Construction of Winni Playhouse’s New Campus Well UnderwayPosted on August 10th, 2012 No comments
After nearly two years of planning and fundraising, the new theatre at the Meredith Campus of the Winnipesaukee Playhouse is on its way to becoming a reality. Construction on the new building, which will house the main stage theatre, began in the spring and is moving along without any delays this summer, bringing the entire campus project well past its halfway point.
The “Winni” Playhouse was founded in 2004, becoming so successful that it soon outgrew its current location, an intimate Weirs Beach storefront that seats 84. With sights set on a bigger venue, the Playhouse assumed ownership of the former Annalee Doll Complex on Reservoir Road in Meredith in 2008, and put into action a three-phase plan to renovate the complex into a “Tanglewood type of setting” for their theatre and workshops.
Phase I of the project, which included site work at the 11-acre property, lighting, staff accommodations, and an outdoor amphitheatre, was completed in 2010. The Playhouse then began fundraising for Phase II—a theatre that can seat 180 – 249 people, and support spaces including a lobby, dressing rooms, classrooms, technical facilities, and administrative offices.
“The Playhouse was thrilled to break ground on the phase II construction of its main stage theatre this spring,” says Johanna Halperin, Managing Director of the Winni Playhouse. “Construction is progressing quickly and plans are in place to open the new state-of-the-art theater in June 2013.”
Folks who are interested in seeing the progress are welcome to join in on a Happy Hour Tuesday Tour. Each Tuesday, beginning at 5 p.m., groups gather in the education building for drinks and snacks before setting off on a guided tour of the new campus.
“Our Tuesday Happy Hour Tours have been great for folks to really get a sense of the wonderful opportunity the Meredith theatre campus will provide to the community,” says Johanna. “Walking across the covered bridge, past the outdoor amphitheatre, and seeing the beginnings of new main theatre gives the tour guests a taste of what it might be like to come to the campus on a summer evening. They can see themselves having a drink on the deck, taking a walk on the nature trail, or enjoying a picnic dinner before the show while listening to local musicians . . . many of our biggest supporters are not aware of everything The Winnipesaukee Playhouse has to offer until they come to the 11-acre campus.”
Folks who can’t make a Tuesday tour but are interested in seeing the Meredith campus are encouraged to contact Bryan Halperin, the Playhouse’s Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. “He’ll happily show you around,” says Johanna.
Phase III of the project will be the creation of a second, smaller Black Box theatre to be used for smaller scale productions, educational programs, and children’s theatre. This venue will be located in the former Annalee Doll Museum. Phase II and Phase III are still in need of funds to complete the vision for the new campus. “We are still raising money to finish construction, but thanks to many local supporters we are more than half way to our goal,” says Johanna.
For more information on the project or to make a donation to The Winnipesaukee Playhouse, please visit their Capital Campaign page or call 603-366-7377. You can also follow their progress on Facebook.
The Winni Playhouse’s professional summer season runs until August 25th with the ghostly adaptation of Henry Jame’s The Turn of the Screw. The theatre is also planning two great Cabaret events on Labor Day weekend. The Playhouse is a year-round organization, and the community actors will take over in the fall with great offerings for the 2012-2013 season. For aspiring actors, the Playhouse’s education department offers classes and theatre camps for all ages, pre-K through adult. Hope to see you at the Playhouse!
The Mill Falls Blogging Team
Images courtesy of The Winnipesaukee PlayhouseLakes Region, Meredith, New Hampshire Events and Activities Lakes Region, Meredith, Theater, weirs beach, Winnipesaukee Playhouse
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