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M&D Productions brings award-winning community theater to town

'How the Other Half Loves' now on stage at YourTheatre

Lobby of M&Dís newly renovated Your Theatre at the Willow Common Mall in North Conway.

Dress Rehearsal for How the Other Half Loves. Photos Courtesy M&D Productions. (click for larger version)
July 23, 2009
After the collapse of their Hobbs Street roof due to snowfall in the winter of 2007-2008, they moved into their new location at the Willow Commons Mall, on Route 16 in North Conway. They have opened "YourTheatre" with a signed five-year lease and an option to renew for an additional five years.

Under their current roof, they have produced seven well-attended shows featuring tragedy, drama, comedy and musicals. Their latest, "How the Other Half Loves," is a comedy scheduled to conclude its run this weekend, July 23, 24 and 25, at 8 p.m. According to Mark Delancey, Managing Director, the new theatre seats 100 people and they have been at about 70 percent capacity every show night.

They have done extensive renovations to the former retail space and using their creative talent have fashioned a warm, comfortable and functional playhouse. Their first challenge was to get up and running. That completed, they still have some Phase I goals in the works, which consist of improvements to the physical location, such as a designated prop room. Following that, they have plans to implement a Phase II and III upgrade to increase their artistic and altruistic presence locally, nationally and worldwide.

Beginning this July and continuing into 2010, they intend to install two video screens and make improvements to their sound and light systems. They will be introducing video conferencing equipment which will allow them to both give and receive content from around the globe using live video-streaming and video conferencing.

For example, explains Delancey, "We can show programs from the Met in London, or whale-watch tours from Hawaii. We can offer classes and workshops on acting or scene creation. People could attend a video-conference on Microbiology. It opens us up a whole new array of utilization of our space."

During Phase II, M&D also plans to increase their web presence and update their website to make it more interactive. Delancey says, "We've already started to grow on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We're beginning to get the social-media aspect all tied in together and we'll be working with someone to make that better."

Phase III, which is expected to commence in the latter part of 2010 and continue into 2011, will consist of a marketing campaign and community launch of M&D's bigger efforts and goals to get the production company noticed in the world market.

"Beginning locally, but with the intent of impacting globally, we'd like to pool our resources with the other non-profits in the Mount Washington Valley to produce a better way of life for all of us. There are 94 non-profits in this area and we would like to collaborate with them in areas of education, fund-raising, grant writing and marketing", says Mark. "Our mission statement is to raise awareness of local issues. We'd like to be a resource to help others. Our place is for rent for groups to host monthly meetings. The Board of Realtors just had a meeting here this month."

Coming up next for M&D and "YourTheatre" is the comedic drama "Kimberly Akimbo," by David Lindsay-Abaire. Kimberly Akimbo tells the story of Kimberly, an ordinary 16-year-old girl with an extraordinary disease, causing her body to age four times faster than normal. The show is scheduled to open on Thursday, Aug. 13, and will be repeated on Friday and Saturday of that weekend. It is also slated for the next two weekends, Aug. 20-22 and 27-29, running Thursday through Saturday.

On Sept. 27, M&D will host an appreciation day for all patrons of their art and anyone wishing to learn more or become a part of "Your Theatre." The ever popular Voice of the Valley competition which showcases the talents of singers aged seven to infinity will take place on Sept. 12, 19, and 26 and conclude on Oct. 3.

Discounted tickets for all M&D productions are available to anyone who purchases a $5 membership. The membership also includes receipt of their electronic newsletter and upcoming events notification. Ticket prices range from $25 to free, so there is no excuse not to take in a show.

"Anyone who is interested in seeing good, quality theatre, take that leap of faith," says Mark. "Come check out a good community-based theatre company."

People can learn more about M&D Productions and YourTheatre by visiting their website at http://www.yourthe atre.com or by looking for them on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Tilton School
Martin Lord Osman
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