summer season are the most anticipated reveal, and
Pankhurst delivered the exciting lineup. The 2019 professional season begins with an April production
of Insignificance by Terry Johnson; author of popular favorite The Graduate, then kicks off a six-show
summer with Academy Award winning director – and the author – Ernest Thompson directing the
Winnipesaukee Playhouse production of On Golden Pond in June. Summer continues with: Ken
Ludwig’s Moon over Buffalo (surefire comedy for the Lakes Region); the Lopez/Marx/Whitty musical
Avenue Q; and musical giant and Broadway blockbuster Chicago from the award-winning team of
Kander & Ebb, Fosse and Watkins. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, by Todd Kreidler, and Neil Simon’s
California Suite round out the summer. Two additional professional productions fill out the year with an
October thriller Deadly Murder by David Foley; and, of course, the annual Panto-style entertainment –
for the 2019 holidays based on the classic tale of Beauty & the Beast.
The Playhouse will also return several popular events to their stage, with a return of Pitch, a
College A Capella Concert and ImprovOlympics that brings teams from area nonprofits together for a
night of improv comedy and mutual fundraising. A decade-long tradition of observing Holocaust
Remembrance Day with a staged reading of a notable work will continue – but in 2019 the partnership
with Temple B’Nai Israel intends to bring this performance into the community. Look for future details.
Of course, the Education Department will return a summer learning experience with youth
camps, and both the Community and Educational productions invite participation from local performers
and theatre enthusiasts. And, of course, volunteer help is always welcome in a variety of ways.
Complete information is available from the Winnipesaukee Playhouse where their 2018
performances continue through December. Visit their site at www.winnipesaukeeplayhouse.org, or
phone for up-to-the-minute information, ticket availability, and special offers.