"Gifts" is a duo show with Conrad Bishop
& Elizabeth Fuller
playing characters vaguely resembling themselves, plus puppets, objects, an electric sander, a steering wheel, and a pepper grinder. They revisit stories that are metaphors drawn from a life together, an interplay of love, loss, aging, change, and gift. A young couple are trapped on an endless freeway leading them back, at last, to another try at Life. A mid-life dream of a prestigious award dissolves into begging for scraps and sanding a rusty fence, but culminates in a banquet of riches. Elders moving into a third-floor walkup discover gods in a cardboard box and accept their very strange gift.
Co-Artistic Directors, M. Marguerite Mathews and Greg Gathers unveil new adaptations of two heart-warming Christmas stories set in New England: "Captain Eli's Best Ear" by Frank Stockton, a yarn about two salty, old, bachelor sea captains who decide to keep Christmas together; and "The Romance of a Christmas Card" by Kate Douglas Wiggin
, a story about far-flung families reunited by the lure of a Christmas with the "folks back home." These charming holiday stories-not to mention eggnog and cookies-are sure to put you in the holiday spirit!
M. Marguerite Mathews and Greg Gathers reprise their critically acclaimed original production about the history and legends of the Isles of Shoals. Based on the writings of Celia Thaxter and Nathaniel Hawthorne
, THE ETERNAL SOUND OF THE SEA combines shadow puppets, toy theatre and live action to tell of ghosts, shipwrecks, natives and "rusticators," and languid days in bygone summers by the sea.
New this season is Pontine's three-event CAFE-LYCEUM SERIES.
Offered during the three months of mid-winter, this is a series of informal presentations featuring scenes from some of Pontine's most popular shows based on New England themes. The presentations also include food, drink, and discussion. Offered Thursdays & Fridays @7:30pm, Saturdays @4pm and Sundays @2pm. Tickets are $18 ($3 discount for seniors & students) and may be purchased online at www.pontine.org
. Tickets may also be purchased at the door a half hour prior to each presentation (cash & checks only) based on availability.
A program based on the life and work of American poet and painter Edward Estlin Cummings, a lifelong summer resident of Silver Lake in New Hampshire. Published poems and stories, extracts of personal correspondence, biographical material and family photos, combine with excerpts from Pontine's stage play to illustrate how the "New Hampshire experience" shaped the work of this seminal 20th century writer.
and his family spent their summers on Little Boar's Head, in North Hampton, NH. Using examples from Pontine's original stage play, "Home is Heaven," this program explores the ways in which Nash's life on the New Hampshire seashore influenced his poetry, lending insight into the man, his character, and his ideas about family, society, and nature.
FAMILIAR FIELDS: The Power of Community in the Work of Sarah Orne Jewett
Based on the life and work of the 19th century New England author Sarah Orne Jewett, this presentation explores issues of community as reflected in Jewett's stories. Pontine Theatre examines the ways in which her regional portraits speak about the essential New England character and universal experiences of geographic isolation, cultural insulation, and how community shapes individual identity.
Another new feature of Pontine's 36th Season is a five-event HUMANITIES-TO-GO SERIES, funded by the New Hampshire Humanities Council. This series includes celebrated speakers from all over the state offering entertaining and informative hour-long programs. This series scheduled for Tuesday afternoons at 5:30, accommodates the needs of busy folks who can enjoy some culture before heading home for the evening. These presentations are free of charge (although donations are welcome) and open to the public....no reservation needed!
October 22 • Rebecca Rule
That Reminds Me of a Story
Stories speak to us of community. They hold our history and reflect our identity. Rebecca Rule has made it her mission on=ver the last 20 years to collect stories of NH, especially those that reflect what's special about this rocky old place. She'll tell some of those stories00her favorites are the funny ones--and invite audience members to contribute a few stories of their own.
Rebecca Rule tells and gathers stories in New England, especially New Hampshire. Her books include The Best Revenge: Short Stories; Could Have Been Worse: True Stories, Embellishments, and Outright Lies; and a new book Live Free and Eat Pie: A Storyteller's Guide to New Hampshire. She hosts the New Hampshire Authors Series on NH Public Television.
November 5 • Jere Daniell
The New England Town
This talk by Jere Daniell comes in several forms. Among the most requested are "Popular Images of Small Town New England," "Novels set in New England Towns," and simply "The New Hampshire Town." The last of these ends with a comparison of Granite State towns to others in New England.
