Category Archives: Uncategorized

Reopening August 6

We are preparing to reopen on August 6 for a five-week run of several two-person shows, to keep cast sizes small. We will only sell 45 of our 139 seats, at about 30% capacity, in order to maintain the required distance between parties.

In addition, our board members are in the process of planning for other safety measures, to include: patron, volunteer, cast, and staff temperature checking; the use of facial masks and hand sanitizer; redirecting foot traffic within the building; and creating alternate cafe locations and service changes.

Should the number of cases of COVID-19 increase drastically in this area or the state in the coming weeks, we will rely on Governor Sununu, local authorities, and/or the M&D Board of Directors to decide if the organization should proceed with its planned performances. Above all, our main concern will continue to be the health and well being of all who are involved with the organization.

For more information will be released soon!

 

Call to Community

Dear M&D Family,

Over the last three months, we have felt the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet we stand resolute in our commitment to assist members of our community wherever and however we can.

Now, with the recent uprisings in cities across the nation, we have been struggling with trying to find the right message. As an arts organization, do we stay silent and neutral during these pivotal moments in history? 

In the end, we feel that theatre, and the whole theatrical experience, stems from emotion. Our art, and our job as creators of theatre is to evoke emotion, and to use that emotion to tell a story. If we are not taking our collective emotions as artists and contributing to this storytelling process, we have failed as artists and humans.

We open our hearts and emphatically reject the evils of racism that have shaped the life chances of many in our nation for far too long To quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” We stand in solidarity with those fighting for social justice, and issue this call to the community, because we can no longer afford to remain silent.

The recent deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia remind us of the work that needs to be done to affirm the inherent worth and value of every member of our community. The repeated attacks on the well-being of people of color erode the bonds that are necessary to move our nation forward, together.

Simply put, all lives cannot matter until every person in our country is able to pursue their own personal journey without fear of harm simply because of the color of their skin, or where they live, or whom they love.

The successful pursuit of that future requires both conversation and dedicated action across the lines that traditionally divide us. We encourage residents of the Mt. Washington Valley to join this Call to Community by:

  • LISTENING to the concerns and fears of those whose experiences might be different than ours
  • LEARNING from what is happening across our nation and across our region to better confront our challenges in our own backyard.
  • LEVERAGING our talent and resources to amplify the voices and experience of those who are traditionally overlooked.
  • LEADING on issues of mutual concern and progress.
  • EDUCATING yourself and the people around you. Deepening your understanding of how racism affects us all by reading these anti-racism resources and having conversations with family and friends.

We hope you will join us in answering the Call to Community.

Sincerely,
M&D Board of Directors

A Note From Our AD & ED

To our M&D Family:

It has certainly been quite a challenging few weeks. Our lives have been completely upended. At its heart, theatre is a collective experience. We are committed to finding new ways to strengthen our connections and community, even though we are unable to gather in the same physical space. Now more than ever, the power of theatre to heal is needed.

While the remainder of our 2020 season is still in flux, it’s nevertheless our 20th anniversary season, and there’s yet much to celebrate. As the current situation seems to change daily, we have to remain fluid in the decisions we make with the remainder of our season.

Over the next several weeks, we look forward to staying in touch with you regarding our season, and what the future will hold. In the meantime, we invite you to explore our web-site and social media platforms to share your favorite M&D experiences, revisit moments from M&D’s 20 years of bringing award-winning theatre to the valley, and connecting with fellow artists and theatre family members.

Theatre has endured for centuries because of its potential for transformation and reinvention. It enriches the lives of those who take an active part in it, as well as those in the community who benefit from live theatre productions. On either side of the footlights, those involved represent a diversity of age, culture, life experience, and a strong appreciation of the importance of the arts.

As we forge a path forward, your collaboration will be an integral part to the future of M&D.

