The Barnstormers Theatre
104 Main Street
The Barnstormers, located in the bucolic village of Tamworth, NH, is one of the longest-running professional summer theatres in the country. The company was founded in 1931 by Francis Cleveland, the youngest son of President Grover Cleveland, Francis’s wife Alice and their friend Ed Goodnow – all of whom were involved with theatre on Broadway. Over eighty years later, their legacy continues. Today, The Barnstormers is one of three Equity theatres in New Hampshire and is the only theatre in the world that maintains the summer theatre tradition of eight plays in eight weeks.
Eight Plays in Eight Weeks
Over 40 professional actors from around the country join an experienced core company (some of whom have performed on The Barnstormers stage for over 50 years) for what has been described as “extreme theatre.” The majority are members of the Actors’ Equity union, many have worked together for years, and the younger ones enjoy a rigorous theatre training experience in a highly supportive setting. Out-of-town actors arrive on Sunday, are housed throughout the community, and begin rehearsals on Monday in a borrowed barn. Eight days later, the curtain rises on the new show. To say this schedule is challenging is an understatement as most theatre productions have the luxury of weeks of rehearsals.
Directors, designers, stage managers and theatre technicians come together for an intense season of nonstop creative action. Our audience is filled with year-round and summer residents along with visitors, who come to enjoy great professional theatre in a historic New Hampshire setting.
The Theatre in Tamworth, New Hampshire
Tamworth is a small village surrounded by pastures and the dramatic backdrop of the White Mountains. After years of traveling to various towns in New Hampshire and Maine, in 1935 The Barnstormers bought and converted a Tamworth Main Street store to a theatre. This building remains The Barnstormers’ home but has been updated to include a 28-foot proscenium stage, 282 comfortable seats, air-conditioning, and superb acoustics. The theatre is handicapped accessible and has a hearing-assistance loop with headsets available. The façade remains mostly unchanged.
During the off-season, the facility is available to rent for concerts, drama and dance performances, talks and community events. The theatre is also offered to the many local performing arts groups free-of-charge.
During July and August, Tuesdays through Saturdays, the plays feature the gems of American and British theatre. “Ghost Train” and “Our Town” are the two most frequently produced shows in The Barnstormers history. Each summer a musical, an Agatha Christie or similar suspense/mystery, as well as a modern drama are included in the summer line-up. But humor prevails as our audience loves to laugh.
While the plays change each season, The Barnstormers’ commitment to provide its audience with great professional theatre remains as strong as at its opening in 1931.
Summer Season 2012
July 10 – 14
Big River – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,
book by William Hauptman and music and lyrics by
Roger Miller. Based on Mark Twain’s classic 1884 novel,
Big River has won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best
Book, and Best Score.
July 17 – 21
Painting Churches, by Tina Howe. A funny and
expressive portrait of an uppercrust Boston couple and
their artist daughter navigating the rocky shores of old age.
July 24 – 28
Leading Ladies, by Ken Ludwig. A gender-bending
farce in which nephews turn out to be nieces, and desperate
actors act desperately.
July 31 – Aug 4
Witness for the Prosection, by Agatha Christie.
Truth or betrayal? Love or lies? The mistress of suspense
will keep you guessing until the end.
August 7 – 11
Our Town, by Thornton Wilder. A masterful and
poignant glimpse into the human experience. A true
August 14 – 18
It Had to Be You, by Renée Taylor and Joseph Bologna.
In this screwball comedy, love conquers all, with a little
help from subterfuge, hysteria, sex, and the weather.
August 21 – 25
The Foreigner, by Larry Shue. Being a good listener is
easy when you can’t speak the language. And oh, the
things you might hear . . .
Aug 28 – Sept 1
The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Steven Canny
and John Nicholson. A new farcical adaptation, with 3
actors x 16 roles, this is NOT your parents’ Sherlock Holmes!
104 Main Street, Tamworth, NH
The Barnstormers Theatre