If you’re a theater lover, and you’re new to the Upper Valley, you might think you have to trek to Boston or New York to meet your live theater needs.
But don’t let the rural nature of the Upper Valley fool you. Between year-round and seasonal venues, the hardest part about live theater in the Upper Valley can be deciding which shows you have the time to attend!
Check out the following five venues listed below. But make no mistake—there are lot’s more waiting for you to discover them.
- Hopkins Center for the Arts: It’s affectionately known as The Hop, and it’s a hopping place indeed for year-round live performances. The cultural center of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, since 1962, The Hop offers art, music, and film—in addition to theater. Summer brings the Frost & Dodd Student Play Festival and the New York Theatre Workshop. The rest of the year offers a full lineup of theatrical performances for children and adults alike.
- Lebanon Opera House: In the 1970s, a community of theater lovers saved this beautiful, historic opera house in downtown Lebanon, New Hampshire, from its ignominious fate as a second-rate movie theater. Like The Hop, the LOH is now a year-round venue. It’s the place to go for theatrical performances by local groups, such as the North Country Community Theater, and international performances by the likes of the Russian Grand Ballet.
- Northern Stage: In operation for just 20 years, Northern Stage in downtown White River Junction, Vermont, just keeps getting bigger and better. Until 2015, Northern Stage shared a theater with the Briggs Opera House (also in downtown WRJ). But now they have their own Barrette Center for the Arts, at 76 Gates Street, and more than 30,000 patrons enjoy live theater there every year.
- New London Barn Playhouse: A summer venue in New London, New Hampshire, since 1933, the Barn Playhouse has bragging rights as the oldest continuously operating summer stock theater in New Hampshire. It’s certainly one of the most beloved, offering everything from Broadway classics to cabaret-style musical revues. It all takes place in an actual barn converted into a theater.
- Shaker Bridge Theatre: A labor of love by founder Bill Coons, the Shaker Bridge Theatre in Enfield, New Hampshire, has earned a reputation for provocative theater during the past 11 years. The SBT website sums up its theatrical mission in three words: Intimate. Powerful. Contemporary. Their performances start up in October and run through May, in a renovated theater located on the top floor of the town offices and the public library.
Looking for more theater? Check out these venues and groups to fill up your calendar with performances!
- Artistree, South Pomfret, Vermont
- Briggs Opera House (Facebook page), White River Junction, Vermont
- Claremont Opera House, Claremont, New Hampshire
- JAG Productions, Woodstock, Vermont
- Newport Opera House, Newport, New Hampshire
- Old Church Theater, Bradford, Vermont
- Parish Players, Thetford, Vermont
- Woodstock Town Hall Theater, Woodstock, Vermont