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Spotlight on Serenity: Exploring the Lakes Region's Top Theatres for an Unforgettable Cultural Experience

Brie Stephens

Brie has always been a devoted enthusiast of the Lake Life lifestyle, with an unwavering passion for New Hampshire and its charming Lakes Region...

Brie has always been a devoted enthusiast of the Lake Life lifestyle, with an unwavering passion for New Hampshire and its charming Lakes Region...

Jan 18 11 minutes read

Welcome, fellow culture enthusiasts, to a lakeside rendezvous with the arts! Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant world of Lakes Region Theatres, where the stage is set for unforgettable experiences. Whether you're a seasoned theatergoer or a newcomer eager to dip your toes into the world of performing arts, we've got your ticket to a journey filled with laughter, drama, and perhaps a touch of whimsy.

Join us as we unveil the curtain on the Lakes Region's hidden gems, where each venue tells a unique tale of artistic expression against the backdrop of serene lakes and picturesque landscapes. From cozy community playhouses to grand theaters that rival the beauty of the surrounding nature, this guide is your passport to a cultural adventure like no other.

So, grab your popcorn or a cozy blanket, depending on the venue, and let's embark on a delightful exploration of the Lakes Region's recommended theatres. Get ready for an encore of memories and a standing ovation for the arts!

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The Village Players

Wolfeboro


Step into a world where history meets the spotlight at The Village Players in Wolfeboro. Established in the 1930s, this community theater has woven its narrative through the decades, surviving pauses and reimagining to become a cultural cornerstone in the Lakes Region.

The journey began with shows benefiting the Wolfeboro Garden Club, and today, The Village Players stand as a testament to unwavering passion for the performing arts. A revival in the '70s led by the Ericksons set the stage for a non-profit transformation in 1980. The humble Masonic Building became their canvas – a space that would witness the transformation of dreams into reality.

Yet, the tale is not just one of triumph but also of resilience. The Players faced leaks, mushrooms, and chilly drafts, but with a determined spirit, they embarked on a journey of restoration. Volunteers painted, refurbished, and fundraised to breathe new life into this cultural haven.

Today, The Village Players boast a repertoire ranging from classic plays to cinematic experiences, with even a touch of melodrama. Their commitment extends beyond the stage, offering scholarships to aspiring artists. The legacy lives on, with ongoing renovations and a promise to continue shaping the future of Wolfeboro's arts scene.

If you're curious to witness this cultural legacy firsthand, visit The Village Players' website  or follow them on Facebook . Become a part of the narrative – because in this community, every act is a masterpiece.  

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The Flying Monkey

Plymouth


Nestled in the heart of historic Plymouth, New Hampshire, The Flying Monkey has transcended time, evolving from the "New Plymouth Theater" of the 1920s to the vibrant cultural hub it is today. Imagine a theater that's not just a venue but a living legend, with a colorful past that includes vaudeville, silent films, and the madcap Marx Brothers making lunacy a national pleasure.

After a period of silence and disrepair, The Flying Monkey soared back to life in 2010, thanks to the vision of Alex Ray, founder of The Common Man. With meticulous renovation, this gem was reborn as The Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center, becoming a haven for arts lovers in downtown Plymouth.

Over the past decade, The Flying Monkey has been the stage for GRAMMY-winning artists, community plays, films, and so much more. Its intimate setting provides a unique space where history and modernity collide, offering patrons a one-of-a-kind performance experience.

Step into a world where the echoes of the 1920s mingle with contemporary beats. From folk, blues, and rock music to films, art exhibits, and community theater, there's always something happening at "the Monkey." So, why settle for the ordinary when you can revel in the extraordinary?

Stay in the loop with the Monkey's latest acts and events by visiting their website , and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for a backstage pass to the entertainment extravaganza. Join us as we create memories that echo the good old days – because at The Flying Monkey, every show is a timeless masterpiece! 

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The Colonial Theatre

Laconia 


In the heart of the central Lakes Region in New Hampshire, Laconia's Colonial Theatre is not just a venue; it's a piece of history that got a magnificent facelift! Picture this: a beautifully restored former Vaudeville theatre, stepping into the limelight with its grand re-opening in July 2021, and oh boy, has it been stealing the show ever since.

The Colonial, restored to its 1914 glory with a modern twist, is the talk of the town with its 761 intimate and ornate seats. This gem has quickly become the go-to spot for national touring artists and comedians, drawing them in with its amenities and strategic location in the heart of New England.