Warmly,

Mark Sickler                   Deborah Jasien
Artistic Director              Executive Director

Matilda Cancellation and Other M&D Updates

Dear Friends, 

As you are aware, with each week comes new challenges surrounding COVID-19. We have been staying abreast of the situation to make the best decisions possible for our patrons, our organization, and our community during this difficult time. 

To continue to ensure your safety, we are adhering to the CDC’s recommendation to not congregate in large groups by taking the following precautions: 

  • Our board of directors has made the difficult decision to postpone our upcoming production of “Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical.” We are looking into possible dates for rescheduling and will be in contact with you once we have a more concrete answer. If you are a current ticket holder, please email info@mdplayhouse.com to let us know if you’d like us to hold onto your ticket order and transfer it to the new dates once they are available. 
  • Additionally, our board has made the decision to cancel “The Smell of the Kill” in April. If you have already purchased tickets for this production, we will work with you to transfer your tickets to another production. Though our policy normally states that we do not offer refunds, we will honor a refund in the result of a cancellation for situations beyond our control. Should you not want to transfer your tickets to a different production, please email info@mdplayhouse.com to discuss your options. 
  • We plan to hold auditions for “Clue: On Stage,” as scheduled, for Sunday, April 5th and Monday, April 6th. However, we ask that you contact the director Ken Martin to schedule a one-on-one audition slot to maintain CDC protocol of limited interactions and social distancing. Ken can be reached by calling (603) 733-9530 or by emailing kenmartin63@msn.com

Like many businesses in this community and nation-wide, the loss of performances means missed revenue for our organization. Should you be financially-able to donate your ticket purchase as a tax-deductible donation, we would truly appreciate your consideration. 

Though we may be dark for a while, our curtain will rise again, and we will remain in touch with you to keep you aware of any changes. 

Thank you, kindly. 

M&D Playhouse Board of Directors

Precautions Against COVID-19

Dear patrons, 

With the ongoing public health concern regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we wanted to inform you of the precautions we are taking during your visit with us. We intend to maintain our 2020 season schedule and continue to provide you high-quality, award-winning live theatre, with our next production of Matilda the Musical opening on Thursday, March 26th. 

To help keep the spread of germs low, we will be adhering to the following for the foreseeable future: 

  • Hand sanitizer will be available inside the Playhouse lobby, restrooms, and our bar.
  • All box office personnel, ushers, and bar volunteers will wear gloves, which shall be disposed of property at the end of each use. We encourage you to utilize paperless tickets through your smartphone and/or to print your tickets at home.
  • Though we usually request that you return your playbills so as to discourage waste, we ask that you either keep your playbill or throw it away after use.
  • Before and after each performance, we will disinfect seats and armrests in the Playhouse auditorium. We will also disinfect stair railings, door knobs and handles, bathroom surfaces, and lobby fixtures inside the building. 
  • We ask all patrons, as well as our volunteers, actors and production team members, to take the standard precautions, including frequent and thorough hand washing to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19. We encourage good hygiene practices such as covering your cough with your elbow or a tissue. Additional information on prevention measures can be found on the CDC website here

At present, we are happy to work with ticket holders who cannot attend or feel uncomfortable attending their designated performance. Upon request, we will offer ticket exchanges for a future performance during our current season that extends through December 2020. Please contact us via email at boxoffice2760@gmail.com.  

We thank all of our patrons and supporters for their understanding as we continue to take precautions and reevaluate this constantly changing situation. If you have specific concerns, please email info@mdplayhouse.com or call us at (603) 733-5275.

Ken Martin to receive the Francis Grover Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award

From New Hampshire Theatre Alliance
January 17, 2020

We’re thrilled to share that the 2020 recipient of the Francis Grover Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award is Ken Martin, co-founder of M&D Playhouse!

Ken was bitten by the theatre bug while attending Kennett High School (New Hampshire), landing the lead in GODSPELL under the kind direction of Roger Corriveau.

