The Barnstormers Theatre is a summertime treat for everyone


78 years young and going strong



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Christopher Salazar stars as Clifford Anderson in the Barnstormers’ staging of the classic Broadway comedy/thriller, ‘Deathtrap.’ Brad Ball Photo. (click for larger version)

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Christopher Salazar stars as Clifford Anderson in the Barnstormers’ staging of the classic Broadway comedy/thriller, ‘Deathtrap.’ Brad Ball Photo. (click for larger version)
August 13, 2009
The theatre company now calls the picturesque village of Tamworth its home and performs for locals and visitors alike in a renovated 1820s building that was originally a store. Converted to a summer playhouse in 1936, and updated again in 1998-99 to become a year-round facility, the Barnstormers boasts that its auditorium now contains 282 comfortable seats, air-conditioning and superb acoustics.

According to published material about the Barnstormers, as far as is known, they are the only theatre in the country still producing a show a week with a resident company in the old summer stock tradition. According to Wikipedia, the definition of summer stock theatre comes from combining the seasonal aspect of performing only in the summer with a tradition of putting on shows where the stock of scenery, costumes and props, as well as the resident company of actors, gets recycled and reused week after week.

Typically, summer stock theatre is viewed as a starting point for professional actors and actresses. The Barnstormers state "many of our core company actors - all members of the Actors' Equity union – have worked together for years, and younger ones enjoy a rigorous theatre training in a highly supportive group setting. Mutual support is needed when you are learning one show during the day while performing another at night!"

The troupe will present, August 11 - 15 , the comedic mystery "Deathtrap," written by Ira Levin. "Deathtrap" holds the record as the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway. " 'Deathtrap' is a brilliant plot-oriented play," says Bob Shea, artistic director of the Barnstormers Theatre. "It is probably one of the best American examples in the genre of murder mysteries and suspense thrillers." Time magazine said "If you care to assassinate yourself with laughter, try "Deathtrap."

During the week of Aug. 18-22, the Barnstormers will perform the musical, "I Love You Because," which is a retelling of the Jane Austen novel "Pride and Prejudice" with the genders reversed. It features lyrics by Ryan Cunningham set to music by Joshua Salzman.

Their final event of the season, Aug. 25 – 29, will be the presentation of "On Golden Pond." The play was written in 1979 by Ernest Thompson. Thompson spent his summers along the shores of Great Pond located in Belgrade, Maine, but the 1981 film version of his screenplay, which starred Henry and Jane Fonda and Katherine Hepburn, was made on Squam Lake in central New Hampshire.

For some, attendance at the Barnstormers' theatre is a long-standing tradition. But for the many new visitors to the region, the Barnstormers hope they will discover what fun a night out to dinner with theatre and exploration of the quaint and peaceful village of Tamworth can be. There are only a few weeks left to the season so don't miss out on this opportunity to make memories with a longstanding, and always entertaining family adventure.

For more information about the Barnstormer's, visit their website at www.barnstormerstheatre.org or call the box office at 323-8500.

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