Andy's Playhouse, Wilton Center, home of summer theater for children
Every town in the region is proud of its particular culture. Summertime is busiest but many activities continue all year. The Peterborough Chamber of Commerce maintains a calendar of events, and Stepping Stones keeps a notebook of detailed information. Here is a sampling of some major activities.
THE MACDOWELL COLONY
Since 1907 the art colony has grown. Each year over 200 artists are accepted for live-in fellowships to work in their medum. Since talent is the sole criterion, the Colony has fostered extraordinary accomplishments, and visitors can taste the rare atmosphere one day in August, always a major event celebrating an acclaimed artist for his/her lifetime's work.
MONADNOCK MUSIC FESTIVAL
In summer instrumentalists from all over the U.S. and overseas perform chamber music in the intimate atmosphere of the area's exquisite churches. Cost: donation to the "begging bowl." Also, ticketed concerts are held in the handsome Peterborough Town House, July into October. An annual opera with the Festival Orchestra and Chorus is one of the highlights. "The musically informed all know about the Monadnock Music Festival."
SHARON ARTS CENTER
A community of artists, teachers, and friends of the arts has supported classes, workshops, a gallery, and a shop since 1947. Year-round activities include gala openings, now in a new gallery and shop in Peterborough, while dozens of crafts and art classes continue in the original Sharon location. Some are one-day, intensive, hands-on classes. All are open to members and non-members alike.
GREAT PUMPKIN FESTIVAL
Three days on the Oval in Milford at the height of the foliage season, midOctober. The Oval is the regions's most beautifully gardened common, complete with antique bandstand. Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins -- all in contests for size, and character of carved faces and scarecrows. You don't have to compete to enjoy the kids' activities, the puppets, musicians, singing and dance. And eating: breakfast or supper or desserts -- complete with recipes.
THE MONADNOCK SUMMER LYCEUM
The Unitarian Church (an architectural gem whose spire dominates downtown Peterborough) hosts an historic series of summer lectures. The speakers are knowledgeable and the topics timely. A vigorous Q & A period follows. A feast for the thoughtful. July and August, Sunday mornings.
THE PETERBOROUGH PLAYERS
Started in an 18th-century barn in 1933, Peterborough's summer playhouse still uses the cherished barn and traditions to produce sophisticated theater in a rustic setting. Besides the June-August regular season, occasional play readings, festive benefit events, and the Annual Fall Auction take advantage of a handsome building addition. This is one of the Monadnock "musts."
ANDY'S SUMMER PLAYHOUSE
"Reinventing theater for children." Each summer Andy's is the focus for local young people who love theater. They come for serious training and for fun. Everyone else comes for the fine Main Stage plays, the touring show, and the home-baked refreshments on twilight summer evenings.
APPLE HILL CENTER FOR CHAMBER MUSIC
The Apple Hill Chamber Players, centered in Nelson, give conerts across the country and overseas. Summers, they become the faculty at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music which attracts serious students from around the world. The public gathers to enjoy concerts and free recitals in a picture-book setting.
AMERICAN STAGE FESTIVAL
Along the Souhegan River within walking distance of the Oval in Milford, is a modern summer theater with a reputation for delightful musicals and comedy. The Young Company also creates productions for theater-loving youngsters. On a warm summer evening you often can enjoy a river-side party or benefit before the performance.
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Stones B&B, 6 Bennington Battle Trail, Wilton Center, N.H. 03086 USA
Tollfree 1-888-654-9048, Regular phone 603-654-9048