Peterborough, NH – Peterborough Players is proud to announce their 2020 Summer Season, where “Anything can happen…”! The Players has a lot to celebrate as this summer commemorates not only the 87th year of the Players, but the 25th season of lauded leadership team, Artistic Director Gus Kaikkonen and Managing Director Keith Stevens.
The season begins with Last Call (Bernstein and von Karajan at the Sacher Hotel) by Peter Danish, on stage from June 17th-28th. A new play produced in collaboration with New York’s Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, Last Call is based on a real-life encounter at the Bar of the Sacher Hotel between celebrated classical music figures and cultural icons Leonard Bernstein and Herbert von Karajan. After half a century of intense competition these giants of the 20th century wrestle over art, integrity, choices, values, and the complex nature of forgiveness. Artistic Director Gus Kaikkonen will appear as Bernstein.
Duncan McMillan’s Lungs is a bristling dynamic love story that encapsulates the paradoxes of modern masculinity and empowered femininity in brilliant scenes that quick cut, leap forward in time, change locations instantly and range from comic, to tender, to enraged. Revived last year for a sold-out run at the Old Vic starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith (from The Crown), this Best New Play award-winning piece presents a perfectly imperfect couple grappling with what should be a simple question: whether or not to have a child. Lungs runs from July 1st-12th.
An impassable blizzard strands seven strangers in a country inn. A police inspector arrives on skis to inform them they have a murderer in their midst. In her inimitable style, Dame Agatha Christie creates an atmosphere of shuddering suspense and black comedy in the classic "whodunit" The Mousetrap, on stage July 15th-26th. Produced at the Players in 1996 as part of Kaikkonen and Stevens’ very first summer season, this beloved mystery (also the world’s longest running play!) will serve to celebrate their 25th season at the Players.
This year’s Main Stage musical is a favorite among musical lovers and a timeless masterpiece – Steven Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods. A dazzling, sophisticated mash-up of the world's most popular fairy tales, the original Broadway production garnered the Drama Desk, a Grammy Award, and multiple Tony Awards. Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and his Beanstalk, and a fabulous Witch combine forces to fend off a pair of powerful and angry Giants. Sondheim’s witty, ravishing score, James Lapine’s moving, darkly humorous book, and the perfect setting of the Players’ historic barn combine to make this adventure in the woods unlike any other. On stage July 29th -August 9th.
Shaw returns to the Players stage with Getting Married August 12th-23rd. In this humorous, breezy, and thought-provoking play, Shaw turns marriage inside out and upside-down, looking at the institution from every conceivable angle. The wedding day of an Anglican bishop's young daughter brings the bishop's extended family to London for a comic feast – or perhaps a "roast" – of the institution of Matrimony. Originally written for the stage in 1908, its conflicts remain current regarding marriage, its purpose and sanctity.
"Just call it splendid…” the New York Times said of Ben Butler by Richard Strand, the sixth play of the Main Stage season, on stage from August 26th -September 6th. Asking the question, “What if what’s right is not legal?” the play introduces General Ben Butler, a lawyer who finds himself commander of union troops during the Civil War, who knows the law states that escaped slaves must be returned to their owners. But an escaped slave – an extremely singular individual, one Shepard Mallory – arrives at Fort Monroe seeking sanctuary, and makes a powerful case for himself. This clever, funny, beautifully crafted play is part comedy, part historical drama, part biography, and often all at the same time!
The Main Stage season concludes with The Things They Carried, adapted by Jim Stowell and based on the book by Tim O’Brien. It’s the powerful telling of Tim O’Brien’s personal journey from his innocent years in rural Minnesota to the jungles of Vietnam. A one-person, multi-character tour-de-force that explores and blurs the lines between truth and reality as fact and fiction in this unforgettable soldier’s journey. On stage September 9th-13th.
The Second Company will present two plays for young audiences: The Frog Princess, book by Joseph McDonough, Music and Lyrics by David Kisor, running from June 20th-July 18th, and Peter/Wendy by Jeremy Bloom, August 17th-22nd. The Frog Princess is based on a classic Russian fairytale with a rousing, modern score that finds a young man named Ivan unhappy to discover that his bride turns out to be a frog named Vasilisa. But Vasilisa is really a princess under a curse. To rescue her, Ivan must face many trials and travel around the world, using bravery and kindness to guide him along the way. Peter/Wendy is a lyrical, atmospheric interpretation of Peter Pan, stripped down to its emotional essence. Peter lures Wendy away from her nursery to the magical world of Neverland, where she joins his adventures with Tinker Bell, Tiger Lily, and the menacing Captain Hook.
Local auditions for the 2020 Summer Season will be held on March 5th, 2020 at the Peterborough Players, 55 Hadley Rd., Peterborough NH 03458. Information on what to prepare for this audition can be found on the audition page of the Peterborough Players’ website.
For more information on the Summer Season, Subscription Packages, Barn Door Flex Passes and more, visit our website www.peterboroughplayers.org, or call (603) 924-7585.