Jere Daniell, Professor of History Emeritus, didn't stop teaching when he retired from Dartmouth College in 2003. Each year he gives roughly fifty lectures sponsored by local historical societies, libraries, adult education programs, folks interested in the history of Dartmouth, or private institutions like the Decorative Arts Society of America, Public Service of New Hampshire, and the Sons of the American Revolution. All of the talks cover subjects related to his college courses (Colonial America, The American Revolution, The History of New England) but are crafted specifically for the audience he's addressing.
November 19 • Edie Clark
New England: Myth or Reality?
The six states known as New England have been romaticized in art and literature for more than 200 years, creating a reality that is touched by myth. How has this myth-making affected the region? Edie Clark, a longtime writer for Yankee Magazine, focuses on the work of Robert Frost
, Norman Rock
well, Wallace Nutting, and more recently, Yankee magazine. These and others have created such a distinct picture of New England that even the current inhabitants of the region have a hard time knowing whether what they see all around them is real or imagined.
Edie Clark has written a monthly column about her life, her home, and her garden for Yankee magazine for more than twenty years. Writing personal essays and maintaining one's privacy are sometimes mutually exclusive. Readers are essentially invited into her home, her garden, and her life by virtue of the column's appearance in the magazine. Of Clark's work, novelist Howard Frank
Mosher writes, "Ms. Clark shows us how the small and large satisfactions of living close to nature can inform a life with grace, meaning, and beauty." In this presentation Clark talks about the process of writing from home and reads from her work.
April 8 • John Perrault
Crime & Punishment on the Isles of Shoals: The Ballad of Louis Wagner
Louis Wagner was accused of murdering Anethe and Karen Christenson on Smuttynose Island, Isles of Shoals, in March of 1873. He was convicted on the first charge and executed in 1875. Although sentiment against Wagner was at a fever pitch immediately following the murders, time and reflection have generated an ongoing debate as to the fairness of the trial and the validity of the verdict. John Perrault invites you to examine the judgement of Louis Wagner. Perrault weaves his "Ballad of Louis Wagner" through the course of the program with guitar and vocal.
John Perrault is author of Jefferson's Dream-The Ballad of the Declaration of Independence; The Ballad of Louis Wagner and other New England Stories in Verse; and a poetry Collection, Here Comes the Old Man Now." He is a touring artist on the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the New England Foundation for the Arts. His poetry has appeared in The Cafe Review, the Christian Science Monitor, Commonweal, Poet Lore and elsewhere. He was poet laureate of Portsmouth, NH from 2003 to 2005.
April 22 • J. Dennis Robinson
Treasure from the Isles of Shoals: How New Archaeology is Changing Old History
There is treasure here but not the pirate kind. Scientific "digs" on Smuttynose Island are changing New England History. Archaeologist Nathan Hamilton
has unearthed 300,000 artifacts to date on this largely uninhabited rock at the Isles of Shoals. Evidence proves prehistoric Native Americans hunted New Hampshire's only offshore Islands 6,000 years ago. Hundreds of European fishermen split, salted, and dried valuable Atlantic cod here from the 1620's. "King Haley" ruled a survivalist kingdom here before Thomas Laighton struck tourist gold when his family took over the region's first hotel on Smuttynose. Laighton's dauther Celia Thaxter spun poetic tales of ghosts and pirates. J. Dennis Robinson, a longtime Smuttynose stweard, explores the truth behind the romantic legends of Gosport Harbor in this colorful show-and-tell presentation.
J. Dennis Robinson has published over 1,000 articles on New Hampshire history and culture. His books for young readers include biographies of Jesse James
and Lord Baltimore. His hardcover histories of Strawbery Banke Museum and historic Wentworth by the Sea Hotel both received honors from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). His two new books on privateering and the War of 1812 will appear in 2011. Robinson is also editor of SeacoastNH.com
, a Web site about NH history and culture that attracts thousands of visitors daily. His lectures are designed to make history both entertaining and accessible to all audiences.
Pontine's 6th Annual WEST-FEST SERIES
features a host of New Vaudeville performances by some of New England's most talented jugglers, clowns, yoyo artists, mind readers and more! These family-friendly matinee shows are offered over the holiday season and are suitable for all ages, from 0 - 99! Each show features three different acts...variety at its best! Performances are offered daily at 2pm. Tickets are $15 (no discounts available) and may be purchased online at www.pontine.org
. Tickets may also be purchased at the door a half hour prior to each show (cash & checks only) based on availability.
Pontine's 36th Season is supported by grants from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.