Since that time he has appeared on stages from California to Hawaii and across the state of New Hampshire. He has had the honor and privilege of working with the incredible Art Manke of Los Angeles, CA, the masterful David Johnston of Maui, HI, the brilliant Neil Pankhurst of Meredith, NH, the indomitable Kim Barber of Lincoln, NH, and the passionate Richard Russo and Dennis O’Neil of North Conway, to name a few. Ken has grown from a fearless young actor to become a producer and director in his own right, winning accolades and admirers for his vast body of work. A great believer in the mantra of the late great Van McLeod, “If you’re not on the edge, you are taking up too much space,” Ken has strived to keep the work at M&D profitable and edgy. He would like to think he has succeeded in this attempt to some degree, creating an environment which fosters the winning of over 25 NH Theatre Awards and the NETC Regional Award for Excellence in the American Theatre for this small community theatre in North Conway, NH.

Ken’s great love for the people in the theatre will probably drive him back to the stage at some point, but for now he will retire to the audience knowing he has made some small difference in his hometown, at least as it relates to theatre.

Join us in celebrating Ken’s accomplishments on Awards Night!

‘Constellations’ a poignant look at relationships in the multiverse

THEATER REVIEW

BY ALEC KERR
THE CONWAY DAILY SUN

The theory of the multiverse postulates that, what if, instead of one existence, there are an infinite number of universes with every possible permutation of reality all playing out simultaneously? Nick Payne’s play “Constellations” uses that concept to explore a series of interactions between two people in multiple different ways — some subtle, some completely divergent. Under the direction of Ken Martin, M&D at the Eastern Slope Inn Playhouse in North Conway is presenting “Constellations” Thursday through Sunday for the next two weeks. Roland (Joe Borsody) and Marianne (Christine Thompson) keep meeting and re-meeting as the play jumps between universes. The jump to different timelines is denoted by a whooshing sound effect and the flashing of the of the star like lights that are hanging both the bare stage. There’s no set dressing or furniture in Deb Jasien’s elegantly simple set design. There are the lights above and a mural of the galaxy painted on the stage below as if Roland and Marianne were floating between the various universes in which the scenes are playing out. Some scenes are as short as 30 seconds, while others go on for several minutes. In most cases, the dialogue is nearly identical, with a slight change that creates a divergency. Maybe Roland has a significant other and Marianne doesn’t or vice versa.

Joe Borsody and Christine Thompson star in M&D at the Eastern Slope Inn Playhouse production of “Constellations” which opened Thursday, Jan. 9. (LISA DUFAULT PHOTO)

In other examples, there’s no change in the language but it is emphasis on the words, the tone or inflection that changes. Other times, it becomes the distance between the actors that makes the difference. This is a fascinating exploration of how the slightest deviations in our interactions with our world can result in completely different outcomes. It is a reminder that not only is it the words that we choose but how we say them that impacts those around us. It is also an apt metaphor for theater itself. So much of theater is about how a scene is performed and staged. The smallest changes can transform an entire scene. The ways in which Borsody and Thompson choose to play the dialogue from scene to scene is able to transform it from playful banter in one instance to a bitterly barbed exchange in another. It is an acting challenge that Borsody and Thompson prove up to as they find subtle variations to add or subtract from their performances as they keep going over the same dialogue from different angles. In some universes, Marianne has a neurological disease that causes her to lose her words, which is beautifully, affectingly and authentically performed by Thompson. One scene plays out using sign language. These scenes even change how we understand the universe transitions. The flashing lights are meant to represent the constellations of the title, but also become like synapses fi ring in the brain. Some of the scenes could have benefited from more alterations, shadings or different levels, but that’s the beauty of this play: change is encouraged. Theater is an organic process. Each performance is supposed to replicate the last, but at the same time it is always growing and changing. No two performances will ever be the same. Perhaps more so than any other shows, “Constellations” is open to those variants over the run of a show. “Constellations” is a beautiful show that captures all the variations of life — from small to big from joy to pain — in an easily digestible 70-minute package. For more information or tickets, call (603) 733-5275 or go to mdplayhouse.com