Recent headliners? Amos Lee, Champions of Magic, Tower of Power, Marc Maron, Postmodern Jukebox, and Chris Isaak - just to name-drop a few. This theatre is not just a venue; it's a star-studded spectacle.

Now, let's take a stroll down memory lane. First opened in 1914, designed by the talented George I. Griffin, and with original owner Benjamin Piscopo's touch of Venetian flair, the Colonial Theatre has seen it all. From hosting a variety of stage productions and photoplays to pivoting to motion pictures in the 1930s, it's been a cinematic journey.

Fast forward to 1983, where the theatre was divided into 5 separate movie screens. And then, in August 2002, the curtain fell after 87 years of operation. But fear not, because in March 2016, the restoration began, and by the spring of 2021, the Colonial was back, baby! Managed by Spectacle Live, it's not just a theatre; it's a powerhouse for music, theatre, comedy, and civic events.

Feeling intrigued? Eager to catch the next show? Be the first in the know by becoming a Spectacle Live Member. Head to their website , and don't forget to follow them on Facebook  and Instagram  for a sneak peek behind the curtain. Laconia's Colonial Theatre – where history meets the spotlight, and the show goes on! 

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The Barnstormers Theatre

Tamworth


Step back in time and step into the spotlight at The Barnstormers Theatre in picturesque Tamworth, New Hampshire! Founded in 1931 by the dynamic trio of Francis and Alice Cleveland and Ed Goodnow, this charming theatre began its journey as a troupe of young actors barnstorming from town to town.

Fast forward to today, and The Barnstormers continue to captivate audiences with what many consider the best live summer theatre in the state. No longer barnstorming, they found a permanent home in Tamworth in 1935, converting an old Main Street store into a theatre that boasts modern amenities like air conditioning while retaining its historic charm.

Now, nestled in the scenic village of Tamworth, surrounded by pastures and the White Mountains, The Barnstormers Theatre stands as a testament to the enduring magic of live performances. With a 28-foot proscenium stage, 282 comfy seats, and top-notch acoustics, it's a haven for both actors and audiences.

What sets The Barnstormers apart? Well, it's one of only three Equity theatres in NH, a professional designation that speaks volumes. Over 40 actors from across the country, many from the bustling streets of New York City, join the seasoned core company for a season filled with creativity and camaraderie.

June, July, and August are the months to mark in your calendar as The Barnstormers showcase gems of American and British theatre. From classic comedies to suspenseful Agatha Christie mysteries, they've got something for every theatre lover. And guess what? You can even rent this historic theatre for your own events, creating your own spotlight moment.

Discover more about the timeless magic of The Barnstormers Theatre by visiting their website, and be sure to follow them on Facebook  and Instagram for glimpses behind the curtain. Ready to laugh, applaud, and be thoroughly entertained? Join The Barnstormers family this summer! 

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Winnipesaukee Playhouse

Meredith


Step into the spotlight at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse, where theatrical magic takes center stage in the heart of New Hampshire's Lakes Region. This 200+ seat courtyard-style theater in Meredith isn't just a venue; it's a stage where professional summer stock meets vibrant community theater, creating a theatrical blend found nowhere else in the United States.

Awards? They've got them in spades. The Winnipesaukee Playhouse proudly holds 46 New Hampshire Theater Awards over the past eight years, a testament to their unwavering commitment to excellence. In 2009, they clinched the title of the best professional theater in the state, as crowned by New Hampshire Magazine.

Founded in 2004 by the dynamic duo of Bryan Halperin and Lesley Pankhurst, along with their spouses Johanna and Neil, The Winnipesaukee Playhouse began its journey in Weirs Beach in Laconia. What started as a professional summer stock season soon evolved into a year-round celebration of theater, including community and children's productions. In 2006, they took the non-profit plunge, solidifying their dedication to the arts.

In 2013, a new chapter unfolded as the Playhouse moved to the former Annalee Dolls campus in Meredith, creating the first performing arts complex in the Lakes Region. The new theater, with state-of-the-art facilities, a summer theater camp, an outdoor amphitheater, and a delectable new menu, breathed fresh life into their already stellar performances.

Curious to witness the magic firsthand? Visit The Winnipesaukee Playhouse's website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram . Be part of the applause, the laughter, and the unforgettable moments. Because at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse, every act is a showstopper! 

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