Mission & History

The mission of the Peterborough Players, a nonprofit institution, is to provide professional theatre of high quality to a broad-based audience and to do this within a supportive atmosphere such that professionals and students alike may practice and expand their art. We aim to stage the traditional and the experimental, the classical and the contemporary, celebrating the human spirit and, in the process, entertaining.

The Peterborough Players produces 7 Main Stage shows each season that run late June through September, and two Second Company children's shows that run July and August.

The Peterborough Players was founded in 1933 by Edith Bond Stearns -- EBS as she was known to friends -- a woman of imagination and vision with a love for the arts. To quote from Our Playhouse (available through Peterborough Players): “At the time EBS decided to purchase the Hadley Farm, it was abandoned and had no electricity or running water.”

From those humble beginnings grew a professional theater of excellence. The 18th-century barn, which has seen several major renovations, has been converted to an intimate 250-seat, state-of-the-art theatre with stage, rehearsal, office, restroom, dressing room, and lobby spaces newly created and/or modernized. The theatre is air conditioned and heated for year-round use.The barn and its outbuildings provide a uniquely charming theatrical venue, including a flower-decked patio and landscaped grounds, where patrons can picnic before a performance. The theatre is wheelchair accessible, has handicapped parking, and hearing assistance is available.

There have been many unforgettable moments at the theater -- like an early production of Our Town with the author, Thornton Wilder, in the audience! Throughout the decades, audiences have been entertained with classic drama and farce, enlightened by modern works, and enthralled by one-man shows like Will Rogers with James Whitmore, and Paul Robeson with Avery Brooks.

As queried in Our Playhouse: “What compelled this mother of three children, with few financial resources and no steady income, during the deepest grips of the Depression, to establish a theatre in the backwoods of southwest New Hampshire?”  We may never know the full answer to that, but we’re sure glad Edith Bond Stearns gave birth to her vision of the Peterborough Players! For in the deepest, darkest woods, perhaps it is art that shines the brightest light.

To see an in-depth interview with Johnny Stearns - Edith Bond Stearns's son - and his wife Mary Kay, go here.

©2014 Peterborough Players, P.O. Box 118, 55 Hadley Road, Peterborough, NH 03458 • Box Office: 603-924-7585 • Administrative Office: 603-924-9344

All theatre season photos by Deb Porter-Hayes, unless otherwise noted.
All Met Opera photos courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera.