Thursday, September 26, 2019

Pontine Theatre: Exciting Improvements!

Pontine Theatre announces its 42nd Performance Season at its newly renovated venue located in Portsmouth's West End at #1 Plains Avenue. Audiences will enjoy ample free onsite parking and comfortable seating in the intimately-scaled, fully-accessible studio theatre. This season offers three original productions by the company and two productions by invited guest artsts.

First up on the schedule is Pontine's adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Gothic Romance, The House of the Seven Gables, playing October 11- 27. Set in Salem, Massachusetts, the story follows several generations of the ill-fated Pyncheon family, bowed under a curse dating from the famous witch trials, and trapped in the once magnificent but now decrepit family mansion. This production is underwritten by Piscataqua Savings Bank.

November 8-10, guest artists, Great Small Works, perform their original production Three Graces & Other Works. This company is a collective of artists who draw on folk, avant-garde, and popular theater traditions to address contemporary issues. Based in New York City, they produce works on a variety of scales from outdoor pageants with giant puppets to miniature "toy theater" spectacles. The company has received a Puppeteers of America Jim Henson Award, a Village Voice OBIE Award, and an UNIMA Citation for excellence in puppetry.

Pontine celebrates the Holiday Season, November 29 - December 8, with its annual New England Christmas production. This year's rendition features a story by South Berwick, Maine's celebrated author, Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909). A Neighbor's Landmark: A Winter Tale with a Christmas Ending, is a tale set in a rustic coastal fishing village populated by taciturn Yankee characters who struggle to bring their community together in time for Christmas.

January 24-26, Pontine presents guest artist, Sarah Frechette, founder of Puppetkabob, in her original production, The Snowflake Man. The piece is inspired by Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley, the self-educated farmer and scientist who attracted world-wide attention when he bccame the first person to photograph a single snow crystal. The play features creative storytelling, intricately designed Czech-style marionettes, and a striking pop-up book of water color scenery. This UNIMA-USA award-winning show tells a little known story to magical effect. Ms. Frechette studied marionettes in Germany with legendary Master Puppeteer, Albrecht Roser.

The season culminates March 27 - April 12 with Pontine's premiere of a new production, Robert Frost's New Hampshire, based on the early poems of the long-time summer resident of Franconia NH. Known for his New England settings, his down-to-earth, stark depictions of the difficulties of rural farm life, and his use of colloquial speech, Frost is widely admired as a true American Master.

Performances are Fridays at 7pm, Saturdays at 3pm and Sundays at 2pm. The five-event Season Subscription Package is $108 and may be purchased online at Tickets for single shows are $27 and may also be purchased online. All productions are designed for adult audiences. Performances are offered at Pontine's resident venue located at #1 Plains Avenue in Portsmouth's West End. Pontine Theatre is supported by a grant from the NH State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Source:  Broadway World